Donald Trump and William Jennings Bryan

Wednesday, November 30, AD 2016

 

Attempting to draw historical parallels is usually perilous, especially when the person doing so clearly does not understand the period he is seeking to draw a parallel with.  Such is the case with Arthur Levine in the New York Daily News:

On Election Day, the United States voted for the past over the future. In 1896, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, there was a comparable election. It was a time of transition in which clashing visions of America — one agrarian and waning and the other industrial and rising — battled for the soul of the nation. It was a period of dramatic demographic, economic and technological change, producing deep political and social divisions, growing concentrations of wealth and gridlock in government.

William Jennings Bryan, the defender of agrarian America, and William McKinley, the champion of industrialization, contested for the presidency. McKinley won.

In the 2016, presidential election, the reverse happened. Donald Trump, the contemporary Bryan, won.

The context is similar. Once again, America is in the midst of an economic, demographic, technological and global transformation as the country transitions from a national, analog industrial economy to a global, digital information economy.

As in 1896, the country is divided, pained and angry. The poor are poorer and the rich are richer. The number of have-nots is expanding and the number of haves is shrinking. The manufacturing and Industrial Age jobs, demanding no more than a high school diploma, that promised salaries, dreams and hopes sufficient to support a family, are vanishing.

In their stead, there are now knowledge-economy jobs, requiring the highest levels of education in history. The college education required to get those jobs leaves our children with massive student-loan debt.

At the same time, as in the previous transformation, the nation’s social institutions — government, education, media and the rest — appear to be part of the problem rather than the solution. Having been created for an Industrial Age, they are outdated and seem to be dysfunctional. They need to be redesigned for a global, digital, information economy.

As in 1896, the 2016 election gave Americans a choice of restoring what had been lost or building on the changes. It gave them a choice of attempting to repair the existing institutions or replacing them. The nation chose to restore the past and replace our leadership, electing for the first time a candidate who had never held political or military office.

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5 Responses to Donald Trump and William Jennings Bryan

  • . Trump closed the deal with Carrier to stay in Indiana reports his enemy, the nytimes. Their United Technologies segment does defense business with the USA. Lol….will we ever get a transcript of all that was said between Trump and Carrier. Trump might whet voters’ appetites for deal making presidents going forward if he keeps up this aspect of his rule…once he actually is on the clock. If he does another deal like this before the inauguration, the rust belt will take heart that someone is trying at least.

  • Don’t think a lot of businesses aren’t looking at this and thinking that striking deals with Trump to keep jobs in America buys them huge national publicity and a lot of good will from the public.

  • . Exactly….and Trump spotlighting them in the media makes it likely that they’ll pay a price in usa sales numbers if they don’t agree to stay. If you save money in Mexico but lose money in USA sales figures through notoriety, Trump has punished you if you don’t go his way.

  • I think I read the phrase– though it sounds like a quote– over at According to Hoyt’s place that “socialism is the future of the past.”

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 30, AD 2016

quote-character-is-like-a-tree-and-reputation-like-a-shadow-the-shadow-is-what-we-think-of-it-the-tree-abraham-lincoln-112628

 

The very next day, somebody was discussing with him the difference between character and reputation, when he said,—with a look at me, as if to remind of what he had been talking about the day before,—perhaps a man’s character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of; the tree is the real thing.

Noah Brooks, newspaper correspondent and friend of Abraham Lincoln, recalling a statement by Lincoln

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PopeWatch: Chaput

Wednesday, November 30, AD 2016

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Sandro Magister notes at his blog Chiesa that while Pope Francis is remaining mum in regard to the demand of the Four Cardinals for clarification on Amoris Laetitia, his ecclesiastical hounds are baying:

ROME, November 23, 2016 – Not one word has come from the mouth of Pope Francis after four cardinals publicly asked him to resolve five major “doubts” raised by the most controversial passages of “Amoris Laetitia”:

> “Seeking Clarity.” The Appeal of Four Cardinals To the Pope

Or better, the pope has given a non-answer, when in the interview with Stefania Falasca for the November 18 edition of “Avvenire” he said at a certain point, using the familiar “tu” form of address with the interviewer, a longstanding friend of his:

“Some – think of certain replies to ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – still fail to understand, it’s either black or white, even thought it is in the flux of life that one must discern.”

To make up for this, not a few churchmen of the pope’s circle have come forward to speak for him, falling over themselves to say that the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” is already perfectly clear in itself and cannot give rise to doubts, and therefore those who are raising them are in reality attacking the pope and disobeying his magisterium.

The standout of these garrulous sorties is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, already repeatedly indicated by Pope Francis as his authorized interpreter and chief custodian of Church doctrine, with all due respect to Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, whose role as prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith has by now been reduced to a mere honorary title.

But the most unrestrained has been another cardinal and a newbie to the scarlet, Kevin J. Farrell of the United States, who said in an interview with the “National Catholic Reporter”:

“‘Amoris Laetitia’ is the Holy Spirit speaking. I believe we should take it as it is. That will be the guiding document without a doubt for the years to come. I honestly don’t see what and why some bishops seem to think that they have to interpret this document.”

So they are in the wrong who want Francis to weigh in again. “I believe that the pope has spoken” enough, Farrell added, when on September 5 he gave his approval to the exegesis of “Amoris Laetitia’ made by the Argentine bishops of the region of Buenos Aires, according to whom it just so happens that there are civilly divorced and remarried persons who may receive communion even while continuing to live “more uxorio.”

Farrell was made a cardinal by Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the consistory of last November 19. And since last August he has been prefect of the new Vatican dicastery for laity, family and life.

He is therefore one of the new faces of Pope Francis’s new curia. A curia that – as is continually repeated – should no longer suppress but rather foster the multiform “creativity” of each bishop in his respective diocese.

In reality the opposite has happened here. In another interview – this time with “Catholic News Service,” the agency of the episcopal conference of the United States – Farrell took it into his head to attack “ad personam” an illustrious bishop and fellow countryman, whose “offense” would be precisely that of having offered his diocese guidelines for the implementation of “Amoris Laetitia” that were evidently not to Farrell’s liking.

The target of the attack is not a nobody. He is Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia, the city that in 2015 hosted the world meeting of families that Pope Francis went to visit (see photo).

Chaput is a Franciscan and the first bishop of the United States born in a tribe of Native Americans. Pastoral care of the family is one of his recognized areas of expertise. He participated in the synod on the family and at the end of its second and final session he was elected by a landslide as one of the twelve members of the council of cardinals and bishops that acts as a bridge between one synod and another.

In Farrell’s judgment, however, he has the defect of having dictated to his priests and faithful guidelines that are “closed,” instead of “open” as Pope Francis wants.

“I don’t share the view of what Archbishop Chaput did, no,” said the new Vatican prefect of pastoral care of the family. “The Church cannot react by closing the doors before we even listen to the circumstances and the people. That’s not the way to go.”

Chaput reacted to the incredible attack with a concise counter-interview with “Catholic News Service,” presented in its entirety in Italian and English in this post of “Settimo Cielo”:

> Il papa tace, ma il neocardinale suo amico parla e accusa. Non c’è pace su “Amoris laetitia”

But what is more interesting to inspect up close is the matter of contention, meaning the guidelines offered by Chaput to his archdiocese of Philadelphia.

They are reproduced in their entirety below. These are indeed clear, without the shadow of a doubt.

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Chaput

  • The Cubs won.
    Clinton is defeated.
    Castro is dead.
    God can take care of Jorge Bergoglio and this situation, too.
    😉

  • It appears much like the Church has now adopted “openness” and “creativity”….as in the old 1960’s “open marriage” to replace fidelity and commitment.

  • Farrell says,“The Church cannot react by closing the doors before we even listen to the circumstances and the people. That’s not the way to go.”

    Jesus says, “Go and sin no more.”

    Personally I love Cdl. Pell’s response to the Dubia, “How can you disagree with a question?”

    These are dangerous times in the Church, but I’ve had to laugh as I view Cdl. Burke playing chess while the Pope plays checkers. Now, as the heterodox realize they are badly outclassed, they have taken to name-calling and threats.

  • What is very awful is that a schism has already taken place within moral theology….that is….Francis has high placed followers that are equally laxist in this area and he has parts of Catholic journalism like Crux which promote the “nothing really bad has happened narrative”.

  • Thank you, God, for Cardinal Chaput. Amen.

