Last Survivor of the Enola Gay Crew Dies

Thursday, July 31, AD 2014

 

Under the same circumstances — and the key words are ‘the same circumstances’ — yes, I would do it again. We were in a war for five years. We were fighting an enemy that had a reputation for never surrendering, never accepting defeat. It’s really hard to talk about morality and war in the same sentence. In a war, there are so many questionable things done. Where was the morality in the bombing of Coventry, or the bombing of Dresden, or the Bataan death march, or the Rape of Nanking, or the bombing of Pearl Harbor? I believe that when you’re in a war, a nation must have the courage to do what it must to win the war with a minimum loss of lives.

Theodore Van Kirk, 1995 interview

Well, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima 69 years ago, has died at 93.  Theodore Van Kirk was 24 when he served as navigator on that mission, and already a seasoned combat veteran, having flown 58 bombing missions in Europe.  He attained the rank of major in the Army Air Corps and was decorated for valor with the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 15 Air Medals.

After the war he led a happy life with his wife and kids and earned a BS and an MS in Chemical Engineering, working for many years at DuPont.

He never had any doubts about the mission he flew:

Whether the United States should have used the atomic bomb has been debated endlessly. VanKirk told the AP he thought it was necessary because it shortened the war and eliminated the need for an Allied land invasion that could have cost more lives on both sides.

“I honestly believe the use of the atomic bomb saved lives in the long run. There were a lot of lives saved. Most of the lives saved were Japanese,” VanKirk said.

But it also made him wary of war.

“The whole World War II experience shows that wars don’t settle anything. And atomic weapons don’t settle anything,” he said. “I personally think there shouldn’t be any atomic bombs in the world — I’d like to see them all abolished.

“But if anyone has one,” he added, “I want to have one more than my enemy.”

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28 Responses to Last Survivor of the Enola Gay Crew Dies

  • “The whole World War II experience shows that wars don’t settle anything.”
    .
    World War II ended the aggression of Japan and Germany. How many lives would have been lost if Germany and Japan had conquered the world and faced off against each other. I tell you Japan and Germany would have become great friends and enslaved the human race. Pontius Pilate and King Herod became great friends after crucifying Jesus.

  • Sometimes we just have to fight.

    We are to hate evil and protect the innocent against evil.

    There will always be wars…until Christ returns and puts an end to them for good.

  • I served as a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There were not enough bunk beds on the submarine, so those of us lower in rank slept on foam mattresses in the Torpedo Room. I slept beside a Subroc thermonuclear missile. Sleeping there gave me great comfort in knowing that my submarine carried a very big hammer.
    .
    Nuclear weapons are a regrettable necessity, and the nuclear genie will never be put back into the bottle. But I note with irony that virtually all those who oppose nuclear weapons also oppose the very thing that can consume the fuel used within such weapons, making it forever unavailable for destructive use:
    .
    http://www.usec.com/russian-contracts/megatons-megawatts

  • May he rest in peace.
    *
    Bombs are weapons; weapons are just tools. Tools are not moral or immoral in themselves– it’s what a moral being does with them that matters.

  • Stick with me on this:

    1 – A person should only do morally acceptable actions.
    2 – An action done for a morally-offensive reason is never justifiable. An action done for a morally-acceptable reason may be justifiable even if it has morally-objectionable secondary effects.
    3 – The above applies in times of war.
    4 – An action intended to kill a civilian population is morally unacceptable. An action intended to destroy a military target may be acceptable even if civilians are killed, if the criteria of Just War theory are met.
    5 – Hiroshima had military facilities.

    As far as I’m concerned, the above makes it possible for the bombing of Hiroshima to be morally acceptable. Here’s my problem: what about Nagasaki? It was a manufacturing center, but not a military center per se. I understand that the distinction between military and civilian can be sketchy in a totalitarian state, but I’d rather not have to invoke that. Can I justify the bombing of Nagasaki without it?

  • I meant to add – and this is not just an afterthought – that I’m in no way judging this man or the men who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. If I were in the same situation I should only hope to be as moral and brave as they were.

  • Pinky-
    if a man walks in, tells me he is going to kill his family with the gun, and asks to buy a gun– would I be morally innocent if I sold it to him?
    *
    Alright, if I sell rockets, and those whose expressed goal is to eliminate to the smallest child our neighbor country come to buy, am I innocent in selling to them?
    *
    If I am a chemist, and someone comes in for an abortion causing chemical, am I fine selling it to them?
    ****
    If you are handing the guy who is attacking weapons, then you are part of the attack.

  • I reject the designation as “civilians” those who in Gaza are warned that a military target will be hit… and run into the line of fire, in an attempt to abuse mercy to prevent the destruction of the rocket stations used to randomly fire at a target that didn’t even attack them.
    If your world view holds that throwing yourself into defense of an attacker does not ally yourself with the attacker, then you will have a different result.

  • My father, at that time a US 6th Army artillery captain, was scheduled along with his battalion for landing in Operation Olympic, which actually was scheduled for Nov. 1, 194. Olympic was to be a massive landing operation on the southern island of Kyushu on 3 key beaches. 42 aircraft carriers, over 20 battleships, and additional Navy craft numbering well over 400 were just some of the supporting craft. 14 US Army divisions were planned just for Olympic. 6th Army was missioned the taking of the 3 invasion beaches. Army planners thought the US would outnumber the enemy military 3-1.

    However, they did not know many facts, such as that Japan also had been storing hundreds if not thousands of bomb-laden aircraft for suicide bombing assignments. What we now know was that the Imperial Japanese Army actually had over 30 full divisions, perhaps over 600,000 men in uniform, available for a massive fight-to-the-death, knowing that if Kyushu was catastrophically horrible, the Americans would not likely want to take on a landing on Honshu, the main island (“Operation Coronet”). IJ Navy Vice-Admiral Matome Ugaki wrote to the central Japanese command about this time: “Japan has 20 million citizens: it would be an honorable sacrifice for the Emperor if half of them were to offer their lives for the nation.” (cf. “The Last Kamikaze”, Edwin Hoyt, 1993)
    My father had been told to prepare all his last testimonial letters and of course his will; officers were told that US casualties alone were expected to be up to “at least half a million dead” US servicement (this in a letter to Gen. Curtis Lemay from US Army Air Force General Lauris Norstad). My father’s CO looked them in the eye and bluntly said, “Many of you guys are not coming back.”
    To his dying day, my father, a life-long Republican, thought Truman was one of the best US presidents, having made one of the toughest decisions in history, one that in effect, saved hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives.

  • sorry, correction: Olympic D-Day date was to be Nov. 1st, 1945.

  • General Curtis LeMay’s saturation firebombing killed more than the nuclear bombs did. In the end, are the dead any more or less dead from a nuclear bomb or a bunch of incendiary bombs?

    Revisionists will always criticize the United States for dropping the bombs. Those bombs, as well as the USSR’s invasion of Manchuria, caused Japan to surrender. It ended World War II.

    Dutch Van Kirk has stood in judgment before God – as will we all. War is an ugly, terrible thing, but it is as Clausewitz said – an extension of politics. Politics is how man governs himself.

  • You say firebombs killed more than nuclear (atomic) bombs did. True; but I like to remind folks that more were killed by Japanese Samuri sword than in both atomic bomb attacks.
    .
    and Steve…it was not a tough decision for Truman. He also probably knew that if he had stopped it; and word got out; he would’ve certainly been impeached, and probably hung for treason. And, (with 20-20 hindsight), I note that his soul would’ve carried the innocent blood of many both American and Japanese.
    .
    and, on the statement that war never settled anything…It has been stated that nothing influenced modern history more than WW2.

  • I am happy to see that a story on the atomic bombings did not result in hand-wringing comments that would be guaranteed on some other Catholic sites. Millions of Japanese civilians would have died, in addition to tens of thousands of American soldiers, if we had to invade Japan.

    The Japanese High Command was completely willing to fight until the end until the Nagasaki bombing convinced them we had more bombs (we didn’t) and that they had no way to inflict casualties on us. Even then, the Emperor had to step in to insure the surrender took place.

    The only contemporary Catholic condemnation of the bombings I have ever seen was by then Msgr. Sheen. Nothing from the Vatican or American hierarchy.

  • Fox – I’m not sure your point in your reply to me.

  • I don’t think I can make it any more blunt.

  • I wouldn’t interpret the phrase “war never solves anything”, as uttered by Van Kirk, too literally. I suspect that what Van Kirk really meant was that “war never solves anything permanently” — i.e. there is never going to be a war that completely wipes out all present and future threats to peace, or renders an enemy harmless for all time so that we never have to worry about that threat again. Conquering Japan, for example, didn’t “solve” the Soviet threat.

  • Fox – Not trying to be dense here. Are you saying that Nagasaki was a legitimate target because it was a manufacturing center?

  • One other small point: My father always had the attitude, after Olympic was cancelled and the war was ended, that he had “died and been resurrected”—because so many of him and his fellow military had resigned themselves to, as it was said of the Civil War, “this was going to be a very bloody affair.” It is one of the reasons they conducted themselves differently in the post-war peace then many other generations.

  • At some point, it becomes reductio – were not American women working in factories building weapons also legitimate targets? The farmers growing food and those processing it into military rations? In fact, I would think Americans have less of an argument as “innocent” because we live (supposedly) in a free country and are not forced to support any particular war effort our betters deem appropriate.

  • War never solves anything

    I guess peace doesn’t either because we eventually end up in another war.

  • Part of the problem with Truman’s decision is that it he deliberately sought to inflict massive civilian casualties as part of the means – a large point was to “shock and awe” (to use recent terminology) by obliterating the entire city, not just military targets. Civilians were not “collateral” damage – they were the intended damage to demoralize the enemy into submission.

  • “were not American women working in factories building weapons also legitimate targets?”
    Factories making weapons were certainly a legitimate target of war.

    “The farmers growing food and those processing it into military rations?”

    Yes, certainly as to the military rations plants.

    “because we live (supposedly) in a free country and are not forced to support any particular war effort our betters deem appropriate.”

    Uncle Sam drafted 10 million men into service in World War II, and thank God the government did. World War II was a War we had to win or go down as a people before Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We have the luxury of now endlessly debating Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Tokyo, etc, because we won that War.

  • “Civilians were not “collateral” damage – they were the intended damage to demoralize the enemy into submission.”

    Of course, by that point in the War everyone knew what an invasion of Japan would entail in civilian casualties. 100,000 civilians died in the liberation of Manila. Between 70,000-150,000 Japanese civilians died in the taking of Okinawa, and that was with the US military taking active steps to avoid civilian casualties. In the event of an Allied invasion of the Home Islands, the Japanese planned to use all but infants in a civilian militia to attack the invaders. The blood bath that would have entailed boggles the mind. By 1945 civilian deaths in combat in Japanese held areas was just as foreseeable for military planners as the civilians deaths from the atomic bombs.

  • Civilians were not “collateral” damage – they were the intended damage to demoralize the enemy into submission.

    If that were so, why did they warn people?

    Destroying a city is a good way to impress your enemies– and telling people so they have a chance to leave makes it rather different than, say, flying over a city at night and dropping firebombs so that maximum damage is done.
    One emphasizes the amount of damage a weapon can do; the other kills the maximum number of people.
    That the Japanese military basically conscripted the entire population on threat of death if they fled is not Truman’s responsibility.

  • The U.S. dropped leaflets on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other cities warning civilians of air raids on August 1st, 1945.

    An excerpt from the leaflet:

    “Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes.

    So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan.

    You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.”

  • “the Japanese planned to use all but infants in a civilian militia to attack the invaders.”

    There is film footage of Japanese civilians wearing proto-suicide vests being trained to roll under tanks. The fighting in Japanese cities would have made the urban fighting in Europe look like a pillow fight.

  • Here is the best book on the planning for the invasion of Japan by both sides: Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947 . http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pay-Operation-DOWNFALL-1945-1947-ebook/dp/B0052LJC1K/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407191324&sr=1-4&keywords=hell+to+pay

  • Agreed. I have read all the books on the subject that I believe have been written and Hell to Pay is the best.

PopeWatch: No End

Thursday, July 31, AD 2014

5 Responses to PopeWatch: No End

  • Buddha was a human being. So was Confucious. If Bhuddists are demanding an apology, they too, ought to present an apology to Pope Francisfor their negligence and tresspasses, for no human being is perfect except for Jesus Christ who took on our nature and retained his Divinity.

  • Pingback: Sri Lankan Buddhist monks hoping for a papal apology | Catholic4Life
  • The Pope ought to preach a sermon based on these words,” So shall you likewise perish.” instead of blubberin , “I’m sooo sorry!”

  • I just read on Eponymous flower that Pope Francis has suspended all preistly ordinations in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este. It was the Paraguyan diocese that had the most vocations to the priesthood. Apparently, there was a priest in this diocese who fled the Diocese of Scranton after some abuse allegations.

    “It has been noted that the diocese of Ciudad del Este has the most vocations in Paraguay.According to the practice of the Holy See, the apostolic visits are usually reserved audits are often carried out in absolute discretion. But the case of Ciudad del Este was different. First of all because the conflict between its bishop and other members of the Paraguayan Bishops is public domain several years ago.”

    Pope Francis apologizes to Evangelicals, criticizes fracking and apparently hasn’t lifted a finger in aid to the Syriac and Chaldean Catholics. I am tired of this pontificate and I pray that Jorge Bergoglio resigns and returns to Buenos Aires – a place he should have never left.

  • Perhaps, our Pope should apologize to the Muslim world
    for the defeat their brethren suffered in 732 A.D. when
    Charles, the hammer, saved Christendom by defeating
    the Muslim heretics during the Battle of Tours.

Quotes Suitable For Framing: Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Thursday, July 31, AD 2014

 

 

 

“The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they became with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier to see something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn.”

Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

A writer can be considered a grand success if he manages to write something that will endure long after he is gone.  In that case the poor, tortured Walter M. Miller, Jr., who ended his life by suicide, was a successful writer.  After participating as an air crew member in the bombing of the abbey at Monte Cassino during the Italian campaign, Miller converted to Catholicism.  During the fifties he wrote science fiction short stories.  In 1955, 1956 and 1957 he wrote three novellas which were combined into the novel A Canticle for Leibowitz which was published in 1959.  He won the Hugo award for this novel.  He never published another novel or story in his life after this novel, as he descended into mental illness and left the Faith.  Towards the end of his life he worked with Terry Bisson on a dreadful novel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, published after his death and which is best forgotten.

