Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 60: 1-6

Sunday, December 16, AD 2012


Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here and here , we come to Isaiah 60: 1-6.

[1] Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.


[2] For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.


[3] And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.


[4] Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side.


[5] Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee.


[6] The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.

Saint Methodius has written the following in regard to this passage:

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Both World Wars Were A Catalyst For Religious Growth; What Future Tragedy Will It Take For Another Revival?

Sunday, December 16, AD 2012

Sadly it often takes tragedies for religious faith to grow. It seems an unfortunate part of our fallen nature. We have been hit by a spate of tragedies as of late; in its wake we often see churches full of worshippers seeking answers where once there were but a few. Following both world wars, there existed a religious resurgence that unlike the recent tragedies did not ebb and flow. It remained constant due in large part to the horrific loses of human life.

Modernism was alive and well and condemned by the likes of Pope Pius X even before the Guns of August began in 1914. The Catholic and Protestant churches were increasingly seeing relativistic elements entering their seminaries. However unlike recent times, they were quickly addressed. Though we are gaining the upper hand, it has been 40 years since Pope Paul VI lamented that “The Smoke of Satan” had entered the Church. In my just released book; The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I speak about the positive events occurring within the Church, as well as those movements who aim to do us harm. In addition, the book delves into how we got into this mess in the first place.

Following World War I there was a great return to religious devotions, especially those having to do with the Blessed Mother. The events of Fatima which had occurred during the war and were being followed closely around the Catholic globe. As I mentioned in my article on the Schoenstatt Movement, the likes of Father Josef Kentenich chastised theological authorities who were giving short shrift to these devotions as well as those who dismissed popular devotions to those who recently passed away like the future Saint Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower.) Father Kentenich reminded these scoffers that Jesus did indeed say that we must become like little children if we are to enter the Kingdom.

The well heeled of Europe and many American ex pats found their way to Paris to rebel against the religious side of the equation. On the whole, they were a gloomy lot who seemed to drown their sorrows in all matter of drink and sexual exploits which only made them more unbearable. Some even found their way to more exotic locales like Casablanca, as did the fictional Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in the epic film Casablanca.

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7 Responses to Both World Wars Were A Catalyst For Religious Growth; What Future Tragedy Will It Take For Another Revival?

  • In Spain, the Franco regime and its views led to pent-up hostility towards the Catholic church after Franco died.

    France began slipping away from the Faith at the time of the Revolution and not even the numerous apparitions of Mary have been able to return the French to her former status as Eldest Daughter of the Church.

    The unification of Italy in the 19th century unleashed hostility towards the Catholic clergy, seeing them as privileged (gross oversimplification).

    Germany, Holland, Austria….others know the reason for the decline better than I do.

    In the USA, I blame the turn in popular culture as well as the Kennedys. In the 1950s, during the beginnings of the Cold War, Hollywood made many movies based on Old Testament stories. Fr. Peyton and Loretta Young made Catholic themed programs and Bishop Sheen was popular.

    The 1960s…there was the heartwarming Dragnet episode where the little Latino boy returns the Baby Jesus to church before Christmas Eve Mass.

    The 1970s were indifferent to religion.

    Today, there is open hostility to religion from Hollywood and academia, and far too many young people eat it all up.

  • Dave.
    Fr. John Hardon, (d.2000) gave striking warnings of a future American landscape if Catholics didn’t return to the sacraments.
    Catholics because they are the privileged members of the Body of Christ.
    Fr. Hardon; “If American Catholics do not return to the true faith, return to frequent the sacraments, then they will experience the sufferings of First century Christians.”

    The battleground is Christian America.

  • Penguins Fan wrote

    “France began slipping away from the Faith at the time of the Revolution…”

    The “slipping away” began almost a century and a half earlier, in the aftermath of the Wars of Religion in France (1562-1598) and the Thirty Years War in Germany (1618-1648) These ended in a stalemate; the Reformation gained no new territory, but it proved impossible to restore the unity of Christendom. The all but inevitable result was the growth of scepticism: both sides could not be right, but they could both be wrong. Theology, as a science (a means of knowledge) was generally viewed as discredited. It was to such people that the Pensées of Pascal were addressed.

    On the eve of the Revolution, few of the middle classes went to Mass in the great towns, hardly any of the artisans. The faithful were a sincere though ill-instructed and dwindling minority. Nothing better illustrates the condition of the Church than that priests like the Abbé Sieyès and bishops like Talleyrand were not untypical. Acton notes that “Those among them who had been chosen by the Church itself for its supreme reward, the Cardinal’s hat—Rohan, Loménie de Brienne, Bernis, Montmorency and Talleyrand—were men notoriously of evil repute.” Maury, afterwards Cardinal and Archbishop of Paris, was a man whose character was below his talents.

  • ‘However, what price will it take for our hubris and narcissism to defer to God’s love, truth and reason?’

    Vital question. Something like pulling the plug or a ‘forty’ day or year span of character building or voices to balance the scale in culture.

    ‘In the USA, I blame the turn in popular culture as well as the Kennedys. In the 1950s, during the beginnings of the Cold War, Hollywood made many movies based on Old Testament stories. Fr. Peyton and Loretta Young made Catholic themed programs and Bishop Sheen was popular.’

    The 1960s…there was the heartwarming Dragnet episode where the little Latino boy returns the Baby Jesus to church before Christmas Eve Mass.

    The 1970s were indifferent to religion.

    Today, there is open hostility to religion from Hollywood and academia, and far too many young people eat it all up.’ –

    … to the point of Churches being locked due to the victimization.

    The violent insane seem to attack the defenseless, such as in schools, theaters, and gatherings. What provokes violent behavior are celebrated elements of the culture which have lost civility and balanced character traits of decent restraint.

    I think of some not funny comedians, the loss of board games to computer ones played alone, the gang phenomenon, the irony of the women’s liberation movement and the outrageous displays of today’s women, artisans becoming ‘artists’ of the useless, and more, and vaguely, electronic replacement of human activity/work. Mental inability and illness, loss of human care to gov. regulations and courts strangling progress.

    ‘On the eve of the Revolution, few of the middle classes went to Mass in the great towns, hardly any of the artisans. The faithful were a sincere though ill-instructed and dwindling minority.

    … a man whose character was below his talents.’ ***

    Education becoming unrelated to the character building of good judgement or virtue. Lifetimes given to learning from the inspirations and beauty of our Creator have value. So what will bring more than a temporary turn to religion in reaction to sorrowful tragedy is what M P-S wrote. Character. The culture of death is deterring religious growth and its strength of character; so maybe, simply accepting God’s gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love (in even horrible circumstances brought on by evil afoot) would serve to rebuild His recommended culture of life.

    People finding the great comfort of a more religious life, however found, will grow to see the discomfort in a solely material world and loss therein. Hunger and thirst for more works both ways.

  • I think this is a complete misreading of the past century.

    WWI saw the collapse of faith in state, royalty, race, and progress, which were the reigning beliefs in Europe. The facade of faith was slipping away, and France drifted into despair. Nihilism, drugs, and eventually existentialism did little to fill the void. Russia fell. The US won the war and retained its optimism or something like it, until the decadence of the 1920’s collapsed into the Great Depression. Germany went a different route, re-embracing race and progress in an awful way. By the end of WWII, the spirit of despair ruled most everywhere. European countries gave up their empires and gave in emotionally to the Soviets. America held together because of its devil rather than because of its god.

    There are little ripples throughout history which can make it seem like one decade is holier than another. And we are affected by (not controlled by) our culture, so I shouldn’t say that all of us within a given country move in lockstep. But the trendline for the past 100 years has been ugly. The wars led to loss of faith among millions.

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  • There are some great posts here. Yes, Penguins Fan when faith begins to slip it can fall in a hurry, much like someone climbing a mountain, a momentary slip can take the climber a great deal of time to return from where he momentarily slipped.

    Philip, Father Hardon was prophetic, he was fond of saying the modern rebellion began in the 1930s. I can’t remember exactly the date he was referring to but it had to do with a group of priests in pre- WWII (Belgium?) taking liturgical matters in their own hands. He saw the slipping away of reverance and the degree to which the sacraments were being dismissed as a harbinger of something awful to come.

    Michael Paterson Semour, yes few realize the true impact of the Reformation when it was put into the hands of men like Jean Calvin who saw to it that mystery was dismissed. In addition, Calvin saw to it that churches were closed during the week to prevent “superstitious rituals” like Marian Devotion and Eucharistic Adoration from continuing. Putting doubts in people’s minds certainly set the stage for the unholy terror that was the French Revolution. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton saw it for what it was but even thinkers like Thomas Jefferson were fooled into thinking that it was an Englightened event.

    PM, yes as I indicated in my article it is hard to believe that Hollywood helped the faith with many fantastic films, and it even had powerful messages in TV dramas as late as the 1970s. However, Father Peyton saw the troubling signs years before and tried to prevent the catastrophe which is now controlling our media culture. In the 1940s, Father Peyton believed Hollywood could evangelize the world through films, but he also knew it would also become a target of the dark side.

    Pinky, true we are responsible for our actions but wealth and prosperity have always been the tool to which the dark side lures societies going back to Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, Rome etc to walk away from God. However, tragedies have sobered people up long enough to see the error of their ways. For a decade starting in the mid 1990s, Poland was ordaining half of Europe’s priests. Look at the saints France gave us after the nightmare of 1789.

    It is important to note that we will be the last man standing so to speak. The faithful will come our way because Jesus predicted that it would happen (The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.) Let’s hope and pray that in the final showdown large segments of the populace see through the demonic disguise of the evil one.

16 Responses to This Has to be Seen to be Believed

  • Ech, makes you shiver. Great Big Daddy State is looking after you. Kinda creepy, like, We know where you are…

    Thanks for the other one.

  • “For unto us, a Savior Government is born.”

  • Wow.

    That is just gross. And creepy. And also…gross. Sheesh.

    The real hero of Christmas is not Jesus Christ…it’s big brother.

  • But remember, kids, you would have gotten more toys if it weren’t for all the money mommy and daddy have to spend on gasoline tax. And those assembly instructions don’t make any sense to daddy because he went to a public school. And grandma better enjoy eating turkey this year, because if her teeth fall out, a government official is going to be rationing feeding tubes.

  • Shame on you, Don. It is a HOLIDAY video not a CHRISTMAS video.

    And, remember, I work for the federal government. I am LOOKING OUT for you. Ho, ho, ho!

    God bless you.

  • Well. This makes me want to take Jesus’ name in vain. 🙁

  • In the 100 years since progressive geniuses (special people who know better than the market), imposed the Federel income tax and the Federal Reserve System, the population grew by three-times; the national debt by 20,000-times.

    In the 19th century, there were “panics” about every 20 years. The recoveries were quick, strong, and there was no big government stimulus or monetary easing. In the 20th century and 21st depressions and recessions have been deep and recoveries slower and weaker.

    A 2012 dollar has the buying power of a 1912 penny.

    The astronomical borrow and spend, print trillions of dollars fiscal and monetary policies the PhD’s are running may end badly: currency and societal collapses.

    Watch them zombie movies. That insanitry is in your future.

    Merry Holiday and a Snappy Happy, Serfs!

  • Hollow Day from public service braintrust with hbp music, featuring a big book photographic centerpiece no one is reading to the little one who will grow to care less than them what it may say.

  • Strangely they missed IRS agents along with the groping TSA.

  • The child in this scene is placed there to bring a feeling of something,,,vaguely reminiscent of…
    Why or how to celebrate Something that just now escapes us

    That faintly nostalgic opening to this commercial says that
    once there was something transcendent about the “holidays”. They had an inner life of their own somehow… back before they were defined by the government. OMB calls for our hearts and thanksgiving now.

  • Wow, talk about government propaganda! This is scary!

  • I just went to confession last night … so I’m not going to sin already with a remark! I just don’t want my tax dollars wasted like that.

  • …thanks Federal Food Inspectors…
    meanwhile Bovine Growth Hormones, genetically modified organisms approved for consumption by a former Monsanto officer who held a post in the FDA…(conflict of interest)….and then this pollution, Christmas video. Pathetic tripe.

    The Armed Services clip was outstanding.

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  • I shudder to think of the number of happy, correct classrooms in which this has been proudly displayed.

The Schoenstatt Movement Nearly 100 Years Old

Saturday, December 15, AD 2012

I must admit a certain reticence to writing this article because I don’t think in one article I can truly do the Schoenstatt Movement justice, but the movement’s nearly 100 year old story and that of its founder Father Josef Kentenich really needs to be told. In 1914 a young German priest Father Kentenich started a movement that was so unique it took nearly 50 years before many would understand the groundbreaking effects it could have on the Church. This future saint would not only survive the suspicions of some on the theological left and right, but he would also survive Dachau. He died in 1968, the same year as another misunderstood priest, Saint Padre Pio.

