Democrats and the Race Card

Tuesday, September 30, AD 2014


Civil Rights

We condemn bigots who inject class, racial and religious prejudice into public and political matters. Bigotry is un-American and a danger to the Republic.

We deplore the duplicity and insincerity of the Party in power in racial and religious matters. Although they have been in office as a Majority Party for many years, they have not kept nor do they intend to keep their promises.

The Republican Party will not mislead, exploit or attempt to confuse minority groups for political purposes. All American citizens are entitled to full, impartial enforcement of Federal laws relating to their civil rights.

We believe that it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, and this power, reserved to the states, is essential to the maintenance of our Federal Republic. However, we believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin.

We will prove our good faith by:

Appointing qualified persons, without distinction of race, religion or national origin, to responsible positions in the Government.

Federal action toward the elimination of lynching.

Federal action toward the elimination of poll taxes as a prerequisite to voting.

Appropriate action to end segregation in the District of Columbia.

Enacting Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices. Federal action should not duplicate state efforts to end such practices; should not set up another huge bureaucracy.

Republican Party Platform on Civil Rights, 1952, when Eisenhower cracked the Solid South





One political party for over a century and a half has routinely used appeals based on race to win elections.  The other party, throughout its history, has stood for civil rights for all Americans and denied that government policy should be based on racial discrimination.  The first party is the Democrat Party and the second party is the Republican party.  To get around this simple fact of American political history, some Democrats, especially in election years when the polls are against them, routinely attempt to portray Republicans as racists, in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of the truth.  The latest hilarious example of this mendacious and bold faced attempt to rewrite history is on display at Politico in an article entitled Race and the Modern GOP.  This recycles the claim of an evil Republican strategy to appeal to white racists in the South who switched en masse to become Republicans.

The problem with this is that it is a liberal fable. It didn’t happen that way. The first breach in the solid South was by Eisenhower who ran on a platform of vigorous support for Civil Rights for blacks. Segregationists retained complete control of the Democrat parties in the South and enjoyed electoral success throughout the period in question. The South changing to Republican had to do with the rise of the cultural issues, an influx of northern Republicans following wide spread use of air conditioning and the rapid economic development of the South, and the anti-military hysteria and isolationism that seized control of the Democrats in the wake of Vietnam.

My co-blogger Paul Zummo had an excellent post on this subject :

Along these same lines, Trende postulates that if any real realignment occurred, it took place during the Eisenhower administration. The Eisenhower coalition, as he puts it, pushed the GOP to decisive victories in seven of nine presidential elections. Moreover, the solid Democratic south began shifting towards the Republican party at this point. In fact the south’s gradual shift towards the GOP had begun as early as the 1920s, but the Depression halted Republican advances here. Once the New Deal had ramped up, the Republicans again began making inroads. Republicans began being truly competitive in presidential elections during the 1950s, then started making inroads in Congressional races in the 1970s and 80s, and are finally now the dominant party on the local level.

Trende’s thesis effectively destroys the notion that Republicans only began being competitive in the south once Nixon deployed the “southern strategy” to woo racist southerners after the Civil Rights Act. As already mentioned, the GOP vote share in the south had been incrementally creeping up in the 1930s, with GOP vote shares moving out of the 15-20% range and inching up towards parity slowly and surely. In fact the GOP vote share in the south did not noticeably increase during  the 1960s, but instead crept up in the same incremental 1-2% annual range. Where Republicans really started making dents were with younger southern voters, as older southerners continued to cling to the Democratic party even though the national party’s values no longer matched their own. Considering that younger voters tended to have much more liberal racial views, the transformation of the south into a Republican stronghold has to be explained by something other than racial matters.

Even though Trende doesn’t come right out and say this, if anything the changing electoral map can just as easily be explained by the Democrats pursuing a northern strategy. As the Democrats began appealing to elite northern voters by pushing a more liberal agenda, this drove southerners and midwesterners away from the party. This trend would continue until Bill Clinton pursued a much different strategy, crafting his agenda to appeal to suburbanites and middle income whites. Clinton and the New Democrats were able to rip into Republican strongholds by advancing a more moderate platform. The end of the Cold War, as well as the rise of the Evangelical right, fractured the Eisenhower coalition, allowing the Democrats to win presidential elections.

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13 Responses to Democrats and the Race Card

  • I do believe it was Lyndon Baines Johnson who said, “I’ll have these niggers voting Democratic for 200 years.”

  • Rahm Emanuel Eric Holder and Badrock Obama have shown Americans what the “Chicago Way” is all about. They are the biggest meanest racist that have ever entered into politics.

    Lyndon was a prophet.

  • The differences in the parties is becoming less over time. Both spend beyond their means and refuse to protect life. A third party is not the answer either. For now, it is a game to see how long the American people will remain duped. Meanwhile, our sons and daughters will have less opportunity except for military service. Some who choose this path will be sent to a strange land in the middle east and may never return. The machine grinds on focused on taxes and soldiers. This was the state of Rome before the fall.

  • “and refuse to protect life”

    Untrue. But for the Democrat party legal abortion in this country would be a thing of the past.
    As for Rome, the Republic fought far greater wars than the Empire and imposed far heavier burdens on the Roman cititzens due to the wars, both in taxes and military service. In the later Empire the military forces were numerically less, but they were staffed by barbarian mercenaries, expensive and unreliable, the citizens of Rome long having lost their taste for military service. When people forget how to fight, or lose their willingness to do so to protect their countries, then they are headed for foreign conquest.

  • Don, if you are waiting for republicans to reverse abortion on demand, good luck. The neo-conservative movement in the party has other priorities. Lip service is all that is given to the protection of life. Many voters have been hoping in vain for decades now. Reagan even promised change and swung a block of catholic voters over. The promises were evidently empty. Hoodwinked again!

  • Rubbish Rick. I assume you are bone ignorant of the hundreds of pro-life laws passed by state legislatures since the Republicans took control of them in 2010.

    It is the Democrats who view abortion as a sacrament and who fight tooth and nail for it. Next time you comment here, actually research a subject before you bother typing worthless tripe in the comboxes.

  • Pacem, Don and Rick,
    The battleground of the US abortion horror is the federal judiciary. It must be filled with pro-life appointees. Enter peace and justice dem caths (democrat first, catholic somewhere down the deceit chart). As long as US Senate Dems have sufficient votes (What 34 or ?), they have blocked each and every GOP pro-ilfe (extremist!, women’s health!) judiciary appointment. And, when (far too long) the murderous dems controlled the WH and senate, they filled the courts with baby-murderers.
    You twice elected a man as president who had no experience at anything. Here are Obama’s methods: Claim ignorance. Blame subordinates. You are a racist!

    Your half-baked ( you tip your hand with buzz words like “neo-con”) contentions are no more logical than the race card. It appears as if you are one of those that believes: throw against the “wall” a suffiecient number of clots of spucatum tauri and some of it will stick.
    Bless your heart. and thanks for helping to wreck America!

  • Pacem indeed!

    When Newt had control of the House of Representatives, he had a chance to promote pro-life causes. These causes took a back seat to other priorities, specifically those of the neoconservative movement.
    Reagan promised catholic voters action on the abortion issue. This evaporated after he was elected. Look at who he appointed to the supreme court if you need more proof of the points I am making. I am happy to supply you with sound research on the topic.
    I admire your zeal for the pro-life cause but you need to see the truth of the matter before real progress can be made. Both parties care a whit about this issue. One is promoting total moral chaos and the other is promoting total war in the middle east with your tax dollars and more debt. Both usurers and sodomites are in the same circle of Dante’s inferno. This describes the political parties aptly I believe.

  • “When Newt had control of the House of Representatives, he had a chance to promote pro-life causes.”
    Which the Republicans did, and which Bill Clinton vetoed:

    “Reagan promised catholic voters action on the abortion issue.”

    And he kept that promise. Reagan constantly pushed pro-life legislation despite the fact that he never had a Congress controlled by the Republican. In 1984 he wrote abortion and the conscience of the nation:

    “I am happy to supply you with sound research on the topic.”

    If you were a faithful reader of this blog you would realize just how laughable that offer is. Reagan made three Supreme Court appointments: the first was Sandra Day O’Connor who voted pro-life as long as Reagan was in office; Antonin Scalia who has led the fight against Roe on the Supreme Court; his third pick was Judge Robert Bork, who would have supplied the fifth vote to over turn Roe. His nomination was defeated in the Senate by the Democrats led by Ted Kennedy. His second nominee Douglas H. Ginsburg swiftly withdrew due to questions about marijuana use. The third nominee Anthony Kennedy got through the Senate. His voting record on abortion has been mixed. Upholding Roe but also upholding various restrictions on abortion, including the partial birth abortion ban.

    Your argument that there is no difference between the parties on abortion is rubbish.

  • Rick, I think you are largely right about Newt, but wrong about Reagan. He did everything in his power to assist the pro-life cause, including appointing federal judges who due diligence suggested would be faithful to the constitution and therefore hostile to Roe. That is not a predictable process, but he did well overall but disappointed at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, conservative jurists tend to give greater weight to the doctrine of stare decisis than their liberal counterparts, making reversals of decided cases more difficult, and Reagan appointees O’Connor and Kennedy were influenced by that. That was not true of Scalia and would not have been true of Bork, both of whom were already on record as being critical of Roe (O’Connor and Kennedy were more circumspect in their opinions, which is common among judges). Just a lazy effort at examining Reagan’s actual actions on abortion (see executive orders and foreign policy decisions, the two areas he actually had power over) demonstrates that his opposition to abortion was genuine.
    And your description of political parties is the same tiresome claptrap that one hears from the pure and uninvolved. The truth is that political parties are by nature big tents composed of uneasy coalitions. The GOP includes many who are passionately pro-life and even more who are uneasy about abortion but view it as a secondary issue to the economy and national security. The Dems include many who view abortion as akin to a Sacrament and even more who are uneasy but want to preserve the option. As Don had pointed out in the past, the abolitionists of Lincoln’s era formed similar imperfect alliances within the GOP, but those alliances were not evidence of a lack of passion or sincerity. Even Lincoln, as much as he abhorred slavery, would have tolerated it indefinitely in necessary to preserve the union.
    Yes, some Republican candidates are indifferent to abortion but simply check the right boxes to win primaries; some are sincerely pro-life and even lose elections because if it. The bottom line is that for the most part the party does a pretty good job given the legal and political constraints (have you even followed what’s going on in Texas?). But because the Supreme Court cheated in Roe, we’re all stuck at playing small ball. It is exceedingly difficult to get a reliably anti-Roe judge appointed to the High Court, and gauging such reliability is perilous given that it is widely understood to be inappropriate for judges to signal in advance how they’ll rule on matters likely to come before them.

  • Like I said in the beginning, America will remain duped for a long time to come. It is by design so do not feel bad about it. The machine grinds on seeking only taxes and soldiers. Consider Rick Santorum who works for the American Enterprise Institute now. He is supposed to be a solid catholic. He gave a speech at ND after he left office that had one theme – bomb Iran. He could have focused on the holocaust here in the USA – infanticide. But he new gets his $ from the AEI. Connect the dots and it should start becoming clear. These virtuous republicans are puppets of the movement mentioned earlier.

    To be fair, you might see significant pro-life legislation in our lifetimes. This is simply due to the opposition not reproducing. It has little to do with the republican party.

  • “He is supposed to be a solid catholic. He gave a speech at ND after he left office that had one theme – bomb Iran. He could have focused on the holocaust here in the USA – infanticide.”

    You don’t know much about Santorum do you? When he was in the Senate his major focuses were the fight against abortion and the threat posed by Iran. The video below is from 2006:

PopeWatch: Jesuits

Tuesday, September 30, AD 2014




Popewatch has always believed that one of the keys to understanding Pope Francis is that he is a Jesuit.  Here is his speech commemorating the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Jesuits in 1814:



Dear brothers and friends in the Lord,

The Society under the name of Jesus has lived difficult times of persecution. During the leadership of Fr Lorenzo Ricci, “enemies of the Church succeeded in obtaining the suppression of the Society” (John Paul II, Message to Fr Kolvenbach, July 31, 1990) by my predecessor Clement XIV. Today, remembering its restoration, we are called to recover our memory, calling to mind the benefits received and the particular gifts (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 234). Today, I want to do that here with you.

In times of trial and tribulation, dust clouds of doubt and suffering are always raised and it is not easy to move forward, to continue the journey. Many temptations come, especially in difficult times and in crises: to stop to discuss ideas, to allow oneself to be carried away by the desolation, to focus on the fact of being persecuted, and not to see the other. Reading the letters of Fr Ricci, one thing struck me: his ability to avoid being harnessed by these temptations and to propose to the Jesuits, in a time of trouble, a vision of the things that rooted them even more in the spirituality of the Society.

Father General Ricci, who wrote to the Jesuits at the time, watching the clouds thickening on the horizon, strengthened them in their membership in the body of the Society and its mission. Here it is: in a time of confusion and turmoil he discerned. He did not waste time discussing ideas and complaining, but he took on the charge of the vocation of the Society.