  • Yes thank you God for Chaput- a strong healthy voice whose demeanor reflects optimism and hope. I don’t think he suits Francis taste very well- but he is hard to pigeonhole. He wants to be a good faithful Catholic first and foremost…and not so political as some bishops would be!

    I like this quote from DonL “It appears much like the Church has now adopted “openness” and “creativity”….as in the old 1960’s “open marriage” to replace fidelity and commitment.”
    That seems to be a good assessment— of churchmen wanting to be part of the mainstream.

  • La Misericordia Bulla

    Mercy for you, mercy from me.
    Hosanna, mercy! Hosanna, me !

    Dogma says “don’t”, doctrine says “whoa”!
    Tradition says “halt”. Serviam? I say No.

    Sin can be virtue, virtue be sin.
    But mercy is mercy, Voila! Sin again.

    Obstinate, harsh, hateful justice is wrong.
    Mercy the prize, dance to my song.

    Mercy the rock, the rock built on me.
    So it is now and ever will be.

    Mercy for all, unring the bell.
    Satan is saved, though his ideal is hell.

    Mercy for you, mercy from me.
    Hosanna, mercy! Hosanna, me!

    Guy McClung
    Copyright © GM 2016
    http://www.catholiclane.com/poem-la-misericordia-bulla/

  • Check out ‘The Bishops Enter the War’ by Hilary White. Excellent. Hilary is ecstatic and so should we. Find out why.
    http://www.onepeterfive.com/bishops-enter-war/

  • As one who has a low opinion of Archbishop Chaput overall, his pastoral letter is a spot on accurate presentation of Church teaching on this matter. I also find his explicit mentioning of those couples in invalid marriage choosing to live as brother and sister having recourse to Confession should they have lapses in living out that commitment very helpful. Chances are, initial efforts on the part of many of these couples will be met with failure. That needs to be pointed out. And bravo to Archbishop Chaput for doing so.

  • Good comment Greg. Archbishop Chaput lives up to his billing. The Lord be praised.

  • Unfortunately, Michael, like many of his brother bishops, Chaput’s ideology runs over his theology when it comes to issues like capital punishment, immigration, and the like. And I think it undermines his effectiveness on issues like this where he is quite good.

Burning the Flag, Trump and our Black Robed Masters

Tuesday, November 29, AD 2016

 

 

Trump is catching flack for tweeting that flag burning should be against the law and that those who do should suffer a penalty, for example a year in jail or loss of citizenship.  Of course the idea that those who burn the flag should be subject to severe criminal penalties would have been non-controversial throughout the vast majority of the history of the Republic.  It was not until Texas v. Johnson (1989), in a 5-4 decision that crossed ideological lines, that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional all anti-flag desecration laws.  The decision was a particularly silly example of a trend in the Court of confusing conduct and speech, and thus finding an action worthy of first amendment protection.  The lunacy of this, is that almost all conduct carries a speech component.  The Court picks and chooses the conduct it wishes to enshroud in constitutional protection.  Walking nude in public for example can be a form of protest.  Indeed, a group of Quaker women in colonial Boston engaged in a naked promenade to protest Puritan persecution of the Society of Friends.  Yet, the Supreme Court has declined to strike down laws that ban public nudity.  The Court thus designates itself the arbiter of what conduct should have legal protection.  I prefer that such a role be granted to legislatures.  Legislators can be voted out.  Supreme Court justices are frequently with us for generations as they grow old handing down the law to we lesser breeds.  Besides, it is easy to change the law, and hard to amend the Constitution, unless one happens to be one of our nine Platonic Guardians.  The Supreme Court, in effect, swiftly amends the Constitution each year by majority vote of the Court and the rest of us are left to deal with freedoms often infringed as a result, especially our most important freedom:  the right to rule ourselves.

 

 

 

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11 Responses to Burning the Flag, Trump and our Black Robed Masters

  • Justice Scalia sided with the majority. So it wasn’t just the liberals who were nuts in this case.

  • Correct. He and Justice Stevens, who wrote a powerful dissent, seem to have switched bodies for that case.

  • “The Supreme Court swiftly amends the Constitution each year and the rest of us are left to deal with freedoms often infringed as a result, especially our most important freedom: the right to rule ourselves.”

    Great insight Donald. Trump should start Tweeting: Lawless Supreme Court amends Constitution whenever it wants. Not good.

  • “It was not until Texas v. Johnson (1989), in a 5-4 decision that crossed ideological lines, that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional all anti-flag desecration laws. The decision was a particularly silly example of a trend in the Court of confusing conduct and speech, and thus finding an action worthy of first amendment protection.”
    .
    But I bet that the non-action of a Christian baker not baking a wedding cake for sodomites will be an unprotected non-action. Now that’s true lunacy.

  • Justice Roy Moore.
    A possible black robed master that could help straighten the crooked road in the Supreme Court. Alabama law makers would come apart at the seams if Moore made it in.
    🙂

  • Thing is Michael, Trump has no problem with the concept of the lawlessness of the Supreme Court when it comes to same sex marriage. This latest tweet from DaDonald about flag burning is just him pandering to conservatives.

  • Greg. One step at a time. Repeal Roe vs. Wade first.

  • Of course, if you simply prosecuted flag burning as environmental pollution you might get some liberals on board. Mother Earth uber alles.

  • The American Flag is a symbol that belongs to each and every American in joint and common tenancy, like all the free lands and waterways, like the public domain where only the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has freedom, where addiction to sodomy, lies about human sexuality and perjury about same sex marriage must be forbidden and must be exorcised. A sovereign people may not be subjected to the anger and destruction of someone’s dissent. Let them petition the government for redress in a timely and courteous manner. It is part of our First Amendment: “to petition the government for redress.” “We the people” are not to be subjected to tyranny by the few inciting to riot to gain the affirmation of the unjust.

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal” not born equal but created equal. The newly begotten sovereign person, baby Roe in Roe v. Wade became a ward of the Supreme Court the instant consent was given to have baby Roe aborted. The Supreme Court has a supreme and sovereign duty to guard baby Roe’s civil rights. Baby Roe’s innate will to survive is baby Roe’s civil right to Life.
    Scientific DNA is evidence of the newly begotten sovereign person in the womb.
    Dred Scott became a ward of the Supreme Court when his sovereign personhood was denied and Scott’s civil rights were denied. Terry Schindler Schiavo, too became a ward of the court when Michael Schiavo sought to have her life terminated. The court had the power and legitimate authority to make Terry Schindler Sciavo a ward of her parents. Terry Schindler Schiavo’s innate will to survive was overturned by the court, her civil right to life was terminated because Terry Schindler Schiavo’s sovereign personhood was not acknowledged by the Court. The Court, the government must represent all of American citizens. The sovereign personhood of American citizens institutes the courts and the government. “We, the people” are all constituents of the one nation under God, so help me God.
    When the court violates our Founding Principles, the court miscarries Justice. The Court is convened to dispense equal Justice. Any person is free to leave and any person is free to get three quarters of the states to ratify his opinion as the Law of the Land. The rest is perjury and treason.

  • yes we have freedom of speech, but we have lately denied that we have freedom to hate speech… look and listen to some of the hateful vile speech and behavior as the Israeli flag and the American flags are burned. It isn’t people just expressing their opinion, but an aggression fomenting aggression. Some actions really really disturb the peace! and should be stopped/controlled by law enforcement.

Justin Trudeau and Fidel Castro

Tuesday, November 29, AD 2016

One source of consolation for all Americans is that Justin Trudeau, that source of hope for airheads everywhere, who hearted Castro after he assumed room temperature, is Canada’s problem not ours.  John Fund at National Review Online gives us the details:

Then there was Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. The 46-year-old leader fondly recalled that his father, Pierre, when he was prime minister, had frequently visited with Castro. The younger Trudeau lauded Castro for supposed advances in health care, education, and literacy and described him as “a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century.” He confesses that he felt “deep sorrow” at Castro’s death, adding, “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’”

Such willful blindness spurred other Twitter users to launch the tag #trudeaueulogies to mock the clueless Canadian leader. “While controversial, Darth Vader achieved great heights in space construction & played a formative role in his son’s life,” quipped Jason Markusoff, a correspondent for Canada’s Maclean’s magazine. Canadian sports commentator Mike Hogan added: “Today we mourn the loss of Norman Bates, a family man who was truly defined by his devotion to his mother.” Australian news columnist Rita Panahi wrote, “Although flawed, Hitler was a vegetarian who loved animals, was a contributor to the arts & proud advocate for Germany.”