Spoilers warning for those who have not read A Canticle for Leibowitz:

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2 Responses to Quotes Suitable For Framing: Walter M. Miller, Jr.

  • It is a masterpiece, and one that rewards each and every reading.

    I genuinely hope for mercy on Miller’s tormented soul–his life was tragic, indeed.

  • One of my favorites works. I enjoy the cyclical view of history in it. Interestingly enough, Joseph Michael Straczynski, the creator of the incredible SCI-FI series Babylon 5, actually gave a nod to Canticle in the final episode of season 4. The episode is called “The Destruction of Falling Stars.”

Hey, Who Did Win the Vietnam War Anyway?

Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014

 

Vietnam Today

 

History is full of ironies and none more so than the development of Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.  Independent journalist Michael Totten, who specializes in covering wars and desperately poor, ill governed countries, gives us refreshing news about Vietnam:

 

The ruling Communist Party knows better than just about anyone that communist economics are a disaster. Vietnam’s economy has been growing at light speed for a while now. I knew that in advance, and yet it still stunned me. The city trembles with industriousness and entrepreneurship. Small and large businesses are everywhere. Half the residents seem to be in business for themselves. Anything and everything you can possibly imagine is for sale, though it’s not all high-end yet. I saw a Louis Vuitton outlet next to a bootleg CD store, an elegant Western-style café next to low-end bar with hard chairs and no air-conditioning, a Body Shop next to a used clothing store with cast-off second-hand T-shirts from the West, and an art gallery next to a store selling old pots and pans.

Market economies are uneven, no doubt, but they sure as hell beat the alternative. I could hardly believe it, but when I was a kid the Vietnamese stood in long lines on the street to exchange ration coupons for handfuls of rice. Today the country is one of the world’s largest exporters of rice.

Japan and South Korea: watch out. If the economy keeps growing and the political system breaks open, Vietnam will be a country to reckon with.

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10 Responses to Hey, Who Did Win the Vietnam War Anyway?

  • Well, as long as I am on a roll – Vietnam will do what we in the United States refuse to do. The Vietnamese Government understands that a highly technical, industrialized and entrepreneurial society requires access to low cost, plentiful, safe and clean energy. Therefore, enjoy:
    .
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/Vietnam/
    .
    Sadly, because of the politics of my profession I cannot work on the Russian VVER’s that Vietnam plans to build.

  • This really comes as no surprise.
    I am old enough to have known a number of people who, as administrators, had lived most of their lives in Indochina. They were all convinced that the Viet Minh was a broad-based nationalist movement, with a relatively small Communist cadre that owed its position of leadership to its superior organization. They predicted that, following independence, Vietnam would become a non-aligned country on the Yugoslav model; the mass of the people would no more relish Chinese rule than French, not even the ethnically-Chinese Binh Xuyen, the political wing of the Vietnamese Mafia.
    I have always thought it not without significance that Truong Chinh’s proposals for land reform on the Chinese model were quietly shelved. Even though flushed with victory, the leadership feared a “revolution of folded arms” by an intransigent peasantry.

  • No, the communists under Ho Chi Minh, Nguyễn Sinh Côn, a very early Comintern agent, were complete Communists. After their victory in 1975, and as Ho, who died in 1969, was followed to the grave by the founders of the Communist state, their successors, after a disastrous attempt to collectivize all farms and factories post 1975, swiftly learned that Communism simply did not work in producing a growing economy, leading to the market reforms of 1986. Vietnam remains a one party state with grave human rights violations, but it is clear that the government remains in place only due to force and the success of the economy and that the true believers in Communism in all of Vietnam are fewer in number than the true believers in Marxism at most major American universities.

  • The situation was, undoubtedly complicated by the flight to the South of war-time collaborators, landowners, rentiers, usurers, those who exploited the labour of others for profit generally, criminals and hooligans of all sorts, in the wake of the Geneva Accords. These were determined to do all in their power to keep the country divided and to elude the people’s justice.
    This was precisely the outcome that, in France, Guy Mollet, the future Prime Minister, had predicted, if national elections in Vietnam were postponed. Leader of the French Section of the Workers’ International, Mollet was a fervent anti-Communist, famous for his remark that « Les communistes ne sont pas à gauche… Ils sont à l’Est » – The Communists are not on the left, but in the East, that is, puppets of Moscow.

  • “The situation was, undoubtedly complicated by the flight to the South of war-time collaborators, landowners, rentiers, usurers, those who exploited the labour of others for profit generally, criminals and hooligans of all sorts, in the wake of the Geneva Accords. These were determined to do all in their power to keep the country divided and to elude the people’s justice.”

    What a truly bizarre and ahistoric rant. More than one million Vietnamese fled North Vietnam, many of them Catholics, which considering the massacres imposed by Ho’s regime and the Gulag prison camp system they set up, and the lack of any freedom, was a perfectly rational thing to do.

  • They predicted that, following independence, Vietnam would become a non-aligned country on the Yugoslav model;

    Well, they were wrong.

  • “[M]any of them Catholics”

    Naturally. Most Buddhists supported the policies of the Hoa Hao; anti-colonialist (they had fought valiantly against both the French and Japanese) and a party of national unity. Catholics, by contrast, were suspected, perhaps unfairly, of being lukewarm at best towards the National Liberation Front.

  • “Catholics, by contrast, were suspected, perhaps unfairly, of being lukewarm at best towards the National Liberation Front.”

    Utter rubbish. They were suspected, rightly, of being unwilling to bow their necks to their new would be Communist masters instead of Christ. Some 60% of North Vietnamese Catholics fled to the South. More would have if the North Vietnamese regime had not used military force to hold onto some of their people who wished to get away, always a characteristic of every Communist state.

  • Catholics, by contrast, were suspected, perhaps unfairly, of being lukewarm at best towards the National Liberation Front.

    I just cannot imagine why anyone would be ‘lukewarm’ toward Ho Chih Minh’s minions.

  • With all respect Mr.Patterson-Seymour, considering the enmity between the French (who I presume to be the administrators you speak of) and Americans on post-war Indochina, there was clearly an interest or wish to portray the conflict as something different from the American perspective. Unlike the British who sought to build on a paternalistic post-war, post-imperial identity with their former colonies, France was very interested in continuing her colonial relations. And when those relation proved an economic liability, she sought help from a United States that rebuffed and actively sought the withdrawal of France from Indochina. Was it or was it not a common attitude that the whole Vietnam War was merely a game the Americans were playing to supplant France in the area?

    So it appears awfully convenient in this light for these administrators to downplay the communists and exaggerate the nationalists- left unsaid that the Americans faced a populist uprising because those selfsame administrators were no longer in charge.

The Old World in its Sunset Was Fair to See

Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014

 

Camille_Pissarro_007

 

Like many others, I often summon up in my memory the impression of those July days.  The world on the verge of its catastrophe was very brilliant.  Nations and Empires crowned with princes and potentates rose majestically on every side, lapped in the accumulated treasures of the long peace.  All were fitted and fastened—it seemed securely—into an immense cantilever.  The two mighty Europeans systems faced each other glittering and clanking in their panoply, but with a tranquil gaze.  A polite, discreet, pacific, and on the whole sincere diplomacy spread its web of connections over both.  A sentence in a dispatch, an observation by an ambassador, a cryptic phrase in a Parliament seemed sufficient to adjust from day to day the balance of the prodigious structure.  Words counted, and even whispers.  A nod could be made to tell.  Were we after all to achieve world security and universal peace by a marvelous system of combinations in equipoise and of armaments in equation, of checks and counter-checks on violent action ever more complex and more delicate?  Would Europe this marshaled, thus grouped, thus related, unite into one universal and glorious organism capable of receiving and enjoying in undreamed of abundance the bounty which nature and science stood hand in hand to give?  The old world in its sunset was fair to see.

Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

How quickly worlds can be shattered.  In this year of grace 2014 let us hope that future historians will not be putting down similar words about out age.  I doubt, in part, if they will, because the optimism that characterized Europe prior to the Great War is completely foreign to our time.  However, future historians dwelling upon the blindness of current leaders as we slide into another Great War, well, that would not surprise me at all.  Let us pray that my fears do not come to fruition.

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6 Responses to The Old World in its Sunset Was Fair to See

  • ‘ …Nations and Empires … A polite, discreet, pacific, and on the whole sincere diplomacy spread its web of connections over both. … ‘

    Politeness, discretion, and intellect are victims of an abortion – practically abandoned by art, education, entertainment, journalism, public service leaders, and most with forms of communication.

  • Maybe the sun hasn’t completely set on the old Catholic world… France is offering refuge to Iraqi Christians. Maybe the eldest daughter of the Church still has some of the old feeling.

  • Anzlyne

    The proud boast – La France, pays d’asile [France, the country of asylum] is not an empty one; that it is a matter of pride is in stark contrast to German (and British) attitudes.

  • I didn’t know they claimed that appellation, but I did know that the south of France is where some 1st century Jews become Christians fled to in escaping persecution. Mary Magdalena for one

  • Ironically, there are some roughly similar passages in “The Crisis” by Winston Churchill — not the Churchill mentioned above but a popular American historical novelist of the early 20th century (go here to read about him: http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/02/10/the-other-winston-churchill). Internet searches for this novel about the advent of the Civil War often turn up results for the British Churchill’s “World Crisis” due to the similarity of the titles and authors.

    In this passage the American Churchill describes the grand estate of a (fictional) St. Louis society family and the glittering party they hosted in the fall of 1860, just before Abraham Lincoln was elected president and the Civil War broke out:

    “An era of charity, of golden simplicity, was passing on that October night of Anne Brinsmade’s ball. Those who made merry there were soon to be driven and scattered before the winds of war; to die at Wilson’s Creek, or Shiloh, or to be spared for heroes of the Wilderness. Some were to eke out a life of widowhood in poverty. All were to live soberly, chastened by what they had seen. A fear knocked at Colonel Carvel’s heart as he stood watching the bright figures.

    “Brinsmade,” he said, “do you remember this room in May, ’46?”

    Mr. Brinsmade, startled, turned upon him quickly.

    “Why, Colonel, you have read my very thoughts,” he said. “Some of those who were here then are—are still in Mexico.”

    “And some who came home, Brinsmade, blamed God because they had not fallen,” said the Colonel. (The Colonel’s wife had died while he was away fighting in Mexico.)

    “Hush, Comyn, His will be done,” he answered; “He has left a daughter to comfort you.”

  • Maybe France is waking up, in some small way.

    Hot Air has a piece about the vicious anti-Semitic protests that have taken place in Germany and Italy. Conspicuous by is absence is….Poland. Poland, where so much carnage from both World Wars took place, where the SS built and operated so many death camps….

    Poland really does not have the economic means to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees – they haven’t allowed the descendants of Poles deported by Stalin to return (and I think they should) – but you are not seeing or hearing of any of that garbage there.

Can She Afford to Pay For Her Own Birth Control Now?

Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014

18 Responses to Can She Afford to Pay For Her Own Birth Control Now?

  • They will “allow” women to have birth control and abortions now. they will give it to them with a beneficent smile.
    Later they will require birth control and abortion, no longer smiling, but sternly calling women into line, not for the good of the woman, or her child, but for the whole, the state.

  • One picture is worth a million words. Has anyone seen a more vapid face on an individual? Hello, Is anyone home? Is there a twitter, a single brain cell in action? I guess HOPE and CHANGE did not work for Sandra Fluke.
    .
    Hypocrisy? I think extortion is a better word.

  • What else can we expect from good little leftists?

    The “education” system is churning out 10’s of millions of these people.

    If we don’t fix that, then we are sunk. It may be too late.

    The result of letting the fox guard the henhouse.

  • Supposedly, Fluke is a working-class girl from a country village in western Pennsylvania. If my own experience in communities of that size is a guide, youngsters therein who gain admission to schools with a certain amount of cachet (or to any sort of research institution) tend to be faculty brats (if there is a college nearby) or doctor’s kids. Supposedly, Fluke’s papa is a machinist. There are no tertiary institutions within 30 miles of where she grew up and the nearest such would be a community college, a branch campus of Penn State, and a quondam Catholic college, all of which have fewer than 2,000 students. Not only is she not a faculty brat; she likely didn’t know anyone who was growing up. The intelligentsia at her high school (one wagers) consisted of Fluke and the local dentist’s kid.

    Pennsylvania has an ant heap of colleges and universities, public and private. Most youngsters who attend 4 year colleges in state and in Pennsylvania, about 78% do. I cannot imagine the concatenation of circumstances which persuaded la famille Fluke that it would be advisable for their daughter to attend Cornell University given that there are three public research institutions in state and (what is unusual) six private research institutions which do not likely have more rigorous admissions screens. Fluke is not in any ethnic or cultural category which makes her a Democratic-party client (quite the contrary); if she won enough of an academic scholarship to make Cornell economical, she’d have been unusual indeed in the countryside vaguely proximate to Altoona, Pa.

    She wastes her time at Cornell in the arts and sciences faculty garnering some synthetic degree, then lives in New York for six years working as a sort of uncertified social worker, then goes to law school. There are quite a number of law schools in New York, including two public institutions (one conveniently located). Instead, she attends an expensive private institution in Georgetown because she’d have standing to make a pest of herself there. Financed how? Who knows?

    One can imagine a husband chosen from a locus more distant from her upbringing than Adam Mutterpurl (who is apparantly ’employed’ as a comedian), just. (She could have married into the Kennedy claque). Still, you get the impression this whole bad comedy is derived from having more intelligence than she knew how to use, from having poor native judgment, from having a mother and father whose counsel would be most applicable in a world she did not wish to live in and had never been at home in, and from ignoring what good sense they had which would have been applicable (because young people who have more intelligence than sense do that).

    It looks like she’ll end up like the Obamas – with a simulacrum of an adult life rather than the real thing.

  • “Fluke’s own family has donated $9,600 to her campaign (her mother gave one donation as Betty and one as Elizabeth).”