When writing my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn,  even I was stunned about the new movements that keep cropping up within the Church, even as so many have written off the Church. Indeed this is the History of the Church, when one thinks she is coming under attack by the dark side, she only grows stronger in faith due to her burgeoning movements.

However, Father Kentenich left behind an amazing outlook which every believer should emulate and a perseverance that few could imagine. In a modern world full of individuals making millions of dollars on self help, pep talks and new age “spiritual guidance,” Father Kentenich reminded everyone that Jesus is our true Spiritual Guide and His Blessed Mother the model for us all to follow.

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7 Responses to The Schoenstatt Movement Nearly 100 Years Old

  • I do not share your optimism about the Catholic Church, but I am not saying it to look for a retort. However, feel free to make one if you so desire, although I will not reply to it.

    That being said, the following is not true:

    “However, the father doesn’t really show his until the baby is placed in his arms for the first time and his paternal instincts of protection and education immediately come to the surface,”

    I loved our children and understood my place and obligations long before each of them were born and in fact, from the moment I learned of their conception was praying for them, my wife and myself. The priest was very naive, to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was not a fitting quote and I wish you would disavow it. It sounds quaint but really is harmful and demeaning to fathers. I am sure it was not intended that way. It was a naive statement of his belief in that regard.

    I delivered our first child because the OBGYN had the perception to see my devotion and my capabilites.
    Years later, that child returned that little delivery favor and, literally, saved MY life, when she was about 12 or 13. No one placed her in my arms, I held her from the moment her precious head presented itself to my waiting hands. I am grateful to Dr. Hainje for having allowed me to deliver our first daughter. The older she gets, now a mother, herself, she and her siblings are growing aware that, one day, my life will be in their hands. That daughter knows well, she will, then, hold me as I once held her. There is not a doubt in my mind that her hands will lovingly care for me, saying goodbye, as mine did welcoming her.

    For that, I do not have sufficient words to thank God.

  • Karl, I will continue to write about the Church as being our last best hope. It is not my opinion or hope. If Jesus said it, I believe it. In my writings I have delved into the good happening in the Church, as well as the continuing attacks we are under and have always been under. It is what it is. We will be the last man standing so to speak. It doesn’t mean we will not go through a tremendous trial, but the faithful will come to us, because Jesus said it would happen. He also spoke about the everlasting consequences for those who think they don’t need God.

    Perhaps you misunderstood the words of Father Kentenich, I certainly hope so for he has been one of the smartest men to come our way in a long, long time. He was not saying that men don’t spend lots of time praying and thinking about their unborn children. He was simply making the case that for us it is different than it is for the woman. God made us different for a reason, which is substantiated scientifically, medically and theologically. I would hope you would reflect on this and see the true meaning in what he was saying.

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  • The paragraph beginning with “Following World War I” needs some editing. The first two sentences contradict each other.

  • My sister is a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary and I, myself, am a Third Order Carmelite. I had not realized our two religious directions were so linked, and I appreciate your article. Mys sister, Ann, (Sister M. Anna Astell) who is a Shoenstatt sister of Mary has always had a devotion to the Little Flower and I believe she is working on a book about Teresa of Avila. My sister teaches at Notre Dame in Indiana high level theology courses although her background is in Midieval literature. She is an example of Father Kentenich’s spirituality, being very simple and childlike despite a very brilliant career and writing a number of books, one on the Eucharist which I especially liked is titled “Eating Beauty” (I designed tje cover for that book). Schoenstatt spirituality is very down to earth and family oriented and while I was called to the Carmelites, I do feel a kinship with their movement and its great devotion to our Blessed Mother. The rosary movement has been a source of love and spiritual kinship for many.

  • Thanks for your kind words Mary, so glad to read of your personal testimony regarding your sister who is a Schoenstatt Sister. Father Kentenich was such an amazing man. Greg the Obscure, sorry to contradict your editorial advice, but no they don’t.

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IBM 5100

Saturday, December 15, AD 2012

Hattip to Ann Althouse.  A trip down tech memory lane.  The IBM 5100 came out in 1975, the year I went off to the U of I as a freshman.  I was fascinated by computers, so I would hang around the Foreign Language Research Building until 11:00 PM and play Space War on one of the main frames until the administration put a stop to that the next semester.

Note in the commercial that IBM says the computer cost is “reasonable”.  In 1975 dollars you would pay 11,000 for the 16kb version.  For the 64kb  version the cost was twenty grand, which was the entire annual income for my parents at that time.  When I started practicing law I earned 16,000 my first year out.  The IBM 5100 was definitely only for businesses, the rich or the truly crazed tech heads.  I didn’t obtain my first computer, a Commodore 64, until 1987, and that cost my wife and I $1,000.00 for 64kb  ( Fortunately my wife loves computers as much as I do).  The next year we picked up an IBM with the same memory for a grand.  We then did an upgrade almost immediately so we would have two, count them!, two floppy drives.  An IBM with a harddrive had to wait until 1991.  That first harddrive had 20MB and I recall wondering how we would ever fill up that space.

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6 Responses to IBM 5100

The Fear of God and the Law

Saturday, December 15, AD 2012

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.

Proverbs 9:10


Traditionally in English criminal indictments this formula was used “not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil”.  This of course contained a great truth that used to be embodied in Western jurisprudence, that human laws could do only so much to prevent evil and that the eternal battle waged in every human heart and mind between good and evil was the true determinant of whether men would commit terrible acts against, not merely the momentary statutes of Man, but the eternal Law of God, as partially represented in the Ten Commandments given to humanity by God on Mount Sinai.

In the wake of the appalling evil of the murder of the innocents at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday, there are cries for legislation, usually from advocates of gun control, to purportedly aid in preventing this type of tragedy from happening again.  There is also, inevitably, endless commentary.  One piece of commentary I found striking was that by John Podhoretz at Commentary:


The connection between the protection of children and the practice of monotheism dates back to the beginning. After Abraham becomes the first Jew, the first monotheist, he is tasked by God to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, the miracle child of his and his wife Sarah’s old age, and he takes up the task without complaint until God stays his hand. The story of Isaac’s binding, the akedah, is one of the most challenging of the Bible and is often taken to mean God was testing Abraham’s faith with the ultimate demand. But one might also say that at the very dawn of the worship of the One God, the Bible was placing the sacrifice of children outside the realm of the thinkable for the first time.

The idea that civilization is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the weak and the innocent, and not about fulfilling evil impulses to defile and destroy innocence, is the root and core of the West. One cannot conceive of anything more monstrous than a person or persons who could look small children in the eye and systematically shoot them dead. Which is why this crime, among the worst crimes in American history, is not just an assault on the children, or their families, or the town of Newtown—though it is all those things.

What the killer(s) did today was nothing less than a contemporary sacrifice to Moloch, in whatever form Moloch manifests himself today—the appeasement of a voice in the head, most likely. Evil, even if it is loosed due to mental illness, is an effort to destroy the common good by making good appear powerless, ineffectual, weak. Today saw a horrifically effective effort to give evil a victory. It has opened a portal and brought Hell to earth.

Gehenna is real again.

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10 Responses to The Fear of God and the Law

  • A society that truly wishes to protect the weak and the innocent would not tolerate abortion on demand….

    You have it! The banners flew high in our very liberal downtown this past August…Stop Child Abuse. Try to explain the worse cases of child abuse, abortion, and I’m laughed at.

    Donald. What’s left for us to do to counter this attack on “goodness?” Pray?! With God All things are possible.

  • Abraham acknowledged that Isaac belonged to God,

  • “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    Money quote!

    I think we may blame 50 years of execrable elites (citing diversity and tolerance, seizing unlimited power) pitting Americans against God and against each other.

    For years they have constantly pushed on us: vice is virtue and blessings are curses.

    The OT says “Woe unto him who calls evil good and good evil.”

    We are reaping the whirlwind.

    “As ye sew, so shall ye reap.”

  • Phillip: If may answer your query to Donald Mc Clarey: “What’s left for us to do to counter this attack on “goodness?” Remember, reiterate and remind people of the self-evident truth and founding principle that all men are created equal by “their Creator” and that all men belong to God, first, and to the community/family second, that the church, community and family belong to God, first. Caesar belongs to God and ought to be rendered unto God, that any person who repudiates God, “their Creator”, and our founding principles, repudiates his sovereign personhood, his unalienable rights endowed by God and his citizenship granted by the state, by the state who belongs to God, that the newly begotten sovereign persons belong to God, their bodies and their souls, belong to God, first, to their church and community, second, and to themselves, lastly, that any person who may believe that the soul and body of the newly begotten belongs to another person has forfeit his soul and unalienable rights to the devil. The devil has no soul and covets each and every soul of man, but when the devil got the soul of the Son Man, Jesus Christ, the coward ran to the pit of hell to hide, where, if I may say, the personification of evil belongs.

  • Attempts to parallel Rome and America are often misguided. However, I see a parallelbetween Western Culture and Roman Culture.

    This has happened before: ancient religions that kept passions in check undermined and replaced by half-baked, hedonistic and falsely rationalist ideas that amount to little more than replacing concepts of the divine with an inflated sense of Man’s importance.

    Satan knows that Man is doomed when unchecked by a moral code. He uses the human intellect to undermine our acceptance that we are curiously God’s beloved creation. We convince ourselves that that which doesn’t make perfect sense to us, even though our knowledge is far from perfect, must not be true. Thus we become rebels against the natural order and, thus, God.

    Remember though that we are responsible for only that which is under our control. A heavy price is to be paid for not fulfilling our duties, to be sure, but we are not accountable for what was not ours. If we concentrate on using His gifts well and fulfilling our duties, if we work hard and honestly, raise our families well and are faithful to our spouses and parents, seek to heal the injuries of this world, we will have done what was right and, so, will have done the Good.

    Keep the faith, my friends… It is all that you can do and all you are responsible for.

  • Mary De Voe.

    Thank you. Remind them with actions and as a last resort with words.
    It is our responsibility to lead and teach by our lives. I must remind myself that we can’t be concerned with immediate results, rather leaving the results and timing in Gods hands.
    Thanks Mary.

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  • “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind” (Jeremiah 19:5)

    The holy Fathers teach, “Which I commanded not”- this refers to the sacrifice of the son of Mesha, the king of Moab (2 Kings 3:27); “nor spake it”; this refers to the daughter of Jephthah (Judges 11:31); “neither came it into My mind”; this refers to the sacrifice of Isaac, the son of Abraham.

  • There is this second part, Phillip, to my response:
    The challenge of atheism must be met head on sometimes, because of the contempt the militant atheist has for God-fearing people. Remember, if the atheist believes himself to be God-like, and Catholics are God-fearing people, the atheist is emboldened and too easily assumes that Catholics are to be victimized, thereby disrupting the peace and security of the community. The atheist will respect my doctrine and dogma and my religion or I will not respect his atheism, his free will to repudiate our founding principles and our Creator and I will find that he has repudiated his sovereign personhood endowed by the Person of our Creator and all unalienable civil rights and I will find that he ought to be exiled and deported as he has disenfranchised himself, with no one to blame but himself, his arrogance, his lack of humility and his contempt for his neighbor…while at the same time I may be praying and staying close to God…
    Thank you for your kind words.

  • Mary-
    Your welcome.
    In [ Heretics ] by G.K.Chesterton; “We have to love our neighbor because he is there. He is the sample of humanity that is actually given us. Precisely because he may be anybody, he is everybody.”

    Some may say that no one can love his neighbor on an empty stomach, yet many Saints have found it very possible, as long as the heart is full. Example St. Maximilian Kolbe.

    Your second part, the contempt that some atheist may have agonist God-fearing people is correct. Standing in peaceful protest in Madison Wisconsin in 2002 was my first experience with your theory. Interestingly once in awhile, a conversion take place.
    So our public witness for Truth is vital.

    May Gods grace be forever with us in this ongoing 2,000 plus years of Good News broadcasting knowing full well that defending the faith is not for the faint of heart.
    Peace to you and your family Mary.

The Slaughter of Innocents

Saturday, December 15, AD 2012
"Slaughter of the Innocents" by Ghirlandaio Domenico

“Slaughter of the Innocents” by Ghirlandaio Domenico

I never quite know what to say whenever a public tragedy occurs. Everything sounds like an obligatory platitude, or something that has already been said, or something that shouldn’t even need to be said. Ultimately the slaying of 20 innocent children along with 6 adults is horrific beyond words.