And this attitude led the Jesuits to experience the death and resurrection of the Lord. Faced with the loss of everything, even of their public identity, they did not resist the will of God, they did not resist the conflict, trying to save themselves. The Society – and this is beautiful – lived the conflict to the end, without minimizing it. It lived humiliation along with the  humiliated Christ; it obeyed. You never save yourself from conflict with cunning and with strategies of resistance. In the confusion and humiliation, the Society preferred to live the discernment of God’s will, without seeking a way out of the conflict in a seemingly quiet manner.

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22 Responses to PopeWatch: Jesuits

  • Read The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in the place of the Jesuits and the letter makes a fine read.

  • Well and good, fine words, Holy Father.
    But since the Jesuits love to speak of “praxis”, please explain the current Jesuit “Faith” in Jesus Christ in its practical applications. Where is it evidenced? For example, why do we see a need to place Muslim worship spaces within [formerly] eminently Catholic Jesuit college churches, such as St. Ignatius Church here in San Francisco:
    “Mosque installation at USF church: ‘Stretches the limits imposed by a faith’”, Sept. 2, 2014, California Catholic Daily:

  • “It obeyed” – Really? Taking reuge with Catherine the Great in Russia and Frederic the Great in Prussia, on the legal quibble that the brief could not be published there? Even imploring Catherine in a public address to allow the brief to be promulgated, having been privately assured that she would do no such thing.
    Was this obedience to the spirit of the Constitutions of the Society that bade them “bend all his forces to the practice of the virtue of obedience in the first place towards the Pope.” Is it not rather gross disobedience masquerading as holy docility?
    Anyone familiar witht he charater of those two monarchs would appreciate the justice of Carlyle’s remark, “men had served the Devil, and man had very imperfectly served God; but to think that God could be served more perfectly by taking the Devil into partnership; this was a novelty of Saint Ignatius.”
    I wonder if the Holy Father has ever read Les Provinciales?

  • I am befuddled.

    I’m out of my element, friends, but intensely interested. What is His Holiness saying here? What is he exhorting Jesuits to do.

  • I watched the entire ceremony…I was enthralled…it was moving…The point of the Jesuits is one in which to unite ALL into Jesus Christ.. It is quite simple..By their works, and travels they have endured much persecution and suffering. YET, they go forward… Jesuits are accused of disobeying the Pope etc…when in fact they did not.. They begged to go to the hardest of lands to teach about Jesus.. Pope Francis is quite brilliant, yet many have a hard time understanding him.. I simply LOVE HIM…His LOVE for God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Our Lady are very obvious. May Almighty God Bless and watch over him..+++ <3

  • David Spaulding

    The Holy Father’s speech is a confirmation, if such were needed, of the Society’s perennial self-image.

    In the fifth of Les Provinciales, Pascal has a delightful description of a Jesuit introducing him to the work of the Jesuit theologian, Escobar:
    “Who is Escobar?” I inquired.
    “What! Not know Escobar! ” cried the monk; “the member of our Society who compiled this Moral Theology from twenty-four of our fathers, and on this founds an analogy, in his preface, between his book and ‘that in the Apocalypse which was ‘sealed with seven seals,’ and states that ‘Jesus presents it thus sealed to the four living creatures, Suarez, Vasquez, Molina, and Valencia, in presence of the four-and-twenty Jesuits who represent the four-and-twenty elders.'” He read me, in fact, the whole of that allegory, which he pronounced to be admirably appropriate…”
    In much the same spirit, the Jesuit author of the Catholic Encyclopaedia thus describes the Spiritual Exercises: “We must therefore consider the revelation of the Exercises, not as a completely supernatural manifestation of all the truths contained in the work, but as a kind of inspiration or special divine assistance, which prevented all essential error, and suggested many thoughts useful for the salvation of the author and of readers of all times.”
    No wonder the Holy Father simply takes it for granted that the suppression of the Society was the work of “enemies of the Church.” In fact, the suppression was urged by thirty-four Spanish bishops, virtually the whole French hierarchy, not to mention the Catholic sovereigns of France, Spain, Portugal and the Two Sicilies, as a measure essential to the peace of Church and State.

  • Esther M Ferencz wrote, “they have endured much persecution and suffering.”

    So they would have us believe; others would suggest that, more often than not, they have only received the just reward of their deeds.

    Any fair-minded study of Jesuit history shows the belief of St Ignatius and his successors, amounting at times to obsession, that the Society was God’s chosen instrument to fulfil His Will on earth. This leads them to attribute to the devil every difficulty that the Society encounters, and they seem to have thought that the devil’s chief occupation was to thwart the work of the Society.

    Hence, Jesuits are fond of quoting St Ambrose, “He in truth is impugned in vain who is accused of impiety by the impious and faithless, even though he is a teacher of the faith,” ; anyone who opposes them is by definition, “impious and faithless.”

    In this context, it is perhaps, worth recalling the maxim of Caramuel (whom St Alphonus dubbed “the prince of the Laxists), quoted by Pascal in the 15th of the Provinciales, “There can be no doubt,” says Caramuel, “that it is a probable opinion that we contract no mortal sin by calumniating another, in order to preserve our own reputation. For it is maintained by more than twenty grave doctors, by Gaspard Hurtado, and Dicastille, Jesuits, &c.; so that, were this doctrine not probable, it would be difficult to find any one such in the whole compass of theology.”

    As Pascal says, “Self-love is always ready enough to whisper in our ear, when we are attacked, that we suffer wrongfully; and more particularly in your case, fathers, whom vanity has blinded so egregiously as to make you believe that to wound the honour of your Society is to wound that of the Church. There would have been good ground to look on it as something miraculous, if you had not reduced this maxim to practice.”
    No body of men have been so fertile in maxims calculated to make good people bad and bad people worse.

  • “No body of men have been so fertile in maxims calculated to make good people bad and bad people worse.”

    Don’t hold back, now. Let us know how you feel.


    That is a well stated summation.

    I call it, “infallible insolence.”

  • Well, Esther, I can’t really be enthralled by PF’s florid words noted here on the Jesuits’ long-distant history: having some acquaintance, especially at the university level, with the present-day least Society of Jesus, I am much more on the same note as Michael P-S: (1) “They have endured much persecution and suffering.” So they would have us believe..” and even one better, (2) “The Holy Father’s speech is a confirmation, if such were needed, of the Society’s perennial self-image.”
    Having sat through many of these self-congratulatory perorations that I find embarassing, as meanwhile the Catholic Church in the USA and around the world is disintegrating in belief and practice, in a state best called “free fall”, yet still many a Jesuit U. president will stand up and self-laud the storied Jesuit history…a dead history of the long-distant past, oblivious to the darkness encroaching all around.
    We also must make an exception for those wonderful individual Jesuits, here and there who, candidly, will tell you how distraught they are at the Society of Jesus’ contemporary collapse, capitulating on contemporary morality, doctrine, and fundamental dogma (these are the many “fringe” Jesuits who continue to labor on, providing the sacraments in hospitals, schools, and parishes). However, the present-day Jesuits I encounter are often shockingly secular-atheist and utterly irrelevant to whatever marginal future the Catholic Church may eke out of the years to come.

  • I am impressed w/the knowledge base the commentators after me have posted.
    I think that on the WHOLE…The JESUITS’. operative word on the ‘WHOLE’..are good and holy men…All of the various Societies seem to have had flaws…look at the Salatian’s, look at the the many priests from all walks of the various orders. They are made up of men, nothing more. Men who are weak. Men who are capable of error and sin. I have found that since the election of Pope Francis there has been a massive flood of all that he says and does being ripped apart, negated, made fun of, called shameful names by some…this is not only sin as to the church and papal love and respect…it is insulting as to Catholics to do this.

  • ” The Society, restored by my predecessor Pius VII, was made up of men, who were brave and humble in their witness of hope, love and apostolic creativity, that of the Spirit. Pius VII wrote of wanting to restore the Society to “support himself in an adequate way for the spiritual needs of the Christian world, without the difference of peoples and nations” (ibid). For this, he gave permission to the Jesuits, which still existed here and there, thanks to a Lutheran monarch and an Orthodox monarch, “to remain united in one body.” That the Society may remain united in one body! ”
    Spiritual needs
    ” And the Society was immediately missionary and made itself ​​available to the Apostolic See, committing generously “under the banner of the cross for the Lord and His Vicar on earth” (Formula of the Institute, 1). The Society resumed its apostolic activity of preaching and teaching, spiritual ministries, scientific research and social action, the missions and care for the poor, the suffering and the marginalized. ”
    ” Today, the Society also deals with the tragic problem of refugees and displaced persons with intelligence and industriousness; and it strives with discernment to integrate service to faith and the promotion of justice in conformity with the Gospel.” (Government?) ” I confirm today what Paul VI told us at our 32nd General Congregation and which I heard with my own ears: “Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme situations, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, where there has been and there is confrontation between the deepest desires of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, there you have been and there are Jesuits.” “
    Time for addressing spiritual needs in those crossroads of confusion over the message of the Gospel and the other situations will resolve themselves. People are dying of spiritual poverty and disease .

  • Esther M Ferencz wrote, “.All of the various Societies seem to have had flaws…look at the Salatian’s, look at the the [sic] many priests from all walks of the various orders. They are made up of men, nothing more. Men who are weak. Men who are capable of error and sin…”

    Scandals prove nothing, unless they can be shown to result from the principles according to which the Society is governed. This, of course, cuts both ways, for neither can the Society claim credit for the goodness and holiness of many of its members, unless this, too, can be shown to be the result of its methods.

    Now, the whole case of the Society’s critics (and they are numerous) is that its faults lie, not with individuals, but with its principles and its methods. The whole world is convinced of it: look up the word “Jesuitical” in an English dictionary or, if you suspect an Angl-Saxon Protestant bias, try « jésuitique » in a French one.

    Hence, Pascal’s charge in the 5th of Les Provinciales: “Know then that their object is not the corruption of manners- that is not their design. But as little is it their sole aim to reform them-that would be bad policy. Their idea is briefly this: They have such a good opinion of themselves as to believe that it is useful, and in some sort essentially necessary to the good of religion, that their influence should extend everywhere, and that they should govern all consciences. And the Evangelical or severe maxims being best fitted for managing some sorts of people, they avail themselves of these when they find them favourable to their purpose. But as these maxims do not suit the views of the great bulk of the people, they waive them in the case of such persons, in order to keep on good terms with all the world.” His complaint is not that some Jesuit confessors are lax, but that it is a principle of the Society that these confessors should be lax.

  • I just wish to respond by saying Jesus was a simple man on this earth….You are going on and on, I guess impressing me possibly…but not really, as to your knowledge base…. I will HANG with Jesus’ words…. and His simplicity… That is the key you know… Simplicity in Belief, Trust and Faith . Love, Jesus is God’s Son. I wonder what He would respond to your incessant chatter on downing the Jesuits…you are doing that and as well downing Pope Francis, I do not have a desire to carry on about Pascal…not necessary.

  • Esther Ferencz’ comments seem to miss the point entirely: if she, as so many today seem to wish to see themselves, is also a Pope-Francis-ite, so much like those wrapping themselves in the trappings of a much higher spiritual understanding (much higher than us questioning trogolodytes), vesting themselves in a new “simplicity” and a true Franciscan humility, I would then think a fair amount of thoughtfulness would be due on their part regarding the endlessly self-congratulatory perorations of Jesuits about their now quite distant history and dead accomplishments. (We get these self-adoring paeans of praise over and over at the universities here in the Bay Area: the new Jesuit hymn, “How Great We Art”) Would not this display of proud paleo-history and chest-thumping exhibit an un-Francis-like, unworthy, and un-Christlike, pridefulness? No? I guess, “no.”
    And pardon me for becoming increasingly amused by the Pope-Francis-ites, perhaps like E. Ferencz here, who on the one hand embrace their almost Gnostic higher spirituality, and “simplicity in belief, trust, and faith”, while getting in their jabs and smacks at us “shallow chatterer:” Oh, why, for the crime of “downing PF”? PF has exhibited (for a humble “Franciscan”) rather shockingly a significant amount of downing of others of the Faith (calling nuns “spinsters”, priests “unfruitful bachelors”, and [my personal favorite] smash-mouthing traditional Catholics as “Promethean self-absorbed neo-Pelagianists”—now that’s a mouthful of Jesuit humility right there! 🙂 Let ‘er rip, Papa!
    But you are right, E. Ferencz, we do diverge on Faith practice:( ” I just wish to respond by saying Jesus was a simple man on this earth.” – E. Ferencz) Just a “simple man”, no more. You are right: I believe something quite different from you.

  • You, Sir, have just trashed any respect I had for you… How dare you make an out ass u me[assume] to KNOW Me, Let alone my relationship with JESUS…. the more you write the more the ‘hatred of Pope Francis’ seeps from you.. God will forgive you, IF you but repent… Your a smart ass know it all, Pope Francis and Jesuit Basher… And, I might add have an obsession w/belittleing the Pope and the Jesuits… GOOD with yourself ALL you u want.. It is rather high minded of you to post such hate to a total stranger…me… ‘Yes, Jesus was a simple man, unlike you’. and Pope Francis itis..HUH? What an ignorant comment..