    Odd that her “working class family” could come up with $9600 bucks to blow on her campaign. If it isn’t really their money, and came from another source, well that is the type of campaign funding shenanigans that are going to cause Dinesh D’Souza to spend time in the near future at a Club Fed.

  • I think the family tends to re-use names. There appear to be multiple people named “Richard Fluke” (grandfather and grandson, or uncle and nephew, or father and son, cannot tell) and multiple people named “Betty Fluke” (one mother-in-law to the other, I think) and also an “Elizabeth Fluke”. There is a lawyer in New York named “Elizabeth Fluke” the right age to be Sandra Fluke’s sister or a proximate cousin. The (not very reliable) “White Pages” data indicates there is an “Elizabeth Fluke” born ca. 1985 who has passed through that county in Pennsylvania, Boston, and New York. The lawyer in New York attended Boston University, per her LinkedIn profile.

    Sandra and Elizabeth Fluke would appear to be about four years apart in age but received their law degrees the same time. Elizabeth Fluke is an associate at an 850-lawyer megafirm and evidently specializes in corporate law. Just out of puerile curiosity, I do wonder how much of Sandra Fluke’s recent odyssey has been driven by competition with proximate relatives.

    My suspicion would be that any straw donations are being funneled through 1st degree relatives. No, Eric Holders Department of Justice would never prosecute these people.

  • Art Deco
    I rather fancy “intelligence” is, as B John Henry Newman suggests, “not so much one faculty, as a collection of similar or analogous faculties under one name, there being really as many faculties
    as there are distinct subject-matters.”
    “It is almost proverbial that a hard-headed mathematician may have no head at all for what is called historical evidence. Successful experimentalists need not have talent for legal research or pleading. A shrewd man of business may be a bad arguer in philosophical questions. Able statesmen and politicians have been before now eccentric or superstitious in their religious views.”

    And so, no doubt, it is with Ms Flu

  • “No, Eric Holders Department of Justice would never prosecute these people.”
    Agreed.

  • “Like most self-appointed tribunes of the poor and disadvantaged, Fluke is personally well heeled.”
    .
    One wonders what Profession Sandra Fluke is in? Perhaps the oldest? But I doubt it. From my sinful time in the US Submarine Force some three decades ago, I learned that women in that profession give good honest measure for the money they receive, something of which Sandra Fluke is clearly incapable. Therefore, I will not insult such women by including Sandra Fluke in their company.

  • She is an attorney Paul. Certainly not the oldest profession, but one which came into being probably soon after man discovered fire and had disputes about the day’s hunting haul over campfires.

  • I’d take it up with the psychometricians, MPS. There is a distinction between intelligence and good judgment, without a doubt. I am sure there is a story there, and perhaps some family psychodrama. None of my business, I suppose, but I am still curious. About 8% of the tertiary enrollment in baccalaureate granting institutions is to be found in private research universities. Here we have this family of very ordinary means which has two daughters (sisters or cousins to each other) attending such institutions and sending them out-of-state to do so. I cannot figure why they would do that unless these girls got a monster financial aid deal (which would suggest that both were very unusual in their home town). One of this pair got a degree in communications (all three public universities in Pennsylvania have a program) and the other a degree in ‘policy analysis’ with a second major in ‘women’s studies’. The course list for the policy analysis program is here. It is light on statistics.

    http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/academics/courses/index.cfm

    You can certainly find components of this program at Penn State and Temple if not the University of Pittsburgh.

    Then one of them spends six years working at desultory human services jobs, they both go to law school in a buyer’s market for legal labor (and at the beginning of the recession), and they both attend the law faculties of private research universities (which requires relocating). Not the most practical approach to these matters.

    Sandra Fluke comes from a part of the world where the self is small and budget constraints matter. I cannot figure how she came by the attitudes she has….

  • One wonders what Profession Sandra Fluke is in? Perhaps the oldest?

    Her husband is 39 years of age.

    http://adammutterperl.com/bio.html

    My guess is that drawing on G.I. financing is a big part of meeting expenses.

  • AD: I am going to borrow your term “family psychodrama” and use it in several applications by changing the first word. Lol. 😀

  • Art Deco
    People do sometimes choose a university because they want to study under a particular professor or tutor
    In my day, the two great Grecians, Hugh Lloyd-Jones and Martin Lichfield-West made Oxford a magnet for those reading Classics (including me), as did Hugh Trevor-Roper and A J P Taylor for history and Isaiah Berlin for politics. Then there was A J Ayer, Miss Anscombe and Philippa Foote in philosophy, David Daube and Tony Honoré in Roman Law and so on.

  • People do sometimes choose a university because they want to study under a particular professor or tutor

    There is no tutorial system in this country, you’re not likely to have heard of any of the faculty in your chosen department before enrolling, you often have not chosen a program at the time of your enrollment, and you’re never likely to take more than a few courses with your preferred professor(s) (in part because you’ll have a mess of distribution requirements to fulfill but also because they’re likely to teach only a few of the courses you’ll need). What you’re referring to might happen if you’re scoping graduate programs and very definitely when you are scoping for a dissertation advisor. Neither of these young women have ever entered an academic graduate program.

    Currently, the sticker price for the law schools they attended (ranked #13 and #16 out of 200 by U.S. News) is around $49,000 per annum. Full freight in-state tuition at the three public law schools in Pennsylvania (ranked #51, #61, and #81) is between $20,000 and $42,000 per annum. One of this pair appears to be intent on paying off the balance by making big bucks. She’s not running for a seat in the California legislature.

  • I am going to borrow your term “family psychodrama”

    I stole it off Camille Paglia (who is not writing topical commentary anymore but I would wager has this dame’s number).

  • There are a few subjects that I am afraid to comment on directly (in any fashion) because it makes me so angry I am afraid I could get arrested by what comes out of my mouth. This lying, decitful, self righteous, idiotic, fool of a woman is one of those topics. May God have mercy on her soul–may God help me to be able to pray sincerely for her soul.

  • Ms. Fluke is 33 years old or so (born in 1981). One of these days, she may just decide she wants a baby. She’d better hurry, since fertility for a woman drops pretty quickly around age 35, and by age 40, the decline is quite apparent (http://infertility.about.com/od/causesofinfertility/a/pregnantafter35.htm)
    .
    Hmm, I think I saw something about IVF being the next thing insurance companies/employers will be required to pay for. I expect she will be in on that. IVF doesn’t work that well after age 35, though. Wonder whom she will sue?

PopeWatch: Fracking

Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014

21 Responses to PopeWatch: Fracking

  • No, the Pope does not understand that it is access to low cost clean plentiful energy that fuels a successful and prosperous technical civilization. And he will predictably oppose the ONLY viable replacement for fossil fuel that has a high enough capacity factor to provide stable power: nuclear. No electricity kills. Just look at life expectancy in the 19th century. Coal fired electricity kills less than no electricity. Oil kills less than coal. Gas kills less than oil, fracking notwithstanding. Solar and wind kill less than gas but have capacity factors less than 30% which makes them useless for baseload power. Nuclear kills least of all (less than a dozen people died at Fukushima and none by radiation, compared to the scores that died from the earthquake and tsunami damage to petrochemical and natural gas tanks in the Chiba Prefecture). But you cannot convince these people for whom environmentalism is their religion.
    .
    Even though I am a nuclear professional of some three and a half decades experience, I would rather have natural gas fracking than to live and die as people did in the 19th century. I wonder however if the Pope would give up his electricity in a statement to say he wouldn’t use any more of that natural gas because the electricity supply comes in large measure from that source especially in Europe, and usually from the Russians. People who know nothing about engineering and energy should shut their mouths on this topic. Argh!

  • The communications of the pope don’t seem to have a unified message. There is always confusion. I don’t know if the confusion is in our ears or in his mouth.
    /
    The continued incoherence seems to come from taking sound bites of the liberals and sound bites of the conservatives and trying to string them together. The thorough reading of “live and let live” and an equally through reading of “Give yourself to others” are incongruent. One being hands off, no judgment, no attempt to evangelize etc. The other says to love, to involve yourself in what is going on in another’s life etc. To Love in truth is not compatible with Live and let live.

  • “Humanity, in its indiscriminate use of and tyranny over nature, is it committing suicide?””

    A bit dramatic. Don’t you think? I guess acknowledging the good man has done for the environment/nature would be out of line. Dear Pope, who are you to judge how we use the environment? Just asking. “Judge thy environmental sins but not sexual sins!”

    The pope has been chanting lately and frequently “No more war!” (Such a simplistic take on such a matter is usually not very effective.) He should add “No more fracking!” to his kit of persuasive arguments.

    @Paul W Primavera, What would you say to critics of nuclear energy who say the problem is what to do with the waste?

  • Pardon my language (and my pun!), but the Pope is a “fricking fracking” ignoramus on this subject. He’s obviously listening to environmental extremists who think extracting any kind of energy source from the ground will damage the earth. The main source of anti-fracking propaganda is a documentary called GasLand. I don’t know if the Pope has ever seen this film, but it has been exposed as a big lie by several people. FrackNation, by Phelim McAleer is the best expose of the lies GasLand tells. Go to http://www.fracknation.com and get the real facts on fracking.

  • There is no nuclear waste problem. Rather, the total amount of used nuclear fuel generated from US light water reactors is small and relatively manageable. The current high-level “waste” volume after 40 years of operation of the United States’ 100+ nuclear power plants would fill an area the size of a football field five yards deep. This is 48 to 50 thousand metric tons, assuming about 1/2 ton per fuel assembly and about 100 thousand assemblies. Of this only 5% is waste. The rest is burnable in fast neutron burner reactors (high temperature gas cooled reactors, liquid metal fast burners, molten salt thorium reactors, etc). With such reprocessing / reuse, the area of used fuel would diminish to a single row in a football field some 2.4 yards deep. Now compare the 48 to 50 thousand metric tons of used nuclear fuel, 95% of which is still burnable, with the 39 MILLION tons of toxic sludge that a Duke Energy coal fired power plant recently dumped into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina earlier this year. And consider that coal fired power plants release MORE radioactivity in the form of uranium, thorium and radium occurring naturally in coal than any nuclear power plant does. And consider that fracking natural gas releases more radioactivity from naturally occurring isotopes geologically deposited beneath the Earth’s crust than any nuclear power plant is allowed to release. We do NOT have a nuclear waste problem. We have a dumb idiot problem in politics and the clergy.
    .
    One uranium pellet the size of your thumb nail has as much energy as 1 ton of coal and 17 thousand cubic feet of natural gas. It takes 22 railroad cars of coal every two weeks to keep a 1000 MW coal plant running, and all that waste – more radioactive than what comes from a nuke – gets dumped into the air, water and ground. A nuke refuels one third of its core once every TWO years, and pollutes neither air, nor ground, nor water.
    .
    God deliver us from no-nothing politicians and clerics!

  • Here is a summary of emissions and wastes from various power sources that I have posted previously:
    .
    1000 megawatt power plant emissions.
    .
    Sulfur Dioxide Emissions
    .
    Coal = 70,000 tons / year
    Natural Gas = 0 tons / year
    Oil = 30,000 tons /year
    Nuclear = 0 tons / year
    .
    Nitrogen Oxide Emissions
    .
    Coal = 25,000 / year
    Natural Gas = 16,000 tons / year
    Oil = 14,000 tons /year
    Nuclear = 0 tons / year
    .
    Carbon Dioxide Emissions
    .
    Coal = 6,000,000 tons / year
    Natural Gas = 3,000,000 tons / year
    Oil = 5,000,000 tons / year
    Nuclear = 0 tons / year
    .
    Energy Source Death Rate
    .
    Coal – world average: 161 deaths per terawatt hour and 1410 deaths per gigawatt year
    Oil: 36 deaths per terawatt hour and 315 deaths per gigawatt year
    Natural Gas: 4 deaths per terawatt hour and 35 deaths per gigawatt year
    Biomass / Biofuel: 12 deaths per terawatt hour and 105 deaths per gigawatt year
    Solar: 0.44 deaths per terawatt hour and 3.85 deaths per gigawatt year
    Wind: 0.15 deaths per terawatt hour and 1.31 deaths per gigawatt year
    Hydro worldwide: 1.4 deaths per terawatt hour and 88 deaths per gigawatt year
    Nuclear: 0.4 deaths per terawatt hour and 35 deaths per gigawatt year
    .
    Nuclear Used Fuel (repeat from my comment above)
    .
    The nuclear used fuel in the United States comprises some 48 thousand metric tons. Let us put this in perspective. A single coal fired power plant on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina recently dumbed 39 million tons of toxic coal plant sludge into the environment. This toxic waste never ever decays away. The current used fuel repository in the US pales is a fraction of this coal fired power plant waste. Additionally, the sued fuel repository would occupy a volume of a football field some five yards deep. But bear in mind that only 5% of the fuel is used. 95% of the energy remains within it, and if reprocessed and reused in fast neutron burner reactors, only 2.4 years of a football field five yards deep would be required to contain the leftover ash which (unlike coal plant sludge and natural gas turbine exhaust) decays after 600 years.