Trudeau’s comments infuriated Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the former chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Ros-Lehtinen had to flee Cuba as a small child with her family after Castro’s takeover. Speaking on CNN, she directly addressed Trudeau: I’ve been reading his sickening love letter to dead Fidel Castro and I’m thinking, ‘Sure, you did not lose a loved one to an execution squad. You did not lose a loved one to the gulags in Cuba. . . . The only thing that Fidel has been successful in has not been health or education, or human rights or democracy, it’s been holding on to power — which is easy to do when you don’t have elections.

The debate over Castro will rage on, but arguments over him should take account of how unusual a dictator he was. My colleague Andrew Stuttaford has noted at NRO that during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Castro wanted to start a nuclear war. He urged Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to launch a first strike against the United States. In a letter, Khrushchev felt compelled to talk his ally off the ledge thusly: Cuba would have burned in the fires of war. . . . We struggle against imperialism, not in order to die, but to draw on all of our potential, to lose as little as possible, and later to win more, so as to be a victor and make Communism triumph.

Lastly, for all of Castro’s ranting about the exploitive nature of capitalism, it takes a truly mercenary mind to come up with the schemes his regime employed to garner hard currency — from drug-running, to assassinations to, well, vampiric behavior. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported in 1966 that 166 Cuban prisoners were executed on a single day in May of that year. But before they were killed, they were forced to undergo the forced extraction of an average of seven pints of blood from their bodies. This blood was sold to Communist Vietnam at a rate of $50 per pint. Those who underwent the bloodletting suffered cerebral anemia and a state of unconsciousness and paralysis. But that didn’t stop the executions; the victims were carried on a stretcher to the killing field where they were then shot.

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8 Responses to Justin Trudeau and Fidel Castro

  • It’s peculiar how the very same people who are in hysterics over Trump’s
    election are simultaneously eulogizing Castro, painting him as a hero. On
    the one hand, they breathlessly tell anyone who’ll listen that Trump is
    determined to take away our civil liberties, criminalize homosexuality,
    and shut down freedom of speech. On the other hand, they wax nostalgic
    over an actual tyrant who did, in fact, do all of those things…

  • Canada is all to far from God, and all to close to their own frivolity, hence Justin Trudeau, whose name is a punchline. After the American electorate put a sometime lawyer / sometime academic who had little or no professional accomplishment in the White House, Canada elected to put a lapsed drama teacher / serial grad school dropout in the Prime Minister’s chair. Defenders of the Canadian body politic will assure you that Trudeau signs what’s put in front of him and leaves the rough stuff for cabinet ministers who know what they’re doing. The best you could say is that he doesn’t seem to carry around the spite that our Alinsky acolyte in chief does.

    Was that cartoon an original Watterson?

    Paul Hollandar and Thomas Sowell have dissected the Dictator Crushes (and the historical fictions which attend them, of which J. Haggerty gave us a double dose). They do not arise from any decent impulse.

  • “Was that cartoon an original Watterson?”

    Not sure Art. It has been floating around the internet for years.

  • The cartoon is original, but not the dialogue. It was a section toward the end of the strip where his babysitter takes up the offer to learn Calvinball.

  • The quote is from Dune. Herbert was quoting some 19th century Frenchman whose name I cannot recall at the moment, alas.

  • I don’t think Calvin ever got the better of the babysitter.

  • The babysitter was the only source of fear for Calvin.

  • The comic is from here:
    http://calvinanddune.tumblr.com/
    .
    The closest Calvin ever got to besting his sitter was when he convinced her to play Calvinball (from which those panels are taken). But she won fair and square so he went to bed in probably their most amicable adventure ever.
    .
    I sometimes wish we got to see future Sitter in the Hobbes & Bacon strips.

PopeWatch: Fidel Castro

Tuesday, November 29, AD 2016

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The Pope, among most world leaders, has issued a statement on the death of Fidel Castro:

 

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rubio’s criticism of President Obama’s statement of condolence following the death of the former Cuban dictator was noted – he called it “pathetic” – but then interviewer Dana Bash pointed about that Pope Francis, too, had expressed sorrow.

“As a practicing Catholic, what’s your reaction to that?” Bash asked.

“Well, as a practicing Catholic, I believe in the theological authority of the Bishop of Rome – and that’s what Pope Francis is,” Rubio began. “On political matters, however, particularly on foreign policy issues, I don’t necessarily believe that that binds those of us in the faith in terms of issues of foreign policy. I still respect it, but this is a very different thing.”

Rubio questioned the validity of the comparison Bash had drawn.

“Pope Francis is the leader of a religious organization, the Roman Catholic Church,” he said. “Barack Obama is the president of the most powerful country in the world.”

The Pope’s response came in the form of a telegram to President Raul Castro acknowledging “the sad news of the death of your dear brother.”

“I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation,” he wrote. “At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country.”

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7 Responses to PopeWatch: Fidel Castro

  • “…the deceased dignitary..” The Pope’s statement is shameful. I expect nothing from Obama. I am proud of Trump’s statement.

  • Of course, BO couldn’t get through a 200 word statement without being gratuitously self-referential.

  • All this sobbing over this dead tyrant sickens me. I hope all those shedding tears over this monster now will get an embarrassing comeuppance that will make them a byword forfool or idiot!

  • “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.” -Lame duck.

    A revealing statement.
    Obama wanted to have an enormous impact on the world around him, however he only boosted his own ego in the eight years of his, (dictatorship… presidential edicts).

    Anti-American sentiments were expected from Cuba, but to have a POTUS that equally hated America was truly an abomination, and history Mr. Obama, has judge you! A continuation of your legacy ended at the hands of Americans who saw Hillary Clinton as an extension of Socialist doctrine.

    Castro… Obama…they both fit into the cartoon above. They are cut from the same cloth as Joe Stalin’s. Our slaughtered innocent’s can attest to it Mr. Obama since you have done nothing to help the unborn. In fact, you only aided in their demise.

    Obama. Get lost.

  • Here is Maureen Mullarkey on same subject. She nails it.

    “Moral cretins and hard left wingers grieved for the death of Fidel Castro. Pope Francis placed himself among the mourners of a moral monster.”

    http://studiomatters.com/moral-cretins-castro-mourners

  • Trump and Rubio have it right and their statements should give the Cuban populace hope.
    As for the Cuban masses pictured in mourning as they pass by Castro’s body in state, the spectacle is either engineered by the Cuban government, or the Stockholm syndrome or curiosity. Some of all three, my guess.

  • *checks the definition*
    Dignitary would include dictator… so “Sorry your brother is dead,” vs Obama’s where I am still not 100% sure the writer wasn’t going for snark. (Not OBama, but whoever wrote it for him.)
    The that Trudoue (sp) Eulogies hashtag had some nice stuff. “While not a fan of the Aldaran situation, the Emperor made great strides in healthcare.”

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 61: 1

Monday, November 28, AD 2016

Initiating our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, here, here    and here, we come to Isaiah 61: 1:

[1] The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach to the meek, to heal the contrite of heart, and to preach a release to the captives, and deliverance to them that are shut up.

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PopeWatch: The Devil

Monday, November 28, AD 2016

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The Pope recently in a sermon talked about Satan:

 

 

“He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life. ‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’ Jesus teaches us: never converse with the devil. One does not converse with him. What did Jesus do with the devil?  He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.”

Pope Francis went on to explain how when Jesus was in the wilderness he defended himself when replying to the devil by using the Word of God and the Word of the Bible. Therefore, he said, we must never converse with this liar and trickster who seeks our ruin and who for this reason will be thrown into the abyss.

The Pope noted that the reading from Revelation describes how the Lord will judge the great and the lowly “according to their deeds” with the damned being thrown into the pool of fire and he said this is the “second death.”

“Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber. That’s a description of this second death: it is a death. And those who will not be received in the Kingdom of God, it’s because they have not drawn close to the Lord. These are the people who journeyed along their own path, distancing themselves from the Lord and passing in front of the Lord but then choosing to walk away from Him. Eternal damnation is continually distancing oneself from God. It is the worst pain, an unsatisfied heart, a heart that was created to find God but which, out of arrogance and self-confidence, distances itself from God.”

Pope Francis said distancing oneself from God who gives happiness and who loves us so much is the “fire” and the road to eternal damnation. Noting how the final image in the reading from Revelation ends with a vision of hope the Pope concluded his homily by saying if we open up our hearts with humility we too will have joy and salvation and will be forgiven by Jesus.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: The Devil

  • “What did Jesus do with the devil? He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.”