The reality we live in is one in which almost everyone agrees that to “politicize” tragedy is wrong, and in which almost everyone does it anyway. It didn’t take long for the gun-grabbers to begin howling against the NRA, the 2nd amendment, and guns in general. Some of the howling may really be sincere. Children died, and emotions are running extremely high. Some people may really believe that taking away my right to own a gun, and the rights of millions upon millions of sane, decent people’s right to do the same, is necessary to protect society from the handful of psychotic individuals who will use guns to inflict harm on the innocent.

So this is not an angry tirade against the gun-grabbers (as well as the others I will surely also offend). If I could inject tone into written words, I’d say this is more of a plea, though not a hysterical one.

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68 Responses to The Slaughter of Innocents

  • “…or when babies are born with horrible defects caused by our radioactive weapons.”

    “..But at least give me credit for hating everyone’s politics today.”

    While you do so, make sure you are not creating your own politics. The first quote is not supported by your own link. For example:

    “Scientific studies have so far established no link between the rounds, which contain ionising radiation to burst through armour and are commonly used on the battlefield.”

  • Did you actually read the whole thing?

    “A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.”

    Why are you defending this horror?

  • I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects. SOMETHING caused them, and it wasn’t the weather.

    Let certain people be forewarned.

  • I think your point about the culture of violence and death is the most significant. I will take the libertyof expnding on your point though.

    It is certainly true that you can’t legislate morality. Unfortunately, legislation is a first response to every notorious act. We behave as though, if only we “tighten up the laws” people will behave. Meanwhile, we do nothing reasonable to train, for that is what parenting is, our children to be good people.

    At the beginning of the school year, we cut our kids off from all electronic gear from Sunday afternoon til Friday after school. From the reaction of other parents, you’d think we’d said we were becoming Amish – an increasingly attractive option. My 8 year old son has a Wii. When we go to Gamestop, there is a none to subtle push to buy war games by any salesman – the women seem fine with opting out of violent games. We are treated to the lyrics of violence with passing cars and of lewdness through pop stars – aimed directly at my 5 and 11 year old daughters.

    This is one sick and misdirected culture and no amount of legislation is going to close this gaping wound. So, fellow Americans, leave me the means to protect myself, I may very well need it to protect my family from your hyper-sexualized, desensitized to violence son.

  • G-Veg,

    I don’t know how to feel about violence in media. A movie like Braveheart is pretty violent but is also really worth watching. Reality is violent. I don’t think children should be sheltered from that. At the same time, I certainly don’t think violence for its own sake should be glorified. Video games like “Grand Theft Auto” where you drive around murdering pedestrians for fun are really horrific.

  • I know this comes up on in some circles with every one of these shootings, but I really think the problem is mental health. Sane people, no matter how affected by violent media, don’t target kindergarteners. Laws regarding committal of the insane have made it increasingly difficult to commit individuals to mental institutions. This change was perhaps a reasonable reaction to the conditions in many state hospitals in the 60’s and 70’s. Rather than improve conditions, the sick were allowed to roam free. Many are only a danger to themselves, as sad as that is. In many jurisdictions, a judge will not agree to an involuntary committal unless the person is actively wielding weapons and making overt threats. Sometimes not even then. If we’re going to throw money and legislation at a problem, how about this one instead of gun control. It might have the effect of actually helping people.

  • “when babies are born with horrible defects caused by our radioactive weapons.”


    Respectfully, you do not know anything about radiation, radioactive weapons or nuclear engineering. The U-238 used in those weapons did NOT cause the birth defects. But coal fired power plants in the US routinely emit MORE radioactivity in the form of radium, thorium and uranium, and dump that ash willy-nilly into the environment. Where are the birth defects from that if the U-238 in weapons in Iraq caused birth defects? Did you ever think that maybe Saddam Hussein’s own chemical weapons caused those defects?

    BTW, the UK Guardian is NOT a reputable source when it comes to this kind of information.

  • G-veg.
    Simple isn’t it. What you put in is what you can expect to get out. Your wise to be setting up and enforcing time limits on your sons gaming programs.
    When I asked others their feelings on this recent tragedy I was saddened by the level of apathy. It’s as if people are becoming desensitize to the horror that is “deaths and killings.” Forty years of licenced killings of innocents is catching up to us.
    What is life? What is truth? Reality?
    We’re not in Kansas anymore!

  • The thing is that censorship is a proper tool of parenting, not of the State.

    You are the best judge of what your son should be exposed to and I of mine.

    It is my judgment that Master and Commander’s violence, since it is in the context of war and honor and because the violence has consequences that my 8 and 11 year olds can grasp and connect, is actually a good film for them to see. I don’t think it is good for my 5 year old to see. I believe she would not understand the context or connect the consequences to a boyher brother’s age having his arm amputated. She would be scared, not the wiser, for having seen the film.

    That is called “parenting” and I am always surprised how many people I encounter in my work who are not acquainted with the concept.

    I regularly enter homes where the most violent videogames are being played by very small children. Their parents, or parent as is often the case, seem to use the games as babysitters. In fairness, the world outside of their doors is only slightly less violent so the kids’ being inside all the time isn’t entirely surprising.

    The hypersexualization is as much a problem because there is a link between the two that I haven’t worked out. Boys expect sex these days and girls expect to be treated as sexual objects. Is there a connection between this sickness and the violence? I think so but I work pretty hard against both diseases and I don’t have the proper context to make a judgment.

    My point, I think, stands though: the causes of societal collapse are many and deeply imbedded. They entirely come back to a lack of parenting and no legislation will fix it.

  • G-Veg.
    JP II the great spoke of the attacks on the family and the consequences thereof.
    If the attack is successful, then expect to see the neighborhoods fall, the cities, the state and nation. You are minutemen of the 21st Century.
    God Bless you.

  • “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

    Do not hide your light under a basket.

    Now is time for the virtue of Hope.

    We hope that these darling children and courageous school personnel are born to eternal life.

    We hope that the families can come through the mourning and unspeakable pain to peace through Faith and Charity.

    This year, the Feast of the Holy Innocents/Childermas may have intense meaning.
    The fourth day of Christmas commemorates the infant boys Herod ordered killed. They are considered the first martyrs (St. Stephen was the first martyr of the Church Age). They are deemed to have actually died for Christ and in His stead. Vestments are red or purple in mourning. The Alleluia and Gloria are not sung at Mass.

  • Connection.
    King Herod was jealous and fearful of a “new king to come.” With this fear he orders the deaths of the innocents.

    Today, women and men jealous and fearful order the deaths of their innocent ones.
    Jealous of the resources they would have to use to raise the child. Fearful of their future. Their plans being changed.

    Today is filled with Herods.
    I’ll light a candle for conversions.

  • “Not even the totalitarian Chinese state can prevent vicious and sometimes fatal knife attacks from occurring in Chinese schools.”

    Of course, they cannot. But they can restrict access to some weapons that make it easier to kill more people, more easily and more quickly, than with a knife.

    General Wade’s disarming of the Highland clans id not eliminate murder; it did create a climate in which the Highlands are now patrolled by unarmed police officers.

  • The disarming of the Highland clans? Really? You mean the mass murder and plunder carried out by British troops after Culloden?

    This is America. Our rebellion against British tyranny was a successful one, and it resulted in the 2nd amendment. It will never be Europe and it will never be China, at least not over my cold, dead corpse.

  • Governments are responsible for murders, crimes, genocides, atrocities and all around unholy evil than lax gun laws. I’d put a gun in the hand of every citizen before I would consent to an expansion of police powers and a loss of natural rights.

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  • In the 20th century, the most deadly US massacre of little children: April 19, 1993, 76 Americans (21 young children) killed at Waco, TX. The killers were on salary paid by US taxpayers.

    Since Great Britain confiscated all guns, gun crime has risen 89% (decade to decade).

    After Culloden the Brits committed genocide: summary executions; destroying homes, crops and livestock – confiscations; deportations, etc.

  • “the 20th century, the most deadly US massacre of little children”

    The Bath school bombings on May 18, 1927:

  • Thanx, Mac!

    I hadn’t considered bombs, which are far more efficient than gun fire.

    Interesting (and not uncommon today) motive: school-tax foreclosure of the family farm.

  • “Did you actually read the whole thing?”

    Yes. Of course the words used to draw the connection between the weapons and the birth defects are all conditionals. That’s because there is no clear link.

    “A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.”

    Again, the critical word is “could.” Being a physician, saying something could have been caused by X is completely different than saying it was definitively caused by X. Thus pointing out the error of your statement.

    “Why are you defending this horror?”

    I am not. I am defending the pursuit of truth. This includes noting that the study you link does not support the conclusion you draw.

    “I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects. SOMETHING caused them, and it wasn’t the weather. ”

    Yes something did. Of course that is the job of epidemiology, biology etc. to establish, not one, simple study. As Paul notes (as do studies in basic science), depleted uranium does not seem to be the problem.

    “Let certain people be forewarned.”

    That of course could not be me. If you have read my comments through the years, they have been quite respectful and interested in an honest discussion. That includes at times correcting my stance on certain subjects. That at times has resulted in others moderating theirs.

  • In the twentieth century most deadly US massacre of little children….

    Really? The largest numbers are from daily death counts of between 2,500 – 4,000 a day in the twentieth century in little rooms by the hands of so-called doctors.

    Least we forget them?

  • “I am NOT going to let this thread degenerate into a petty and stupid debate about whether or not DU causes birth defects.”

    Excellent! One should not use DU disinformation in a UK newspaper (not even a scientific source!) to make a point and then say that those who demonstrate the point is wrong won’t be allowed to drag the conversation into a stupid debate. DU has nothing to do with the real topic – murdered children in Connecticut.

    And for the record (since I am a nuclear engineer), depleted uranium is natural uranium that has been depleted of its fissile U-235 content, the leftover being U-238 (which I have held in my hands before, and I still live). U-238 radiates alpha-particles and decays (by way of thorium-234 and protactinium-234) into U-234. U-234 has a half-life of 245,500 years. The relation between U-238 and U-234 gives an indication of the age of sediments that are between 100,000 years and 1,200,000 years in age. U-238 occasionally decays by spontaneous fission or double beta decay with probabilities of 5×10?5 and 2×10?10 per 100 alpha decays, respectively. U-238 is essentially harmless except when used in jacketed high velocity projectiles. It is used in that application because it is extremely dense – more so than lead because the nucleus of its atoms contain more protons and neutrons than lead – and thus imparts more energy at the same velocity to the target via this law:

    KE=(1/2)*m*v^2 law

    Indeed, lead can be every bit as hazardous as DU is alleged by anti-nuclear activitists to be due to chemical, not radiation effects, and we have all handled lead before (I used to make experimental batteries in science class a long time ago using that very element).

  • Tragic but a teachable moment:
    After the initial shock from the horror committed at Sandy Hook Elementary and the many private funerals and eulogies which we must rightfully endure will come the public discussion of why such a brutal act of slaughter of innocence could have ever been perpetrated in our nation, again as well we should. Personally I would suggest that as one prepares to venture into that discussion which will obviously involve the second amendment, mental health, security in our schools and other issues they take care not to overlook one which our current culture has blinded us from and hardened the hearts of some to the extent they might have little justification to be a part of the national morning.
    We see our tearful president remorsefully addressing the stunned nation describing the details of the massacre noting that the 20 little kindergarteners had their whole lives ahead of them. Well, most of it to be sure. However, they did have five or six years of life and love from their moms and dads. They did have the brief opportunity to experience the beauty of God’s nature and breathe its air.
    A full lifetime was denied these little ones by a disgraceful criminal act of cowardice on the part a single deranged individual who didn’t see the need for them to exist. Yet we can not deny that just six or seven years ago the mothers of those little souls had, through another dreadful act on the part of five misguided judges, the right to choose likewise and the laws of our nation would protect her from the prosecution we all would be demanding for this perpetrator had he survived the tragedy. Think about this as you mourn and pray for the families involved, has God given us an opportunity to see the near similarity of destruction of innocent children??

  • “By promoting abortion, torture, preemptive war and drone strikes”

    i have different opinions on all of these but i really think it’s a non sequitur

  • Mrs. Zummo: Let me be blunt as tact is not one of my strong points. Mentally ill persons do not murder people. Murderers murder people. A judge in a court of law cannot imprison a mentally ill person unless a crime has been committed. (The Person of Jesus Christ was exiled for no reason from the public square because Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus exorcized the devil at every turn.) At the risk of ridicule and intimidation by militant atheists, the murderer ought to have been exorcized. America needs to be exorcized “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our (consitutional) posterity”

  • I am not sure people read the same post as I did. Some commenters have employed the old Internet discussion trick of disputing a tangential fact and therefore absolving themselves of having to engage the main point. Others have taken to the good old “cultural” arguments, as if the real issue is the portrayal of the killing of innocents, and not the actual killing of innocents. The sound of the best points of this post going over people’s heads (or in one ear and out the other) is absolutely deafening.