  • I also sent a letter to the USCCB and to the Diocesan Bishops of North Carolina when the USCCB came out with its statement supporting the US EPA’s new standards to reduce carbon pollution. I got ZERO response because what I wrote does not agree with their paradigm. The USCCB thinks that it can speak authoritatively about a subject on which it has ZERO technical expertise, and then ignore the subject – conversion and repentance – that should be the Church’s focus and message. I am absolutely disgusted with what passes for the Church in the United States.
    .
    Dear Sister Walsh, Your Excellency Bishop Jugis and Your Excellency Bishop Burbidge,
    .
    It is gratifying to see the subject of toxic air pollution from fossil fuel electrical power generation being addressed by the US Council of Catholic Bishops:
    .
    http://www.usccb.org/news/2014/14-094.cfm
    .
    I have worked in naval submarine nuclear propulsion and commercial nuclear power for 38 years. I have been variously a submarine reactor operator, a nuclear systems training instructor, a nuclear instrumentation and controls engineer, and a nuclear QA engineer. I can therefore state unequivocally that the solution to the difficulty of providing stable, high capacity factor electrical power to our industrial civilization without pollution is safe, clean nuclear energy. Even including Three Mile Island (which neither injured nor killed any member of the public), Chernobyl (whose RBMK design cannot be licensed in the West and whose accident due to the laws of physics are impossible at a Western light water reactor), and Fukushima (which killed less than a dozen people outright, and none from radiation), nuclear energy is safer than any other form of electrical generation, even including solar and wind:
    .
    http://theenergycollective.com/ansorg/236461/environmental-impact-evaluations-seeing-bigger-nuclear-vs-fossil-picture
    .
    http://www.the9billion.com/2011/03/24/death-rate-from-nuclear-power-vs-coal/
    .
    The tables at the following web site provide the relevant statistics on death rate normalized per terawatt hour and gigawatt year for various forms of electrical generation. Notice that nuclear is least fatal:
    .
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html
    .
    I have worked on some of the newer nuclear reactor designs, including General Electric – Hitachi’s Economically Simplified Boiling Water Reactor. Please view the video at the following web link to see what I mean about this reactor design’s inherent safety:
    .
    http://www.ge-energy.com/products_and_services/products/nuclear_energy/esbwr_nuclear_reactor.jsp
    .
    I have taught training courses on other designs, including CANDU heavy water reactors and Westinghouse pressurized light water reactors. The newer designs employ passive safety features that obviate the need for either operator action or electrical power backup in the event of an accident or transient. The type of events that occurred at TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima are simply not credible with these new designs.
    .
    Additionally, unbeknownst to the majority of the public, natural gas fracking gives off more radioactivity from underground radon, and coal fired power plant pollution gives off more radioactivity from the naturally occurring uranium, thorium and radium in coal than any nuclear power plant is allowed to release under US NRC regulations.
    .
    Lastly, the capacity factor of so-called renewables such as solar and wind is less than 30% whereas the capacity factor of nuclear is greater than 92%. The use of solar and wind always requires fossil fuel spinning reserve backup, and always despoils hundred of square miles of land area for a miniscule amount of power dwarfed by any nuclear power plant occupying a small faction of such land area. Indeed, every solar or wind farm is a natural gas polluter. The idea that natural gas is clean given its carbon emissions and the radioactivity released from fracking to obtain it, is frankly ludicrous. Only nuclear energy is clean, safe and cheap.
    .
    Therefore, perhaps the US Council of Catholic Bishops could be persuaded to support safe, clean nuclear energy given its well-founded opposition to fossil fuel pollution.
    .
    One other thing: used nuclear fuel from US light water and CANDU heavy water reactors cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. The fissile plutonium-239 in the fuel is too contaminated with non-fissile plutonium-240. Indeed, when North Korea tried to use a reactor (albeit an RBMK design) to make its bomb, the bomb fizzled out – it was not a militarily useful weapon. Furthermore, the best way to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons is to consume weapons grade uranium-235 and plutonium-239 in nuclear reactors, making electrical energy peacefully and safely. We have a program to do that. It is called megatons to megawatts:
    .
    http://www.usec.com/russian-contracts/megatons-megawatts
    .
    Vobis gratias ago pro vestra patientia in legente meam epistulam.
    .
    Vester Servus in Caritate Christi,
    .
    Paul Primavera

  • My last comment went into the moderation queue because it had a lot of referenced web links. I can’t give a lesson on 30 years of knowledge and experience in energy production in a small space, so I have to reference the appropriate material. Thanks.

  • Somebody needs to ask Pope Francis for a peer reviewed, SCIENTIFIC, study that show cracking contaminates water. Contaminates it with WHAT??

    Now there is all kinds of environmentalist wackos/tree jiggers who yell & scream & publish bologna that says cracking contaminates water. But they are very scarce on facts.

  • Barbara, these clerics know nothing about real science and engineering, nor do they care to know anything about real science and engineering. When they flip a light switch, they expect the lights to come on. When they adjust the thermostat, they expect the air conditioner or heater to come on as appropriate. When they turn the ignition switch in a car, they expect the engine to turn over. But they have not a clue in the world where all that energy comes from or what it takes to get them access to that energy. Each of them would be unwilling to live with the less than 30% capacity factor of solar and wind energy. Each of them pays for the gasoline for his vehicle, the natural gas for his home’s furnace, and the electricity from the transformer outside the house, not realizing the 50% of such energy comes from coal, 30% from gas, 19% from nuclear and 1% from piddling worthless solar and wind. They pay for the energy and then complain as to how it is obtained. None is willing to put his money where his mouth is. None respects the Law of the Conservation of Matter and Energy, but it is a immutable Law established by God Almighty Himself and none can disobey it regardless of their eco-wacko complaining nonsense. I have zero respect for these clerics that focus on environmental and energy issues while ignoring the fact that souls are going to hell because they neglect the Gospel of conversion and repentance. But in the end, the Laws of Physics win and they will find that out when the lights go out, the air conditioner and refrigerator stop, and the car doesn’t move any longer. Fools, the lot of them. They will freeze in the dark and whine that it’s all the fault of big business.

  • Mr. Primavera, you know as well as I do that most of the bishops frequently blather on subjects they know nothing about. Economics is one such subject. The enviornment is another. I’m with you on nuclear power. The USA could build enough nuclear power plants so that within ten years this country would not only be self sufficient in energy, we could export energy as well.

    Fracking is big in Pennsylvania, especially so in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Most homes here use natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water, where it is, in my opinion, a superior fuel. Gasland is utter crap. Natural gas (methane) is formed by the rock formations underground in Pennsylvania. It is not uncommon for water wells in rural areas to have some methane gas. My cousin works for the Pennsylvania DCNR and is heavily involved with the gas extraction companies, to ensure regulations are met. I, for one, would love it if I could use natural gas as fuel for my car – I could fill up my car at home with a connection to my home’s natural gas supply and it’s a lot cleaner than gasoline.

    The gas is locked in shale formations (Marcellus, Utica, etc) 6,000 feet below ground level. I don’t doubt that some water wells have been disturbed, but water wells here are unreliable at best anyway due to the rock strata below the ground surface. We have plenty of water from the Three Rivers.

    Coal could be used for conversion to synthetic oil, which then can be used for aviation fuel, diesel fuel for locomotives, etc. – applications where an electric motor is not practical.

    Pope Francis has again spouted off on something about which he is totally ignorant. I pray for him (not enough) but he has a sense of hubris about him that nobody seems to be able to control.

  • We agree, pPnguins Fan. Burning coal directly in power plants is foolish. The right thing to do is to convert power plants to nuclear and use nuclear heat to convert coal and water into liquid hydrocarbon fuel via the Fischer-Tropsch process. Alternatively nuclear heat can be used to produce methane via a similar process. Fueling automobiles off methane is a marvellous idea. In that way we can tell the Russians to asphyxiate in their gas and the Muslims to drown in their oil. We can use passively safe advanced reactors like GE-Hitachi’s ESBWR or Westinghouse’s AP-1000. Small installations can use NuScale’s small modular reactor. Fuel from these reactors can be reprocessed / recycled and consumed in GE’s liquid sodium PRISM reactor, or directly used in Canada’s CANDU heavy water reactors. Other passively safe designs include a thorium fueled molten salt reactor that was actually built and operated in the 1960s as an aircraft engine experiment and it worked. God has placed enough thorium and uranium in Earth’s crust to fuel a civilization of 12 billion people for millennia on end at the energy consumption level of the average American without environmental devastation. We do NOT have an environmental or an energy crisis. We have a crisis of greed and selfishness, and until our clerics start preaching, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” as John the Baptist did, we will continue to have the problems we got.
    .
    As I said before, and as you can see from the statistics in my comments above, coal kills less than no electricity. Oil kills less than coal. Gas kills less than oil. Nuclear kills least of all. It’s very simple to see.
    .
    Read what Dr. Bernard Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Pittsburg, has to say:
    .
    http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/

  • Paul, thanks for your responses on this matter. Off topic but I have a son who is considering nuclear engineering. Do you think this is a good field to go into at this time?

  • Tom, the world needs energy. The United Arab Emirates are building five South Korean APR-1000 reactors that are an advanced version of Combustion Engineering’s System 80+. I actually submitted my resume to go work there, but another company beat them to the punch. China plans to build scores of reactors. So does Vietnam (unbelievable!). Russia has these plans:
    .
    http://www.okbm.nnov.ru/english/npp
    .
    While Western Europe and America sink into decay, mankind will go on. So yes, nuclear engineering has a bright future – for those who speak Arabic, Mandarin, or Russian. I encourage such a future. The power source is safe, clean, pollution free, abundant, and best of all, a threat to the corporate socialism that has so defiled Western Europe and the US. It is energy that fuels a technical civilization. Without it we can and should anticipate the life expectancy of those who lived in the 19th century.

  • Paul, Thanks for the feedback!

  • “Even though I am a nuclear professional of some three and a half decades experience, I would rather have natural gas fracking than to live and die as people did in the 19th century.”

    PWP: I will not yield the high ground to these idiots. The environmentalist wackos have tried over & over again in my state & region in the South (US) to stop fracking by yelling and screaming that the environment is being damaged, earthquakes are resulting, and drinking water is contaminated. Each time there was a brouhaha–out came the media with their cameras and reporters and interviews–out came the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (& similar EPA related orgs in other areas of the South–taking samples, testing, etc–and absolutely NOTHING was ever found by the science guys. Not once.

    The environmentalist wacko movement in this country is loaded with Socialists and Communists who are not only power hungry but are absolutely intent on bringing down the US economy & turning us into a 3rd world country. The last time I knew there was some guy in Guy, AR threatening to sue because, according to him, fracking had caused an earthquake in Guy which had caused a crack in the walls of his home. No I am not kidding. By the way, a fault line runs through our state and back in the pioneer days there was an earthquake that was so strong in our state that the Mississippi River ran the wrong direction and the energy waves in the ground caused the ground (trees and all to jump as high as the back of a buffalo. I have sat in my living room in White Co. AR and felt my house jerk and have things rattle and fall off the wall more than once. But this man is insistent that it is cracking that caused the earthquake that damaged his home!

    :-/

  • I ask for your patience with my spell check changing the word fracking into cracking. It is fracking (misspelled on purpose this time) me up. 😉

  • Kyle wrote: I guess acknowledging the good man has done for the environment/nature would be out of line.

    Dear Kyle–don’t you realize that man is purely evil and is not capable of doing anything good for the environment/nature in the worldview of environmentalist wackos?

  • Penguins Fan wrote: I, for one, would love it if I could use natural gas as fuel for my car – I could fill up my car at home with a connection to my home’s natural gas supply and it’s a lot cleaner than gasoline.

    Arkansas is the Saudis Arabia of natural has. We want to access it. Our current environmentalist wacko governor who is ending his last term (term limited to 8 years in any given state constitutional office in our state) keeps throwing up road blocks and the Sierra Club and company keep suing. It seems like a few years back, I was told that it would take $10 million for all of the requisite environmental studies just to get a permit to get started. We do have individual natural gas wells all over the state on private land. To my knowledge there have been 2 service stations within 100 miles of me that have natural gas pumps. There is a mechanic here in Little Rock who keeps his staff certified at top levels do that they can switch out vehicle engines from gasoline burning to natural gas burning. At one time I looked at a study which told how many cubic feet of natural gas there is thought to be under the surface of this great land of ours–the study I saw indicated that we could be completely independent if foreign oil if we were allowed to extract and process the natural gas for automobile use. Most likely related info can be found on the Internet.

  • I concur 100% with Barbara Gordon. Environmentalism – the worship of goddess Gaia – has become the religion of today’s elite intelligentsia in the West: Canada, the US, and Western Europe. Other nations like China, Russia, India, and Arab countries do not have that problem. They have others to be sure, but they know that it is access to cheap energy which fuels a prosperous technical civilization. I was truly astounded to learn that even the UAE understands its oil and gas supplies are finite, so they established the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation to build five South Korean APR-1400 advanced pressurized water reactors at Barakah. Go to satellite imagery here to see the reactor containments being built:
    .
    https:[email protected],52.2337932,774m/data=!3m1!1e3
    .
    Each plant will provide 1400 MWe for a total eventual supply of 7000 MWe (that’s like two Niagara Falls). What does the United States do under Barack Hussein Obama?
    .
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/specialreports/solyndra-scandal/
    .
    80 billion dollars or more (of which Solyndra was but a small part) have been wasted in useless, worthless twirling blades and shiny mirrors. We could have built 40 new advanced nukes for that money, and employed tens of thousands in high tech jobs. I hate what the Democrats are turning America into.

  • How blessed we are to be able to read the writings of Paul P.
    .
    Since some SIerra Club bashing/exposure came up; may I recommend this recent report:
    .
    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=8af3d005-1337-4bc3-bcd6-be947c523439

    If it’s too much, just skip to the tables showing the obscene cash holdings of green groups.

    Good explanation/commenting here:
    .
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/30/breaking-senate-report-exposes-the-climate-environmental-movement-as-being-a-cash-machine-controlling-the-epa/

July 30, 1864: Debacle at the Crater

Wednesday, July 30, AD 2014

battle-of-the-crater-

When looking at the battle of the Crater, it is a study in contrasts.  The digging of the tunnel and the explosion of the mine at dawn on July 30, 1864, go here to read about the tunnel construction, was a tribute to the ingenuity and sheer compentence of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pleasants and his men of the 48th Pennsylvania, who, with almost no help from the rest of the army, gave the Army of the Potomac a golden opportunity to take Petersburg and bring the War to a rapid conclusion.  That this opportunity was missed was largely attributable to criminal incompetence on the part of the generals involved.

Here are the generals who contributed to the debacle:

1.  Grant and Meade-Burnside, the commander of the IX corps making the assault, had trained a division of United States Colored Troops to lead the advance after the explosion of the mine.  The day before the battle Meade, concerned that the attack would fail and that their would be political repercussions if black troops incurred heavy casualties as a result, ordered Burnside to assign a white division to lead the attack.  Burnside protested this decision, but Grant backed Meade up.

2.  Burnside-Burnside had the white division chosen by lot rather than picking the best division.  Burnside made no effort to make certain that his attacking divisions had access ways cleared of debris and fortifications so they could rapidly advance after the explosion.  He made no effort to inform the new white division leading the assault that it was to go around any crater created by the explosion instead of going down into it, which is precisely what the attacking divisions did, making themselves sitting ducks at the bottom of a large hole when the Confederate counter-attack began.  Rather than calling off the attack after it became obvious that no breakthrough was possible, Burnside kept feeding troops into the Crater with the only effect being to lengthen the list of Union dead and wounded.