    Huh? So that Bible story about the great temptation was a fraud.

  • Interesting parallel. CS Lewis’ work is worthy of regurgitation, so to speak.

    After reading this post Hillary (what difference does it make), came to mind. She is in perpetual re-count status. She can’t make the math work, and she counts agian and agian…

    Then the sixty million fallen. She walks on her path to find each aborted soul and asks each one for forgiveness. Sixty million visits. Sixty million days. An endless journey for the woman who is in fact an antagonists in the war on women. She forgot the 30 million or so women slaughtered in the womb. One day she might look and see this paradigm. One day…. maybe.

  • A great Homily by the Pope. Particularly since the Devil is rarely mentioned by Priests.

    The subtlety of the Devil’s interference in our life is frighteneing.

    Being led to believe as a child he was a red-horned agitator with a pitch-fork that sat on your shoulder with menacing whispers in the ear, didn’t make him seem so frightening. But when you think about the Holy Father and CS Lewis describe hell as the absence of the Lord with a continual unsatisfied heart, a small in sight into that dreadfulness makes it real and terrifying. I remember those times when I felt God was not there because I chose to distance myself from him for my own agenda. Depression sets in when Gods love is deliberately pushed away. A horrible feeling that I strive to avoid as best as I can, through struggle and with Gods Grace. I teach this to my children, age appropriate, to acknowledge God in the small task everyday- a sign of the cross when travelling in the car, a prayer in the morning on the way to school, before meals, before bed, passing a Church, Reverence and respect, looking for signs of the Divine in the world. It’s a tough world. But always to walk with God and to choose the good, not the easy- both don’t always go hand-in-hand

  • Satan told Adam and Eve that they would be like God…Adam and Eve were created like God by God. Satan stole from Adam and Eve the truth about themselves and caused chaos to all humanity through concupiscence, the original sin of our first parents…wanting to be like God when, in fact, Adam and Eve were created like God…simultaneously wanting and denying the truth is hell.

  • “He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life.”

    The devil sounds very much like Pope Francis himself, or his henchmen, explaining the heretical points of Amoris Laetitia on how sin is no longer sin.

Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part I

Sunday, November 27, AD 2016

 

 

This Advent we will look at Advent sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  They are concise in words and huge in thought, a model for priests to strive to emulate:

 

 

THE solemnity of our Lord’s Nativity is indeed a great and glorious day, but a short one, and a short day calls for a short sermon.
No wonder if we make a short speech, since God the Father has made an abbreviated Word – Verbum abbreviatum. Would you know how long and how short is the Word He has made? This Word says, “I fill heaven and earth,” (Jer. xxiii. 24.) yet, now that “the Word is made flesh,” He is placed in a narrow manger. The Psalmist exclaimed, “From eternity and to eternity thou art God,” (Ps. lxxxix. 2.) yet, behold! He is a Child of a day. And why this? What necessity was there that the Lord of Majesty should so annihilate Himself, should thus humble Himself, thus abbreviate Himself, except to show that we should do in like manner? He now proclaims by example what He will one day preach in words “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart” and He does so that the Evangelist might be proved truthful when he said of this Word, “Jesus began to do and to teach.”

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Fidel Castro Dies

Saturday, November 26, AD 2016

 

Fidel Castro, who turned his island homeland into a vast prison of which he was the Warden, died yesterday at age 90.  My usual rule after someone dies is De mortuis nil nisi bonum, but I can think of nothing good about the life of Castro other than it now has ended.  Under his regime millions of his countrymen risked death at sea rather than submit to his rule, and I can think of no more damning indictment for any ruler.  A squalid dictator of the worst sort, Castro always received good press in some of the media in the West from leftists who were willing to forgive any sin if the proper Communist platitudes were spoken.  Castro leaves behind him a broken nation of slaves.  May they soon rise up and bring a new day to a free Cuba.

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49 Responses to Fidel Castro Dies

  • 2016 has been the year of impossibilities:
    England leaves the EU
    Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for literature
    The Chicago Cubs win the world series
    Donald Trump is elected President
    and now Fidel Castro’s unnatural long life has finally expired.

    I expect gene scientists to announce that they have produced a new strand of winged swine by Christmas.

  • It has been a year when the improbable is probable Bob!

  • Unless I am mistaken, isn’t the name “Fidel Castro” descended from the Latin “Fides Castrum” for “Faith Castle”? If so, then how ironic.
    .
    “…statutum est hominibus semel mori post hoc autem iudicium…”
    .
    “…it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment…”
    .
    Hebrews 9:27

  • Pope to honor him? After all, he’s more Catholic than most Catholics, he’s communist.
    Obama could rename Mt. Hood to Mt. Castro…as a sign of honor of course…

  • @ Bob Tanaka

    What?
    You didn’t get the memo!
    Hillary Clinton is the prototype…a flying swine, most appealing to the so-called tolerant left.
    Pork belly futures on the ascent.
    Reindeer futures look gloomy.

  • Everybody makes the world a better place.
    .
    Some by living.
    .
    Some by dying.

  • No Marxist me, but I would not call Castro a squalid dictator.
    A benign dictator with many personal faults including vanity.
    Cuba survived for years in spite of the US sugar embargo which created child poverty.
    Cuba had a lower infant mortality rate than the USA.
    Cuba sent more doctors to Africa during the ebola crisis than the USA.
    More young women, proportionally, study medicine in Cuba than the USA.
    The USA backed many squalid Latin American dictatorships where street children are routinely slaughtered by government-backed death squads.
    These countries are ruled by rich oligarchs and privileged families.
    The USA grants aid to underdevloped countries as long as they privatise health and welfare.
    Batista, the dictator before Castro, was financed by US money and people lived in squalor and poverty.
    I am a traditionalist Catholic but I support liberation theology too.

  • The USA sent its military to every continent on Earth..ostensibly to support freedom, but left Castro in Cuba because Kennedy backed down to Khruschev.
    Castro not only turned Cuba I no the tropical gulag, he supported, directly and indirectly, just about every left wing insurgency in Latin America. The Colombian ELN and Chavez’ mess in Venezuela can be laid at his feet. Most disgusting is the praise heaped on Castro by Canadian prime twit Justin Trudeau. Canadian support of Castro is something I have long found nauseating.
    Slightly less nauseating have been the papal visits to Havana. They did nothing to ease repression of the Church in Cuba.
    Raul needs to go before Cuba changes.

  • To Penguin Fan:
    Castro’s Cuba had many faults and some unpleasant aspects. But so have certain US cities such as Baltimore, especially if you are black.
    Batista’s Cuba was a great deal worse. The Church was tolerated as long as it did not speak out on social issues such as children living in filth and slum conditions.
    Oliver Stone said Castro answered every question that was put to him, and did not ask to see the filmed interviews before the film crew left Havana.
    Watch a DVD on Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, to see what the US got up to in Latin America.
    I love and admire the USA, but a true patriot must expose injustice, lies and double standards.

  • “No Marxist me, but I would not call Castro a squalid dictator.”

    Agreed. Murderous dictator would be more apt.

    “Cuba survived for years in spite of the US sugar embargo which created child poverty”

    Actually Cuba’s communism made it a poor nation. It was always able to trade with most of the world and used the US embargo as an excuse for its abysmal economic performance.

    “Cuba had a lower infant mortality rate than the USA.”
    http://freebeacon.com/issues/cuba-manipulating-health-care-statistics/

    “The USA backed many squalid Latin American dictatorships where street children are routinely slaughtered by government-backed death squads.”

    Unlike Cuba the US has been a force for democracy and free elections throughout Latin America. Castro wanted to make clones of his police state throughout South and Central America.

    “These countries are ruled by rich oligarchs and privileged families.”

    The most unequal country in the world in the Western Hemisphere is the Nomenklatura of the Cuban Communist party compared to the rest of the Cuban people.

    http://canadafreepress.com/article/cubas-stalinist-nomenklatura-celebrates-50-years-of-high-living-and-represshttp://freebeacon.com/issues/cuba-manipulating-health-care-statistics/

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432680/myth-cuban-health-care

    “More young women, proportionally, study medicine in Cuba than the USA.”

    Considering the state of medicine in Cuba, the vast majority of their “doctors” would not even qualify to be medics in this country.

    “The USA grants aid to underdevloped countries as long as they privatise health and welfare.”

    Would that we had such a requirement. Alas we do not.