  • correction…how dare you make an ass out of u and me…the word assume….and btw,you best get your inflated opine of yourself to confession..

  • Dear Esther,

    Quick question, Who are the Salatians? I tried a google search and nothing.

    Anthow, I really don’t know why, but I am not a fan of the Jesuits. Maybe b/c I went to de la Salle Christian Brothers schools and we were all working class. Fordham was our sports rival.

    BTW: Two of my three sons went to Fordham U. One was ROTC commisssioned US Army 2LT in the beautiful Chapel. Thank God my father was still alive to see it. As is his habit, one Jesuit Priest read Kipling’s “Recessional” during the ecremony. And, the Father President made a good speech. So, Jesuits are not all bad.

    In conclusion, if Christ can bear to hear the Truth he’s spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, . . . (see Kipling: “If”) so can I.
    I need to get to Confession, and not just for that.
    Maintain a low profile, boys! The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

  • The ardent Pope Francis defenders remind me of leftists and how they treat tolerance. Leftists preach much about tolerance, and yet are virulently intolerant of people who disagree with them. The Pope Francis defenders drone on about charity and being pastoral, and yet seem to lack those virtues when dealing with others

  • No real Offense… indeed the female species is more deadly.. I love and admire Pope Francis and would if he were a Franciscan… the comments that someone posted as to not imitating Christ as to works and just words is just plain mean, with a touch of evil… someone up top said that one..Good on the education for you and your boys…blessed are you… God is GOOD. God Loves all… God does not care about anything spare we love HIM, and end up with Him in paradise…and He as well wants us to do as his SON said to get there..which is to love the Father, and love thy neighbor as ourselves.. pretty much sums up my thoughts.. God Bless You, and Mary Keep You as well.

  • “No real Offense… indeed the female species is more deadly”

    My sainted formidable mother agreed with that sentiment Esther!

  • “More deadly” is a compliment.

    Our wonderful mothers faced torture and death to bring each of us into this World. The magnificent woman who gave you life is the closest to God’s love you will know in this vale of tears.

  • I am currently reading the book, Such a Vision of the Street-Mother Teresa-The Spirit and the Work, by Eileen Egan. Mrs. Egan is writing her book from her first hand knowledge and experience with Mother Teresa and the work in and around Calcutta, India. Many Jesuits supported and assisted Mother Teresa with the founding of and her ministry in and through the Missionairies of Charity. In one chapter alone the godly life and work of several Jesuits are mentioned including but not limited to Archbishop Ferdinand Perier.

    I recommend this book highly to anyone who is interested in missions and ministry. Praise God for his faithfulness.

The Great Beefsteak Raid

Tuesday, September 30, AD 2014

Great Beefsteak Raid

One of the more colorful episodes in the siege of Petersburg, the Great Beefsteak Raid of September 14-17 helped cement Major General Wade Hampton III as a worthy successor to Jeb Stuart in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Learning that a large herd of cattle were being grazed by the Union at Edmund Ruffin’s plantation on Coggin’s Point on the James River, Hampton decided to launch a raid behind enemy lines with 3,000 troopers, capture the cattle and drive them back into Confederate lines to feed the Army of Northern Virginia that was on starvation rations.

Hampton and his men seized the herd on September 16, and got 2,468 of them back into Confederate lines on September 17.  Along with the cattle he brought back 304 Union prisoners, having suffered 61 Confederate casualties during the course of the raid.  President Lincoln referred to it as “the slickest piece of cattle stealing” he had ever heard of.  An exasperated Grant, when a reporter after the raid asked him when he expected to defeat Lee, snapped, “Never, if our armies continue to supply him with beef cattle.”

In 1966 a heavily fictionalized film on the beefsteak raid, Alavarez Kelly, was released.  Here is Hampton’s report on the raid:

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2 Responses to The Great Beefsteak Raid

Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel

Monday, September 29, AD 2014

(I originally posted this in 2010.  I think I will begin posting it on each September 29, the feast of the Archangels.)

In 1947 Father Domenico Pechenino related what he had witnessed over six decades before.

“I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant’s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the colour and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him.

“Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: ‘Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?’ He answered: ‘Nothing, nothing.’ About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell.”

Cardinal Giovanni Batista Nassalli Rocca di Corneiliano wrote in his Pastoral Letters on Lent“the sentence ‘The evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls’ has a historical explanation that was many times repeated by his private secretary, Monsignor Rinaldo Angeli. Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). The prayer that he asked all the Church to recite was the fruit of that experience. He would recite that prayer with strong, powerful voice: we heard it many a time in the Vatican Basilica. Leo XIII also personally wrote an exorcism that is included in the Roman Ritual. He recommended that bishops and priests read these exorcisms often in their dioceses and parishes. He himself would recite them often throughout the day.”

The Prayer written by the Pope is of course the famous prayer to Saint Michael:

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

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6 Responses to Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel

  • An annual posting is good and necessary. When I was a child the prayer to St. Michael intention was for the conversion of Russia. At my mission church we have prayed for about 10 years to St. Michael after daily Mass and at the 0730 Sunday Mass which has no music other than the Sanctus and Agnus Dei. In another parish they preface the recitation with “For religious freedom”. The diocese of Arlington is very traditional. When my nephew was in Afghnistan and Iraq I sent him blessed St. Benedict medals and St. Michael holy cards for him and his men. It’s a powerful prayer.

  • As for recitation of exorcisms, the only words to that effect that I can recall taught to us by the IHMs were “Begone Satan!”. To be used when one is distracted during Mass or at prayer. It works.

  • Was it ever addressed by the Church as to why it was removed from the low Masses?

  • I don’t know where the “why” is addressed, I know it happened in #48 of Inter oecumenici.
    At the same time Psalm 42 before mass was dropped, (I will go in to the altar of God: to God Who gives joy to my youth. Judge me, O God….)

    Here’s a link “The Day The Mass Changed”

  • Our new 30-something pastor has asked everyone to recite the St. Michael prayer at the end of Mass. it is quite appropriate and moving.

  • Chapter II. Mystery of the Eucharist

    I. ORDO MISSAE (SC art. 50)

    48. Until reform of the entire Ordo Missae, the points that follow are to be observed:

    j. The last gospel is omitted; the Leonine Prayers are suppressed.

    Thanks, Anzlyne.

Too Dumb to Vote

Monday, September 29, AD 2014

Note to self: never get on Kevin Williamson’s bad side. Here is Williamson’s rebuttal to a particularly empty-headed column from Lena Dunham.

If you would like to be filled with despair for the prospects of democracy, spend a few minutes attempting to decipher the psephological musings of Lena Dunham, the distinctly unappealing actress commissioned by Planned Parenthood to share with her presumably illiterate following “5 Reasons Why I Vote (and You Should, Too).” That’s 21st-centuryU.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.

It is an excellent fit, if you think about it: Our national commitment to permanent, asinine, incontinent juvenility, which results in, among other things, a million or so abortions a year, is not entirely unrelated to the cultural debasement that is the only possible explanation for the career of Lena Dunham. A people mature enough to manage the relationship between procreative input and procreative output without recourse to the surgical dismemberment of living human organisms probably would not find much of interest in the work of Miss Dunham. But we are a nation of adult children so horrified by the prospect of actual children that we put one in five of them to death for such excellent reasons as the desire to fit nicely into a prom dress.

It’s not for nothing that, on the precipice of 30, Miss Dunham is famous for a television series called Girls rather than one called Women. She might have gone one better and called it Thumbsuckers. (The more appropriate title Diapers would terrify her demographic.)

And he’s just getting warmed up.

Williamson’s contempt for Dunham is shared by yours truly, as she is representative of a completely narcissistic generation of pseudo-intellectuals whose idea of good citizenship is casting ballots that elicit warm fuzzies in the cockles of one’s heart. Dunham’s insipid and banal meanderings would be worthy of mild scoffing were it not for the fact that a generation of Americans is so mesmerized by her lot.

Williamson says in his concluding paragraph:

I would like to suggest, as gently as I can, that if you are voting as an act of self-gratification, if you do not understand the role that voting in fact plays in a constitutional republic, and if you need Lena Dunham to tell you why and how you should be voting — you should not vote. If you get your politics from actors and your news from television comedians — you should not vote. There’s no shame in it, your vote is statistically unlikely to affect the outcome of an election, and there are many much more meaningful ways to serve your country and your fellow man: Volunteer at a homeless shelter; join the Marine Corps; become a nun; start a business.

Statistically speaking, those most in thrall with Dunham, Stewart, et al are likeliest to stay home on election day. Unfortunately, the percentage of Americans who are of this type is growing as we are increasingly becoming a nation of perpetual children (who, in turn, have no actual children, but that is for the next post).

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2 Responses to Too Dumb to Vote

  • Lena Dunham, the daughter of NBC News Anchorman Brian Williams. The same father who watched his daughter perform soft pornography in the filming of one of the episodes of ‘girls’, who said he couldn’t be more proud of her performance in porn. One of his responses to his daughter filming a graphic sex scene, “unmitigated joy”.

    Read it and weep:

  • I am getting tired of thinking “surely (she or she) just doesn’t understand, if he or she understood they wouldn’t say or do those things. I guess I am tired of the “dumb” or “amateur” or “reared in an inscrutable left wing place we can’t possibly understand” explanations. Perhaps these people (O, PF, and BriWi) know very well what they are doing and are just congratulating themselves, thinking how smart they are. compared to us who continually take hits and wonder- gosh if that guy really meant to hit us.

Sandy Hook Blame Game

Monday, September 29, AD 2014

13 Responses to Sandy Hook Blame Game

  • This is one (of ten million) reason we cannot trust these people with any more than severely-limited powers. Every tragedy and catastrophe is subverted to advance the agenda. The modus is universal deceit and coersion.
    And so, everything they attempt both is a failure and an addition to our woes.

  • “Every tragedy and catastrophe is subverted to advance the agenda. The modus is universal deceit and coercion.”
    Usurping more power to dictate. Sounds like the state of communism.

  • Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat. But of course!

  • Connecticut…..a good place to leave.

  • Lovely.
    I’ve have two children with dyslexia, diagnosed by a neuropsych who was paid by us, not the local school district. At the time of the diagnosis of DS#1, the neuropsych also noticed (by testing) he was anxious and depressed. No surprises. People with learning disorders or differences are often anxious and depressed, (especially once they get to those early teen years and realize their non-dyslexic/non-LD buddies are zooming past them academically.) It was no surprise either when DS#3 was also found to be depressed and anxious when he was tested for dyslexia
    DS#1 managed to “get over it” as he got older and achieved in other areas (a job for which he became a certified professional by the age of 16 helps a lot. Seriously, how many other 16 year old boys get to put letters after their signature? Even their father doesn’t have that one!)
    DS#3 is coming along, but has much more severe dyslexia. Public schooling in our town is simply not an option. He has made progress (documented by the neuropsycho) but probably not enough for the school bureaucrats. I have friends in the local public school system. Very unlikely they would be able to do anything for him. A local private school lets him attend part time, and that has been of useful for “socialization” purposes and confidence building.

  • Oops! “Neuropsycho” should read “neuropsych” 🙂

  • I recall DJ some three years running when my son Larry was in grammar school when at a meeting, his teacher for the year, a different one each year, would opine that Larry couldn’t read. Each year I would have Larry brought from his class, given a book at random and he would read. This of course would be with my wife constantly advising his teachers that Larry, even though autistic, could read, something I taught him to do when he was four, and which I practiced with him every morning until his death. There are good teachers out there, but there are many who simply fill up space.

  • The Lanzas had separated and divorced, and he had remarried, before their son committed his terrible crime. Perhaps the state could pass laws ensuring at-risk children enjoy the benefit of both parents living in the home and cooperating in the care of the child, in order to prevent further loss of life.

  • Homeschooling should be seen as a civil right. On the other hand, it is understandable that society needs to be protected from the small minority of mentally ill persons who show a tendency toward violence. This need has nothing to do with homeschooling – other means need to be found to achieve this.

    So, the law requires “adequate progress” to an educational plan? What does that have to do with anything? Here is a disclosure for you: a godson of mine and my son’s confirmation sponsor both socialized with Adam Lanza on a few occasions. They told me he was one of the smartest people they had ever met. I’d bet he would have done fine progress with his educational plan.

    Also, I believe CT law still allows people to just drop out at 16. Why not just do that, and thus escape the oversight? Heck, many who do drop out engage in shootings too. Unlike Adam Lanza their victims are on agerage older and less white.

  • Tom D.: “Homeschooling should be seen as a civil right.”
    Homeschooling is a civil right, a natural God-given parental right, assumed by the government. Homeschooling ought to be seen as a civil right. The money and power involved has caused government to take a strong arm power trip.

  • Every tragedy and catastrophe is subverted to advance the agenda.

    Yeah, I am recalling that the Congressional Democratic caucus responded to 9/11 by insisting that all baggage screeners had to be unionized federal employees. It’s a racket.

  • “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.”