3.  James H. Ledlie-Brigadier General James H. Ledlie earned a notable distiction during the battle.  It was not unusual for Civil War generals to make bad decisions, and to not infrequently show a distinct lack of common sense, however almost all of them were very brave men.  Ledlie was not.  In addition to being a very bad commander as indicated by his failure to inform his division of what was expected of them after his division was chosen by lot to lead the assault, he spent the battle drunk and well behind the lines, safe and secure as his men went into the meat grinder.  He richly earned his dismissal from the Army after the battle.

4.  Edward Ferrero-Brigadier General Edward Ferrero was the foremost dance instructor in the country prior to the War.  He should have stuck to that trade.  The commander of the black division involved in the battle of the Crater, he spent the battle in the same bomb proof dugout behind the line as Ledlie, and he shared Ledlie’s bottle with him.  Ferrero’s behavior is somwhat incomprehensible as he had shown extreme valor in other battles.  Astonishingly he was not cashiered from the service, and in December of 1864 he received a brevet promotion to Major General of Volunteers for “bravery and meritorious services”.

With this type of leadership it is no wonder that the attack failed.  The initial mine explosion killed 278 Confederates and wounded hundreds of others.  For 15 minutes the stunned Confederates did not fire at the attacking Union units.  Union troops went down into the Crater and within an hour were receiving heavy fire from Confederate troops at the top of the side of the Crater facing Petersburg.  Confederate Brigadier General William Mahone, in charge of the Confederate counterattack, called it a turkey shoot.  Instead of calling off the attack  when it became clear that the Confederates had sealed the breach caused by the explosion, Burnside kept sending divisions, including the black division, down into the Crater where they were quickly slaughtered.  Some Confederate troops murdered black troops who were trying to surrender.  When General Lee heard of this he supposedly sent a message to General Mahone telling him to put a stop to this or he would be removed from command.

Union casualties were 4000 to 1500 for the Confederates.  The whole debacle was the subject of a lengthy investigation by the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.

Here is Grant’s assessment of the fiasco from his Personal Memoirs:

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4 Responses to July 30, 1864: Debacle at the Crater

Dark Lamps

Tuesday, July 29, AD 2014

A friend came to see me on one of the evenings of the last week — he thinks it was on Monday, August 3rd. We were standing at a window of my room in the Foreign Office. It was getting dusk, and the lamps were being lit in the space below on which we were looking. My friend recalls that I remarked on this with the words: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary in 1914

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7 Responses to Dark Lamps

  • Those lamps were the lamps of independence. In Europe, independence meant conflict, just like it did here in the states. We succumbed to central control first and then it was forced on Europe by America as a result of the war.

    I think that America was designed originally as it was because the founders looked at European history and realized that independent states would always be at war. They designed a system that was supposed to allow for a common governmental framework in which these conflicts could be defused without the loss of independence.

    It took less than one hundred yeas to find out that peace among independent states is not possible and that a little control with only the power of man as its basis won’t maintain it. Peace, or at least the fiction of it, can only be maintained through force of a more eternal kind.

    And that’s the real story of history. Who has the power to enforce peace and whether or not they do it with justice or terror. After the fall of Rome Europe became a place where subsidiarity was the rule. City states and small kingdoms all competed for power. Because there were many different actors and power was diffused a chaotic system kept any one group from holding too much power for too long.

    During the Middle Ages the system the American founders wanted actually existed, though to read modern historians one would never know it. The Catholic Church became the great arbiter, a clearing house for grievances large and small which kept most of Europe independent and from each others throat. Most rulers had an allegiance to the Church and the Pope which gave the Church the power to step in when needed and decide the issue at hand before war broke out.

    A perfect system? No. But a better one than the one that came into place after WWI. The American system of top down central control, developed after the Civil War, came into its own During the Roosevelt and Wilson administrations and at the same time as the rise of the other centrally controlled system, Communism. And Europe became the testing and battle ground for global central government.

    In the Middle ages Europe stayed relatively peaceful (at least for Europe) due to the fear of God. The limits imposed by the Church were shattered by the Reformation and the Age of Reason, culminating in the French Revolution and finally the force of government enforced through the fear of man and his arms after WWI. Nations no longer feared God. They looked to themselves for authority and the guys with the biggest guns had the most. So, with the governors off, with nothing apart from national force as the benchmark of truth, we entered into a century of global conflict, a tug of war on a global scale. An unnatural state of never ending warfare on a global and all consuming scale.

    That is the legacy of WWI and all that led to it. A war that has never been decided, a peace that can only be maintained through massive force which requires an expenditure of resources that cannot be maintained over time on a global scale never before attempted. Entropy writ large.

    We’re out of energy to apply to the false system of peace that was put in place at Versailles. The system is collapsing and a new one will rise in its place. We’re about to see why, on the biggest human scale ever, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not just a suggestion – it’s a law.

    Personally, I think that we’ll use the last of our rapidly dwindling energy reserves fighting to damn near global exhaustion this time and then we’ll see the injection of God into history. The power to rebuild has to come from the outside to keep the human system going or it will completely collapse and disappear. God uses nature and He pretty much follows the laws He designed.

    So buckle up. Those that make it to the other side of this will have stories that will need to be passed down through the generations as a warning to those that come after.

  • Repeat after me.
    Germany was to blame.
    WW1- Germany did not start it but Germany wanted it.
    WW2 – Germany started it AND wanted it.

    Germany is the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, Marxism and National Socialism. Germany wanted an empire at the expense of their neighbors for a century and a half.

    Alsace-Lorraine
    Kulturkampf.
    The Partition of Poland.
    Lebensraum.
    Chemical weapons.
    Death camps.
    Oh,and the Zimmerman telegram.

    The Polish independence day is November 11.

  • “One thing is for certain: they will not say that Belgium invaded Germany.”

    Clemenceau’s response when asked how future historians would assess war guilt.

  • Very interesting Tom. Subsidiarity will make it’s come back! for those of us who make it through.

  • “Personally, I think that we’ll use the last of our rapidly dwindling energy reserves fighting to damn near global exhaustion this time and then we’ll see the injection of God into history. The power to rebuild has to come from the outside to keep the human system going or it will completely collapse and disappear. God uses nature and He pretty much follows the laws He designed. So buckle up.”

    Matthew 24:3-27

    Signs of the End of the Age

    3 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”

    9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall awaya and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    The Abomination of Desolation

    15“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

  • Tom Usher

    The fact is that in Europe the Middle Ages (taking it as the millennium between the Sack of Rome and the Fall of Constantinople) was a period of almost incessant warfare, between and within the “city states and small kingdoms.”

    It is no accident that there is one exception to the rule that the services by which a vassal held his feu are always specified in detail in his charter; that exception was military service or ward-holding, simply described as Servitia debita et consueta – Services used and wont. The clearest words were requires to exclude it – “and these for all other burden, exaction, demand or secular service whatsoever which can be any ways exacted for the lands and others foresaid, or any part thereof, in all time coming.” Likewise, the sword was everywhere the badge of a gentleman.

  • Michael I think the fact is that the history of the whole world was almost incessant warfare, between and within the “city states and small kingdoms.”
    /
    Christendom was a gentle -ing of the world and it’s a shame to not recognize the progress that humanity was making during the spread of Christianity– too bad the lights provided by God, not recognized, and tossed in the ebb and flow in regular human sin, are in danger of being extinguished by the dark fervor and will of the anti-Christians. Christianity has been under attack for all these generations and we do not have gentlemen and ladies armed well enough to defend her.
    Leadership needed.

PopeWatch: Apologies-R-Us

Tuesday, July 29, AD 2014

13 Responses to PopeWatch: Apologies-R-Us

  • If we could only combine Pope Francis and President Osama (misspelled on purpose) with apologies for all Catholic actions and all perceived American wrongs, we might truly usher in the Millenial Reign where the lion lays down with the lamb and mankinds’ weapons are turned into farming tools. Of course, liberals would be incredibly upset when they figure out that Jesus is the Messiah rather than Obama. 😉

  • I’m sick and tired of these ridiculous apologies that this Pope and others before him are giving to every group that supposedly suffered ill-treatment at the hands of the Church. Nearly all of these groups were dangerous heretical groups that seeked to undermine the Christian faith over the centuries. A look at any good history, such as Belloc’s “The Great Heresies” should convince any honest person that the “ill-treatment” these folks are whining about was the natural reaction of Christians seeing their faith violated. Instead of apologizing to these sectarians, the Pope should start telling them their heresies will not lead them to heaven, and that any genuine “ill-treatment” that they might receive from Catholics will be repented of, but their ill-treatment of the true faith won’t be thought well of either.

  • “agnostic Mussolini,”

    Atheist actually. He wrote and published a book titled “God Does Not Exist.”

  • He was certainly a stone cold atheist for most of his life. After his fall from power in 1943 he began to talk about God in private conversations and entertained the possibility that He might exist.

  • So glad the Pope is stepping up to take our collective sins upon himself and obtain forgiveness for us all. We’ve never had a point person like that. 😉

  • He’s taking this Promethean task upon himself. He is absorbed with atoning for our collective sins. He can do this without any external help. What term can we apply to this? 😉

  • good one Tamsin 🙂
    .

    I read the Washington Post article and wonder how the reference to racism is explained? “…remember the racial laws through which the Pentecostals were victims under fascism”

  • I’m sorry for not being sorry.

  • Guess I’m just plain not sorry…..(Hey, sorry; what can I say?)

  • More seriously….these stunts lose meaning, (if there ever was any), the more they pop up.
    .
    PS; I’m also not sorry for the slaves I never owned or benefitted from; that the Maryland legislature has apologized for, on my apparent behalf.

  • “During the visit, Francis apologized for the persecution suffered by Pentecostals under Italy’s fascist regime in the 1920s and 1930s and urged Christians to celebrate their diversity and unity.”

    Uhhhh….haven’t Fascist regimes ALWAYS persecuted people of faith who acknowledg pretty much any religion that the Fascist regimes do not strictly control??? Who is going to apologize for the actions of the Fascist regimes?

  • I’m unfamiliar with that historical period in Italy when members of
    the Pentecostal church were persecuted by pre-Vatican II Catholics.
    Were the pre-Vatican II or traditional Catholics beheading Pentecostal
    infidels? Were the traditional Catholics of that period fire bombing
    Pentecostal churches? Were those intolerant pre-Vatican II Catholics
    forcing Pentecostal women to convert to Catholicism by marrying
    traditional Catholic men through threats of death or rape?

    Meanwhile, Christians and Catholics are being annihilated throughout
    the Middle East. Their churches bombed. Their women raped.
    Their families beheaded by followers of a mad heresy called Islam.

    Our Holy Father needs to reevalute his priorities and to end his
    persecution of the pre-Vatican II Church and traditional Catholics.

  • Is it just a coincidence or perhaps has it occurred to other TAC readers that most leaders who do not love their country very much (umm, like Barry O., Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry) oh so very easily apologize for its many “sins”?

    And then we have Pope Bergoglio.. umm..

Digging of The Tunnel at Petersburg

Tuesday, July 29, AD 2014

By far the most unusual event during the siege of Petersburg was the attempt by Grant to take Petersburg by a huge mining operation.

The idea of the tunnel was devised by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pleasants, the 33 year old commanding officer of the 48th Pennsylvania.  Pleasants was a mining engineer in civilian life and many of his men were coal miners.  He became convinced that his men could dig a tunnel under the Confederate fort known as Elliot’s Salient, then fill a mine under the fort sufficient to blow it to kingdom come, along with nearby Confederate trenches.  Pleasants took the idea to his corps commander Major General Ambrose Burnside.  He and his men had received permission, but he received virtually no assistance from the rest of the Army in the digging of the tunnel, he and his men having to improvise everything they used.  Engineering officers told Pleasants that he was crazy and at 511 feet the tunnel would be too long and his men would die of asphyxiation digging the tunnel long before it could be completed.

Petersburg Tunnel

The tunnel was elevated as it advanced toward the Confederate fort to prevent moisture clogging it up.   Fresh air was pumped in by air-exchange mechanism near the entrance. Pleasants had constructed a ventilation shaft located well behind Union lines, and connected it to the mine with canvas. At the shaft’s base, a fire was kept continuously burning. A wooden duct ran the entire length of the tunnel which protruded into the outside air. The fire heated stale air inside of the tunnel, forcing it up the ventilation shaft and out of the mine. The resulting vacuum then sucked fresh air in from the mine entrance via the wooden duct which transported the fresh air to the digging miners. 

The took took a bit over two weeks to dig and the mine fifty feet under the Confederate fort took almost another two weeks to construct.  It was filled with four tons of gunpowder.  The Confederates attempted some desultory countermining operations, but the Union tunnel troops went about their work undiscovered.  By July 28, 1864 the mine was ready to explode whenever the high command gave the word.  That word would be given on July 30, 1864.

Here is a portion of an article on the tunneling operation that led up to the Battle of the Crater, written by Major William H. Powell, United States Army, which appeared in volume 4 of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.

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Is The Left Anti-Semitic?

Tuesday, July 29, AD 2014

The essence of Judaism and the root of the Jewish soul is expediency and self-interest; the God of Israel is Mammon, who expresses himself in the lust for money. Judaism is the embodiment of anti-social attitudes.

Karl Marx

 

 

Much of it, well yes.  Next question?  Brendan O’Neill gives us a bit more detail:

This is a recurring theme in anti-Israel sentiment today: the idea that a powerful, sinister lobby of Israel lovers has warped our otherwise respectable leaders here in the West, basically winning control of Western foreign policy. You see it in cartoons depicting Israeli leaders as the puppet masters of politicians like William Hague and Tony Blair. You can hear it in Alexi Sayle’s much-tweeted claim that the “Western powers” kowtow to Israel because they are “frightened of it… frightened of the power that it wields”. You can see it in the arguments of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their popular book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which holds an apparently super-powerful pro-Israel lobby in the heart of Washington responsible for the Iraq War and all other kinds of disasters. The claim is often made that Israel has corrupted Western officials, commanding them to carry out its dirty work.