    That being said, I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias. What happens in a woman’s uterus is outside the jurisdiction of the US government, like it or not. On the other hand, I will surrender a point to the anti-abortion side in stating that there is a slippery slope in our context towards a completely utilitarian understanding of human life. “Whether or not I can afford this baby,” should be a chilling thought in our minds. Since when did a baby become a problem? And should we not also shutter before the disposing of human flesh, no matter what it or he / she was? This can never be a sign of a healthy society. But it cannot be otherwise in our social order where the foundational principle seems to be the privatization of profits and the socialization of the costs of those profits. As long as that baby is not “my problem”, then it becomes someone else’s problem, and we know who that is. All the same, I also oppose abortion laws for the same reason people would oppose gun laws: there is no guarantee that trying to remedy the “evil” won’t just create a greater evil. But that is not the main point I would like to make, as I think you would dispute all of what I just said.

    For a long time, this country has solved problems in life by just eliminating life. That might be life in the womb, life overseas in places we have consigned to barbarism, or virtually eliminating life on the movie or television screen. If we can take out a “terrorist” with some risk of killing innocent men, women, and children, we go ahead and do it like it’s a video game. Literally, a video game. Such is the logic of our state of perpetual lawless war. The people who pull the trigger are sitting in a comfortable office watching a screen and pressing a button. They go home every night to their families, they read to their kids, go to Little League games, and so on as if they were putting Tab A into Slot B all day long. We don’t even have to stand face to face and look at the person we are killing. We just do it with kill lists, “top secret intelligence”, black ops sites, etc. And we are addicted to the very things that are making us less and less human, all for the sake of cheaper gas and “homeland security” (except when we get on airplanes, when a veritable macabre ritual ensues involving the removal of shoes and clothing, revealing our complete powerlessness). And let us not forget the US military, that institution so praised on this site, that has degenerated into a make-work program for ambitious if academically under-performing young men and women who can stomach the idea of going to places they can barely locate on a map to kill people they have never met for reasons they don’t understand nor are they allowed to question.

    And of course, this is the backdrop to our “entertainment” as well, our sporting events, the bellicose language and ideologies that dominate our workplaces. We use and are used. So in that context, why is it surprising that a disturbed young man decides to off a couple of dozen people, mostly children, and then himself, as a remedy for his own personal crisis? Our entire “success” as a nation seems to be founded on our ability to de-humanize others and use them for our own aims, whether they are a pixelized persons in a video game, or the inferior 3D versions of that “villain” in a house in Pakistan, surrounded by family and friends. We are making the film where we are the crucifiers, not the crucified. What was the author of this heinous act doing other than making his own sick movie, one that we are all talking about? In a sense, he won, didn’t he?

    Driving around, I noticed today that all the flags were at half-staff. Of course, that is appropriate. But I would argue that it would be even more appropriate if we did the same whenever we “accidentally” killed innocent men, women, and children with drone bombs in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, in the name of “freedom”, “America”, and all of the other things we seem to hold so dear. It would even be more appropriate, because unlike the actions of a lone gunmen, those deaths are all the more the shame of the entire Republic, and thus a very appropriate cause of mourning.

  • Mono,

    ” I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias.”

    The state’s role is to protect life (one of its few legitimate roles) – it is amazing that Rothbard, who believed that all aggressive violence was unethical, could support the most aggressive violence imaginable against an unborn child. Abortion is not the “eviction” of an unwanted trespasser. It is the violent dismemberment of a human being. How can that fact be irrelevant?

    Someone has to look out for the interests of children vis-a-vis negligent or abusive parents, and in fact all those who lack the use of reason and the capacity for self-sufficiency. But if it makes it any better, I believe fathers should be compelled as much as mothers. In fact laws that compel fathers to pay child support are as much state “ownership” of the father as anti-abortion laws are of the mother, though I think it is grotesque to put it in such terms. The fact is that parenthood comes with obligations. The natural rights libertarians want to defend were originally corollaries to natural laws that had to be obeyed, among which were the laws by which parents were bound to care for their children.

    But all of this horrible tyranny and slavery could be limited to a mere nine months if the adoption option is exercised. Nine months of simply caring for the life you created through your own volition seems insignificant next to a society in which cold-blooded industrialized mass murder is condoned.

    As for the rest of your post, I thank you for it and mostly agree.

  • You get slightly incoherent, towards the end. How? Mutually Assured Destruction. You, in the beginning, seem to advocate a personal version of the doctrine, yet are ignorant of, or don’t recognize the geopolitical version of the same, re:nukes.

  • I’M incoherent? What are you talking about?

    You seem to think I’m some sort of pacifist. I’m not. In fact I subscribe to Nuclear Peace Theory. That’s something different than using remote-control robots to kill “the terrorists” and killing dozens of innocents in the process. It’s also something different than preemptive wars to rid the world of non-existent WMDs, wars to spead “democracy”, and other war crimes and acts of aggression.

  • The reference to radioactivity was to our use of depleted uranium, which some people who comment on this site choose to remain willfully blind to regarding its potential to cause horrific birth defects.

  • El Mono Liso,

    I am not too polite to say what is true. Your comments are deeply offensive, arrogant, and mean spirited.

    You begin by dismissing cultural elements of violence and all of our thoughts and then have a go at service men and women. That simply will not do. (Bonchamps, I am surprised at you for agreeing with this jerk.)

    Before you shoot your mouth off about our fine men and women in service, some of whom will lay down their lives so that you can enjoy your freedom of speech this Christmas, you really ought to pull real hard on your neck and see if doing so will dislodge your head from your rectum.

  • Mono,

    I’m with Bonchamp, Murray R., and you.

    I’m totally for total personal freedom and total individual autonomy.

    The state must not have control over my life, liberty and happiness.

    If someone is, or may become an annoyance or a burden to me (e.g., “unwanted” unborn babies – once seen as blessings now seen as curses), I need to be able to end that “threat” to my persona. The untrammeled state must not deny me my God-given right to decide who will die and who will live. It’s a highly personal relationship between me and my “burden” with which the state must not interfere.

    The state doesn’t own me. Lincoln abolished slavery in 1863, er, 1869, er, . . .

    End: sarcasm.

    In conclusion, libertarians may be (not sure that it’s possible) more vile than liberals.

  • “Before you shoot your mouth off about our fine men and women in service, some of whom will lay down their lives so that you can enjoy your freedom of speech this Christmas…”

    So killing people who are my same complexion but speak a different language half a world away, often in the most cowardly manner imaginable, is defending “my freedom”. QED. My country right and wrong, and all that.

    I will join with the author of this post and give my own “radical” proposal. Bring back the mandatory draft. If we want to go swaggering about the world killing people and blowing things up, let everyone get in the act. No more mercenary army. No money for college. No awesome mess halls. No “vocational training”. Just show people how to blow people’s heads off and not die, and let them go at it. Then, we would all have to suffer the awfulness of war, and maybe think twice before waging it. My father served in Vietnam when there was a draft, and almost died there. I can respect that. But to think that young people fighting in unjust and illegal wars, often because they have few to no other options in life, are “protecting my freedom” is preposterous. I understand them, and feel sorry for them, but “respect” is not something I would feel towards them. They are more likely ticking people off and killing innocents, which is giving the appropriate moral ammo for the next big terrorist attack, which we can’t possibly prevent anyway. And the cycle continues.

  • Mono wrote, “And let us not forget the US military, that institution so praised on this site, that has degenerated into a make-work program for ambitious if academically under-performing young men and women who can stomach the idea of going to places they can barely locate on a map to kill people they have never met for reasons they don’t understand nor are they allowed to question.”

    Response: I was a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine defending your right to write what you do before you likely were born. I teach nuclear systems fundamentals, instrumentation and controls, and software quality assurance to college graduates who lack the ability to think and apply what they supposedly learned in liberal Democrat Academia. I have used my US navy training to do that, and to keep the electricity flowing that makes your lights work and your PC to function. When I think of “academically under-performing young men and women”, I think of most of today’s college graduates.

    Bonchamps wrote, “The reference to radioactivity was to our use of depleted uranium, which some people who comment on this site choose to remain willfully blind to regarding its potential to cause horrific birth defects.”

    The amount of radiation emitted by U-238 (depleted uranium) is miniscule in comparison to the amount of radiation you get on a plane flight across the Rocky Mountains from cosmic radiation, or the radiation you get from being in Grand Central Station for an hour (the radon in the brick and concrete), or the radiation you get from coal fly ash dumped into the air (the uranium, thorium and radium contained naturally in coal). I have held uranium in my hands. I still live. At a previous employer I was a radiation monitoring system engineer. I do not ignore the hazards of radiation. I am intimately familiar with such hazards, being an instructor thereof. Depleted uranium is every bit as much of a chemical (NOT radiation) hazard as lead. I have demonstrated this with science again and again. Some people choose to ignore the science for disinformation written in a UK newspaper whose writers couldn’t tell the difference between deuterium and neptunium.

  • El Moro Liso’s notion that conscript armies would make wars of aggression less likely hardly seems borne out by history. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, from 1793-1815 were characterised by the levée en masse, as were Bismark’s wars against Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870). The fall of Paris to the Prussians in 1870 marks the eclipse of the old order of Western civilisation – a thing like the sack of Rome by the Goths – and paved the way for the First World War. All the powers who fought in the First World War, except the UK and the USA had long practised universal peacetime conscription. The Second World War was merely a continuation of the First and, again, was fought largely by countries with universal peacetime conscription.

    Certainly, a case can be made that no one should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility of defending the nation under arms and that univerdal conscription is the logical counterpart of universal suffrage, but that is a separate question.

  • G-Veg & others,

    I certainly do agree with Mono’s contention that the wars we are fighting and the people we are killing now in absolutely no way serve to protect my freedom or liberty. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I am simply not stupid enough to believe such obvious lies.

  • Michael:

    Here’s the thing: How many of those regimes were supposedly democratic republics? In our context, people complain about taxes and the bad employment of tax dollars all the time. And even for trivial amounts, people will start battle-to-the-death polemics over government waste, government using money on things it shouldn’t etc. What if the government started demanding your kids’s lives, all of your kids, even just for a few years? Would you complain then? Think about it as a tax. Would you want your “taxes” to go to arbitrary, undeclared wars? Sure, we can cover this up now by offering sweet deals and accounting tricks (hence, the mercenary aspect), but if we get rid of all that, would there not be an uproar?

    Paul Z:

    Your replies to this post basically boil down to: 1. These bombs aren’t as deadly as you say they are and. 2. College students are stupid. Congratulations, you win the “Missing the godd@#& point Award of the Day”. If these bombs are not that lethal, let’s dump a whole lot on them on your neighborhood and see what happens. I am sure it won’t be that bad.

  • “If these bombs are not that lethal, let’s dump a whole lot on them on your neighborhood and see what happens. I am sure it won’t be that bad.”

    There is some logical fallacy there but I’m not sure which. Let’s see. “X” does not cause what some claim it causes. Therefore, let’s dump a whole lot of “X” in your neighborhood.

  • “I certainly do agree with Mono’s contention that the wars we are fighting and the people we are killing now in absolutely no way serve to protect my freedom or liberty.”

    There is this idea that expertise in one area qualifies as expertise in all areas, and that intellectual brilliance in one topic qualifies as intellectual brilliance in all topics. There is this idea that one is entitled to decide what is right and what is wrong regardless that one may not have (or may not even be qualified to have or be privy to) all the facts. All this is the placing of one’s personal beliefs first ahead of those who are the experts, and that behavior is not humility.

    If one is not a radiation health physicist, then one is simply not entitled to an opinion about the radiation health effects of depleted uranium (which is demonstrably less radioactive than common dirt, and certainly even less radioactive than the naturally occurring radioactive potassium-14 and carbon-12 in one’s body). If one is not privy to national security information about the secret workings of Islamic terrorists, then one is not entitled to an opinion about the use of drone weapons to stop them dead in their tracks in the sands of Arabia, preventing loss of innocent life here at home.

    Man’s hubris is the cause of the slaughter of the innocents. The cry “non serviam” that Satan gave forth is the same cry as “I get to decide because I am smart enough.” As long as that cry is shouted, babies will be torn apart in the womb and shot to death outside the womb.

    As for El Mono, college grads are not stupid, just “done educated into imbecility” by liberal Democrat Academia. Give me a 20 year old who went through the Navy’s nuclear power training any day of the week before a college grad.

  • I made an error. I meant to say potassium-40, not 14. Three isotopes occur in nature: 39, 40 and 41. Two are stable: 39 and 41. One is radioactive: 40. It’s a beta emitter and decays to argon-40 which is stable. You get more radiation from potassium-40 in bananas than from what’s in depleted uranium which is U-238. My apologies for the error.