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Government as Tiresome, Expensive Nag

Monday, September 29, AD 2014

Nanny State


Have you noticed that as government becomes more of a ponzi scheme where it takes in huge amounts of money and doles out some of it to a large number of recipients in the body politic it has taken on the hectoring privileges of a parent paying out allowances to wayward brats?  The late Kenneth Minogue did.  From 2010:


My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.

No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.

We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.

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10 Responses to Government as Tiresome, Expensive Nag

  • Carl Schmitt argues that this is inevitable.
    In Schmitt’s view, parliamentarianism and liberalism existed in a particular historical epoch between the “absolute” state of the seventeenth century and the “total state” of the twentieth century. Parliamentary discussion and a liberal “private sphere” presupposed the “depoliticization” of a large area of social, economic and cultural life. The state provided a legally codified order within which social customs, economic competition, religious beliefs, and so on, could be pursued without becoming “political.”
    This all changed with the rise of mass political parties. “Democracy and liberalism are fundamentally antagonistic. Democracy does away with the depoliticizations characteristic of rule by a narrow bourgeois stratum insulated from popular demands. Mass politics means a broadening of the agenda to include the affairs of all society – everything is potentially political.”

  • “Sheer torture to live under a nanny state where nanny is drunk and degenerate.”
    This is called alcoholism at the national level. It is drunkenness without the booze. People are drunk on pleasure, whatever titillates the senses and gratifies the flesh. It is the same problem about which St Paul wrote so eloquently in his epistles. It is not a new problem, but an old, even ancient problem. It is called sin.

  • The government is bureaucracy. The state is the people who constitute the government, the entire body of citizens with the entire government of bureaucracy, every single person alive and well this day, our ancestors, our Founding Fathers and our constitutional posterity, all future generations.
    The imposition of evil and sin on the state, that is, the nation of people, us, past, present and future, our forebears and our posterity, those persons who have come before us and those people who will come after us, each and every one of us by only several individuals, the government, the bureaucracy, is so evil, and is a miscarriage of Justice, a violation of equal Justice, un-American, unconstitutional, and the abrogation of our Preamble and every article of the U.S. Constitution.
    All future generations are begotten in perfect legal and moral innocence. All ancestors are forgiven their transgressions and failings and remain with us in legacy. The trust established by our ancestors, our Founding Fathers, and given over to our posterity must remain unblemished in the perfect moral and legal innocence into which God creates all human beings’ immortal souls.
    Justice for every person is imprinted in our souls, a trust born of our heritage and our legacy, a trust endowed by our Creator, perfect Justice.

  • “Nine bucks a month too expensive to make sure you don’t have bastards?”
    The children are not bastards, the parents are.

  • Nope, that was the legal term under the law for children brought into this world outside of wedlock. Up until quite recently, just the past few decades, paternity cases were known as bastardy proceedings. It wasn’t a nice name because it wasn’t a nice thing to be, deprived of two parents and a father’s care and support. The reality of being a bastard remains not a nice thing, despite the attempt of the World to pretend otherwise, and I say that as someone whose beloved mother came into this Vale of Tears as a bastard.

  • Donald R McClarey

    You are right and “bastard” is surely preferable to the more euphemistic but nonsensical “illegitimate.”
    The latter is from Latin “legitimus,” meaning statutory and the Romans never used the phrase “liberi legitimi”– statutory children – and would have found the expression puzzling. They did talk of “heredes legitimi” or legitimate heirs, for the order of succession was laid down in a lex – the Law of the Twelve Tables. “Heredes legitimi” is quite a mouthful and they used “Legitimi” as an ellipsis.
    To legitimate means to place in the order of succession.

  • Donald McClarey: “The reality of being a bastard remains not a nice thing, despite the attempt of the World to pretend otherwise, and I say that as someone whose beloved mother came into this Vale of Tears as a bastard.”
    I would hope that your mother’s advent into this “Vale of Tears” was ameliorated by common law marriage as it is by matrimony in the Church. I suspect that this is why you have chose law to be your profession. To me, Lex, legis is having a leg to stand on in the vernacular.
    While all that you and MPS have written is verily true, I stand by my notation.

  • “I would hope that your mother’s advent into this “Vale of Tears” was ameliorated by common law marriage as it is by matrimony in the Church.”

    Nope. My grandmother went to work to support her daughter and herself and my great-grandmother, who my mother regarded as a saint, largely raised her. My grandmother later married a tough longshoreman who became a loving father to my mom and a loving grandfather to her two sons.

    “I suspect that this is why you have chose law to be your profession.”

    No, I chose it as an expedient until something better came along. Thirty-two years later I am still on the outlook for “something better”!

  • “My grandmother later married a tough longshoreman who became a loving father to my mom and a loving grandfather to her two sons.” Thus, your mom became legitimatized.
    The American Catholic is “something better.”

  • “bastardy proceedings”
    Reverend August Newman, R.I.P. said that these children are children of the Church. Perhaps Father Newman understood that these children are created in innocence and are victims visited with their parents’ transgressions. Perhaps, there was a clandestine marriage (without the approval of the state or of the Church) which later dissolved because of real impediments that were unforeseen by either parent and that necessitated a separation. Nevertheless, the children are victims and adopted children of God and of the Church.

PopeWatch: Peronism

Monday, September 29, AD 2014



An interesting post over at Father Z’s regarding the Pope’s political views:


I saw in interesting interview at Real Clear Religion with Rocco Buttiglione, who played a role in the economic views of St. John Paul II.


RCR: Does Pope Francis have the same kind of philosophical heft that Wojty?a had?

RB: No. He is a different man.

RCR: Is that problematic for the Church?

RB: I don’t think so. We have had a pope who was a great philosopher, we had a pope who was a great theologian, and now we have a pope who has a great pastoral spirit. The Church needs all. I dare say that after those two popes we surely need a pope like Francis because the Curia is a mess and you need someone who has the capacity of clearing that mess.

RCR: You’re often credited for bringing Wojty?a to free market ideas, especially in the context of Centesimus Annus. How did you seem to persuade him?

RB: I would not put it that way, but I was a friend. As Don Ricci had done with me, I talked to Wojtyla about my friends and the things I saw in the world. Sometimes he asked me to do this or that for him, and that’s all.

RCR: Do you think Pope Francis needs a similar education on economics?

RB: Well, you had a pope from Poland who came to understand and love North America much more than anybody could imagine. Now you have a pope who comes from Latin America and in dialogue with him, we must try to explain other things. He is a pope that cannot be only Latin American, but he has to enlarge his horizons. How will he do that?

One of the first things John Paul II did when he became pope was go to Latin America. There he gave a series of homilies, which are a kind of regional encyclical. This encyclical is not against liberation theology, but it is an encyclical that says: We want a theology that is from the point of view from Latin American people. Fine. We want a theology that is written from the point of view of the Latin American poor. Even better! You think that you can produce this theology by using Marxism? That’s wrong. You need a different instrument to approach socio-economic realities from a point of view of a true liberation theology.

I remember one day Don Ricci and I were in Lima, Peru and we were talking with a group of liberation theologians. It was the day of the feast of Señor de los Milagros, and all the people were in the streets. I told the theologians: You talk about the people? Please open the door and look on the streets. They are the people! They are people who are not Marx’s proletariat; they are a people of culture and religion.

Then we started working in Latin America to create groups that wanted to make a true liberation theology. Some wanted to condemn all liberation theology, and there was the first instruction from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which was very harsh.

I went around visiting different countries and when I came back, John Paul II invited me to one of his “working dinners.” In the end, he asked me: There is the theoretical side, but how is Gustavo Gutiérrez as a man? Does he say Mass? Does he pray the Rosary? Does he confess people? Yes? Then we must find another solution.

After that came the second instruction on liberation theology, which made a distinction between true liberation theology and Marxist liberation theology.

RCR: Which liberation theology is Francis influenced by?

RB: He is not a Marxist. Politically, he is a Justicialista. Westerners might call it populist. Justicialismo in Argentina has been a tremendous movement, giving for the first time to the people the idea that they have dignity. They are anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist. There is an Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, which is the “self-made man.” That’s American. But that’s not capitalism in Argentina. Capitalism there is where a few people use the contracts given by the state without taking the risk of the market make an enormous amount of money and oppress other people. It is a capitalism created by the State.

If I could suggest to Pope Francis the reading of a book, I would suggest he read Friedrich Hayek’s The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason. This might help him.


Justicialismo…  good grief.  Who of us up here in the North can grasp what on earth has gone on in Argentina?  The more I read about the place, and its modern history, the less I understand.  Do you have be Argentinian to get it?  Does anyone understand Perónism, with all its layers and bands along the ideological spectrum?  I’d be pretty skeptical were someone to make that claim.  Take a look on Google for something on Justicialismo.  There is nearly nothing useful in English.  I read Spanish, but… sheesh… this has been entirely ignored.


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37 Responses to PopeWatch: Peronism

  • Back in 2002, the Economist noted that Peronism owes at least as much to Mussolini as it does to Marx.
    “Latin American populism is not a synonym for leftism; it is as close to fascist corporatism as to socialism, involving strong leaders who blur the distinction between government and state.”

  • The authors of “Francis:A Pope For Our Times” have basically come to the same conclusions about Francis’s political leanings. They show in their book that he was involved with Peronism as a boy, and even wore Peronist badges in support of the movement. And even more alarming, during his teen years, he made a life long friendship with a woman communist that lasted for twenty five years. After reading this book, written by two Francis friendly Argentine journalists, there’s very little doubt in my mind that our Pope leans toward the left.

  • Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay were in 1928 second echelon affluent countries with higher standards of living than the bulk of Eastern and Mediterranean Europe. The economic performance of these three over the succeeding fifty-odd years in comparison with the United States (much less France or Japan, which suffered tremendous war damage) should discredit what were the dominant currents in political economy in those three countries during those years. Chile, and in a more attenuated way, Uruguay, have been improving their standing in the last generation, which Argentina has not. Chilean growth vis a vis that in the United States has been rapid enough that one might reclassify the country as 1st world in a generation or so. Francis apparently has not noticed that economic orthodoxies in Chile are quite dissimilar to what they are in Argentina.

  • there’s very little doubt in my mind that our Pope leans toward the left.

    That’s characteristic of people who do not work in commercial enterprise or in armed services and who do not have a head for statistics.

  • Peronism is no more socialist than the Italian Fascist party or the Spanish Falange.

    It is, rather, syndicalist or corporatist and like its European counterparts, highly authoritarian.

  • So the bottom line is power 🙂
    For all the spoken interest in social justice and in fairness and in non violence, the Justicialismo will bring his own answer to bear. Reminds me of a slogan on a t shirt my sister (Mother of 5 in 7 years) used to wear – “Because I am the Mother, that’s why!”
    “if you think that Pope Francis will bring collegiality to the Church …” I don’t mind authority, but I do mind Authority usurped to serve a eclectic ideology cum theology. Our pope’s motivator is no doubt mercy but he seems to me a bit passive aggressive.

  • ” . . .highly authoritarian.”

    “We have buried the putrid corpse of liberty.” Mussolini 1937.

    But [snivel] peace and justice!!!

    8/12/2014: Café Hayek quotes page 50 of the 2006 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1956 volume, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality:

    “[…] The poverty of the backward nations is due to the fact that their policies of expropriation, discriminatory taxation and foreign exchange control prevent the investment of foreign capital while their domestic policies preclude the accumulation of indigenous capital.

    “All those resisting capitalism on moral grounds as an unfair system are deluded by their failure to comprehend what capital is, how it comes into existence and how it is maintained, and what the benefits are which are derived from its employment in production processes.”

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  • “Peronism is no more socialist than the Italian Fascist party or the Spanish Falange. It is, rather, syndicalist or corporatist and like its European counterparts, highly authoritarian.”
    And exactly how is socialism NOT highly authoritarian?
    Let people be free to own the sweat of their labors an to be responsible for the consequences of their decisions. Neither fascism nor socialism, neither syndicalism or corporatism allow this.
    Indeed, what is the difference between Peronist corporate socialism and Obamamanic corporate socialism?

  • Don, thanks for posting on this. Fascinating, especially the Argentine’s comment.

    Paul, of course a socialist must insist that central planning is not authoritarian. We freely do what the central planners tell us to do out of a sense for our sacred duty. We are free at any time to do otherwise, and without suffering sanction from the, er, authority.

  • Who really thinks that Francis is capable of learning or changing his beliefs?

    A fool or a naive person.

    Attempting dialogue with him and his ilk is evidence of poor judgment.

  • Let no man blaspheme the great god Mammon.

  • Worshippers of the great god Social Justice these days tend to greatly outnumber the worshippers of Mammon, and are apparently dedicated to making all equally poor, except those who distribute the funds in the name of Social Justice, of course:

  • Yes, but the worshipers of any of these false gods all go to the same place.

  • Paul W Primavera asked, “And exactly how is socialism NOT highly authoritarian?”

    Socialism is the public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. The character of the government can range from direct democracy to absolute dictatorship.

    Neither the Fascists nor the Falangists advocated public ownership and nor do most Peronists.