    “Batista, the dictator before Castro, was financed by US money and people lived in squalor and poverty.”

    Batista originally had the support of the Cuban Communist Party. Cubans had a higher standard of living under Batista than under Castro:

    http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/how-cuba-was-destroyed

    “I am a traditionalist Catholic but I support liberation theology too.”

    I never would have guessed. Marxism is a form of State slavery. The main secular forces that have liberated people around the globe are democratic governments and free markets.

  • Mr. Hagerty, you can stop wasting your time singing the praises of Castro to me. Go tell it on Calle Ocho in Little Havana. St. John Paul II lambasted liberation theology, seeing it for what it is, a KGB inspired attempt to split apart the Latin American Church.
    I am sure the Versailles clientele on Calle Ocho is anxiously awaiting the eulogy of Castro. Justin Trudeau, the dunce PM of Canada, can deliver it.

  • haggerty: “I am a traditionalist Catholic but I support liberation theology too.”

    You are confused.

  • Democratic governments and free markets?
    Donald, in the US you do not even have a free press or free media.
    Vidal and Chomsky did a 30 minute discussion criticizing the Gulf War. Not a single TV station would air it. Your TV stations are terrified of dissent and so they end by ‘manufacturing consent’.
    Chomsky was speaking at Harvard. The young neo-cons, bless them, tore down all the fliers. The Boston papers did not even report that Chomsky was speaking. Yet he still draws crowds of over 2000 by word of mouth alone.
    Father Daniel Berrigan made some nuanced criticisms of Israel years and years ago – he was dropped by The New York Times and TV as a spokesperson.
    Pope John Paul was almost reluctant to recognize Helda Camara’s martyrdom.
    It’s OK for bishops to be political as long as they do it in Marxist regimes.
    William Colby in his fascinating autobiography Honorable Men discloses the exact sum (running into millions of dollars) allotted by the Nixon administration to destabilise Chile’s democratically elected government. This led to the truly sociopathic regime of Allende and the systematic slaughter of thousands of Chilean democrats. They rounded up the first of them and shot them in the football stadium in Santiago. The Nazis couldn’t have done a better day’s work.
    Milton Friedman earned big bucks as economic adviser to Allende and his junta.
    Castro, if not already Marxist, became a committed Marxist after the US declared him a ‘criminal’ and launched their very nasty embargo. JFK and Bobby were obsessed by Cuba and we all watched the black comedy of the Bay of Pigs.
    As for Fidel and Che fomenting revolution in Latin America, no wonder. The solution to Latin America’s gigantic problems could have been addressed by social democratic governance, but the US does not like social democracy, it demands that you do democracy its way or else.
    No worries, we had the CIA paying local thugs to hunt down and kill, sorry ‘take out’ as you Americans say, Che. In doing so they made him an icon for young radicals all over the world.
    Cubans had a higher standard of living under Batista? American big business created wealth for its client class only. Gambling, decadent night life, prostitution, child sex abuse, playboy culture, extremes of wealth and poverty? Yes, Senor Batista, God’s good democrat.
    I don’t need you to tell me about communism. I have stacks of back issues of Encounter magazine which I read during the Cold War years as well as histories of the Baltic states and what the Soviets did there.
    But fifty years of stupidity, ruthlessness and lies from US administrations has been no consolation for the nightmare of communism.
    Wait till the awful bloody mess (two years from now) when ‘Trumpgate’ is on every disillusioned American’s lips. Wait till the city riots begin.
    P.S. Save the Children NGOS were very impressed by the skill, expertise and commitment of Chilean doctors in the hell of the ebola crisis.
    I know someone who was there, Donald.

  • Sorry, I meant to say that Save the Children staff were impressed by the skill of young CUBAN doctors who worked tirelessly in Africa during the ebola crisis. For very little money and at great risk to themselves.

  • I stopped reading Haggerty’s comment at his laud of that commie anarchist Chomsky. Would that Chomsky follows Castro and the sooner the better. More freaking failed European crap over which I shouldn’t raise my blood pressure.

  • A second error. I mentioned Helder Camara when I meant to say Oscar Romero. Two great men who comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable as the Lord Jesus Christ taught us.
    Lucius, I honestly do not enjoy making you angry. I am off to read my beloved Hilaire Belloc who does not, I hope, qualify as ‘European crap’.
    Hilaire met four Popes or was it five? He admired Pope Pius X at whose school I was educated in the principles of Catholic truth.

  • I love and admire the USA, but a true patriot must expose injustice, lies and double standards.

    Funny how those who claim to love an admire the USA soon demonstrate themselves as incapable of acknowledging anything positive about it. Well if we’re exposing double standards…

    P.S. Save the Children NGOS were very impressed by the skill, expertise and commitment of Chilean doctors in the hell of the ebola crisis.
    I know someone who was there, Donald.

    Funny, both of my parents work in the health care field, one has gone on several mission trips (with other health care professionals I’ll add) and… well the most charitable interpretation of their impression of Cuban doctors is the exact opposite. But by all means, go get treated by one. I’m interested in seeing how the medical tourism shakes out in a few years.

  • “Donald, in the US you do not even have a free press or free media.
    Vidal and Chomsky did a 30 minute discussion criticizing the Gulf War. Not a single TV station would air it. Your TV stations are terrified of dissent and so they end by ‘manufacturing consent’.”

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Both Chomksy and the late Gore Vidal, crazed leftists, were ever lionized by our media.

    “Chomsky was speaking at Harvard. The young neo-cons, bless them, tore down all the fliers. The Boston papers did not even report that Chomsky was speaking. Yet he still draws crowds of over 2000 by word of mouth alone.”

    Chomsky has been an ever present feature in academia for decades. It is conservatives on college campuses who are shouted down by the forces of tolerance.

    “Father Daniel Berrigan made some nuanced criticisms of Israel years and years ago – he was dropped by The New York Times and TV as a spokesperson.”

    Actually Berrigan, who received constant press coverage in this country until he assumed room temperature, called Israel a criminal Jewish community. Like most leftists he hated Israel.

    “Pope John Paul was almost reluctant to recognize Helda Camara’s martyrdom.”

    Camera was never a martyr except to common sense.

    “This led to the truly sociopathic regime of Allende and the systematic slaughter of thousands of Chilean democrats.”

    Allende’s, Castro’s pal., regime caused the Pinochet regime. The Pinochet regime ended in a prosperous democratic Chile and the left has never forgiven the late dictator for that. Imagine if Castro had left a prosperous and democratic Cuba.

    “It’s OK for bishops to be political as long as they do it in Marxist regimes.”
    That trample on the Church? Of course.

    “Milton Friedman earned big bucks as economic adviser to Allende and his junta.”

    Nope:

    Milton Friedman gave some lectures advocating free market economic policies at the Universidad Católica de Chile. In 1975, two years after the coup, he met with Pinochet for 45 minutes, where the general “indicated very little indeed about his own or the government’s feeling” and the president asked Friedman to write him a letter laying out what he thought Chile’s economic policies should be, which he also did.[26] To stop inflation, Friedman proposed reduction of government deficits that had increased in the past years and a flat commitment by government that after six months it will no longer finance government spending by creating money. He proposed relief of cases of real hardship among poorest classes.[2] In October 1975 the New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis declared that “the Chilean junta’s economic policy is based on the ideas of Milton Friedman…and his Chicago School”.[26]

    Friedman has wondered why some have attacked him for giving a lecture in Chile: “I must say, it’s such a wonderful example of a double standard, because I had spent time in Yugoslavia, which was a communist country. I later gave a series of lectures in China. When I came back from communist China, I wrote a letter to the Stanford Daily newspaper in which I said, ‘It’s curious. I gave exactly the same lectures in China that I gave in Chile. I have had many demonstrations against me for what I said in Chile. Nobody has made any objections to what I said in China. How come?’” He noted that his visit was unrelated to the political side of the regime and that, during his visit to Chile, he even stated that following his economic liberalization advice would help bring political freedom and the downfall of the regime.[27]

    “Castro, if not already Marxist,”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1986/10/19/magazine/fidel-castro-s-years-as-a-secret-communist.html?pagewanted=all

    “No worries, we had the CIA paying local thugs to hunt down and kill, sorry ‘take out’ as you Americans say, Che.”

    Are you seriously contending that Che, Casto’s hangman, was a social democrat?

    “Cubans had a higher standard of living under Batista?”

    Yes they did. That is why modern Cubans are still driving around in museum relics from the 1950’s.