Sound familiar? Yes, this has terrible echoes of the old racist idea that Jewish groups controlled Western politics and frequently propelled the world into chaos – an idea that was especially popular in the early to mid-20th-century Europe. Very often, anti-Israel protesters treat Israel not just as a nation at war – like Britain, America or France, which also frequently launch wars that kill huge numbers of civilians – but also as the warper of policy and morality in the West, as a source of poison in global affairs, as the architect of instability across the globe. Indeed, a few years ago a poll of Europeans found that a majority of them view Israel as “the biggest threat to world peace”. So Israel is undoubtedly singled out by Leftists and others, and even more significantly it is singled out in a way that the Jews used to be singled out – that is, as a sinister, self-serving corrupter of nations and causer of chaos.

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10 Responses to Is The Left Anti-Semitic?

  • “…attacks on Jews are a warning sign for Christians that bad times are ahead for them as well…”
    .
    Satan hates Jesus Christ. Satan therefore hates the people who gave us Jesus Christ – the Jews – and the people who comprise the Body of Jesus Christ – Christians. Therefore, it is entirely unsurprising that Satan’s demonic spawn – the liberal progressive Democratic left – hates Jews and Christians.

  • I think that anti-Semitism on the Left in the US is pretty restrained overall, but not so in western Europe.

  • Archbishop Fulton Sheen said: “God makes us human.” The Democratic National Convention forfeited their humanity with the rejection of God, recently.
    .
    Israel is the only really democratic nation, a free nation. in the mid-east. Israel must be crushed before other nations choose to be free and democratic nations too, free of what and of whom?
    .
    In Paul W. Primavera’s words: “Satan’s demonic spawn”
    .
    Atheists love to blame God for the devil. Atheists reject God and embrace the devil. How smart is that?
    .
    Brendan O’Neill has an excellent grasp of the frightening reality of atheism, unchained. The links of the Rosary are very effective, chaining “Satan’s demonic spawn” to the Rock, the Truth of Christ. The Blessed Virgin Mary willed to be in perfect conformity to the will of God, who is our Creator and Father. The “Our Father” casts Satan into hell every time persons acknowledge God, for in his own will, Satan rejects God and his own very existence. How smart is that?

  • Mike Petric: “I think that anti-Semitism on the Left in the US is pretty restrained overall, but not so in western Europe.”
    .
    I believe that anti-Semtism in the U.S., as well as anti-Catholicism is biding its time to enslave the nations. Of the 923 Executive Orders signed by Obama, these are terrifying.
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
    .
    read chain gangs.
    .
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations. read concentration camps.
    .
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.
    .
    Congress cannot review the action of six months? Who is going to reinstate the will of the free people?
    .
    Executive Order 13575 Rural Councils allows the government agents to come onto private farms and confiscate them if the agent does not like the way the farm is being run, or the government may not like the owner of the farm.
    The Fifth Amendment allows eminent domain with just value compensation. Arrogating private property, even public property that belongs to all citizens in joint and common tenancy is unconstitutional. Our constitutional expert in the White House is either stupid or subversive. I believe that latter.
    .
    read the rest at: Vision to America News.

  • Mike Petric: “I think that anti-Semitism on the Left in the US is pretty restrained overall, but not so in western Europe.”

    Seriously?? Not at all.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/07/ten_reasons_i_am_no_longer_a_leftist.html

  • Sorry Mike Petric, I miss read your comment. I thought you said that you thought the left here in America was pretty restrained compared to Europe.

    My comment on that is–it is there bubbling right beneath the surface–give them time.

  • Re: ongoing anti-Semitism/anti-Christianity in Europe (in this case Great Britain)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2659237/More-Brits-signing-fight-jihadist-militants-Iraq-Syria-UK-Army-Reserve.html

    Re: anti-Semitism/anti-Christianity on the American Left–See specifically, # 1, # 6 & # 9 in the list at the following link. WARNING: This post quotes actual leftist hate speech which is not family friendly.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/07/ten_reasons_i_am_no_longer_a_leftist.html

  • Alain Finkielkraut, who is himself Jewish, has written extensively on the New Anti-Semitism. He argues that traditionally anti-Semites were Nationalists: “the French who worship a cult of their identity and who love each other in opposition to Jews.” “Contemporary anti-Semitism,” however, is the domain of the French who “do not love each other, who think in terms of a post-national future, who rid themselves of their Frenchness to better identify with the poor of the Earth, and who, through Israel, group Jews in the camp of the oppressors.” [L’Arche Mars 2002]

    He also points out that “anti-Jewish hatred of today comes not from those nostalgic for Pétain and Vichy but rather the activists of the anti-globalization and anti-racism movements. He explains that European unity is constructed around a series of “never agains” – No more war, nor power, nor empire, nor nationalism. Progressive Europe has disavowed its embarrassing past. This makes it ill at ease with a state, Israel, that clings to its borders just as Europe renounces its own, that nurtures its army just as Europe demilitarizes, and that must combat implacable enemies just as Europe denies such things exist.” [Au Nom de l’Autre: Réfléxions sur l’antisémitisme qui vient (In the Name of the Other: Reflections on the Coming Anti-Semitism)]

    I think he is right.

  • “Progressive Europe has disavowed its embarrassing past.”

    Peoples who forget their past tend to have very bleak, and short, futures.

  • “the French who worship a cult of their identity and who love each other in opposition to Jews.”
    .
    All the culture in the world is not worth one human being.

Hold the Applause

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

 

 

I hate applause in Church and I never join in applause.  Father Z quotes two popes to explain why this is my rule:

 

Joseph Card. Ratzinger – now Benedict XVI – wrote in his Spirit of the Liturgy:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ” (Spirit of the Liturgy p. 198)

I spotted this today at NLM from my friend Greg DiPippo.

His translation of the Italian in the video, below:

The fourth Sunday of Lent, John XXIII was once again among the crowd, at Ostia. (about 15 miles to the south-west of Rome.) Thousands of people were waiting for him along the street, in the piazza, in the church. They wanted to see him, to applaud him. They did not know that afterwards, he would rebuke them, in a good-natured way, in his simple , spontaneous, familiar way of speaking.

“I am very glad to have come here. But if I must express a wish, it is that in church you not shout out, that you not clap your hands, and that you not greet even the Pope, because ‘templum Dei, templum Dei.’ (‘The temple of God is the temple of God.’)

Now, if you are pleased to be in this beautiful church, you must know that the Pope is also pleased to see his children. But as soon as he sees his good children, he certainly does not clap his hands in their faces. And the one who stands before you is the Successor of St. Peter.”

 

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2 Responses to Hold the Applause

  • What a beautiful rendition of a beautiful song! Thank you.

    At our parish we have been asked to clap, after the Mass if over and before the final song and procession out. I don’t like that. Though we are not asked to clap within the time of the Mass, we are still in the Church, many still are praying. And we are in the Church after all!
    People should be quiet and respectful, before and after Mass– Whenever in the Church– not carrying on full voice casual conversations!

  • The good sisters of St. Felix, the Felicians of Lodi, New Jersey taught the school children, of whom I am one, church manners. We learned these good manners and to this day I observe them. How very much we need sisters and nuns to train our children in good behavior.
    .
    “God’s house is God’s house” and Jesus is there. Jesus, the Real Presence must never be removed from His House for the profane use of Christ’s church. It is stealing.

It’s all Israel’s fault, isn’t it?

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

 

Over at the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) the first of a new series of sociopolitical blog posts on issues related to the Middle East begins:

More than 500 people have died in Gaza as of Monday morning. The latest tragedy came with the killing of over 60 Palestinian civilians in a Gaza neighborhood destroyed by Israeli shelling. Add to that 3,000 injured, vital infrastructure and apartment buildings destroyed, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan with nowhere to run from the death raining on them from the skies. On the Israeli side, the death toll stands at 20.

Every innocent death, Israeli or Palestinian, is one too many. All the same, the world has gotten inured to Israeli tactics of massive and disproportionate response to acts of violence. The stubborn, feckless resistance of Hamas gives the Israelis apparent cause for their indiscriminate strikes. Palestinian suffering has become routine. As a result, the international community heaves a collective shrug when they hear about Palestinian deaths. The world is no longer moved to learn of Palestinian affliction.

The blog post continues:

Insidious racism colors perceptions of the conflict and reactions to it. If we had 400 Israeli deaths instead, the world would have been in an uproar, as it should. Giving Palestinian civilians a couple minutes’ warning to evacuate a civilian building where a Hamas member lives or had been a few minutes before when there is nowhere to run is a mere fig leaf disguising ingrained Israeli indifference to Palestinian life.

And, then, it states:

The Arab enemy is necessary to keep the world from looking too closely at Israel’s record of illegitimate acts.

Is there any question about where this particular blog post (or perhaps this series) is headed?

Yes, it’s all about those racist Israelis—the puppets of the Great Satan—and the most vile of them, the Likud Party, before which the world cowers. Due simply to racism, the Israelis will do anything—using brutal force that includes sophisticated weaponry—to smote and eventually drive the Palestinian people into the Mediterranean Sea. Seizing upon the world’s collective guilt in the years following World War II, those racist Israelis commandeered the Palestinian homeland.

Yes, indeed. Those racist Israelis. Absolutely no provocation. Those unjustly besieged Palestinians whose homeland was stolen from under their feet.

Before making a judgment, watch David Prager’s summary of how the conflict came to be what it is today:

Not one word of any of this in the NCR blog post.

Seems the NCR story has it backwards, doesn’t it. Who is really racist? Who has been the provocateur? Who seeks the death of the other?

For a moment, let’s consider one item: The tunnels Hamas has constructed as they are described in an article published by the Journal of Palestinian Studies (JPS).

In 2004, Israel leveled the territory separating Gaza from Egypt to create what was supposed to be a barren corridor. One decade later, the corridor is buzzing with all sorts of activity above and beneath the surface. What happened? The territory’s governing body—the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas—has built and operates a tunnel complex that feeds Gaza’s economy and, through the taxes collected, Hamas’ coffers for its war against Israel.

Pretty good, huh? As one Hamas Gaza leader, Mahmud Zahar, explained, “No electricity, no water, no food came from outside. That’s why we had to build the tunnels.”  The tunnels rapidly turned into what one trader described as “the lungs through which Gaza breathes.”

Sounds like the stuff of ancient mythology: “Out of the ashes, the Phoenix rises.”

Perhaps it is. But not quite the way one might think, that is, if one listens only to the supporters of Hamas.

The tunnels Hamas built to keep taxes flowing into its coffers were constructed by teams consisting of 6 laborers whose members worked in 2, 12-hour shifts to dig 10 to 15 meters/day.

Guess who manned those teams?

According to the JPS article, child laborers who “much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.” While Hamas officials admit that at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, public outrage indicates that more children died while constructing those tunnels.

Nowhere in the NCR blog post is there even a hint that Hamas has engaged in internationally proscribed conduct. For example, Article 3 (d) of International Labour Organization Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182) defines hazardous child labor as “(d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.”

If that’s not good enough, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states:

Child labour, in its intolerable forms, constitutes a kind of violence that is less obvious than others but it is not for this reason any less terrible….The Church’s social doctrine condemns the increase in “the exploitation of children in the workplace in conditions of veritable slavery.”  This exploitation represents a serious violation of human dignity, with which every person, “no matter how small or how seemingly unimportant in utilitarian terms.” (#296)

Exploiting children violates their human dignity no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to Hamas and its larger political goal of eliminating Israel. To fuel achieving that end, Hamas has used the means of depriving Palestinian children of their childhood years by forcing them to labor in a corrupt and dangerous environment.

What a great way to treat God’s children!

This exploitation of children is both unjust and unfair, defying international covenants as well as Church teaching. But, not one word of this either in the NCR blog post.

But, then, should anyone expect “fair and balanced” in NCR’s reportage and blog posts?

 

 

 

To read the International Labour Organization’s definition and examples of child exploitation across the globe, click on the following link:
http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/WorstFormsofChildLabour/Hazardouschildlabour/lang–en/index.htm

To read the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, click on the following link:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html

To read the Journal of Palestinian Studies article, click on the following link:
http://www.palestine-studies.org/journals.aspx?id=11424&jid=1&href=fulltext

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

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9 Responses to It’s all Israel’s fault, isn’t it?

  • “If we had 400 Israeli deaths instead, the world would have been in an uproar, as it should.”

    Not remotely true. The world would barely blink, issue a boilerplate statement of sorrow about the “cycles of violence” and would get back to business.

    God knows NCR would do precisely that. Come on–NCR offers an editorial forum for concerns about Palestinian deaths when it offers no similar commentary about the pogrom in Mosul, nor can it even mention at all the Krystallnacht redux in various pro-Hamas protests. So, yes, unutterable BS.

  • “The world would barely blink, issue a boilerplate statement of sorrow about the “cycles of violence” and would get back to business.”

    Quite right. I am sure that most NCR contributors and readers have precisely the same concern for Israeli lives that they have for the lives taken through abortion. When you are on the left in this country, some lives simply do not count.

  • I am pleased, albeit quite surprised, that the comments on the NCR post are overwhelmingly negative:

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/equality-necessary-lasting-peace-between-israel-palestine

  • It’s only Israel’s fault when American can’t be blamed.
    .
    And America can always be blamed. Especially where Isreal is concerned.

  • Stop firing rockets and digging tunnels.

    Problem solved.

  • Having fallen through the looking glass, our President and Secretary of State demand that Israel do more to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza. Israel already demonstrates incredible care for the ‘civilians’ of this sick terrorist society.
    Far more effective would be for Hamas to do more to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza. All they would need to do is stop committing war crimes.

  • The Left hates Israel
    Islamists hate Israel
    The Nazis hated Israel (or least the Jews)
    The Left murders unborn children
    Islamists use born children as suicide bombers
    The Nazis experimented on children, born and unborn
    Really, what operative difference is there between these groups? They are all evil.

  • NCR cares nothing about the Chaldeans? Whodathunkit?