  • Rocco Butiglione: “We have had a pope who was a great philosopher, we had a pope who was a great theologian, and now we have a pope who has a great pastoral spirit.” Well, it sounds to me like RB was forced to call PF “great” about something; I would have suggested “a great suppressor of the TLM Catholic.”
    “..We were talking with a group of liberation theologians. It was the day of the feast of El Señor de los Milagros, and all the people were in the streets. I told the theologians: You talk about the people? Please open the door and look on the streets. They are the people!” – RB

    My own direct experience with liberation theologians on the Very Left/Vladimir Lenin coast is that they eat at the finest restaurants, attend world conferences in the finest cities of the world (Chicago is a favorite), where they stay at the most plush hotels, and drink the very finest [and costly] liquor available, all as they of course profoundly plumb theology’s mysteries —but they would be shocked to actually have to be assigned to provide the sacraments to the occasionally unwashed, often pietist and traditional, garlic- and cumin- reeking ordinary soul of the streets, Latin America or US, for that matter. (“Nuestro Senor de los Milagros? Who’s that?”)
    Traditional Catholic devotion is also viewed as “holding people back” from experiencing true liberation. Ask Gustavo Gutierrez.

  • There are places worse than bankruptcy court where one might end up. A Catholic would know this; a worshiper and defender of Mammon would deny it.

  • Stephen Dalton:”…And even more alarming, during his teen years, he made a life long friendship with a woman communist that lasted for twenty five years.” Yes, incisive as usual, Mr. Dalton.

    And “the Pope’s Rabbi”, Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires, has directly commented also (60 Minutes interview, April 13, 2014: “He is a revolutionary. And he’s not a person who likes to go in the middle way, no, in the extremes.”
    I think we should take the good Rabbi at his word.

  • Steve Phoenix asked, “Nuestro Senor de los Milagros? Who’s that?”

    A mural of the crcifixion in Lima, much venerated by the faithful and honoured with a three-day festival.

  • Unlike you Howard I am familiar, professionally, with bankruptcy court and I know what usually leads there, wishful thinking and greed being at the head of the list. I will bow to any expertise regarding Hell you wish to lay claim to.

  • Sorry, Donald, I lack your experience with idolatry.

    I would take these defenses of Capitalism more seriously if there were a hint of acknowledgement that Capitalism is at best morally neutral, and at worst promotes certain evils. The same can of course be said of other economic systems. None of these are part of the Divine Law — they are all of purely human invention, and thus guaranteed to be imperfect. From a Catholic I would expect at least some acknowledgement of verses like 1 Timothy 6:10 and Mark 10:25, which spells out the real dangers at the heart of Capitalism, not someone looking for an excuse as to why it is OK to dismiss the Pope as an incompetent who should be politely ignored. But for some people it is always 1962: there are only two real possibilities — Capitalism and Communism, the United States and USSR — and so these must be all-good and all-evil.

    Do you have a sense of humor? That’s hard to say. You’re not funny, merely defensive, just like all the Protestants I used to know. They always ignored the verses that they didn’t like, too, because their faith was too weak. Jesus said, “This is my Body,” but Calvin said it wasn’t, so they believed Calvin rather than Jesus — I even heard a Baptist preacher, during a Lord’s Supper service, say (rather than quote the Scripture), “Jesus explained to them, ‘This represents my Body….'” Well, St. Paul said, “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains,” but your favorite economist appears to be one who says, “The love of money is the root of all economic development, which is the highest good of society, if not the individual person.”

    Sheesh! I could maybe take you seriously if you who claim to be Catholic and criticize the Pope could bear to have Capitalism criticized as well. It can be defended in exactly the same way as the Electoral College — flawed and problematic, but better than anything likely to replace it at this time. But no, in your world the reputation of the president must still be protected against any disclosure of the fact that he has been sleeping with Marilyn Monroe, and Mammon must be protected against any accusation whatsoever.

  • “Sorry, Donald, I lack your experience with idolatry.”

    Please Howard, I have no doubt that you bow down before yourself in a mirror several times a day judging from your comments.

    “I would take these defenses of Capitalism more seriously if there were a hint of acknowledgement that Capitalism is at best morally neutral, and at worst promotes certain evils.”

    Capitalism is the worst economic system that I am aware of except all the others devised by Man.

    “Do you have a sense of humor?”

    Humor like beauty tends to be in the eye of the beholder. I think I outdo you on that score due to your humorless comments on this blog, which, of course, is the only way I have to judge.

    “The love of money is the root of all economic development, which is the highest good of society, if not the individual person.”

    No my favorite economist actually said this:

    “Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

    “But no, in your world the reputation of the president must still be protected against any disclosure of the fact that he has been sleeping with Marilyn Monroe, and Mammon must be protected against any accusation whatsoever.”

    What an odd juxtaposition of lust and greed. No, I am in favor of neither. I am also not in favor of popes making economic statements when they are obviously bone ignorant on the subject and make factual statements that are clearly erroneous. That does neither the Faith nor the Pope any good at all and pretending otherwise is foolish.

  • MPS said, “Socialism is the public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. The character of the government can range from direct democracy to absolute dictatorship.”
    Democracy = two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner = dictatorship.
    Socialism implemented by democracy = socialism implemented by dictatorship
    The Church opposes socialism:
    Republic = free market, free society based on rule of law. People own the fruit of the sweat of their labors, and are responsible for the consequences of their decision. If Democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s dinner, then a Republic is a well armed sheep contesting the vote.
    Mors Democratiae Socialismoque! Vive Christe Rex!

  • Howard,

    Socialism will work this time. My socialism professor told me!

    8/12/2014: Café Hayek quotes page 50 of the 2006 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1956 volume, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality: .
    “All those resisting capitalism on moral grounds as an unfair system are deluded by their failure to comprehend what capital is, how it comes into existence and how it is maintained, and what the benefits are which are derived from its employment in production processes.”

    To wit.

    Walter Williams January 2000 essay “Capitalism and the Common Man“:

    “Henry Ford benefited immensely from mass-producing automobiles, but the benefit for the common man from being able to buy a car dwarfs anything Ford received. Individuals and companies that produced penicillin and polio and typhoid vaccines may have become very wealthy, but again it was the common man who was the major beneficiary. In more recent times, computers and software products have benefited our health, safety, and quality of life in ways that far outstrip whatever wealth was received by their creators.”

  • there are only two real possibilities — Capitalism and Communism, the United States and USSR — and so these must be all-good and all-evil.

    Strange as it may seem, social organization does not have an unlimited number of equilibria.

    While we’re at it, you might work on critiquing what people say and not caricatures of what people say and also inserting paragraph breaks).

  • but your favorite economist appears to be one who says, “The love of money is the root of all economic development, which is the highest good of society, if not the individual person.”

    I do not know that Mr. McClarey has ever declared who his favorite economist is (much less that that person made any statement like that). I tend to doubt you’re ever going to find an academic economist who would say that because the normative statements of academic economists tend to be oblique when they do not abstain altogether from making them. That aside, the economist is unlikely to adhere to any such statement more complex than ‘more is better’. He would not mean more money, but more goods and services which do benefit people up to a point. And his assessment would be that a social optimum can be had with individual actors pursuing their personal optima (with a number of qualifications, of course, and understanding there is a difference between an ideal type and a reality).

  • Argentina’s political culture is as putrid as any in a country with a certain baseline of experience with electoral institutions. Advocates of a reconfiguration of state-society relations in a more libertarian direction are good for one voter in 15. That’s the thought world in which Francis has lived.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “Steve Phoenix asked, “Nuestro Senor de los Milagros? Who’s that?” A mural of the crucifixion in Lima, much venerated by the faithful and honoured with a three-day festival.”

    Mr Paterson-Seymour, my query was paraphrasing the puzzlement of many a liberation-theology professor (sadly all of them ‘priests’) who have no knowledge of the popular—and very effective— devotions of “the masses, ” e.g. Nuestro Senor de los Milagros. They are in a parallel universe and have no comprehension of “the common man” whom they proclaim to serve.

    I consider myself fortunate in my younger years to have lived in Latin America (although not Peru) and am familiar with the miraculous effect of the devotions such as to “Nuestro Senor de los Milagros,” El Santo Nino de Atoche, “El Negro Martin” (St. Martin de Porres), Santiago Matamoros (Yes, “Kill the Moors, very politically incorrect today) y su caballo blanco (When you complete a pilgrimage to Santiago Tlatelolco Church in Mexico City, Juan Diego’s parish church, you should also bring grass for the horse to eat and put it at the statue’s base, and my personal favorite Nuestra Senora del Carmen..
    I am also familiar with the utter disdain and distress at these and so many time-honored devotions by the Gustavo Gutierrez crowd, that such devotions “hold them back” from a “true faith”, such as their Vision of the Anointed.
    …. Just so that I communicate in a way so as not to be misunderstood…

  • JPII emerged from an even more evil and dysfunctional system. He fought the Communists. It left an indelible mark in an extraordinarily good way. He recognized the evil and did not misplace its source. He could have learned to wield power, but he learned and taught about true freedom instead. And allied the Church to liberty, including economic liberty.

    Why is Francis unable to see the clarity of evil without it making him wield power similarly?

  • Karol Wojtyla and Jorge Bergoglio are as different as two men could ever be.

    Argentina has nothing in common with Poland except that both are Catholic. Before and after the Partition, Poland had republican traditions. In the 17th century, kings were elected. In the 18th century, Poland enacted a Constitution much like that of the US – and was partitioned by its neighbors as a result. Moreover, Poland NEVER had a history of tyrants of its own making such as the caudillo Rosas – not since the eleventh century, anyway. Argentina has San Martin, but no Kosciuszko or Pulaski. Pilsudski ruled as a semi-dictator but he never ruled like the caudillos ruled.

    Karol Wojtyla was an intellectual, one of many brilliant Poles throughout history (Copernicus, Chopin, Marie Curie, the Poles who cracked the Enigma code and Paderewski, to name a few).

    Poland’s motto is “for our freedom and yours”.


    Caudillos. War with Paraguay. Peron. Facsist Italians and Nazis escaping and finding sanctuary (of course Operation Paperclip allows the SS officer Werner von Braun to come to the USA). Military dictatorship. Picking a fight with Great Britain about the Falklands/Malvinas.

    Wojtyla traveled the world, spoke English, Spanish, Portugese, French, German, Italian, Latin and some Russian. Bergoglio has never set foot in North
    Americaand apparently knows nothing of the Catholic experience of Mexico, Canada or the USA – unique stories all.

    I could go on but it’s late and the kids need to go to bed.

  • Paul. Let people be free to own the sweat of their labors an to be responsible for the consequences of their decisions.”

  • I get around the web, I read comments from all sides, and I have my own ideas.
    What I observe is those from the nominal “left” who want liberalism on moral issues and basically a redistribution of wealth. From the “right” I see a more traditional take on matters of the world.
    What I have taken notice of is that there are four deadly sins, two of which this country pretty well has covered, murder and sodomy, no arguing or ignoring that fact.
    The last two deadly sins have to do with money, with wages, oppressing the poor, things like that.
    Now, i know i may be entering hostile territory, but to me the Marxist critique, while somewhat outdated, makes quite a bit of sense.
    Look at our world, multi-national corporations spanning the globe, 16,000 companies controlling 80% of all commerce, and reigning over it all by binding treaties, the almighty UPC.
    The planet is dominated by commerce, people are treated as disposable objects, soulless automatons to serve the markets.
    I see the failure of the welfare state, the fatherless children, broken families, the violence, and I realize much of it is due to moral decay.
    All this being said, the Bible tells us the love of mammon is the root of all evil.
    There is more going on here than meets the eye, to say there is a free market in the age of globalism is to live in a sort of la-la land.
    There must be away to improve the lot of the great majority of people while threading a path between the competing imperatives of freedom and totalitarianism.
    We desperately need reform on both a personal and public level.

  • unrestricted capitalism and unrestricted free enterprise are just as damaging as totalitarian communism to the average citizen.

    in other words, judicious application by the government of Christ’s teachings upon economic activity are necessary if we are to produce a better economy and a better social system. the ideal is a perfect equilibrium between the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.

    we should always seek this perfect equilibrium even though we will always achieve it imperfectly.

    from experience, we know that usually subsidiarity is more threatened by the powerful than is solidarity. the powerful see solidarity as a more useful promotion than subsidiarity.

  • judicious application by the government of Christ’s teachings upon economic activity are necessary if we are to produce a better economy and a better social system. the ideal is a perfect equilibrium between the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.

    I think the above more aptly describes francis’ social and political objectives than labeling him a liberal or a moderate or a conservative or a capitalist or a communist or a socialist or a libertarian or an anarchist. based on all I have read and heard about francis, I believe it is impossible to apply the traditional labels to him.

    in practice, religiously, he is a monarchist.

  • “unrestricted capitalism and unrestricted free enterprise are just as damaging as totalitarian communism to the average citizen.”

    Ludicrous. There has never been a communist dictatorship that did not have to employ huge number of troops to keep their populations from fleeing their “worker’s paradise”. The most free enterprise countries on earth have precisely the opposite problem with illegal aliens flocking to them.