  • El Mono Liso:
    “I am not sure people read the same post as I did. Some commenters have employed the old Internet discussion trick of disputing a tangential fact and therefore absolving themselves of having to engage the main point. Others have taken to the good old “cultural” arguments, as if the real issue is the portrayal of the killing of innocents, and not the actual killing of innocents. The sound of the best points of this post going over people’s heads (or in one ear and out the other) is absolutely deafening”

    There are many aspects of this monstrous crime: the killing of innocents by an individual not employed by the state as executioner for capital one murder, the only reason for killing another person, and without the victims having been tried in a court of law and found guilty of capital one homicide and deserving to be put to death to preserve Justice. For every law God gave to man, God said: “because you are men sacred to me.” Every law Moses laid upon the Israelites was to “drive evil from our midst”. Evil has entered our midst. Our innocents have been murdered en mass by an individual most likely possessed by the devil, since the devil is the only one to gain from such carnage and crime. The expression of sorrow, the consolation of the survivors, the embrace of fellowship, the desire for Justice and peace rein. Adam Lanza was prevented from being like Hitler only in the scope of the crime. The same sin militarized his actions. Were Adam Lanza to be given a battalion, the population would be decimated as in abortion of the sovereign person in the womb or genocide. Adam Lanza ended his life the way hitler ended his life, by his own hand.

    “That being said, I will say that I am for abortion rights, primarily for the same reasons as Murray Rothbard was: any other option would entail a woman’s body belonging to the state as the new paterfamilias.”

    Unless an individual accepts the existence of God as the Creator and our founding principles that our Creator endows an unalienable right to LIFE, that individual repudiates his citizenship by rejecting our founding principles and us. The sovereign person who came into existence at conception became a ward of the court when his mother applied to end his existence. As a ward of the court, the sovereign person in utero actually and fully belonged to the “paterfamilias”, the father of the child. Never can the court usurp the authentic authority of the parents of the child, which Roe did. Roe refused to acknowledge the sovereign personhood endowed by our Creator, at conception, along with all other unalienable rights in the Ninth Amendment. Roe emasculated the “paterfamilias” as well as courtnapped his offspring. Roe gave the ward of the court, the child of paterfamilias into the custody of the mother to abort without the father having any legal right to his own offspring. The science of DNA proves this much. If in Roe, the state became the paterfamilias, why didn’t the court acknowledge the unalienable right to Life of the human person in utero?

    “What happens in a woman’s uterus is outside the jurisdiction of the US government, like it or not.”

    What happens in a woman’s uterus is another sovereign person whose sovereignty constitutes the state from the very first moment of his sovereign existence.

    “All the same, I also oppose abortion laws for the same reason people would oppose gun laws: there is no guarantee that trying to remedy the “evil” won’t just create a greater evil. But that is not the main point I would like to make, as I think you would dispute all of what I just said.”

    The greater evil is the miscarriage of Justice. Abortion has always been a crime. To legalize the destruction of innocent life as the “Law of the Land” cries to heaven for rectitude. Justice is predicated on intent.

    “What was the author of this heinous act doing other than making his own sick movie, one that we are all talking about? In a sense, he won, didn’t he?”

    He won the title of mass murderer and he may have won the loss of his immortal soul.

  • Paul P,

    I’m just going to say two things to you, and then we’re done.

    1) You write as if journalists at the Guardian themselves conducted studies on DU. It’s a dishonest, idiotic implication. They’re reporters. Unless you have evidence that they are conspiratorially concocting stories about the research OTHERS are doing, your arguments are nothing but verbal vomit.

    2) This:

    “If one is not a radiation health physicist, then one is simply not entitled to an opinion about the radiation health effects of depleted uranium (which is demonstrably less radioactive than common dirt, and certainly even less radioactive than the naturally occurring radioactive potassium-14 and carbon-12 in one’s body). If one is not privy to national security information about the secret workings of Islamic terrorists, then one is not entitled to an opinion about the use of drone weapons to stop them dead in their tracks in the sands of Arabia, preventing loss of innocent life here at home.”

    Is sheer stupidity or dishonesty. It’s about as stupid and dishonest as “unless you are a woman, you cannot have an opinion about abortion.” I will grant I don’t have academic knowledge of radiation, but neither I nor the journalists claim to have done studies ourselves. We rely on the information of experts, and yeah, some of them are making claims and I’m not going to disbelieve them because some ranting jackass on an Internet forum claims to have a background in the same subject.

    As for drones killing people, seriously, bugger off. I’m entitled to say whatever the hell I want about murders being carried out in my name. I never asked ANYONE to kill innocent people for me, the thought of it makes me sick, and if I don’t have a right to say “I don’t want this done in my name”, then I am nothing but a slave. This is far more than an “opinion” I am expressing. It is my first amendment right as an American citizen and my moral duty as a human being.

  • But, as a matter of fact – never mind opinion – no, none of those people we have murdered poses the least threat to me and my freedom. That’s not an opinion at all. I don’t need to work at the NSA or CIA to know that a handful of Islamic fanatics that we sometimes employ – as we are RIGHT NOW in Syria – to overthrow regimes we don’t like can’t possibly take away my freedom. My government is doing that, as are its cowardly enablers and supporters on the left and the right in this very country.

  • Bonchamps,

    I have previously provided links from the US NRC, from NEI, from the IAEA, and from other reputable sources in comments to your other posts here at this blog. You chose to ignore those sources. You are not a radiation health physicist. You are not a nuclear engineer. Your expertise is political philosophy. You do a good job at that. Kindly leave the radiation science (and depleted uranium) to those who are the experts, and not journalists who don’t know the different between K-40 and U-238.

    As for drones, their use has saved the lives of many American soldiers.

    It is a jackass who claims otherwise and uses a tragedy in Connecticut to further his own anti-nuclear, anti-defense agenda.

  • I thought about this. I have been a nuclear professional for 30+ years. I don’t need to argue with a person who thinks it’s OK to smoke dope and emasculate this country’s energy future and use the Connecticut tragedy for his own personal anti-nuclear, anti-defense agenda. You guys got a problem with Bonchamps. I am removing my subscriptions to this blog until that problem is dealt with. I don’t need the loss of serenity over a person who can’t admit he doesn’t know, and then uses sources of disinformation to advance what he admits he doesn’t know. Bonchamps is brilliant when it comes to political philosophy. I applaud him in that. He’s arrogant in thinking that expertise applies elsewhere. And he won’t grab a taste of humility.

  • I thought I removed my subscription to this blog. I do not want to hear from a dope smoking hippie anti-nuke any longer. Thank you.

  • Saying that I “smoke dope” when I’ve told you repeatedly that I don’t is a mortal sin. It’s calumny, and you’re disgusting. And by the way, not being an expert in narcotics, or medicine, or human anatomy, or psychology, or neuroscience, or law enforcement, hasn’t stopped you from running your big fat mouth off about drug policies whenever you get the chance. So you’re a hypocrite too.

  • Wow. This looks like it was fun.

    A couple of comments.

    Paul said: “As for drones, their use has saved the lives of many American soldiers.”

    This is utilitarian consequentialism pure and simple and it should not be coming out of the mouth of a self-identifying Catholic.

    I have just as much respect for our armed forces as anyone else, but I do not weigh the morality of an act solely upon whether or not it saves their lives. This is fundamentally unCatholic and reeks of American tribalism. All sorts of heinous things can be justified and defended if their purported outcome (something really no one can prove) is seen to have prevented the deaths of Americans. And, in fact, that’s what’s being done on this very blog. The current drone policy of the United States of America is heinous. It is an abomination. It targets and murders individuals who may or may not be linked (we don’t really care one way or the other), however remotely, to obscure terrorist organizations half a world away. In the process, it usually takes a handful of innocent bystanders out with it. Or, better yet, come back and do clean-up duty at the “target’s” funeral; everyone there is guilty by association (or is it that their lives are expendable because they’re not Americans?..better to be safe than sorry, right? [as a side-note, amazing how conservatives flip the logic of the “if you’re not sure, don’t kill it” argument against abortion in order to justify murdering foreigners]).

    Furthermore, I find it disturbingly ironic that today’s brand of conservatives, who are usually wont to criticize nearly everything the government says and nitpick every study it publishes, are so eager to believe that the statistics put forward by government to defend its drone campaign are true. It truly baffles the mind. Especially considering numerous independent investigations ( [you’ll have to pick which “liberal propaganda outfit you believe,” the “worthless PhDs” in academia or the socialist running our government) indicate that the confirmed terrorist to innocent civilian kill ratio is appallingly skewed. But no, trust what Uncle Sam has to say on this issue, but not taxes, healthcare, or anything else. After all, “enemy combatant” surely doesn’t mean any male between the ages of 16 and 50 who we happened to blow up. Why? Because Big Brother says so.

  • Oh, forgot to mention that I also don’t think Paul’s claim that drone strikes “save the lives of American soldiers” is true, at least not as the rule. Maybe in a few exceptional circumstances, but surely not how we’re doing it right now.

    Drone strikes don’t save American soldiers because they primarily happen in two countries where we don’t have boots on the ground, and actually make things a lot worse for all Americans, soldiers or otherwise. I got called out on some other post by Mr. Shaw (apologies if it wasn’t you, I wouldn’t want this mistakenly attributed to me either) for being one of those “imbecile hypocrites” who asks “Why do they hate us?” While, all though I never did in fact ask that, this is why Mr. Shaw. Because we blow them up with missiles from the sky. We kill their loved ones, destroy their communities, and make their lives a living hell. You can sure as heck bet that if you were some poor Pashtun who had your entire family whiped out by some Hellfire missiles, you’d probably be a little more receptive when jihadis came around recruiting for their next death to America campaign. So you’re wrong, Paul. Not only is the current drone policy of the United States of America morally wrong and an injustice against God and humanity, it actually makes things worse for American soldiers by undoubtedly jacking up anti-American sentiments in the places of the world already the most economically susceptible to spawning terrorists.

  • JL,

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    But now, I see.

    You don’t ask, “Why do they hate us?” Check. Check.

    You come out and say, “They hate us because . . . ”

    Seems like a deficit of self-awareness.

    PS: I have no sense of decency. Drone strikes are .22 cal. Since 1983: Beirut, these savages have been at war with us.

  • Mr. Shaw,

    It’s not a matter of hurt feelings. Rather it’s the fact that you brazenly endorse evil, and don’t really seem to care. You practically flaunt it, claiming defiantly that you “have no sense of decency,” like this is something to be proud of.

    If I suffer from a deficit of self-awareness, you suffer from an inability to engage with reality. Instead, you prefer to cling to harmful and false dichotomies, like the one that states it’s “America and all other champions of Objective Good who never do anything wrong” versus “EVIL.” Well when Jesus talks about Caesar and earthly principalities, the Red, White, and Blue aren’t an exception to the rule. You’ve placed your unmitigated trust and loyalty in the wrong King, in a man-made institution made up of men, who, against the prevailing wisdom, are not the arbiter of God’s will on earth, and who sin just as much as the guys to the north or south. Your lack of any interest in opening American foreign policy up to objective criticism is a clear-as-day example of the pratfalls of tribalism, and of putting the emphasis on the adjective in this blog’s name, at the expense of the integrity of the noun.

    And just so the record is clear, you have no problem grouping millions of people together as sub-humans (how else do you arrive at the conclusion that the entire lot of them are somehow undeserving of the inalienable rights you claim exist for all men) and subsequently killing as many of them as you see fit by any means, with no real clear purpose or justification in sight? Ok, gotcha.

  • JL:

    I apologize.

    I have a bottle of Scotch Whisky to finish before the World ends Friday . . .

    It’s all good.

  • Crazy people don’t adhere to the laws, sure; but this psycho had direct access to a semiautomatic, civilian equivalent of the M-16. There are thousands of insane people wandering the streets everyday; they would all commit some acts of violence if guns were in their hands.

    Look, I am a pro-2nd Amendment conservative. But frankly, private citizens are not autonomous militias. As such, I think in keeping with the “2ndAM” all firearms owners should have to join a government supervised local “militia” body for safety training and, in extreme cases, mental assessments to ascertain their right to own guns. If you want to own a gun, you should have to put in service time for your community.

    Senator Joe Manchin, a pro-life and pro-gun Democrat with whom I share proud West Virginia heritage, nailed the issue precisely; Newtown changed me.

  • Well, it didn’t change me. I wasn’t in favor of mentally-ill people having access to firearms before Newton, and I’m still not in favor of it.

    I reject the idea that we need a “government supervised” militia. The very point of the sort of militias referred to in the 2nd amendment is to serve as a check on government lest it become oppressive and injurious of our rights. You don’t put the fox in charge of the hen-house.