  • I was curious about who in the world wrote this very shallow piece so I looked up the authors of the blog post:
    Jesuit Fr. Drew Christiansen is former editor of America magazine and a professor of ethics at Georgetown University.
    Ra’fat Aldajani is a Palestinian-American writer and commentator. Can you believe that? It took two people to write this very weak minded blog post!
    They titled their joint work “Equality is necessary for lasting peace between Israel, Palestine.” What? Equality in what? Lame.
    Like the talk about disproportionate response from Israel. That’s crazy– they want a proportionate response? How porportionate is our goal is all of you wiped off the face of the earth. Lame, Lame, Lame.

The Past: Through A Contemporary Glass Darkly

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

 

When I was down in Springfield last week, go here to read about my family’s annual pilgrimage to the Lincoln sites this year, I purchased several books at The Prairie Archives.  That bookstore is a treasure trove for those interested in the Civil War and/or Lincoln.  Two of the books were written by James G. Randall, the first volume of his four volume study of Lincoln as President and his Constitutional Problems under Lincoln.  Randall, who died in 1953, was a history professor at my alma mater, the University of Illinois, for three decades.  The foremost Lincoln scholar of his day, his body of work on Lincoln demonstrates how historians are influenced by the contemporary history they live through, and how the march of history after they are dead can make their interpretations obsolete, at least until history shifts again.

The formative event in Randall’s life was World War I.  He viewed the immense carnage as a huge waste, a war fought over issues that were unimportant compared to the huge loss of life involved.  World War II confirmed his belief in the futility of war, as he interpreted that conflict as being brought on by fanatics, this time Fascists, who caused millions of deaths in a completely unnecessary conflict.

In regard to the Civil War, Randall saw it too as an unneccessary conflict brought on by fanatics, fire eating secessionists in the South and, especially, abolitionists in the North.  Randall viewed the abolitionists as earning most of the blame for bringing on the War, turning political differences over slavery to be settled by compromise, into a crusade that could only be resolved by rivers of blood.

Randall summed up his argument in a paper entitled The Blundering Generation delivered to the Mississippi Valley Historical Society on May 2, 1940 at a conference in Omaha, Nebraska.  Randall’s thesis was that the War largely came about over a controversy over slavery that was merely a phantom.  There was never a question that the Western territories were going to be free territories due to the greater numbers heading for the West from the North, and the unwillingness of slave holders in the South to risk their slaves in the West on land not suitable for large scale plantation crops such as cotton and where they would be without the legal protections afforded by slave states to slaves as a species of property.

Randall’s argument found considerable support during his lifetime, but now is rarely presented as a viewpoint held by contemporary historians.  Why?

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15 Responses to The Past: Through A Contemporary Glass Darkly

  • Both abolitionists and secessionists lacked the key insight into how the political struggle is a spectacle which, in order to be deciphered, has to be referred to the sphere of economics.
    Then all the arguments over slavery and the Tariff fall into place as a conflict between the landed interest on the one hand and the money interest (commercial/industrial) on the other.

    That, by the by, is why many of the abolitionists were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not willing to work to end discrimination in the North. This aligned perfectly, although, perhaps, unconsciously, with their economic interests and they rationalised their position accordingly.

  • “That, by the by, is why many of the abolitionists were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not willing to work to end discrimination in the North.”

    Actually most abolitionists were willing to work against discrimination in the North, there simply was never that many of them to do anything about it. As for the economic argument as an explanation of the Civil War, that is often made but it is hogwash. Tariffs were quite low in 1860 and large parts of the South, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky for example, were developing economically so that slavery was becoming relatively unimportant. If the War had been all about whether Scarlet could continue to sip mint juleps on the verandah at Tara, there would have been no secession and no War. Why slavery was the cause of the War, is because most white southerners feared what would happen after slavery was abolished with a huge number of black freedmen in the South. If it had been possible to both abolish slavery and then have the blacks magically transported to another land, I think slavery would have been abolished throughout the South within a few years. That is why the idea of colonizing free blacks in Africa enjoyed so much popularity in the decades leading up to the War long after it should have been clearly understood that the costs were prohibitive and that in any case few blacks wanted to go back to Africa.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “That, by the by, is why many of the abolitionists were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not willing to work to end discrimination in the North.”
    .
    Two notations are missing in your appraisal of the situation, the first being the Industrial Revolution. The North did not need slaves. The North had machines.
    .
    The second and most important of all is that the abolitionists recognized and acknowledged that the slaves were men, only of a different color of skin. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal…”. In Dred Scott, the Supreme Court ruled that the slave, Dred Scott, was only two-third a sovereign person, which is plain stupid because “our Creator” endows sovereign personhood, not the Supreme Court. A Court who does not acknowledge whom God has created is not a court at all, but a bastion of hell.
    .
    The abolitionists of the North held that the slave was a man, created by God and they were in truth equal. Those individuals of the North who secretly or ignorantly held with the Court in Dred Scott were those who practiced discrimination…and condemned themselves in the process.
    .
    Thomas Aquinas defined the human person as “an individual substance of a rational nature.” The slaves was rational enough to recognize the freedom he was denied. The slave holder was rational enough to cobble, chain, beat and humiliate the slave. No beast of burden need apply.
    .
    Now, with Roe v. Wade we simply kill the unborn… and we sell his body parts for experimentation, food flavoring, DNA, medicine and cosmetics…read the labels everybody…they are those human beings of a rational nature who are not frozen for later consumption.

  • “If it had been possible to both abolish slavery and then have the blacks magically transported to another land, I think slavery would have been abolished throughout the South within a few years. That is why the idea of colonizing free blacks in Africa enjoyed so much popularity in the decades leading up to the War long after it should have been clearly understood that the costs were prohibitive and that in any case few blacks wanted to go back to Africa.”
    .
    Of course. It was the African slave trader who captured his neighbor and sold him for money to the white men in Britain, America and througout the Carribean. Judging by the position and power Obama’s father held, it is estimated that Obama’s father was a slave trader. Unsubstantiated.

  • Donald R McCleary wrote, “Tariffs were quite low in 1860”
    Yes they were; the Act of 1846 avoided sudden changes, but the trend was clear – free-trade, low duties, and economy in public expenditure. The Morrill Tariff Bill was set to reverse that.
    My point was that both slavery and the tariff were mere symptoms of the objective class conflict between the landed and the commercial interests in the country; the same conflict represented by Tories an Liberals in Britain and Légitimistes and Orléanistes in France.
    As for fears over the effects of emancipation, they already had before them the wholly peaacable results of abolition in Britain’s Caribbean colonies between 1834-1838 and in the French islands in 1848.

  • On a personal note, one of my maternal ancestors was an African slave. Col Jonathan Gale of Fullerswood, Parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica (b. 10.03.1675/76, d 21.04.1727) on 18.05.1699, at Parish of Vere married Eleanor, a Slave (d 1725), who bore him 11 children
    Her 11th & youngest child – Francis Gale of Liguania, Jamaica married Susannah Hall of Hyde Hall, Trelawney (sole heiress of Hall’s Delight, the only silver mine in Jamaica)
    Her granddaughter – Susannah Hyde Gale (b 03.05.1749, d 20.04.1823) (m 20.05.1769) married Alan Hyde Gardner, 1st Lord Gardner (1806) (b 12.04.1742, d 01.01.1809) Admiral of the Blue
    A remarkable example of upward social mobility!
    Miss Susannah Gale had her portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds
    http://tinyurl.com/lyfojqx
    It now hangs in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.
    My mother was a lineal descendant of a younger son of Susannah’s
    By a delightful quirk of colonial history, one of Eleanor’s descendants married the Earl of Onslow, who became Governor General of New Zealand 1889-1892 and their daughter married Lord Halifax and became Vicereine of India (1925-1931) I like to think Eleanor would have been amused.

  • “The Morrill Tariff Bill was set to reverse that.”

    Which would never have passed Congress but for Southerners leaving their seats in the Senate after secession. The South knew it had nothing to fear in regard to tariffs which is why although there was endless talk about slavery during the secession winter of 1860-61 there was virtually no talk about tariffs.

    “My point was that both slavery and the tariff were mere symptoms of the objective class conflict between the landed and the commercial interests in the country;”

    And you would be incorrect on that. Many wise Southerners lamented prior to the Civil War the negative impact of slavery on their economies as a whole. Slavery would not have resulted in war if only economic issues had been involved. The economic issues were manageable within the political frame work of the time, as the give and take on the tariff indicated. It was the race issue which caused the Civil War, with slavery being the prime symbol of that.

    “As for fears over the effects of emancipation, they already had before them the wholly peaacable results of abolition in Britain’s Caribbean colonies between 1834-1838 and in the French islands in 1848.”

    Yep, and Southerners would no doubt have said that they would have had no problem with emancipation either if they too had been talking about emancipating slaves in far away colonies that no one cared about. I rather doubt that emancipation would have passed without bloodshed if large sections of England and France had slave populations approaching fifty percent.

  • Michael and Donald – I remember reading something about this before. I’ve never heard it argued that the early/mid 20th century anti-war sentiment affected historians’ perspective. That’s really interesting. I have heard it argued that the mid/later 20th century saw a lot of Marxist influence among historians. I’m not accusing you of error, Michael, but I don’t think you’d find such a focus on class interests in more current analysis.

  • I do not agree that the American Civil War was fought to free slaves out of any sense of an enlightened appreciation for the innate dignity of the African slave.
    .
    I would agree, though, that freeing the slaves was an effective strategy by Pres. Lincoln, on behalf of northern industrialist interests, to undermine a southern agrarian landed aristocracy dependent on a free labor force to plant and pick cotton (etc.) which was the raw material they exported, for profit, to industrialists in England.
    .
    In turn, the U.S imported from England finished products which competed with the products of industrial northern states.
    .
    By freeing the slaves, President Lincoln effectively introduced a significant cost factor (paid labor) to an agrarian raw material (cotton) which then undermined the southern plantation owners ability to cheaply export that raw product to England. The cost of labor passed on to to the English industrialists necessarily raised the cost of the finished import which was then forced to compete with northern state products.
    .
    At or about the time of the Civil War (early to mid 1860s), waves of German and famine Irish immigrants were continuing to pour into the northern states thus making industrial labor in the northern states very cheap.
    .
    Irish immigrants were viewed as beasts by the Know Nothing protestant establishment in places like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Witness the drawing in 1871 (just after the Civil War) by Thomas Nast in “Vanity Fair” entitled “Bravo, Bravo” featuring Columbia grasping the throat of an Irishman whose contorted features, missing teeth, and “tail” was that of a brutish animal.
    .
    http://thomasnastcartoons.com/irish-catholic-cartoons/something-that-will-not-blow-over-29-july-1971/bravo-bravo-thomas-nast-cover-24-july-1871/
    .
    The Vanity Fair image of the downtrodden Irish immigrant (or African slave as the case may be) was an accurate reflection of the American “Know Nothing” northern establishment mindset. Is one to conclude that this group had previously (during the Civil War) developed a conscience regarding the integrity and dignity of African slaves or the German or Irish immigrants? Not likely.
    .
    Freeing the slaves disrupted southern society, increased the costs of cotton, diminished or eliminated the profits of the southern landed aristocracy export business, and made the cost of finished imported English products expensive. Since English finished products competed with the industrialized northern state products, freeing the slaves made good business sense to northern industrialists.
    .
    I would submit that the northern industrialists and the southern plantation owners were aligned with Thomas Nash in their collective disdain and conclusion that slaves and immigrants were little more than brutes.
    .
    I will defer to Lincoln’s personal integrity that he may have freed the slaves for more noble reasons than his industrialist constituents.
    .
    I agree with MPS’ pragmatic approach.

  • “I do not agree that the American Civil War was fought to free slaves out of any sense of an enlightened appreciation for the innate dignity of the African slave.”

    It was fought by the Confederacy to preserve slavery. We know this from the mouths of the leaders of the Confederacy who were quite clear on this point at the beginning of the War. The North fought to preserve the Union and Lincoln, in order to accomplish this, was able to destroy slavery that he had always hated
    .
    “I would agree, though, that freeing the slaves was an effective strategy by Pres. Lincoln, on behalf of northern industrialist interests, to undermine a southern agrarian landed aristocracy dependent on a free labor force to plant and pick cotton (etc.) which was the raw material they exported, for profit, to industrialists in England.”

    Northern industrial interests had nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, slavery served Northern industrial interests by providing huge supplies of cotton for Northern mills.
    .
    “In turn, the U.S imported from England finished products which competed with the products of industrial northern states.”

    There was little direct competition, since plantation owners bought goods where they could get them the cheapest, and in regard to most manufactured goods the North was cheaper.
    .
    “By freeing the slaves, President Lincoln effectively introduced a significant cost factor (paid labor) to an agrarian raw material (cotton) which then undermined the southern plantation owners ability to cheaply export that raw product to England. The cost of labor passed on to to the English industrialists necessarily raised the cost of the finished import which was then forced to compete with northern state products.”

    None of that is true. Southern plantation owners in most areas of the South kept all their slaves throughout most of the War. What stopped trade with England was the Union blockade, and, initially, the decision of the Confederate government to withhold cotton from Europe in 1861 in an attempt to force European intervention on behalf of the Confederacy. The cotton embargo was one of the more futile efforts undertaken by the Confederacy.
    .
    “At or about the time of the Civil War (early to mid 1860s), waves of German and famine Irish immigrants were continuing to pour into the northern states thus making industrial labor in the northern states very cheap.”

    Immigration declined slightly during the War and industrial wages increased.


    .
    “Irish immigrants were viewed as beasts by the Know Nothing protestant establishment in places like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Witness the drawing in 1871 (just after the Civil War) by Thomas Nast in “Vanity Fair” entitled “Bravo, Bravo” featuring Columbia grasping the throat of an Irishman whose contorted features, missing teeth, and “tail” was that of a brutish animal.”

    http://thomasnastcartoons.com/irish-catholic-cartoons/something-that-will-not-blow-over-29-july-1971/bravo-bravo-thomas-nast-cover-24-july-1871/

    Know-nothingism was finished as a political movement by the time of the Civil War. The courage of Catholic troops, and the valor of priests and sisters in tending the wounded, eliminated quite a bit of anti-Catholicism North and South. Thomas Nast, an anti-Catholic bigot, was a German immigrant and a fallen away Catholic.