September 28, 1864: Hood Launches His Tennessee Campaign

Sunday, September 28, AD 2014


After the fall of Altlanta, General John Bell Hood, commander of the Army of Tennessee, faced a quandry.  He confronted an army led by Sherman that heavily outnumbered his force.  Confederate manpower reserves were used up, and he could look for no further substantial reinforcements, while Sherman could rely upon an apparently inexhaustible flow of supplies and men from the North.  If Hood remained on the defensive the initiative remained with Sherman who was clearly readying his army to plunge into the heart of the Confederacy.

In these dire circumstances Hood hit upon the plan of heading north and forcing Sherman to follow him to protect his supply lines.  This would perhaps forestall a futher advance by Sherman into the deep South and with luck allow the Confederates to retake Atlanta and other occupied territory.

It was a desperate throw of the dice.  Moving north Hood moved ever closer to areas that the Union held in strength, and risked his Army being caught in a vice between Sherman and the forces that the Union could quickly amass due to their control of the rail net and the rivers of Tennessee.  However, it was probably the best of the very bad options confronting Hood.  Here are his comments on the start of his Tennessee campaign which appeared in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, condensed from his memoirs, Advance and Retreat:

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One Response to September 28, 1864: Hood Launches His Tennessee Campaign

  • My feet are torn and bloody/
    My heart is full of woe/
    I’m going back to Georgia To find my uncle Joe/
    You may talk about your Beauregard/
    You may sing of Bobby Lee/
    But the gallant Hood of Texas/
    Played hell in Tennessee…

    Alas for the ill-starred heroes of the Army of Tennessee, a courageous fighting force that could never win. My Yankee heart always doffs my cap to them, and to poor and indeed gallant Hood.

Quotes Suitable For Framing Saint Augustine

Sunday, September 28, AD 2014


“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

Saint Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram Libri Duodecim

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15 Responses to Quotes Suitable For Framing Saint Augustine

  • Request.

    Please suggest a book that combines Science and Faith. I believe our God makes one appreciate the mystery of Science when viewed through faith. They complement each other. It could also be said that the mystery of Faith is also found in Science.

    I ask sincerely. One item I recall hearing about long ago, was that the distance the Earth was from the Sun was absolutely perfect. That only a matter of fifty miles closer or further from the Sun would make life on Earth uninhabitable.

    This post has given me much to consider because I know myself. I know that I have faltered in trying to convey the truth to a learned non-beleiver.

    So in humility I ask for a good read fit for my lower education status.
    Thank you.

  • Philip: I think we just got it in Saint Augustine. I have been told (hearsay) that the reason Galileo was put under house arrest is because he, (Galileo), tried to preach the Scripture as science, which is exactly what St. Augustine is here admonishing people against.
    Sometimes, I think it is better to say the rosary and let God put it on the heart of the unbeliever. God help my unbelief.

  • Thank you both.
    Have a blessed Sunday.

  • Hi Philip,

    While I haven’t read any of his works, I have been told by what I deem reliable and knowledgeable people that the late Fr. Stanley Jaki has a lot of great stuff in that vein. Here’s his wiki page:

  • RL.
    Thank you.
    I will look into his work.

  • Sadly, history is a bit less clean-cut than science, and science is none too clean….

  • Facts, as John Adams noted, are stubborn things. The beginning of wisdom in both history and science is the learning of facts, something quite a few people, apparently, are unwilling to do.

  • They saw Jesus raise the dead…and yet did not believe.

    Some hear (the gospel)…and come to a living faith in Christ…and others do not.

    It’s just the way it is.

  • Agree Old Adam
    JPII, in Redemptoris Missio said “By accepting Christ, you open yourselves to the definitive Word of God, to the One in whom God has made himself fully known and has shown us the path to himself.”
    We have to open ourselves to Him- whether we are scientists or historians or neither – we have to be open. “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”
    John Paul Ii in that same letter -“God offers mankind this newness of life. “Can one reject Christ and everything that he has brought about in the history of mankind? Of course one can. Man is free. He can say ‘no’ to God. He can say ‘no’ to Christ. But the fundamental question remains: Is it legitimate to do this? And what would make it legitimate?”

  • Anzlyne wrote, “Man is free. He can say ‘no’ to God. He can say ‘no’ to Christ”
    He can if he chooses, but whether he will choose or no is in God’s hands, for God always has the last word. As St Augustine points out in his letter to Simplician, “For the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, he can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow… God has mercy on no man in vain. He calls the man on whom he has mercy in the way he knows will suit him, so that he will not refuse the call… who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified…? Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?”
    Thus, Scripture says, ““I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19)
    St Thomas, too, is to the same effect, ““Since the love of God is the cause of the goodness of things, no one would be better than another if God did not will a greater good to one than to another.” [ST in Ia, q. 20, a. 3]

  • “They saw Jesus raise the dead…and yet did not believe.” Their disbelief is based on their priorities: the temporal far above the eternal. Their chief desires are the rewards of the World, not the rewards of eternal life, which (the Christian knows) far exceed the fleeting joys of the World.

    Jesus foresaw their disbelief. See Luke 16: 27 – 31.

    “27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

  • What’s the Latin phrase that roughly translates “An error by one does not negate the whole idea” or something like that?

  • W K Aitken

    “Abusus non tollit usum,” perhaps?

  • M P-S

    That’s it. I could not remember but I knew I’d recognize it. Thanks!

16 Responses to What Do Don and Paul Actually Do?

A “Catholic” environmentalism…

Saturday, September 27, AD 2014


Caring for and ruling the environment are biblical imperatives going back to the Book of Genesis. It’s a no-brainer: There is what might be termed a “Catholic environmentalism.”

This sound, theological proposition is not the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and propounded by their stormy petrels and a compliant mainstream media. It is not rooted in contrived “facts” supported by spurious research that, in the end, is dubious research, at best. It also is not “sexy” in the sense that Catholic environmentalism will win the Church a Nobel Prize or that Pope Francis will jet across the imperiled globe in a private jet, increasing his carbon footprint while, at the same time, preaching against everyone else who does so.

No, Catholic environmentalism is constructed upon a profound sense of responsibility for the gift of nature, entrusted to humanity by its Creator. Love of God and of neighbor are the twin pillars upon which Catholic environmentalism is constructed. Catholic environmentalism is, as Pope Francis has said of marriage and fidelity to spouse and family, “a beautiful thing.”

That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism, relying upon its dubious “scientific” reserach to assert that it’s a “moral imperative” to act with regard to “climate change.” Consider what the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said to the 2014 United Nations’ Climate Change Summit:

The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations.

Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasized that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs. This is due to the fact that its principal cause seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity. Faced with these risks and costs, prudence must prevail, which requires thoughtful deliberations based on an accurate analysis of the impact our actions will have on the future.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State

The problem with Cardinal Parolin’s assessment is that no “scientific consensus” exists concerning global warming. What exists are manipulated data—which many have called “fraudulent”—that conform to the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and whose political goal is to impose a novus ordo saeculum—a new one-world order—across the globe.

Considering the content of the Cardinal’s speech, it might just as well have been written by those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Yes, it might not promote the gospel of global warming, but it’s there. Yes, it may not be hysterical in tone, but it’s there. What’s next, a papal encyclical concerning the Earth’s melting icecaps which are raising the ocean’s levels and threatenting to imperil cities, when, in fact those icecaps are expanding? Another papal encyclical calling upon the people of the earth to protect the endangered polar bears whose numbers are actually expanding?

The Vatican oftentimes is criticized for immersing itself in matters that are “beyond the Church’s competence.” That’s certainly apropos in this regard. There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.”

But, to provide propaganda for those who worship at the altar of environmentalism that will be propagated by their stormy petrels as well as a compliant mainstream media isn’t good diplomacy. Especially when those statements are rooted in falsehood.




To read Cardinal Parolin’s address, click on the following link:

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

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28 Responses to A “Catholic” environmentalism…

  • “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” ”
    It goes without saying that the “next generation” includes our constitutional posterity. To paraphrase: “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” God gave Adam the power to name people and things. “And he called the woman Eve, because she is the mother of all mankind.” Eve did not abort her children to protect the environment. Catholic environmentalism would exclude abortion.

  • Caring for creation is a Catholic imperative, as you say, Motley. I also totally agree that there is a secular neo-pagan environmentalism, another ideology that has taken over the media and various institutions. However, I am not at all sure that the Cardinal Secretary of State belongs to or is overly influenced by this ideology. Also keep in mind that the present Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, considers environmental issues one of the major issues facing today’s Church-and I certainly don’t see him worshiping Gaia, et. al.

    Until recently, I held a pretty firm position that the climate was indeed changing but that it was a natural occurrence. I was recently stunned however to find that they have studied ice cores dating back 800,000 years. These ice cores capture bubbles of air, and thus the atmosphere of that given era. They are able to distinguish carbon dioxide and other gases which come from volcanoes (how I am not sure, it is beyond my pay scale 🙂 ). What stunned me was that over 800,000 years the ‘air’ has not substantially changed, except within the last 100 years, when a marked increase of carbon dioxide has been monitored.

    Now this does not automaticaly mean it is directly man-made [for example emissions from coal, gasoline etc]. It could well be that the delicate eco-system of trees, ocean and atmosphere has been disturbed-but that would primarily still be done by us. I have always made fun of ‘tree-huggers’ and get enraged when people care more about turtle eggs than human beings in the womb. The environmentalism of the liberals in America is just plain stupid IMHO. However, besides the “gospel call” to care for creation, I just can’t avoid these findings or explain them away.

  • Will this Cardinal thus support nuclear energy, the only way to obviate green house gas emissions on an industrial scale while providing electricity 24 / 7.
    It irritates me to no end to see these clerics pontificate on subjects over which they have neither authority nor expertise and ignore the Gospel of holiness and righteousness.

  • Paul Primavera

    A serious (and not sarcastic etc) question. Is not caring for the environment a part of the “Gospel of holiness and righteousness”?

  • So many unbelievable things have come to pass in the last century that maybe we are all just to darned credulous.
    “That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism – ” ( Mötley Monk)

  • Botolph,
    We are in violent agreement. Outward environmental stewardship is a natural result of an interior life of righteousness and holiness. Pollution of the soul must be eradicated before pollution of the environment can be eradicated. Greed for money and lust for power keep the nation addicted to polluting fossil fuels and prevent transition to safe, clean nuclear energy.
    For example, did you know that Shirley Ann Jackson, former NRC Chairwoman under President Clinton, is on the Board of Directors for Marathon Oil? Why is it ok for a nuclear regulator to have conflicting monetary interests in competing dirty fossil fuels?
    And I wonder what fossil fuel investments are had by current anti-nuclear NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane and her husband, Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist at George Washington University who studies anti-nuclear activism. Yeah, right!
    Under Barack HUSSEIN Obama, San Onofre Units 2 and 3, Keewanee, Crystal Rover and Vermont Yankee are ALL being shutdown. What will replace them? This?
    Environmental stewardship can ONLY be addressed by going to safe, clean nuclear, but greed for fossil fuel profit and addiction to fossil fuel availability prevents that. If fossil fuel had to abide by the same regulations that nuclear has to abide by – no emissions release – not a single fossil fuel power plant would be running, and solar and wind would collapse because of their abysmally low < 30% capacity factors.

  • Peace and Justice!!!

    Their so-called solutions to climate change result in, at best, higher energy prices and slower economic development and growth. They will condemn billions of poor (mainly black and brown) people to misery and poverty. At worst, there will be national bankruptcies.

  • T Shaw, it is called Green Power, Black Death – Eco-Imperialism

  • For T Shaw – Green Power Black Death
    I hate enviro-wackism as much as I hate abortion and sodomite marriage. The former worships the creature rather than the Creator and the later are the natural results thereof. Didn’t St Paul write about this somewhere in Romans? Like chapter 1, verses 18 through 32? This is an ancient problem and it is called SIN.

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  • “There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”

    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.

  • the Old Adam: ““There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”
    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.”
    Well said. It is mind control and manipulation through fear, not to mention the levying of taxes, or as the White House said: “It is a penalty”.

  • Going to bed with the chickens and getting up with the sun will save tons of electricity. Turning off the tv. Have you ever heard the grass grow? I am working on it.

  • We often wonder why those in search of faith don’t go for the genuine article…instead of AGW style earth worship. Satan is very involved in various green groups, and many parishes don’t (yet) realize that youth must be protected from them.