    I also reject the idea that the right to self-defense – and to the tools reasonably required to make use of the right – should be conditioned upon community service. The right to defense of person and property is an individual and natural right, which governments exist to protect and not abrogate.

    Nothing you are proposing would have stopped Adam Lanza. If his mother loved guns enough, she would have jumped through the legal hoopes to get them or simply have evaded the law. The guns still would have been there and the psycho would have still been a psycho with access to them.

    As a society, we have done what reasonable people would do to stop these incidents from occurring and a good bit more. More gun control? CT already has gun control. If that level of gun control cannot prevent psychopaths from committing mass murder with firearms, nothing that would be morally or constitutionally permissible can.

    I don’t mean you any offense, but I myself am offended, disappointed, and frustrated when people say things like “Newton changed me.” That’s the equivalent of saying “emotional panic and outrage got to me, and reasoned arguments no longer matter.” If that is what we are becoming as a society, we have bigger problems than lone psychopaths on shooting sprees. We have a deranged sense of entitlement, a view of the world in which bad things ought never to happen to us, and in which the only response to bad things happening is to go on a legislative rampage to mirror the murderous rampage that just occurred. Irrationality is prevailing everywhere, in the lone individual, in the collective mob, in the political and media establishments.

    I’m not marching along. Newtown didn’t change me, because what is right remains right, and what is wrong remains wrong, no matter what happens, no matter how sensationalized it becomes, no matter how much pain or stress I or anyone else suffers, because reason and rational thought are better ways to approach problems than panic and hysteria, and because I have absolutely no need to project to everyone else what a “good person” I am by calling for the most outrageous and obscene proposals I can think of. I’m not lumping you in with that – your post is reasonable enough if misguided in my opinion – but that’s the general mood right now.

  • One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement. Alarm and insecurity can often be addressed by largely token measures, which function like placebos in medicine.

    In the UK in the 1950s, in response to a press campaign, the government banned switch-blades (known as “flick-knives”). No explanation as to why they were more dangerous than sheath knives was, or, indeed, could, be given, but they had assumed a symbolic significance in the minds of many older people, who associated them with rowdy working-class youths and the legislation served its purpose, not in preventing violence, but in assuaging public feeling.

  • “Senator Joe Manchin, a pro-life and pro-gun Democrat with whom I share proud West Virginia heritage, nailed the issue precisely; Newtown changed me.”

    Hopefully the planned change doesn’t have the same unintended consequences as this did:

  • “One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement. Alarm and insecurity can often be addressed by largely token measures, which function like placebos in medicine.”

    This is simply obscene. No, government is not my mommy, to whisper pleasant little lies in my ear to make my temper tantrum stop.

    Do you have no conception of human dignity?

  • This hysteria (acting while not thinking) employs this horrid tragedy (waving 20 little saints’ bloody shirts) for political gain.

    In 2008, Obama ordered his cadres, “. . . we bring a gun.” In 2012, Obaba told his guerrillas “Vote for revenge.”

    Many of these irrational, whack-jobs are calling for murdering 4.3 million NRA members.

    Erik Loomis, an Ass. Prof. at U of RI, made multiple tweets calling for murder: variously of NRA official Wayne LaPierre and anyone that opposes gun control.

    Statistically zero of the 300,00,000 guns owned by 50,000,000 friends and neighbors is used for crime.

    A recent survey of 5,000 American respondents indicated that (non-police, non-military) Americans “would likely have been killed” in 162,000 annual incidents if they had not defended themselves with firearms. Guns are used about 1,000,000 times a year by would-be crime victimes in self-defense in the US.

    They banned all guns in UK and in a decade gun crimes were up 89%.

    The vilest “assault weapons” in the private hands are forceps, and all health weapons daily wielded to murder 3,000 unborn babies, about 1,000,000 a year on average.

    In conclusion, the waving of 47,000,000 tiny, bloody shirt is forbidden, but advancing the agenda requires waving 20 in CT.

  • One of the tasks of government is to forestall or repress any widespread public excitement.

    Waal, Sen. Manchin might act in accordance with that aim by not proposing that public policy be made according to emotional reflexes (his or anyone else’s).

    1. Multi-victim homicides are not particularly common in this country. Those with more than two victims are quite unusual and a metropolitan center of ordinary population (e.g. Louisville or Oklahoma City or Hartford) can expect to see perhaps one every three years. Slaughters like this (> 4 victims) are rare, numbering perhaps a half-dozen a year in this country.

    2. The homicide rate has been declining in this country for a generation. There have been in that time only the most modest adjustments in the regulation of traffic in firearms. It is difficult to argue that the regime of firearms regulation is aught but a weak vector in influencing homicide rates.

    3. It is difficult to see what sort of regulation would have prevented this other than mass confiscation of firearms in private hands. Mrs. Lanza respected and followed the extant regulations in the State of Connecticut. If I understand correctly, she owned four guns, not a stockpile. None of her guns were automatic weapons. Adam Lanza had no criminal history. It is conceivable that autism-spectrum disorders are correlated with violent behavior, but it would be difficult to demonstrate that at this point in time because the psychological categories in question have boundary conditions that are too fuzzy to make for a proper longitudinal or panel study and you do not restrict the liberties of the first-degree relatives of the disabled based on speculation. This was a black swan event.

    4. Again, the law must be respected. Pace Saul Cornell and Cass Sunstein, it is not credible that the 2d Amendment does not protect a personal right. The clause referring to a ‘well-regulated militia’ makes it clear that that personal right is a right to bear military arms. Casuists in the legal profession can argue over what the boundaries of that right are, but it is not credible that mass confiscation of firearms does not violate that right.

    5. We have a federal system in this country. It is the State of Connecticut which possesses general police power in determining the regime of firearms regulation in its bailiwick. The central government is only acting within its authority when in regulates the transportation of firearms across state lines and the series of commercial transactions antecedent to that or in consequence of that. Mr. Manchin is a federal legislator.

    6. Your suggestion that the British Parliament’s has as a function the duty to undertake symbolic manipulations so people feel better (even if they are substantively nul) is silly.

  • T Shaw wrote, “They banned all guns in UK and in a decade gun crimes were up 89%.”

    But the purpose of the legislation was not to reduce gun crime.

    The Hungerford Massacre” of 1987, in which 16 people were killed and 15 wounded and the “Dunblane Massacre of 1996,” in which 18 people were killed and 15 wounded, had both been committed by with legally held weapons. Inevitably, public indignation, prompted by the media, was directed at the Chief Constables, whose judgment in granting licences to the killers was called into question and at the Home Secretary, whose department has overall responsibility for the licensing system.

    The comprehensive ban on hand guns, at a stroke, relieved the minister and senior police officers of responsibility for licensing them and, thus, obviated similar criticism in the future.

    Any blame for illegally held hand guns would be directed at the lower, operational ranks of the police and customs

  • But the purpose of the legislation was not to reduce gun crime. …The comprehensive ban on hand guns, at a stroke, relieved the minister and senior police officers of responsibility for licensing them and, thus, obviated similar criticism in the future.

    You mean the school shootings were a pretext and an exercise in bureaucratic CYA. You are defending this sort of behavior?

  • One would think that an individual who falsely accuses someone else of using illegal drugs, probably in order to fit him into one of his preconceived ideological boxes, is the one with personality problems.

  • One would think that an individual who falsely accuses someone else of using illegal drugs, probably in order to fit him into one of his preconceived ideological boxes, is the one with personality problems.

    Come again?

  • Was your quip to this post’s author done ironically or not?

    If not, I’m of the opinion that someone who calls someone else a chronic drug user, against the accused’s claims to the contrary, in an effort to delegitimize opposing viewpoints and create caricatures that work in their falsely contrived dichotomous world is probably the one with personality problems. Or at least really shoddy argumentation. Which was actually probably the case here.

  • Art Deco asked, “You mean the school shootings were a pretext and an exercise in bureaucratic CYA. You are defending this sort of behavior?”

    The government was presented with a choice; continue to licence hand guns, in which case it was morally certain that it would find itself accused of a gross error of judgment after the next (inevitable) massacre or ban hand guns altogether. The public mood would support a total ban, anyone opposing one would be vilified by the media, so the choice was not a difficult one.

  • The public mood would support a total ban, anyone opposing one would be vilified by the media, so the choice was not a difficult one.

    You mean it was not a difficult one for the usual crew of opportunists and sniveling gits. One hopes our lawmakers and cops are made of sterner stuff.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

Saturday, December 15, AD 2012

Something for the Weekend.  We Three Kings of Orient Are.  If ever our nation needed the hope and love brought into the world by Christ, it was in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 when this great hymn first appeared in print.  Written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., a deacon of the Episcopal Church in 1875, this song captures well the longing of all Christians during Advent for Christmas, the commemoration of the birth of the Alpha and the Omega.

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3 Responses to We Three Kings of Orient Are

  • “Where is He who is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him.” Matt. 2:2-3 The Magi came to “worship him”, the worship due only to God, the Person of God. This passage signifies that the Magi understood WHO Jesus, as the Son of Living God awaited by the Jews, was.

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  • This has been one of my favorite Christmas Carols. The syncopated melody reminds me of the rhythm of riding on the back of a camel, which I have done on a visit to the Middle East, and may have been intentional on the part of the writer.

Jesus Wept

Friday, December 14, AD 2012

14 Responses to Jesus Wept

  • Pater noster qui es in coelis,
    sanctificetur nomen tuum;
    adveniat regnum tuum,
    fiat voluntas tua,
    sicut in coelo et in terra.
    Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
    et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
    sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
    et ne nos inducas in tentationem
    sed libera nos a malo.

  • Prayers for all involved, and especially for those parents who lost their greatest treasures today. Good Christ, save us.

  • Today, children are unable to enjoy being children, as their lives are so regulated to fear other people and their government with its own bad behavior.
    I cannot imagine how these little ones will grow being told to go on with no firm, plain foundation – such as trusting God loves them and that He is there for every real prayer. What kind of mark or sense will grow? Moving on doesn’t make it go away reasonably.

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s, children fearing people around them was uncommon. There was fear of the cold war and certain governments in common, with the solace of school mornings beginning with the Pledge, singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and praying The Lord’s Prayer. I am thankful, in retrospect.

  • Who could describe, even in words set free
    Of meter and rhyme and a thousand times retold,
    The blood and wounds that were shown to me!

    At grief so deep the tongue must wag in vain,
    The language of our sense and memory
    Lacks the vocabulary of such pain.

    Dante, The Inferno, Canto XXVIII, Circle 8, Pit 9.

  • At 8 am. Mass this morning, a friend of mine who is an American from Pittsburg offered this event in the Prayers of the faithful – I didn’t know what he was talking about till now.
    May our Great and Merciful Redeemer have mercy on them.

  • I’m not a Catholic, but like reading your posts. I’ve been told Catholics don’t pray to Mary, they venerate her. But your prayer sounds like it is straight to Mary. I believe we should seek the LORD, our Heavenly Father, in prayer and not any human being as this is idolatry according to scripture.

  • Marko, do you have any sense at all? This is a post about a calamity involving the murder of 20 kids and you want to start a fight about the veneration that Catholics give to the Mother of God? I am placing you on moderation.

  • Marko, the rest of the people on this blog can’t reply to you, because we only speak directly to Christ and not to any of our mere brothers and sisters in Christ. Because that would be talking to somebody besides God.

    I’m the designated idol-speaker, so I can address you like you exist and everything. People forward all their phone calls to me at the special Catholic call center, and I also answer posts on the Internet.

    Heh, not really… but that’s what you’re telling us to do. Mary’s our mother and sister and neighbor, and we do address her. She’s as alive as any of us, and as open to being asked for prayers and help. Ignoring her would be weird and rude.

  • @6:40pm – “…like it is straight to Mary ”

    Think about Hope-bearer, intercessor.

  • Today, oddly enough, is Friday – the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

    In a very real sense, we have seen Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane today, praying that if it were possible, let this cup be removed, yet not as we will, but the Father’s be done.

    In a very real sense, we have seen Jesus beaten and whipped and tortured today in blood.

    In a very real sense, we have seen that crown of thorns thrust on Jesus head today, with Him standing in a purple robe before cries of “Crucifige Eum! Crucifige Eum!”

    In a very real sense, we have seen Jesus carry His Cross to Golgotha today.

    And In a very real sense, we have seen Jesus crucified today.

    Everytime man commits evil, that evil is the nails which pierce His hands and His legs. That evil is the spear thrust into His side.

    “Even as ye do unto the least of these, ye do it unto me.”

    I have already prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries twice. I feel horrible, but it is all that I can offer up. Maybe a third time is in order.

  • Yes, we pray for these who died today: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.”

    We especially mourn for the children, their lives cut off, their future nil.

    But who mourns for the 4,000 children who die today, pulled piece-by-piece from their mothers’ wombs? Shall we pray for them as well?