    .
    “The Vanity Fair image of the downtrodden Irish immigrant (or African slave as the case may be) was an accurate reflection of the American “Know Nothing” northern establishment mindset. Is one to conclude that this group had previously (during the Civil War) developed a conscience regarding the integrity and dignity of African slaves or the German or Irish immigrants? Not likely.”

    Completely mistaken. You really do need to read more of the history of the period. Bigotry still existed after the War but conditions improved for the Irish during the War. The Germans were already a power in the land as signified by the number of German and German-American generals that served in the Union army during the War. Blacks would face terrible discrimination North and South, but slavery, which the Confederacy fought to preserve, was as dead as John C. Calhoun and that was a giant step forward not only for blacks but for all Americans.

    .

    “Freeing the slaves disrupted southern society, increased the costs of cotton, diminished or eliminated the profits of the southern landed aristocracy export business, and made the cost of finished imported English products expensive. Since English finished products competed with the industrialized northern state products, freeing the slaves made good business sense to northern industrialists.”

    Not really. The South was set back on its heels for a generation and Northern plants lost their main customers as a result. The industrialists would have fared better if the large plantation owners had kept their slaves.

    .
    “I would submit that the northern industrialists and the southern plantation owners were aligned with Thomas Nash in their collective disdain and conclusion that slaves and immigrants were little more than brutes.”

    Amazing how those northern industrialists that you demonize had to pay their free labor rising wages throughout the War and never attempted to enslave their workers. Prior to the Civil War in the South there were already attempts to introduce slaves into factories which I suspect would have given “a new birth” of slavery but for the Civil War.

    .
    “I will defer to Lincoln’s personal integrity that he may have freed the slaves for more noble reasons than his industrialist constituents.”

    Lincoln’s writings and speeches are filled with his condemnations of slavery, usually given in a state, Illinois, where a white abolitionist was murdered by a mob. As Lincoln noted, if slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.
    .

  • The South was led by men who profited from slavery. They seceded, set up a government, established a navy and an army and waged war to preserve slavery.

    Short of compromise, which wasn’t likely, war was inevitable. Grant and Sherman made sure the South would not think of waging war again for generations.

    Patton pointed out that the next war is a continuation of the previous one. Let’s face it. The German and Russian empires were bullies. They partitioned Poland. Russia ruled the Baltic people. Germany took Alsace-Lorraine. Ludendorff helped Lenin overthrow the Russian government.

    The current view held by some Trads is lamentation of the defeat of the Habsburgs. It doesn’t bother them that Poland was wiped off the map – part of their grudge against John Paul II excommunicating Williamson and kissing a Koran. Not me. The age of empire had passed. Germany never got the message.

  • It is commonly assumed that slave labour is cheaper than free labour, but that is not, necessarily, true.

    The slave-owner does not have to pay wages, but he does have to meet the costs of the slave’s subsistence, along with the depreciation of a terminable, hazardous and wasting asset.
    In a free market, the cost of any commodity tends to equal its costs of production and, in the case of labour, that cost is the labourer’s subsistence.

    Moreover, the productivity of free labour, incentivised by piece-rates and fear of the sack tends to be higher and free labour can be hired, when needed, and put on short-time or laid-off when it is not.

    In the West Indies, the costs of sugar production did not rise after emancipation; they actually fell.

  • .
    “‘I will defer to Lincoln’s personal integrity that he may have freed the slaves for more noble reasons than his industrialist constituents.’
    Lincoln’s writings and speeches are filled with his condemnations of slavery, usually given in a state, Illinois, where a white abolitionist was murdered by a mob. As Lincoln noted, if slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.”

    Lincoln’s primary focus was the saving of the Union. “Many historians have called this old conventional wisdom into question, arguing that Lincoln was not really motivated by commitment to end slavery. The proof, they claim, is his famous letter to Horace Greeley in which he wrote that ‘my paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery, If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.'”

    http://ashbrook.org/publications/oped-owens-04-guelzo/

  • Of course when Lincoln wrote to Greeley he already had drafted the Emancipation Proclamation and was merely awaiting a Union victory to announce it. Lincoln, ever the shrewd trial attorney, was already preparing his chief defense of the Proclamation, that is was undertaken solely as a war measure. If it were not undertaken as a war measure, he had no power to liberate the slaves.

  • Relative statements from Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural address:

      “On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”
      “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”

    http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres32.html

    There is ample evidence in my mind that Abraham Lincoln feared that God’s purpose in allowing the Civil War was to end the evil of slavery.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/News/2003/02/The-Almighty-Has-His-Own-Purposes.aspx?p=1

Calling Flannery O’Connor

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

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“I’m a member and preacher to that church where the blind don’t see and the lame don’t walk and what’s dead stays that way.”

Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

I have always been vastly amused by atheists who seek to ape Christian services.  These throw the substance out and keep the often banal trappings.  If I were an atheist I would sleep in on Sunday mornings, or work, or do something fun.  However, some atheists believe, if I may use that term, otherwise:

“The Sunday Assembly model is more like an Evangelical Christian church but without God. Music and clapping, active participation, short talks, humour and pop music.”

The service or the “show” (no-one is quite sure what to call it) fairly fizzes along, although there is a long moment’s silence, at which the congregation is invited to “turn down their inner volume knob” and, in a little dig at the idea that only God can bring meaning, “be grateful to this impersonal universe that you have a place, and people in it that love you”.

But mostly the emphasis is upbeat and life-affirming. At one point members of the congregation are literally dancing in the aisles as the band plays a cover of Jesus Jones’s Right Here, Right Now before speakers step up to “share” on a range of topics around the theme of “balance”.

One member talks about coping with depression; then a life-coach talks about the importance of self-knowledge that isn’t narcissism while a third – it being Mother’s Day – talks movingly about his mother’s battle with an abusive husband and his decision to respect, rather than to mock, her Christian faith.

It all ends with a quotation from Albert Einstein – “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – before coffee and doughnuts are served, followed by lunch at a local Southern Barbecue restaurant.

Soon the hall is filled with running children, suddenly released from the discipline of having to sit through the service, a joyous cacophony which also points to one unavoidable similarity between going to Sunday Assembly and going to church.

“The kids still moan about it,” admits Craig Mueller, a lapsed Catholic who has four children under 10 and comes to the service because he enjoys the sense of community. “I tell my nine-year-old son, it’s time to go to Sunday Assembly and he’s like ‘Argh, no, boring!’”

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7 Responses to Calling Flannery O’Connor

  • In Britain, Ethical Societies were very much in vogue in the 19th century and lingered on into the 20th.
    In his Autobiography, G K Chesterton paints a delightful portrait of one of them.
    “On one occasion I had been lecturing to an Ethical Society, when I happened to see on the wall a portrait of Priestley, the great Unitarian of a hundred years ago. I remarked that it was a very fine engraving; and one of the faithful, to whom I was speaking, replied that it had probably been hung there because the place was quite recently a Unitarian chapel; I think he said only a few years before. I was considerably intrigued, knowing that the old Unitarians were as dogmatic as Moslems on the one point of the One God, and that the ethical group were as undogmatic as any agnostics upon that particular dogma.” That is very interesting,” I said. “May I ask whether the whole of your society abandoned Theism all at once and in a body?”
    “Well, no,” he replied rather hazily, “I don’t fancy it was exactly like that. I rather think the fact was that our leaders wanted very much to have Dr. Stanton Coit as a preacher, and he wouldn’t come unless the thing was simply an Ethical Society.” … By this theory, God Almighty had been dropped out of the whole business, as a concession to Dr. Stanton Coit. “

    The Priestley of the story is, of course, the Yorkshire-born Joseph Priestley FRS, latterly of Northumberland, Penn, who first isolated Oxygen.
    Coit, a leader of the Ethical Movement, born in Ohio, settled in England. Intriguingly, his Ethical Church building in Bayswater, West London, a former Methodist chapel, was acquired in 1953 by the Archdiocese of Westminster and is now a Catholic church.

  • Before I read your closing paragraph, I was just going to say they could have saved themselves the trouble and just headed on down to the nearest Unitarian Universalist assembly.

    At my mother-in-law’s funeral at her UU “church” this past December, we were treated to a bunch of flowery poetry and “good vibes” and even multicultural references to other religious traditions. The only mention of God came when my wife got up to speak, and she mentioned the entire Trinity and the Blessed Mother for good measure.

    After the memorial service, my wife received many compliments on her remarks, including from one long-time UU congregant who said “It’s about time someone mentioned God in this church.”

  • I do like O’Connor’s remark about Holy Communion to a Baptist (or some such) friend, “well if He’s not in it, then to hell with it.” (or something like that)

  • “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” To keep your balance you must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” (Caesar belongs to God)
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    “…and people in it that love you.” I cannot belong to any community who dares to refer to me as a thing, a “that”, a non-person, a soulless beast of burden to the state and community…the underpinnings of slavery.

  • Some people will not accept the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the Virgin Birth. Therefore, they cannot accept that Christ is true man and true God. The “God” referred to is God the Father, not the triune God and the Trinity, but God much like Allah.

  • Hilarious!
    But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And to lecture rooms is forced,
    Where his aunts, who are not married,
    Demand to be divorced.

    And in more modern parlance, these unmarried aunts demand every form of contraceptive be made available to them without co-pays.

  • I think what Chesterton is referring to is that these people demand to speak for us, all persons.
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    Every teacher in every school who denies our immortal, metaphysical human soul, using the intellect of his immortal, metaphysical human soul is a fake, a hypocrite and a liar.

PopeWatch: Ecumenicalism

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Pope Francis has spent quite a bit of effort and energy in an outreach to evangelicals.  To what purpose this is being done is confusing to PopeWatch since the Pope has disclaimed any interest in converting these groups to Catholicism.  Italian evangelicalss have indicated in a recent statement that if the Pope believes he is accomplishing anything by this outreach for Catholicism, he may wish to reassess that belief:

 

ITALIAN EVANGELICALS ON CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICISM

 

Following a round table promoted by the Italian Evangelical Alliance, the Federation of Pentecostal Churches, the Assemblies of God in Italy, the Apostolic Church and the Pentecostal Congregations held in Aversa on July 19, 2014, at the Pentecostal Faculty of Religious Sciences, on the theme: “Contemporary Catholicism: an evangelical perspective” the above cited organizations, following the evangelical opening on the part of evangelical circles and international and national Pentecostals, with regard to the Catholic Church and her present Pontiff, without expressing judgment on the faith of the individual faithful, remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that proclaims herself  to be the mediatrix of salvation and presents other figures as mediators of grace, given that the grace of God comes only through faith in Christ Jesus without works (Ephesians 2:8) and without the intervention of other mediators (1 Timothy 2:5).

Moreover, they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that assumes the responsibility of adding dogmas (like the Marian ones) to the faith once and forever transmitted to the saints (Jude 3; Apocalypse 22:18).

Finally they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that has its heart in a political state, a legacy of an “imperial” Church from which it assumed titles and prerogatives. Christian churches must be careful about imitating the “princes of nations” and follow the example of Jesus Who came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:42 – 45).

Therefore, they maintain that the apparent similarities with the evangelical faith and spirituality from sectors in Catholicism are not, in themselves, reasons to hope for a true change. Considering that irreconcilable and absolutely divergent theological and ethical differences still persist, they maintain they are unable to start and follow-up any initiative or ecumenical opening with regard to the Roman Catholic Church, inviting all evangelicals at the national and international level to exercise sound biblical discernment (1 John 4:1) without giving way to unionist anxieties contrary to Scripture, but rather renewing the commitment to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.

Aversa (Caserta), July 19, 2014

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Ecumenicalism

  • The statement by Italian Evangelicals on Catholicism is insulting. In quoting 1st John 4:1, they have called the Pope and Bishops false prophets:
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    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”
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    In quoting Apocalypse 22:18, they have declared the Church worthy of receiving a plague:
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    “For I testify together with everyone hearing the Words of the prophecy of this Book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add upon him the plagues having been written in this Book.”
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    They cherry-pick what parts of Scripture appeal to their rebellion against the Body of Christ, and they ignore the other parts that are inconvenient to their man-made theology.
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    They deny that it is the Church which is the Pillar and foundation of truth – 1st Timothy 3:15
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    “But if I delay, that you may know how to behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
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    They ignore the 2000 years of Sacred Tradition; if they only read what the successors of the Apostles – St Ignatius of Antioch, St Polycarp and others – wrote, then they would realize that the Church was Catholic from the very beginning – 2nd Thessalonians 2:15
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    “So, then, brothers, stand firm and strongly hold the traditions you were taught, whether by word or by our letter.”
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    They deny that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior – John 6:53-56
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    “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
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    The deny the power of forgiveness that Jesus gave St Peter, the remaining Apostles and their successors, the Pope, Bishops and Priests of the Church – Matthew 16:19
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    “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatever you bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven. And whatever you may loose on the earth shall be, having been loosed in Heaven.”
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    And they clearly ignore the very Marian part of Scripture in Revelation 11:19-12:2
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    “And the temple of God in Heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple, and lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and a great hail occurred. And a great sign was seen in the heavens, a woman having been clothed with the sun, and the moon was underneath her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and having a babe in womb. She cries, being in labor, and having been distressed to bear.”
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    The Pope should be shown this statement from the Evangelicals so that he can understand that no amount of ingratiation will every convince them away from their anti-Catholic prejudice (but he stated that he doesn’t want to do this!), and the right thing to do is to rebuke their leaders for heresy, and evangelize their adherents away from such falsehood.

  • Finally they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that has its heart in a political state, a legacy of an “imperial” Church from which it assumed titles and prerogatives.

    I found this point to be the most interesting, in light of the very public witness by politicians like Nancy Pelosi (in this country) as to how bigger government is better able to carry out Christ’s mission on earth.

  • Speaking as a former Protestant who once thought that the Catholic Church believed all kinds of crazy things that it does not actually teach–only God could have brought me to a point where I was willing & able to listen to actual faith & practice in the Catholic Church. God will have to open their eyes as well. The Assemblies of God and Penecostals are some of the very groups that are the worst at going overboard to make sure that nothing taking place in their church can be considered political–when the Bible is filled with examples of God’s people being involved in the political realm and speaking on political subjects of their day.