  • There is a new nuclear startup company called “NuScale” about which you may learn more here – I encourage browsing and viewing the various videos:
    I am not going to bother describing the passively safe modular reactor design being proposed by this company. Those of you who are serious readers can find out more at the following 31 page document in the public domain at the web site of the US NRC:
    Indeed, my story is not about science and engineering (of which the cleric that is the subject of this blog entry has ZERO knowledge). My story is about people.
    I once upon a time had an opportunity to attend a little speech given by Dr. Jose Reyes, the founder of this company and its chief technology officer (he was within the US NRC in the late 1970s and early 1980s if memory serves me correctly). He said that the job of the employees of that company is to bring light to the world – to provide small modular reactors in darkened areas around the globe where people live in abject poverty and there is no electric grid. Remember folks that your prosperity is directly proportional to access to low cost energy at your finger tips at every second of every day throughout the year rain or shine. Billions still do not have the power you have this evening (or morning if you are reading this in the morning). A simple, small, passively safe, walk-away nuclear reactor that emits no green house gases and which unlike solar or wind, runs 24 / 7 is clearly the solution.
    Now what kind of a company is this whose chief officers espouses such altruism? Is it really altruistic, or is it just so much corporate propaganda? Well, back before 2011 this company was being financed by the Michael Kenwood Group (a fact in the public domain). This group unbeknownst to company executives was playing a Ponzi scheme which of course failed. Federal charges were levied and NuScale lost funding. Many employees were laid off. Some agreed to work for minimum wage and other did work for free rather than see their dream go up in coal dust smoke. They did that from March to July of 2011, until Fluor Corporation miraculously came in as the next major investor.
    Now what did the employees at Solyndra do when that company failed after receiving almost a billion in aid from the Federal Government? They bailed put like rats escaping a sinking ship. It wasn’t about environmental consciousness or a desire to bring light to darkened areas of the globe that motivated Solyndra. It was government money – your tax money and mine.
    Now yes, NuScale has received DOE funding – $214 million over five years I think. It is all in the public domain. But that is a pittance to what Barack Hussein Obama has spent on failed renewable energy schemes that never ever will work. And when those schemes go belly up, everyone deserts the cause, unlike the employees and staff at NuScale.
    Now tell me. Would that worthless cleric which is the subject of this blog entry give up his parish money for the greater good? Would he give up his health insurance? Would he eat peanut butter and jelly to save on food costs while he worked for the greater good? Would he get his hands dirty bringing light to the world Huh? Would he? (Yes, I know and am aware of the double meaning in the phrase “bringing light to the world.” Think about it: no electricity means you will have the life expectancy of people in the 1800s. you take for granted your food, your water, your lights, your refrigerator, your air conditioner, your hot water heater, your toilet, your running water, and all the other conveniences that electricity gives you. Billions do not have what you have. Think about it – bring light to the world.)
    I know a company where employees gave up what that cleric would never give up and they still worked their tails off. Those are the true environmentalists. Those are the ones who care about the poor. They really do want to bring light to the world. And the next time I hear or read some anti-nuclear fruit cake nut-zoid eco-wacko start mouthing off his nonsense, I shall give it to him with both barrels (figuratively speaking).

  • Oh, and just as a side note, the Catholic Church located in the town where the NuScale headequarters are based has the two best priests ever, both Argentinian and both orthodox and yet very people-oriented. They both preach the best sermons, and their English is better than mine. And there is Perpetual (24 / 7 – like the electricity you always want at your finger tips) Adoration where the Monstrance has engraved the words REX SVM EGO. The cleric up above could do well by learning from these humble priests. Bring light to the world. Double meaning is intended.

  • Thank you for the link exNOAAman- “climate religion” is another name for it! for people who have a bit more of a scientism bent and don’t want to admit to one of the older names!

  • In Europe, opposition to environmentalism is common on the Hard Left.

    To take one example, “There is no “environmental catastrophe.” The catastrophe is the environment itself. The environment is what’s left to man after he’s lost everything. Those who live in a neighborhood, a street, a valley, a war zone, a workshop – they don’t have an “environment;” they move through a world peopled by presences, dangers, friends, enemies, moments of life and death, all kinds of beings. Such a world has its own consistency, which varies according to the intensity and quality of the ties attaching us to all of these beings, to all of these places. It’s only us, the children of the final dispossession, exiles of the final hour – the ones who come into the world in concrete cubes, pick our fruits at the supermarket, and watch for an echo of the world on television – only we get to have an environment”

    They are at least shrewd enough to see that “Tracking, transparency, certification, eco-taxes, environmental excellence, and the policing of water, all give us an idea of the coming state of ecological emergency. Everything is permitted to a power structure that bases its authority in Nature, in health and in well-being.”

  • For Donald McClarey, being that he is from Illinois 😉
    Imagine what will happen with air pollution if nuclear, 43% of the electrical generation in Illinois, is shutdown by the environmentalists.

  • Folks,
    I continue to find good information. Over at Areva’s blog (Areva is a big French nuclear company marking an Evolutionary Power Reactor) there is a great article entitled:
    DOE Energy Calculator: Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy
    The US DOE did a study which determined that “the average American burns up the annual energy equivalent of 15,370 pounds of coal (7.7 tons), 165,033 sticks of dynamite, or 31,226 burritos for residential and transportation activities. Putting aside the dynamite and burrito comparisons for the moment, the data analysis makes the point that your energy use burns up about 41 pounds of coal a day, equaling your body weight every few days.”
    And all that mass of fossil fuel – or burritos – that you consume is equal to one 4 inch stick of uranium pellets each the size of your thumb.
    So ask yourself this: when you consume 15,370 pounds of coal or 31,221burritos every year, exactly where does that waste go if NOT into the environment? In the case of used nuclear fuel, it still has 95% of its energy available that can be recycled and reused in fast neutron burner reactors. And all the used fuel in the US is completely sequester in spent fuel pools or dry storage casks, and would occupy no more than 1 football field to a depth of 7 feet. And if we recycle and reuse the fuel, then that gets reduced to just the 1st yard line. That’s it. Not like the 39 million tons of toxic coal ash that Duke Energy recently dumped in North Carolina’s river system. Do you really think Cardinal Pietro Parolin understands ANY of this? Or how stupid and idiotic his native Italy was for denuking itself after Chernobyl, never mind that NONE of the Italian reactors were of the RBMK design and could never by the laws of physics undergo a Chernobyl event (don’t tempt me to explain those laws – I can, you know, and God made them the way they are no matter how much someone may dislike the strong nuclear force).
    Now for what happens when you shut down a perfectly good nuclear power plant and replace it with fossil fuel (wind and solar don’t work 24 / 7 – capacity factors are < 30% – do the math, folks. You want your electricity 24 / 7). Vermont Yankee, much to the delight of socialist Bernie Sanders and the rest of the dope head hippies in Vermont is being shutdown. Electricity prices in neighboring Massachusetts will rise 37% this winter. Guess what happens if another polar vortex hits? Gas line valves freeze, trains can't run coal to coal plants, oil lines freeze, wind turbines lock up, solar panels get covered with snow, etc. NO electricity. Get the picture? Lights out because of stupid idiotic eco-wacko anti-nuclearism. Last year during the Polar Vortex Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro and Pilgrim in Plymouth, Mass kept churning out the megawatts. Kind of hard to dampen the strong nuclear force with a little wind and snow. Oh, but this year the dope head hippies in Vermont won't suffer in their pocket books because they got a one time kick back from the decommissioning fund. But wait till November of 2015. Then the idiots will get exactly what they deserve as the natural gas suppliers and Hydro Quebec put the screws to them that they so richly deserve. I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay. More here on the debacle that Vermonters have heaped on their own heads:
    I really think that if clerics (or anyone else for that matter) do not understand energy, engineering and science, then they don't get to pontificate about environmentalism, or any related subject because, just as Mr. McClarey has indicated that many are bone ignorant about history, they are also bone ignorant about science. So that begs the question: exactly what is it that these people do know?

  • “Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy”

    With a title like that, how can one not read it?
    But Paul says:
    ” I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay”
    Sadly, their usual method is to tax the rest of us into paying for their foolishness.

  • Paul Primavera,

    Why isn’t the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste from reactors a long term danger to humanity and the environment?

    For how long does the waste remain radioactive?

  • Paul can provide a more through response to you, slainte, but I would note that the total amount of spent nuclear fuel that has been produced in America could fill a football field sized container stacked 20 feet high. In other words, we’re not talking about a particularly large amount here, and it can be safely stored in such a way that it a threat to no one. There’s also the possibility of recycling the waste, though I understand that it is technologically difficult.

  • Thank you, Paul Zummo. I was at the gym when I got the email alerting me to Slainte’s question. Your response is basically correct. Total amount of used fuel generated is relatively small and readily manageable. Current high-level waste volume after 40 years of operations would fill an area about the size of a football field five yards deep. It is about 48,000 metric tons, assuming ½ ton per fuel assembly with 100,000 assemblies. However, waste is a misnomer. Only ~5% is waste. The rest is fuel that can be recycled, as Paul Zummo stated. This is a technical problem that can be overcome by using fast neutron burner reactor such as GE-Hitachi’s PRISM:
    Now recently the US NRC issued NUREG-2157, Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel. You can read volumes 1 and 2 here: Even anti-nuclear Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane signed off on this. Basically, it says that there is NO long term issue with spent fuel storage in dry casks on the surface of the Earth. Now I know this to be true. Why? Because all of my adult life I have worked around spent fuel in spent fuel pools or in dry cask storage. I still live, breathe and walk. Spent fuel is safer than driving your automobile.
    Now for all those who cite the hazards of spent fuel, did you ever consider that coal fired power plants release more radioactivity to the environment than any nuclear power plant does? Now why is that? Because coal contains radium, uranium and thorium which is willy-nilly dumped into the environment.
    Did you ever consider that fracking for natural gas releases more radioactivity in the form of radon than any nuclear power plant does?
    But let’s take a comparison. Total spent fuel (95% of which can be used in fast neutron burners) is 48 thousand metric tons in the US. Earlier this year ONE Duke Energy coal fired power plant dumped 39 MILLION tons of toxic sludge into the river system down near Wilmington, NC. What is 48,000 total for US nukes compared to 39,000,000 for one coal plant? I shall tell you. One coal plant has 812.5 times the toxic waste – none of which can be recycled and all of which is an environmental hazard that never ever decays away – that all the nukes in the US have. And that coal waste is radioactive.
    I could go on about the refuse gases that natural gas plants give off, or the heavy metal pollution that making solar cells generates, or the explosions that have occurred at solar thermal stations, or the lubricating oil spilled into the environment by wind mills. Every source of energy produces a waste product. Only nuclear sequesters its waste and only in nuclear’s case can the waste be reprocessed and reused.
    We do NOT have a nuclear waste problem. We have a sin waste problem.

  • Please see the following video by Dr. Eric Lowen of GE-Hitachi. I have worked with him. He is an honest man. He is telling the truth.

  • For those concerned about nuclear waste, please read chapters 11 and 12 of The Nuclear Energy Option by Dr. Bernard Cohen located here:
    Please also read Dr. Cohen’s other essays located here:

    I cannot day which is more important because they are all important. If you do not know anything about nuclear power, then kindly start at page 1 in The Nuclear Energy Option. I cannot distill 38 years of nuclear training and experience into a sound bite. If you want to know the truth and how you have been lied to by politicians and the news media, then read and study. I have been a nuke for almost 4 decades. While it is by God’s grace I am still alive, that God had to send His angels working overtime on my case has NOTHING to do with my professional job and EVERYTHING to do with self-will run riot in my personal life. Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy we have. I consider it a great irony that the largest source of power available to us comes from the smallest particle of an element – the atom. But God is like that: He does the greatest things with the smallest.
    Again: we have no energy crisis, no pollution crisis, no waste crisis, no environmental crisis. Rather, we have a crisis of self-will run riot, a sin crisis, the very crisis for which I need to frequent the Confessional more than I do for the fires of hell will be well beyond radioactive.

  • Another one for Donald McClarey, being that he is from Illinois:
    The Economic Value of Nuclear Energy in Illinois

  • To think that some Church leaders can think that man can destroy what God has created is too much for me.

PopeWatch: He’s Back

Saturday, September 27, AD 2014


From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:


VATICAN–According to reports today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is seeking the chair of his pontificate months after his resignation. The news has sent shock waves around the world.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Vitateli Devitiamani told EOTT that, “He came for a dinner as scheduled and then proceeded to return to his old living quarters. That wouldn’t be a problem, since His Holiness Pope Francis chose to live elsewhere, the room is open. However, once we asked him where he was going, he simply said, ‘I’m back,’ then proceeded to put his sunglasses on even though we were inside.”

Sources say that the next morning, he walked down the hall asking for his valet and his red Prada shoes, and was overheard asking an adviser to “get Burke on the line.”

This comes 19 months after his official resignation from the Holy See. EOTT had the chance to sit down with the Pope Emeritus to discuss the ordeal.

“You have to understand that, months ago, I received a call from Word of Fire Catholic Ministries. It was Fr. Steve Grunow on the phone along with his colleague Jared Zimmerer. They’re both serious about the care of the body and the mind, and offered to help me regain some strength in both. I gratefully accepted. So, after months of training, I’ve lost weight, regained my muscle mass and strength of mind. I’ve never felt better. And to tell you the truth, I never actually filed the paperwork to officially exit my office,” Benedict said just outside the Bernini Columns where he proceeded to flick a lit cigarette into a full barrel of gasoline and walk away as the barrel exploded.

At press time, Benedict still hasn’t looked back at the massive explosion.

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13 Responses to PopeWatch: He’s Back

  • Winston’s? Maybe Marlboro. Camel no filter. No. For the Terminator it must be CK Chesterton’s.

    Yes. Smooth and reliable. CK Chesterton’s are rich in flavor. Honest to goodness holy smokes.
    For the man with integrity and principles it must be……….CK Chesterton’s.