    “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls, and the souls of ALL the faithful departed, through Your mercy, rest in peace.”


  • 1 Corinthians 13:13:

    “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”

    “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ. Amen.”

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

    “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
    That never was it known that anyone who
    Fled to your protection,
    Implored your help,
    Or sought your intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence,
    I fly to you
    O Virgin of Virgins, my mother.
    To you do you I come.
    Before you I stand sinful and sorrowful.
    O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
    Despise not my petitions.
    But, in your mercy
    Hear and answer me. Amen.

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Ashamed of the Cross

Friday, December 14, AD 2012

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:

1 Corinthians 1: 23

Hattip to Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report.  Well, for 40 grand a year Catholic parents can send their offspring to a “Catholic” college that is apparently ashamed of the cross.


The symbol of Saint Joseph’s College, the only Catholic college in Maine, has long been a seal with a cross on a shield with the motto “Fortitudo et Spes” meaning “Fortitude and Hope.” But the president of the college just announced in a letter to students forwarded to The Cardinal Newman Society that after an extensive marketing study, the college founded by The Sisters of Mercy will be removing the cross and motto from the logo.

“This is about much more than a logo or a look,” said Brent Wooten, director of online marketing for Saint Joseph’s in the college’s magazine. “It’s about who we are.”

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10 Responses to Ashamed of the Cross

  • Evangelium Secundum Matthaeum, Caput X, Vesus XXXII per XXXIX

    32 Omnis ergo qui confitebitur me coram hominibus, confitebor et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui est in caelis; 33 qui autem negaverit me coram hominibus, negabo et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui est in caelis.34 Nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram; non veni pacem mittere sed gladium. 35 Veni enim separare hominem adversus patrem suum et filiam adversus matrem suam
    et nurum adversus socrum suam: 36 et inimici hominis domestici eius. 37 Qui amat patrem aut matrem plus quam me, non est me dignus; et, qui amat filium aut filiam super me, non est me dignus; 38 et, qui non accipit crucem suam et sequitur me, non est me dignus. 39 Qui invenerit animam suam, perdet illam; et, qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, inveniet eam.

    Matthew 10:32-39

    32* So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. 34* “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37* He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

  • I am at a loss. I cannot understand that a college founded by Sisters of Mercy can reject a sign of there Catholic Identity. The world has gotten to them. They have succumd to temptations of the world.

  • I wonder what the history of the arms is. Perhaps, they are the founder’s, as it is unusual to find a chief in corporate arms; a chief is usually an augmentation of honour. The lilies, placed as a crest are obviously for St Joseph.

    Curiously, the Cardinal Newman Society blog refers to the new device as five gold bars, whereas the old one has five pallets. In any event, as a bar occupies a fifth of the shield, they would have to be barrulets. Perhaps, the writer is simply unfamiliar with blazoning.

    The illustration on the blog is so small, that I cannot tell whether the cross in question is a cross potent or pattée, which might give some clue as to its origin.

  • The authorities of this College are just ‘busy bodies’. The explanation given to the effect that the new change expressed more of what the College is, was a very untenable, fluid and watery argument. The question is: has there been any problem being expressed with regard to the presence of the Cross on the logo? And if yes, how has that affected the academic and moral performance of the students? One thing is clear here: someone, somewhere within the top echelon of the school has been wanting to vent his/her agnostic/atheistic disposition and therefore went ahead to dismantle the cross from the logo to satisfy his/her devilish whims. If really the school is a Catholic school and still aims at remaining a Catholic school, then the cross on the logo must be retained. In that light, nobody or group must remove the cross from that logo. Anybody not comfortable with the cross should look elsewhere for his/her ward/child or look elsewhere to seek employment. It is a free society and St Joseph’s College must retain ALL appurtenances of its Catholic identity, as established by its founders: the cross as it appears on the logo.

  • Maine is in the bottom five US states in the fiscal “death-spiral.”

    That doesn’t mean Maine’s only Catholic college needs to join in the crash-dive.

  • Looks like Maine has no Catholic colleges any more.

    There is Catholic-“C” and catholic- “c”. They’ve opted for universality over Catholic identity, an all too often affliction of those that used to be Catholic. Unfortunately, many of the used-to-be-Catholic colleges are Catholic In Name Only.

    As a intellectual property attorney, I think it is unfortunate that the Church wasn’t more aggressive in protecting the term Catholic (capital C) because then it would be more able to require adherence to its beliefs as a condition to using the term “Catholic.” As the Cardinal Newman Society has noted, parents sending their $40,000 a year are often duped into believing that the college will adhere to their Catholic beliefs. Having taken many theology classes over the years, my experience has been that the wolves are often among the sheep, perhaps by design. This is the worst form of deception because the price is the eternal soul, not a misrepresented product.

  • The same smarmy bureaucratic microbes seem to be in charge of just about every institution of higher education you come across. They must be bred somewhere in a cesspool fed by water from Boston harbour.

  • ……….and the great apostacy grows apace.

  • Maybe they’re also ashamed of their Catholic identity.

  • Would it be asking to much to have them remove the Blessed Sacrament from their property since Fortitude and Hope is being replaced with Ego and Pride. Something for the president to ponder over during these days of Advent.

    Question. When the founders, The Sisters of Mercy, prayerfully considered a logo that would honor the Creators university did they perform marketing analysis, concern themselves with pleasing non-Catholic sentiments or concern themselves with conforming to the world? Be in the world..yes but not of it.
    Another catholic (small c ) university loosing its sight.

    St. Joseph. Patron Saint of the Catholic Church pray for us!

December 14, 1862: The Angel of Marye’s Heights

Friday, December 14, AD 2012

But he, desirous of justifying himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Luke 10:29

Richard Rowland Kirkland is a name that should be cherished by every American.  On December 14, 1862 he was a sergeant in Company G, 2nd South Carolina.  It was approaching noon and his unit was stationed at the stone wall at the base of Marye’s Heights overlooking Fredericksburg.  His unit had helped smash Union attack after Union attack the day before, and now he looked over fields strewn with wounded and dead Union soldiers.  He could hear the wounded Union soldiers crying out desperately for water.

Unable to bear the cries any longer, he approached Brigadier General Joseph Kershaw and informed him of what he wanted to do.  Kershaw gave him his permission, but told him he was unable to authorize a flag of truce.  Kirkland said that was fine and he would simply have to take his chances.  Gathering up all the canteens and blankets he could carry, Kirkland slipped over the wall, realizing that without a flag of truce it was quite possible he would be fired upon by Union troops.

Kirkland began to give drinks to Union wounded and blankets to protect them from the cold.  Union troops, recognizing what he was doing, did not fire at him.  For an hour and a half Kirkland went back and forth tending to the enemy wounded.  He did not stop until he had assisted all Union wounded in the Confederate portion of the battlefield.  The last Union soldier he assisted he gave his own overcoat.  He was repeatedly cheered by both Union and Confederate soldiers.

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6 Responses to December 14, 1862: The Angel of Marye’s Heights

  • Aside from the example of humankindness, there are three things here that could do wonders for so many in 2012 .

    1. Parents and children knowing, living, and dying by right and wrong found in common through keeping God in mind and heart.
    ‘ … just barely 20. His last words were, “Tell my Pa I died right.” May we all live and die as right as Richard Rowland Kirkland. ‘

    2. A phrase for journalists of no longer beloved media: Deeds recorded in the rigid simplicity of actual truth.

    ‘ Here is General Kershaw’s account:
    Camden, South Carolina, January 29, 1880
    To the Editor of The News and Courier

    Your Columbia correspondent referred to the incident narrated here, telling the story as ’twas told to him, and inviting corrections. As such a deed should be recorded in the rigid simplicity of actual truth I take the liberty of sending you for publication an accurate account of a transaction every feature of which is indellibly impressed upon my memory. ‘

    3. The 2012 existence of so many young men without a father’s care or even the comfort of a glimmer of knowledge of their heavenly Father.
    ‘ Richard Kirkland was the son of John Kirkland, an estimable citizen of Kershaw County, a plain substantial farmer of the olden time ‘

  • I can barely contain my tears. I hope that in this same situation that I would perform as he did.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13:

    “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”

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  • What a magnificent and appealing story of the above and beyond duty actions of Sgt. Kirkland. Thank you for tugging the heart stings a bit.

The Hobbit Opening Day in the US

Friday, December 14, AD 2012

I am immensely looking forward to seeing this.  My family and I will not see the film until next weekend, after my son finishes up finals at the U of I.  That is a good thing, because when the trilogy came out we saw each portion on the weekend before Christmas, so we will be keeping up a family tradition.  Feel free to post here reactions to the film, although no plot spoilers please.

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12 Responses to The Hobbit Opening Day in the US

  • I’m taking my kids to see it at 5:00 this evening.

  • Very much looking forward to seeing it, though when that will actually happen is an open question.

    That being said, watching the previews (and also listening to a review on Catholic radio the other night) it appears as though the tone of the movie will be very much like Lord of the Rings. That’s a bit of a shame since the Hobbit was a much more lighthearted book. Hopefully Jackson wasn’t too heavy-handed with this one.

  • Keep the ent in Advent!

  • Seeing it at 9:30 PM EST with one of my sons tonight. Looking forward to it immensely. Very curious as to how Jackson’s casting decision of Morgan Freeman as Bilbo works out…

  • Seems out of sequence, but there is no mistaking the genius of Peter Jackson’s direction.

  • Haven’t seen it yet – waiting for the rush to subside. The world premiere was held in Wellington last week – what bugs me is all the politicians and hi-so bigheads who prance down the red carpet – what a load of bollocks.
    Anyway, I’m sure it will be great. Hobbiton is about 35 miles away – just outside a town called Matamata in the Waikato region of the North Isalnd.
    The volcano scenes ( the real ones) are shot in our central north Island mountains, where the three of them, Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu are all active volcanoes – Tongariro has erupted twice in the past few months.
    The other mountain scenes are shot in the central South Island high country, around Lake Wanaka and Mt. Aspiring, and Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown and Coronet Peak – all of these areas are popular ski-resort areas.
    The Wellintonians all claim that Wellington is Middle Earth – but half them wouldn’t know the countryside and the great outdoors if it jumped up and bit ’em on the butt – bunch of tossers 😉
    Enjoy the Kiwiana 🙂

  • I liked the movie overall. And I’m glad that Jackson added the backstory from the Appendix and from “The Quest for Erebor” in Unfinished Tales. They nicely tie the story to The Lord of the Rings, which, let’s face it, is the primary reason Jackson wanted to do The Hobbit.

    But to the extent I was disappointed, it was in the fact that Jackson didn’t think sticking to Tolkien’s canon was good enough and added a bunch of extra-canonical stuff that, quite frankly, was complete crapola and added absolutely NOTHING to the story. This could have easily been done in two movies of about 2-and-a-half-hour in length – even with the added backstory information – had Jackson not sought to embellish, with stuff he pulled out of his arse, a tale that didn’t need embellishing.

    There’s enough good stuff in An Unexpected Journey that makes it worth seeing and enjoying. (In no way is this movie as bad as the unwatchable – at least for me – Two Towers.) But one of the ways I was able to enjoy An Unexpected Journey as much as I did was by pretending Jackson’s extra-canonical additions weren’t actually happening.

  • Helpful hint for those who haven’t seen it:

    It’s a 3-hour-long movie, and if you’re like me and you buy the large-sized re-fillable drinks for you and your family, you’ll need to get up at times during the movie to re-fill the drink and to empty your bladder. I found those parts of the movie in which extra-canonical stuff was taking place an excellent time to do these things.

  • A stark reminder of how far we’ve fallen from God’s Grace and become selfish, arrogant, full of oneself, inconsiderate and blind to truth, goodness, beauty and the love of God and neighbor. This type of tale can stir the desire for the quest and the calling that God has given us to build up His Kingdom for if we don’t respond with courage, generosity and faithfulness we risk to lose our soul by clinging to inertia we become the very evil just described. As always we must take up and by the Help of God’s Grace fight the good fight for this is spiritual warfare that can not be ignored. Penance, penance, penance! Those minions on earth who do the devil’s bidding have become confident but forgetful that their ultimate defeat grows nearer and nearer for the gates of hell will never triumph against our Holy Mother Catholic Church!

  • Saw it, enjoyed it.

    Some parts had me wanting to bang my head against things– the pipeweed-being-smoked-like-weed-not-tobacco thing, for example– but all and all, not too bad. They kept some of the lighthearted stuff. Someone needs to hit whoever wrote Sauroman’s lines with a large stick, and tell him the guy’s supposed to be a Great Wizard, not a cardboard scold.

    SOME of the ever popular bones-can’t-break stuff going on, but it was usually dwarves at the bottom of a pile, so perhaps justified.