    “prostitution”

    The world’s oldest profession has been one of the mainstays of the Castro economy:

    http://www.cubanet.org/htdocs/CNews/y00/jun00/30e17.htm

    “P.S. Save the Children NGOS were very impressed by the skill, expertise and commitment of Chilean doctors in the hell of the ebola crisis.
    I know someone who was there, Donald.”

    Castro’s Cuba has a three tier medical system. The first two tiers provide first world medical treatment to hard currency foreigners and to Communist party officials and their families. The third tier is for the vast majority of Cubans and is hellacious even by Third World standards.

  • I respect the informed opinion and front-line experience of your parents, Nate. So I will leave the reputation of Cuba’s young medics in their safe hands.
    As for my not acknowledging the ‘positive’ side of America.
    Being ‘positive’ for its own sake, as a Saul Bellow character says, can be just another game. (The Adventures of Augie March?)
    Being ‘negative’ with some moral purpose can be a good thing.
    You are welcome to be as negative about Britain as you like. We need to hear it.
    Surely Christian love calls us to look hard at ourselves, and to look critically at our own nation and those nations we admire.
    Christ called the common people to ‘repent’ because He loved them with a special love.
    I only need to see the oppressed people who come to America for a better life.
    Men and women escaping communist and fascist regimes. Yes, many of them Cubans.
    They love America and only want to work hard and enjoy religious freedom.
    Nor do I flatter myself in claiming to understand the US.
    Robert Caro’s monumental biography of LBJ made me see how hard it is to understand your country. But trying to understand is part of one’s endeavour.
    Recently I read an essay by William Styron on his friend James Jones.
    A veteran of WWII and a student of American history, Jones was visiting Washington for the first time.
    He stood looking at a monument to men who had fallen in the Civil War. Turning to Styron he said, ‘Those men died for nothing.’
    Many would be shocked by such a statement. But in his own way Jones was contributing to the debate that never ends. History.

  • Mr. Hagerty, those of us Americans who post here are well aware of our nation’s sins and faults. Fidel Castro was a bully, propped up and financed by the Soviet Union and unwilling to realize that his system was garbage. A long, meandering essay about American intervention in Latin America….our backyard that has been an unstable place since the Spanish and Portugese left…can in no way justify the deeds of Castro.

  • I wish I had Donald’s knowledge of history and patience in explaining these things to people who live in lands which we Americans rescued from Fascists and Nazis.

  • To Donald R McClarey.
    We have a very different world view. But let me say that I have taken issue with quite a number of ‘leftist’ people in my time. As long as forty years ago. On matters such as education and the Soviet Union.
    Chomsky is ever present in academia, as you say, perhaps because intelligent open-minded people there wish to hear him.
    Chomsky is attacked for having ‘sources’ that are said not to be ‘real’ sources at all, but he stands up very well to his critics. The sources turn out to be real if only his complacent enemies had looked hard enough.
    These sources show that hundreds of Palestinian villages were wiped off the face of the earth by the Israelis many years ago. Palestinian poets and writers have tried to preserve that lost culture.
    Amos Oz has criticised his own country in similar terms, and there goes another ‘leftist’ no doubt.
    Edward Said (another ‘leftist’ sorry) said he and Chomsky were seldom asked to speak on television though Paul Johnston (a ‘rightist’ and one of my own favourite authors) was always on US television.
    If I don’t know what I am talking about, then please show me an objective break-down of the people who have appeared on US news channels over the last 10 years.
    In Britain our universities have skilled media academics who monitor news coverage; the US must have them too.
    But Said would say that, wouldn’t he? Hell, these lefties, they’re everywhere.
    Television and newspapers are another story.
    The coverage of Iran and Afghanistan in both the American and British press struck me as being very limited.
    British television was a disappointment too, though Channel 4 stood out in asking tough questions. Its series Unreported World is worth watching if you want to see how the world’s economic systems shaft poor people.
    As for Vidal being ‘lionized’. His theory that America had an ’empire’ was pretty much ridiculed when he first proposed it. Things look different now.
    I am aware Cuba has a three-tier health system but I do not believe Castro (for all his terrible faults) planned it that way.
    He regretted the return of prostitution to the streets of Havana.
    In Batista’s day children were bartered for sex, bought by rich perverts.
    Cuba became degraded. The Party elite must take much of the blame but the embargo was cruel, unnecessary and hypocritical. The US propped up some rotten regimes with histories of human rights violations.
    Milton Friedman had a sense of humour and I admired aspects of the man and some of his ideas.
    But he parlayed with Pinochet, a brute with the blood of the young on his hands.
    I never said Castro and Che were social democrats.
    I do think social democracy with a mixed economy were the best weapons against communism.
    I admired Keynes. A leftist?
    Joe McCarthy probably thought so.

  • Yes Lucius, America’s intervention in WWII saved Europe from barbarism. I am reading Rick Atkinson’s The Guns At Last Light, so it is very much on my mind..
    I do know about the appalling American losses in the Ardenne Forest and at the Bulge.
    Remember, Roosevelt was giving Britain aid and hiding it from Congress, before Pearl Harbour.
    Remember too that the US presented Britain with a hefty bill at the end of the war. American war profiteers made millions.
    Britain’s economy was in ruins in 1945 but we managed to provide a health service and a welfare system for our people, which Mrs Thatcher dismantled in the name of the market economy.
    Clement Atlee, the British Prime Minister in 1945, came up with the Special Relationship with America.
    As someone said, it’s special to us but not to America.,

  • “Britain’s economy was in ruins in 1945 but we managed to provide a health service and a welfare system for our people, which Mrs Thatcher dismantled in the name of the market economy.”
    .
    Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest women to ever walk the face of God’s green Earth. That the socialists of England reject God’s gift in her, preferring instead handouts from Caesar, is simply par for the course. Sadly her attempt to rid your island of suicidal socialism never succeeded. Yet her legacy lives on. She with Ronald Reagan and Pope St JP II defeated socialism’s close cousin of communism in the USSR though they could not drive the snakes of the fantasy of free health care for all from our suffering parent land.
    .
    TANSSAAFL
    .
    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Cuba is the end goal of England’s enbrace of the lunacy of free health care, and equally America’s Obamacare. Such pipe dreams die one dictator at a time – Fidel Castro did not depart soon enough.

  • “Clement Atlee, the British Prime Minister in 1945, came up with the Special Relationship with America.
    As someone said, it’s special to us but not to America.,”

    What baloney. It was very special in America when upheld by a Churchill or a Thatcher. Neither was known to toady to Americans. When they spoke Americans listened.

  • “Chomsky is ever present in academia, as you say, perhaps because intelligent open-minded people there wish to hear him.”

    Mo, because Chomsky is a far left loon and that panders to the prejudices of most of academia. Most American universities seek to shut out ideas they do not approve of. You can find much more intellectual diversity at most American bars.

    “Chomsky is attacked for having ‘sources’ that are said not to be ‘real’ sources at all, but he stands up very well to his critics. The sources turn out to be real if only his complacent enemies had looked hard enough.”

    Chomsky reaches conclusions first and then scrambles for factoids that support his conclusions.

    “These sources show that hundreds of Palestinian villages were wiped off the face of the earth by the Israelis many years ago. Palestinian poets and writers have tried to preserve that lost culture.”

    The “Palestinians” made the mistake in 1948 of assuming that the Jews would be wiped off the face of the Earth by the invading Arab militaries from each of their neighbors, and hence the “Palestinian” leaders rejected the partition plan. They choose poorly. Ironically, the Arab citizens of Israel are the freest Arabs on the face of the globe.

    “Edward Said (another ‘leftist’ sorry) said he and Chomsky were seldom asked to speak on television though Paul Johnston (a ‘rightist’ and one of my own favourite authors) was always on US television.”
    Only an American history enthusiast such as myself would even know who Paul Johnson is. It would be a dull American undergraduate indeed who would not know the names of Said and Chomsky, especially Chomsky because of his cult like following in American academia.

    “If I don’t know what I am talking about, then please show me an objective break-down of the people who have appeared on US news channels over the last 10 years.”

    Please. I am not going to waste my time proving that water is wet or fire burns. Vidal, until the very last years of his life, was a frequent presence on American television. Chomsky has had less of a presence, but he has been there. One of the earlier outings of him I can recall is when he appeared on Bill Buckley’s old Firing Line show on PBS. His videos are ubiquitous on YouTube.