  • Papa Ratzinger can keep the Chair, provided Francis is removed from St. Peter’s along with it and is replaced by Bishop Fellay, or if he is too humble, perhaps in a “compromise” that “traditional liberals” might find intriguing, allowing Marie “Bai” Macfarlane a caretaker Pope role, to work to actually attempt to heal families, address, somewhat reasonably the pastoral marriage and tribunal insanity, and to allow time for the clearly incompetant “kindergarten of Cardinals” to be replaced by a solemn group of faithful marriage defending contentious annulment respondents, to choose the next Roman Pontiff, in the sincere hope of restoring Catholicism.

  • Philip: You are seriously Phunny. I am hurt though by Benedict flicking a lit cigarette and blowing up Bernini. It was probably phrancis’ barrel of gasoline.
    Karl: Yours is a very good comment. “kindergarten of Cardinals”

  • Yes Mary. Phrancis’ barrel of gasoline refined at one of Mr. G. Soros’ Brazilian Oil refineries. So happy we, (U.S.) could h$lp them out. Barrack is ha$$y too.

  • If B XVI were B-17, maybe. Too bad.

    When I smoked (like a chimney) it was mostly Chesterfields. By the grace of God, I was able to quit twice. The second time I was a part-time smoker, only at work, and had to go outdoors to wreck my heart and lungs.

    I daily smoke a half a cigar, walking the pooch. Maybe a whole cigar on Saturday and Sunday.

    From Kipling, “The Betrothed”

    “And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.”

    Nothing good ever came out of a papal resignation.

  • T. Shaw

    If Ya got em’ smoke em’.
    I too smoked for many years. Cold turkey in 94′. So blessed to have quit.

    I hope I didn’t infringe on Chesterfield’s good name. 🙂 I might need a good lawyer.

  • Philip: You are so blessed with a comedic talent.

  • Mary De Voe.

    Teetering on the fine line of humor and obnoxiousness. That’s my address I’m afraid. Sorry if it’s more of the later and less of the former.

  • Still laughing over that image of Pope Emeritus Benedict with a cigarette butt lol

  • A Catholic environment exists when Gods’ laws are followed. God Bless America and her people of good will. The others ???? God Bless Pope Benedict. Pope Francis ,I leave in Mother Marys’ hands.
    Please come back Pope Benedict and save the Church.

  • Now trying desperately not to imagine leather vestments…..


Saturday, September 27, AD 2014

Something for the weekend.  Autumn from the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.   Composed in 1725, like all of Vivaldi’s music it scampered into obscurity after his death, only to be surprisingly revived in the rediscovery of Vivaldi in the last century.

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Gone is the heat of summer and I find the cooler weather bracing.  The leaves in all their glorious colors, as they move from life to death, have always struck me as a symbol of a life well spent.  A time for action and meditation, at least in my practice for some reason.

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2 Responses to Autumn

  • Any Vivaldi is welcome.

  • I will make it a point to listen to it later today.

    We have discussed seasons before, Mr. McClarey, and we are in disagreement as to what is best, but that’s okay, as there is no one favorite season for everyone. Early fall can have its charms (in the North), such as surprisingly warm days, cool nights that are good for sleeping when one cracks open the bedroom window and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees, which is often a splendid sight in the Laurel Highlands east and southeast of Pittsburgh. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad usually runs two trips a day from Cumberland to Frostburg during October. For those who partake of it, there are hayrides, bonfires and Oktoberfests. When I was a teen and into beer can collecting, bock beers were always offered in October. There is the World Series, the start of hockey and high school football on Friday nights. My boys are young enough to enjoy trick or treating.

    As further proof of the expanding lack of maturity among adults, my employer offers a costume day on Halloween. I plead guilty to partaking of this by dressing like Howie Mandel when he was hosting the Deal or No Deal show – complete with soul patch and hoop earrings. My wife hates it, but I think earrings look cool with a bald head. Call it my one concession to pop (slop) culture.

    I ca do without the fall sun glaring in my face while driving (it was nasty yesterday evening) and cleaning leaves is a job I can never complete until April.

    On the other hand, cooler and shorter days clearly mark the end of summer. Growing season is over and flowers begin to die. My son and I tried to grow pumpkin and tomato plants and sunflowers. Thanks to the weather, we got one tomato.

    Gone, for another year, are the long, warm days (not many this year). Gone are the carefree days of school age children who experience the far too rare opportunity to be kids – bike riding, swimming, tree climbing, visits to grandparents, vacations and daytrips, replaced by the routine of school and homework. Gone are the days of not having to wear a jacket – or coat.

    Autumn comes every year just as autumn comes in our lives when we realize we are not young anymore and more of our lives in this world are behind us than ahead of us. This is why the Church begins to focus on the Last Things as November arrives and passes.

    Off topic – I think it would be a good idea if, some year, the good folks who partake of Mr. McClarey’s blog set up a meet and greet on some weekend (it would have to be in the summer). A decade ago, I used to post regularly on a conservative message board and certain such meetings were set up. I went to one – a Saturday at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Just a thought.

4 Responses to Mulan Meets My Little Pony

September 26, 1907: Dominion of Newfoundland

Friday, September 26, AD 2014


Ye brave Newfoundlanders who plough the salt sea,
With hearts like the eagle so bold and so free,
The time is at hand when we’ll have to say
If Confederation will carry the day.

Men, hurrah for our own native Isle, Newfoundland,
Not a stranger shall hold one inch of its strand;
Her face turns to Britain, her back to the Gulf,
Come near at your peril, Canadian Wolf!

Cheap tea and molasses they say they will give,
All taxes taken off that the poor man may live;
Cheap nails and cheap lumber, our coffins to make,
And homespun to mend our old clothes when they break.

If they take off all taxes, how then will they meet
The heavy expenses on army and fleet?
Just give them the chance to get into the scrap,
They’ll show you the trick with pen, ink and red tape.

Would you barter the right that your fathers have won?
Your freedom transmitted from father to son?
For a few thousand dollars Canadian gold
Don’t let it be said that our birthright was sold.

Newfoundland Anti-Confederation folk song (1869)




Faithful readers of this blog know that my sainted mother was from Newfoundland.  My mother and my father after my birth in Paris, Illinois, due to my 21 year old Mom being deeply homesick, lived in Newfoundland from 1957-1961.  My brother was born there in 1958.  Newfoundland never being an easy place to make a living, for all its stark beauty, my family returned to Paris, Illinois in 1961 so that my father could obtain employment, and that is where my parents lived for the remainder of their lives, and where my brother and I were raised.

Newfoundland was granted dominion status on this day in 1907.  During World War I, Newfoundland had a proud war record, its regiment in France being granted the signal honor of being designated the Royal Newfoundland regiment.  Alas war debts, the Great Depression and corrupt politicians bankrupted the nation and Newfoundland, with its legislature suspended, and a governor appointed by Great Britain, became a colony, in all but name, again in 1934.

In 1948 a referendum was held to determine the future of Newfoundland, with three options:  restoration of dominion status, confederation with Canada, and a continuation of being a colony of Great Britain.  The Brits made it quite clear that they could no longer afford to subsidize Newfoundland.  There was some sentiment among Newfoundlanders to ask the US Congress for statehood, but supporters of that idea were unable to get it on the ballot.  In the first referendum held, a narrow plurality of voters chose dominion status, with confederation with Canada coming in a close second.  In the second referendum the option for continued colonial status was dropped.  Confederation supporters, some of them, prior to the second referendum, appealed to religious bigotry by arguing that Catholic bishops were telling Catholics to support dominion status, which an overwhelming number of Catholics did support.  In the second referendum 52% of the votes were cast for confederation, so Newfoundland joined what prior generations of Newfoundlanders had often referred to as the Canadian wolf!  It was still a topic of some controversy in the Sixties among my Mom’s relatives!

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3 Responses to September 26, 1907: Dominion of Newfoundland

  • “…appealed to religious bigotry by arguing that Catholic bishops were telling Catholics to support dominion status,”
    Religious bigotry, like all sin, is just plain stupid. Men are free and make free choices with their free will, no matter who says what, and they are responsible and suffer or enjoy the consequences of their free will choices.
    Donald McClarey: Were you the only person in your family who was born an American citizen? Welcome home.

  • Confederation has not been kind to Newfoundland, either. Ill-conceived megaprojects and regulations from Ottawa have made things rough.

  • “Donald McClarey: Were you the only person in your family who was born an American citizen? Welcome home.”
    Children born of American citizens while abroad are American citizens. Sorry, I was not thinking.

Who Still Supports Obama?

Friday, September 26, AD 2014

9 Responses to Who Still Supports Obama?

  • Barack Obama’s approval rating slid into dangerous territory this week

    Well, considering that approval ratings don’t threaten him from remaining in office for the remainder of his term, I wouldn’t call his position dangerous. The main points of his reign of terror are already in place.

  • If he has a completely Republican congress he will be even more of a lame duck than he already is. Additionally I suspect he is concerned about his legacy, all Presidents are, and that can’t help but be impaired with his adversaries in control of Congress for his last two years.

  • Millions of resentful/envious and ignorant/unintelligent people still support O. I call them (dangerous) Obama-worshipping imbeciles.

    It seems they think the following (partial list) fiascos are good things:
    US median income at $51,939, inflation adjusted, still 8% below the pre-recession measure.
    The World is a More Dangerous Place.
    Scandals: IRS, VA, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, etc.
    Serial Drone Killings.
    You Didn’t Build That.
    You Can Keep Your Health Insurance!
    Disintegration of Education.
    Six Years of Record High Gasoline/Heating Oil Prices.
    War on Coal with No Economically Viable Substitute.
    Death of the Middle Class.
    Decreasing home ownership rate.
    Real Rents Up 15% While Real Median Incomes Declining.
    Declining Labor Force Participation Rates – 62.8% is lowest in 36 years.
    Record 92,120,000 Americans (ages 16 and up) are out of the labor force.
    Malignant National Debt.
    QE’s and Stimuli Enriched Wall Street Left Out Main Street.
    Increased Poverty Levels.
    Don’t tell this to the New York Times!

  • It’s actually amazing what the man gets away with: the IRS scandal and the stupefying mendacity surrounding Benghazi for starters. You recall that 16 months after the Watergate burglary, Richard Nixon’s attorney-general tendered his resignation and his deputy attorney-general was dismissed for insubordination due to intramural conflicts over compliance with subpoenas; the President’s erstwhile legal counsel had already dropped all the dimes on him on national television in front of a special congressional inquiry. By the end of 1973, Ron Nessen, then a reporter for NBC News, had offered this prediction for the coming year: “there’s a Ford in your future”; the House Judiciary Committee opened impeachment proceedings six weeks after that. Well, we’re 16 months after Lois Lerner’s planted questions and we’re not to first base on this due to spoilation of evidence. So, who are the equivalents in the Obama Administration of John Dean, Elliott Richardson, and William Ruckelshaus? The answer is that there is no such person because of the decay in the quality of people who inhabit discretionary positions in the federal government.

    As for BO’s legacy, you can sell hooey for decades. Still, I tend to doubt Obama’s in for a retrospective rehabilitation. Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan have all received one in and among different constituencies (academic, journalistic, man-in-the-street, or some combination thereof). Lyndon Johnson has not.

  • Who still supports Obama? The radical ideologues and the ignorant. I’m not sure which of the two dominate but I’d guess the ignorant.

  • Sirach 10:1-5
    1 A wise magistrate will educate his people,
    and the rule of an understanding man will be well ordered.
    2 Like the magistrate of the people, so are his officials;
    and like the ruler of the city, so are all its inhabitants.
    3 An undisciplined king will ruin his people,
    but a city will grow through the understanding of its rulers.
    4 The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord,
    and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.
    5 The success of a man is in the hands of the Lord,
    and he confers his honor upon the person of the scribe

  • T. Shaw

    One more?
    The inability for tax breaks to American Corporations that could of kept them from establishing their home office off shore. Oh no. Not Obama’s fault.
    He gracious to big business.

  • Or, add this, T Shaw?
    “Obama in his remarks [Wed 9/24/14, UN address] offered praise to controversial cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and referred to him as a moderate Muslim leader who can help combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL or ISIS) radical ideology.

    However, Bin Bayyah himself has long been engulfed in controversy for many of his views, including the reported backing of a 2004 fatwa that advocated violent resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq.

    This is not the first time that the Obama administration has extolled Bin Bayyah, who also has served as the vice president of a Muslim scholars group founded by a radical Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called “for the death of Jews and Americans,” according to Fox News and other reports.
    (courtesy, Washington Free Beacon, “Obama Praises Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on Killing US Soldiers,” Adam Kredo, 9/24/14)
    There is no way that he does NOT know that Bin Bayyah has urged the death of US soldiers, in particular by Bin Bayyah’s issuance of Koranic fatwa vs US military personnel. This man must be impeached.

  • Thanks, Philip and Steve Phoenix!

    He’s hugely been gracious to Wall Street, notably Goldman Sachs.

    We are all racists, don’t you know?

    When the zombie apocalypse hits, I will feel grave sympathy for the brain-eating beasties! They’ll starve trying to find brains among Obama worshipping imbeciles. At minimum they’ll get nauseated.