    I want to adopt Fili and Kili, and possibly Bofur. MOST of them wouldn’t look out of place at a family reunion for mom’s side! (Thorin has a bit much hair on his head for that, but eh.)

    While walking out, I summed up to my husband: “That was really enjoyable. If we take mom to see it, we need to make sure she’s had a few stiff drinks.” (She’s an original Tolkien geek.)

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“Work like a Third World dictator and Just put all These Guys in Jail.”

Thursday, December 13, AD 2012

“Harry Belafonte is still alive?’ was my first reaction to the above video clip in which Belafonte calls for the jailing of some Obama opponents.  I guess I would cut Belafonte some slack since he is 85, except that throughout his career he has had a soft spot in his head heart for left wing dicators.  Go here for some of his comments over the years.  I am always bemused by the fact that hard line communist fellow travelers like Belafonte are not treated with the same disdain that Nazi fellow travelers received in this nation.  Unfortunately there is a large segment of the media and academia that can always be relied upon to support any tyrant so long as the dictator mouths leftist cant and is opposed to the United States.  As for Harry, well we will always have this moment when he reached the pinnacle of his career:

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12 Responses to “Work like a Third World dictator and Just put all These Guys in Jail.”

  • A commentator today on NBC said that religion mucks up the whole Christmas season.

    Everyone is turning against us openly and starting to advocate violence. Obama isn’t reprimanding them, either. He wants to do it.

  • How un-American Harry. And the violence in Michigan!
    After watching the Irish Brigade video on another page of this site I can’t believe how thoughtless and careless of life and American ideals some people can be.
    ” Obama isn’t reprimanding them, either. He wants to do it.” I agree with you Paul. O has gone to Michigan to cheerlead and rile the crowd.

    …and about NBC contributor saying religion mucks the whole thing up… I think her statement reflects the fact that really the war on Christmas is over. They won. Any normal store 30 years ago had a nice selection of christmas cards, wrapping paper etc with religious themes– no any more. Many places only show snow men and grinches etc… my grandkids program at school made me think of the Eskimos– how many different ways can you sing about snow. They were NOT singing about Christmas. Also most stores used to have lights on the outside of the building, displays of Christmas scenes, decorations.. the grocery stores and cafes had lights and wreaths and the bushes outside had lights draped all over them. I don’t see that now.

  • Most of us missed the symbolism in Obama’s “Plunder the Prosperous!” trip to Detroit.

    Detroit as symbol of Hope and Change: Were 2,00,000 people now 700,000 supine and desperate slugs who can’t drag themselves away. Median house price now $10,000. Yes! Best president since Carter!

  • PS: Bellafante should go and live in Cuba.

  • No, T. Shaw, Cuba is too good for Belafonte. He belongs in Norgh Korea, preferably at its nuclear weapons test facility as a laborer in service to the common good.

  • Belafonte might be an outwardly “extreme” example but this really does sum up the Left’s “liberalism is synonymous with good” politics, where no disagreement can be in good faith.

    i don’t think there’s really a parallel on the Right, which will readily characterize its ideas as conservative as opposed to posing as nonideological.

  • If Youtube isn’t wide-reaching enough to get the message out, perhaps Father Pfleger could give him an additional guest-speaker spot on Saint Sabina’s ambo.

  • PWP: Right!

    Sic semper tyrannis.

  • What is it going to take?
    I do not wish it, however will America have to become a third world in order for the majority of libs to get it! I pray not.
    As for Pauls clip; shame on her. One more example of demonic influence in msm.

  • I am 85, and I would not give him an ounce of slack. What a disgrace he has become

  • Hell, for Belafonte, would be eternity in a Castro-run prison.

  • That Belafonte is outta sight! That’s the same as saying he’s way, way over the hill.

Why I Think You’ll Like Jennifer Fulwiler’s ‘Minor Revisions’

Thursday, December 13, AD 2012

Sooo…Jen has a reality show that debuts tonight. It’s called Minor Revisions.

While Jen found it a little bit awkward to tell you about this new mini-series of hers, I’m tickled pink to tell you why I think you’ll love the series. She gave me a little sneak preview since we both engage with atheists and we both are converts. We have other things in common: We both are fascinated by science, we both have a lot of little kids, and we both have a fondness for Texas. She lives there, I grew up there. She hates the scorpions that invade her house; I hate the spiders that compete for mine.

Anyway, here are three things (in true Jennifer Fulwiler bullet point style) that I think you’ll like — no love! — about her mini-series ‘Minor Revisions.’ These are things that I did not expect, pleasant surprises.

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10 Responses to Why I Think You’ll Like Jennifer Fulwiler’s ‘Minor Revisions’

The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg

Thursday, December 13, AD 2012

“Your soldier’s heart almost stood still as he watched those sons of Erin fearlessly rush to  their deaths. The brilliant assault on Marye’s Heights of their Irish brigade  was beyond description. We forgot they were fighting us and cheer after cheer  at their fearlessness went up all along our lines!”

Confederate Major General George Pickett in a letter to his fiance

A moving video of the Irish Brigade at the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, based on the movie Gods and Generals.  It was criminal military malpractice for Burnside, perhaps the most incompetent general in the war, to assault the fortified Confederate positions, but his idiocy does not derogate in the slightest from the extreme heroism of the Union troops who suffered massive casualties while attempting to do the impossible.

The Irish Brigade was one of the units called upon that day to do the impossible.  One of the regiments in the Brigade was the  69th New York, the Fighting 69th as they would be designated by Robert E. Lee for their gallant charge at this battle, a unit faithful readers of this blog are quite familiar with.   This day their chaplain personally blessed each man in the regiment.  They called him Father Thomas Willett.  That was as close as they could get to pronouncing his actual name.

Thomas Ouellet, a French Canadian Jesuit, fit perfectly among a regiment of tough Irishmen.  Normally mild mannered and kind, he could react sternly to sin or to any injustice done to “his boys”.  Abbe Ouellet had been with the regiment from its formation at the beginning of the war.  During the battles of the Seven Days of the Peninsular Campaign earlier in 1862, he had barely slept as he tirelessly tended the wounded and gave the Last Rites to the dying.  After the battle of Malvern’s Hill, he traversed the battlefield all night with a lantern after the Union army had withdrawn, seeking wounded to help and dying to save.  He was captured by Confederates, who, learning he was a priest, treated him with kindness and swiftly released him.

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9 Responses to The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg

  • Thanks Donald. I’ll place the fallen in my prayers today.

  • Hey Donald, you seem well read on the subject of the Civil War- would you mind recommending any good books on the subject for a newcomer?
    I’ve read Battle Cry of Freedom and I’m currently enjoying Volume 1 of Foote’s magnum opus – I do think he is biased, though. I think he goes out of his way to avoid the subject of slavery, but I haven’t read it all yet, so maybe it’ll improve.

  • Not sure if you have posted this before, Donald but “Honest Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade” is one of my favorite ballads from the Civil War:

  • Joseph G. Bilby in the introduction to ‘ Remember Fontenoy!’ wrote concerning the Irish Brigade:

    “It was, many said, the best brigade in the Army of the Potomac. Some said it was the best brigade in the whole Union army and perhaps the best infantry brigade on either side in the American Civil War. Others, with the perspective of history, have come to believe it may have been the best infantry brigade that ever was.”

    Requiescant in Pace.

  • “Not sure if you have posted this before, Donald”

    Horton has sung another song about the Irish Brigade, the title of which eludes me at the moment, which I also enjoy.

  • “Hey Donald, you seem well read on the subject of the Civil War- would you mind recommending any good books on the subject for a newcomer?”

    1. Bruce Catton’s Army of the Potomac trilogy.
    2. Bruce Catton’s This Hallowed Ground, his one volume history of the war.
    3. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, a four volume series of magazine articles written in the 1880’s, most of them by generals from the Civil War.
    4. Douglas Southall Freeman’s four volume bio of Lee.
    5. That Devil Forrest, a bio of the wizard of the saddle written by one of his men who went on to be a surgeon in New York City.
    6. The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, without a doubt the best memoir written by an American general.
    7. Shelby Foote’s novel Shiloh which gave me a much better understanding of the battle.
    8. Carl Sandburgh’s Lincoln The War Years. Sandburgh was a better poet than historian, and some of his research is shaky, but this is a classic that should be read by all students of the War.
    9. The Twentieth Maine, probably the best history ever written of a Civil War regiment.
    10. John Brown’s Body, the epic poem of the Civil War, written by Stephen Vincent Benet.

  • Cheers Donald, that’s brilliant.

  • oh my heart breaks for our earnest stalwart Irish people… Always in our prayers, Himself and I pray for our families “forward and back in time”. Surely God must hold His Irish in His heart. God bless these brave people now and forever.

  • Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the Civil War is without equal…especially if you are looking for a more balanced perspective from the southern side and for a more complete account of the war in the West.

December 13, 1862: Battle of Fredericksburg

Thursday, December 13, AD 2012

“It can hardly be in human nature for men to show more valor or generals to manifest less judgment, than were perceptible on our side that day.”

Cincinnati Commercial in a report on the battle of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg I think is the absolute nadir of Union fortunes in the Civil War.  After the sacking of McClellan, Major General Ambrose Burnside came up with a plan that wasn’t bad.  Burnside would take the Confederates by surprise by crossing the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg and then racing the Army of Northern Virgnia to Richmond.    Burnside arrived opposite Fredericksburg on November 17 and he had stolen a March on Lee.  Unbelievably the pontoon bridges were nowhere to be found, bungling of an almost preternatural nature being responsible for not placing them at the front of the Union advance.  Burnside sat on the river across from Fredericksburg for almost a month while Lee fortified the heights outside Fredericksburg.  The key for the success of the plan, surprise, had vanished.  Lee was present and in an immensely strong position.  It made absolutely no sense for Burnside now to cross at Fredericksburg and initiate a battle and yet that is what he did.

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Government as Addiction

Thursday, December 13, AD 2012


One of my pet peeves has long been the fact that most people seem to have no idea how much they pay in taxes.  The reason for this is obvious:  many of the taxes we pay, by design, are hard to keep track of.  In this category are sales taxes, utility taxes, taxes on gas, etc.  (This does not include the taxes paid by corporations and other businesses (they do not pay taxes, they collect taxes) that are passed on in higher prices for the products and services that we purchase, or in the social security share of employees paid by employers that effectively reduce the wages that employers pay employees.)  In the Wall Street Journal we find that the average worker has a tax rate of approximately 40 percent:

But tax rates are already high—much higher than is commonly understood—and increasing them will likely further depress the economy, especially by affecting the number of hours Americans work.

Taking into account all taxes on earnings and consumer spending—including federal, state and local income taxes, Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, excise taxes, and state and local sales taxes—Edward Prescott has shown (especially in the Quarterly Review of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 2004) that the U.S. average marginal effective tax rate is around 40%. This means that if the average worker earns $100 from additional output, he will be able to consume only an additional $60.

Research by others (including Lee Ohanian, Andrea Raffo and Richard Rogerson in the Journal of Monetary Economics, 2008, and Edward Prescott in the American Economic Review, 2002) indicates that raising tax rates further will significantly reduce U.S. economic activity and by implication will increase tax revenues only a little.

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7 Responses to Government as Addiction

  • Nor do I want to know. Such knowledge is beyond my ability to cope with it. Similarly, as my divorce progressed, to survive, I chose to ignore the costs. I

    As ignorant and, perhaps, selfish as it may sound, I believe, in extreme cases,
    ignorance can be bliss and the only way worse harm can be prevented.

    I will never again vote democratic, nor, should my wife die, would I even consider marrying, again.

  • Thank God Obama lets us keep so much: elections have consequences . . .

    Off topic: Today marks 150 years since the Confederate victory at Fredericksburg. It was worse (they fell faster) in front of Marye’s Hts. than depicted in the movie.

    The 2014 IRS 1040 will have two slots.

    1. How much you made (all loopholes rescinded):

    2. Send it in:

  • Yesterday: “Two absolutes, death & taxes.”
    Today: Death caused by taxes.

  • I remember reading an analysis that found that a single mother earning $32k got $57k take home pay, after government support (all numbers approximate, because I don’t have the article in front of me), and a single mother earning $70k got $57k take home pay after taxes. If you think about it, that’s an effective marginal tax rate of 100%. Would you work an extra who-knows-how-many hours, or more likely work at a higher-level job that required more schooling, if you were guaranteed to get nothing in return?

  • To the tax and spend left, taxes are not, nor have ever been, about revenue. It’s is and has always been about the seizure and power and control over the lives of others.

  • …the U.S. average marginal effective tax rate is around 40%.

    …compared to the average marginal effective tax rate on a U.S. means-tested handout of around 0%.