    “The coverage of Iran and Afghanistan in both the American and British press struck me as being very limited.”

    Good coverage of any foreign nation requires in-depth knowledge of the place, something most foreign journalists lack.

    “As for Vidal being ‘lionized’. His theory that America had an ’empire’ was pretty much ridiculed when he first proposed it. Things look different now.”

    Vidal was a talented novelist. When it came to his looney tune conspiratorial political opinions, the best that could be said for him was that he employed a novelist’s craft in making facts fit his world view rather than vice versa.

    “I am aware Cuba has a three-tier health system but I do not believe Castro (for all his terrible faults) planned it that way.”

    Castro was in absolute control until he put his brother in charge of the family business in 2008. Everything that went on in Cuba was because he wanted it that way, at least he wanted it that way as opposed to allowing free elections.

    “In Batista’s day children were bartered for sex, bought by rich perverts.”

    Precisely the same thing goes on in the tourist sex trade promoted by Castro’s regime:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article1948284.html

    “but the embargo was cruel, unnecessary and hypocritical”

    I would actually apply each of those adjectives to the Castro regime.

    “But he parlayed with Pinochet, a brute with the blood of the young on his hands.”

    Pinochet was a piker compared to Castro. Friedman was always willing to tell anyone what he believed would lead to economic improvement.

    “I admired Keynes. A leftist?”

    I admire Keynes as a literary stylist. As an economist he made the dismal science a bit more dismal. You might enjoy this:

  • “Cubans had a higher standard of living under Batista?”

    It seems there is hard evidence of this:

    “But rather than raise the poor up, Castro and Guevara shoved the rich and the middle class down. The result was collapse. ‘Between 1960 and 1976,’ Cuzan says, ‘Cuba’s per capita GNP in constant dollars declined at an average annual rate of almost half a percent. The country thus has the tragic distinction of being the only one in Latin America to have experienced a drop in living standards over the period.’”

    Source:

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/last-communist-city-13649.html

  • From the same article about its wonderful health care:

    “As for the free health care, patients have to bring their own medicine, their own bedsheets, and even their own iodine to the hospital. Most of these items are available only on the illegal black market, moreover, and must be paid for in hard currency—and sometimes they’re not available at all. Cuba has sent so many doctors abroad—especially to Venezuela, in exchange for oil—that the island is now facing a personnel shortage. ‘I don’t want to say there are no doctors left,’ says an American man who married a Cuban woman and has been back dozens of times, ‘but the island is now almost empty. I saw a banner once, hanging from somebody’s balcony, that said, DO I NEED TO GO TO VENEZUELA FOR MY HEADACHE?'”

  • “He regretted the return of prostitution to the streets of Havana”
    What a lie!
    ‘In a mark of just how close to the brink the Cuban economy really was, Castro even welcomed the large-scale return of prostitution, which he had called a “social illness” in the early days of the revolution. But in a 1992 speech to the National Assembly, he bragged that the army of freelance hookers who swarmed through Havana’s streets every night in search of tourists were the most cultured in the world. “There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist,” Castro said of the women, known as jineteras in local slang. “Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily, and without any need for it. We can say that they are highly educated and quite healthy.”’
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/fidel-castro-en/article117186483.html

  • Nearly 1,900 words (i.e. three single-spaced typed pages, pica font), shot through with fiction. Nearly all in defense of a small and terminally ill-governed country (the most retrograde in Latin America), appended to which is a slander directed at a small and generally well-governed country.

    While we’re at it, J. Haggerty, the quality of life in Baltimore is deficient for two reasons: street crime and school disorder. The political class in Maryland could repair this problem, but they cannot be bothered, nor do they suffer electorally for chronic nonfeasance in this regard.

  • To Art Deco:
    I am not ‘defending’ Castro. He was a dictator of a one-party state. Absolute power corrupts. So any despot must become very corrupt indeed. Castro’s latter remarks about prostitution can hardly be defended.
    Thirty years before, Garcia Marquez found Castro to be extremely astute in his judgments and very well informed in world affairs. Clearly he had deteriorated. So it was a case of an old man hanging on to power. The communist classes do this while the people suffer. Romania is another example of the extremes to which despots will go in their addiction to power.
    But I was attempting to look at the Cuban Revolution in an historic context. If the political class in Maryland can be guilty of ‘chronic nonfeasance’, then so too can national government be guilty of lies, injustice and intimidation.
    It is inevitable that American historians will now re-examine the involvement of the USA and American business in pre-Castro Cuba. I hope they will not be shouted down as traitors or as Castro sympathisers.
    Now this is not an ‘attack’ on the United States. I am having a conversation, I hope.
    To give one example.
    Mr McClarey mentioned the Palestinians and the partition. By 1947 the United States emerged as the most aggressive proponent of partition. That is the context in which the United Nations recommended the partitioning of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state.
    The United States persuaded the General Assembly of the UN to delay a vote in order to bring certain Latin American countries into line with its own views. Some delegates charged the USA with diplomatic intimidation – they feared American ‘reprisals’.
    The UN was established to uphold the rights of all peoples to self-determination. But in this case the UN denied the rights of the Palestinians, who formed two thirds of the country.
    Indeed large sections of Israel’s society were opposed or extremely unhappy with partition, including Ben-Gurion.
    As for the Arabs who fled in terror, they feared the repetition of the 1948 Zionist massacres.
    The winter of 1949 was the first winter of exile for more than 50,000 Palestinians. Many of these starving people were only miles away from their own vegetable gardens and orchards, to which they could not return.
    Some ten years before, David Ben-Gurion had said – ‘in our political argument abroad, we minimise Arab opposition to us’. He added, ‘politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves … The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.
    Now I have gone ‘off topic’ but I am only attempting to demonstrate that there is a wider context to every issue.

  • haggerty started out saying “A benign dictator” and now says “a dictator of a one-party state. Absolute power corrupts. So any despot must become very corrupt indeed.”

    I think haggerty’s verbal self-gratification is just wasting our time to read his long posts.

  • I am not ‘defending’ Castro.

    Let go of my leg.

    As for the Arabs who fled in terror, they feared the repetition of the 1948 Zionist massacres.

    The massacre at Deir Yassin claimed about 120 lives in a war that ran on for about 16 months and had a death toll of about 8,000 It was a sideshow, but for some the only interesting thing that happened in that part of the world during that interval.

    The winter of 1949 was the first winter of exile for more than 50,000 Palestinians.

    I have news for you: the population of refugees in Europe at that time was enumerated in eight digits. (And while we’re at it, Israel alone absorbed 700,000 Jewish immigrants and refugees in just 4 years). You’ve had a refugee problem in the Levant (and not re Silesia or Pomerania, or Cyprus) because a UN agency was erected which, with the co-operation of proximate Arab governments, made being a refugee a way of life. More than half the personal income to be had in Gaza consists of UNRWA doles.

    By 1947 the United States emerged as the most aggressive proponent of partition. That is the context in which the United Nations recommended the partitioning of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state.

    Mr. Truman, unlike Dean Rusk, was no fool. Ethnically distinct and antagonistic populations do not a viable state make.

    from their own vegetable gardens and orchards, to which they could not return.

    Their own? Allodial tenures were atypical at that time and place and Jewish landowners employed Arab agricultural labor.

    But in this case the UN denied the rights of the Palestinians, who formed two thirds of the country.

    There were no Palestinians at that time. The local Arabophone population had no such self-understanding, and the term ‘Palestine’ and its derivatives were at that time favored by the Jewish population, not the Arab population. The locals understood themselves as associated with particular villages, or particular lineages, or as Syrians, or as Arabs (itself a novel identity for aught but the Bedouin). And, of course, the local Arabs were not denied territorial self-government by the act of the United Nations or anyone but their own political leadership. What they did not want and were implored to accept was the presence of the Jews and Jews in a superordinate position vis a vis Arabs in those areas where they predominated. While we’re at it, there were three Arab states erected in the the Levant between 1919 and 1948. They had a total population of 5.4 million in 1946. The Arab population in mandatory Palestine was about 1.2 million.

    It’s a reasonable inference that the Ben-Gurion quotations are fabrications, likely floating around the internet for 20 years now.

  • We’re up to 2,300 words from J. Haggerty.

  • It is inevitable that American historians will now re-examine the involvement of the USA and American business in pre-Castro Cuba. I hope they will not be shouted down as traitors or as Castro sympathisers.

    Cuba as a political economy is nothing like the rest of Latin America as we speak. As for the period prior to 1959, the most notable thing about Cuba was that it was one of the more affluent territories in the region (behind the Southern Cone, not much else). Its political history as a sovereign country was briefer and somewhat less untidy than the Latin American norm, perhaps bearing closest resemblance to Panama in this respect.

    It’s is inevitable that our ruined arts and sciences faculties will produce indictments of American business and Theodore Roosevelt and John Foster Dulles in lieu of exploring why Latin American elite behavior (and rank-and-file reaction thereto) has been so unproductive for so long. It’s also inevitable that people will write inane flak-pieces while denying that’s what they’re doing.

  • “We’re up to 2,300 words from J. Haggerty.”
    .
    Yak, yak, yak, yak, yak……
    .
    Not one of which disproves that Fidel Castro was a murderous communist butcher best left to the judgement of God’s hands.

  • De mortuis nil nisi bonum.
    .
    Ergo, Castro became a good red. He spent his life fighting capitalism and he died on “Black Friday.” Karma?
    .
    Outside Cuba, North Korea, Das Kapital, SJWs’ feverish psyches, the post-modern, (morally and fiscally) bankrupt welfare state there is no unalienable, God-given human right of one person or group to take another person’s or group’s property. Government without justice is organized brigandage.
    .
    And, We Christians can simply ignore the tens of thousands of murders, tortures and imprisonments of Castro’s “enemies of the state” because Castro clothed and fed the poor; and we all are children of God; and BARF; . . .
    .

  • Gentlemen, I don’t need to tell you that it is Advent. No more yak yak yak from me.
    I am off to meditate on American Catholic’s timely look at Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, ‘the last of the fathers’ as Thomas Merton called him in a short book of that name.
    I wish you all a closer walk with Our Saviour.
    I leave you with someone else’s words.

    ‘I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.
    ‘I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption.
    ‘I will go even further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States.
    ‘Now we shall have to pay for those sins.
    ‘In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.’

    President John F Kennedy 1963

  • That quote is from left wing French journalist Jean Daniel. He is the only source for it. Here is a quote from a speech JFK made four days before his death:

    But just as we have friends abroad, we also have enemies. Communism is struggling to subvert and destroy the process of democratic development, to extend its rule to other nations of this hemisphere. If the Alliance is to succeed, we must continue to support measures to halt Communist infiltration and subversion, and to assist governments menaced from abroad. The American States must be ready to come to the aid of any government requesting aid to prevent a take-over linked to the policies of foreign communism rather than to an internal desire for change. My own country is prepared to do this. We in this hemisphere must also use every resource at our command to prevent the establishment of another Cuba in this hemisphere. For if there is one principle which has run through the long history of this hemisphere it is our common determination to prevent the rule of foreign systems or nations in the Americas.

    We have ultimately won this battle against every great power in the past. We will continue to wage it and win it. And as we gain momentum and strength, the appeal and force of communism will greatly diminish. This has already begun to happen. Castroism, which a few years ago commanded the allegiance of thousands in almost every country, today has far fewer followers scattered across the continent. Experience in China, the Soviet Union, and in Cuba itself has revealed that the promises of abundance under tyranny are false. We ourselves can prove that democratic progress is the surest answer to the promises of the totalitarians.

    These are the many fronts of the Alliance for Progress. The conduct of those fronts, the steady conquest of the surely yielding enemies of misery and hopelessness, hunger, and injustice is the central task for the Americas in our time. But no sense of confidence, of optimism in the future of the hemisphere as a whole, can conceal our feelings at the self-inflicted exile of Cuba from the society of American Republics. The genuine Cuban revolution, because it was against the tyranny and corruption of the past, had the support of many whose aims and concepts were democratic. But that hope for freedom and progress was destroyed. The goals proclaimed in the Sierra Maestra were betrayed in Havana.

    It is important to restate what now divides Cuba from my country and from the other countries of this hemisphere. It is the fact that a small band of conspirators has stripped the Cuban people of their freedom and handed over the independence and sovereignty of the Cuban nation to forces beyond the hemisphere. They have made Cuba a victim of foreign imperialism, an instrument of the policy of others, a weapon in an effort dictated by external powers to subvert the other American Republics. This, and this alone, divides us. As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible. Once this barrier is removed, we will be ready and anxious to work with the Cuban people in pursuit of those progressive goals which a few short years ago stirred their hopes and the sympathy of many people throughout the hemisphere.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9529

  • ‘I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.

    If it helps you feel better, fine. As a comparative assessment in a troubled world, it’s utter nonsense.

  • “Ergo, Castro became a good red. He spent his life fighting capitalism and he died on ‘Black Friday.’ Karma?”

    Just the type of humor that keeps me reading TAC! ?

  • Alternate headline: Cuba’s Wealthiest Plutocrat Dies.

  • I don’t remember where I first saw this information but just found it on World Net Daily re: Mary appearing to St. Anthony Mary Claret and predicting Castro.

    http://www.wnd.com/2006/08/37357/
    “Did 19th-century priest
    predict Castro’s death?
    Archbishop’s 1850’s vision of Cuba’s patron saint –
    told of bearded leader’s demise in 40th year of rule”

    I was born on a US military base at the end of Sept. 1962. My father was in the army after college ROTC. They were sent to Florida during the Crisis. He thought we were all going to get nuked. I know JFK is the reason older Cubans vote Republican but frankly I’m glad nobody used the bomb or started a war – the Cold War was enough.

  • @ms

    I enjoyed the link.
    Thank you.

  • Chavez died not long ago, next it was Castro. Like Hollywood actors, these things often happen in threes.

    Like Bill Goldberg used to say in World Championship Wrestling, after he had powerslammed the latest jobber into the canvas covered plywood….”Who’s next!”

    Oh, and Justin Trudeau is a complete idiot. Canada, or more precisely Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver and Quebec, enjoy your Barack Hussein Obama. Prepare to see more Canadian hockey teams – and businesses – move to the United States.

  • Dear Mr McClarey,
    Thank you for providing us with this speech from President Kennedy. It is indeed crucial to our understanding of what happened in Cuba. I for one will read and ponder it. This speech deserves to go viral in the wake of Castro’s death. How moving to think it was made just four days before the President’s death. I recall our school in Scotland praying for the President in the last hour of his life.
    I have just read your recent essay on American Catholic, ‘Christ and History’. It is first rate. I look forward to reading any book that you write on the forces at large that are reshaping our world and which are also out to attack and rewrite Christianity. I am rereading Hilaire Belloc’s brilliant study of Cardinal Richelieu. We need another Belloc now.
    J Haggerty

  • Thank you for your kind words Mr. Haggerty.

  • Former Clergy Peter Grant speaks about Castro’s death – and the kids Castro sent to fight in the same African wars Peter fought in.
    http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ch/2016/11/so-fidel-castro-is-dead-this-is-not-my.html

Less of Me

Saturday, November 26, AD 2016

Something for the weekend.  Less of Me sung by the Statler Brothers.  I heard this song sung by the Statler Brothers endlessly back in the early seventies as my parents had the radio on in the kitchen tuned,  as always, to country western station WPRS in Paris, Illinois, as they prepared for work and my brother and I were still in our room before we got up to prepare for school.  Originally recorded by Glen Campbell in 1965, the song is a rendition in music of the poem A Creed by English-American poet Edgar Albert Guest which he wrote in 1909:

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One Response to Less of Me

4 Responses to Me as a Psychologist

  • That is pretty close to the “therapy” with which (two times) I was cured by non-professional shrinks.
    .
    These bits of wisdom served me well. I was whining about something to a friend. He turned to me and said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And, years later another (younger associate) similarly responded to some useless whining. “Life is hard. Then, you die.” Words to live by.
    .
    At least my unlicensed shrinks didn’t call me “Nancy.”

  • ‘Stop it’ would be a great idea for priests in confession to tell their penitents.

  • Me being a lawyer: Answer to all questions: “It depends.”
    .
    Confession story. A few years back I needed to Confess. It’s not like it used to be. On 1950’s Saturdays every Catholic kid in the Bronx went to Confession. Now, it’s one priest for one hour.
    .
    Well, I get there and say some prayers, and see that an elderly lady is on deck. She goes in. I’m figuring, “what could an 88 year old woman have to Confess? This will be short.” My mistake: a half-hour later she emerges . . . I guess it’s less costly than seeing a shrink.
    .

  • If you were cured twice, doesn’t that mean that at least one of those times…

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 1946

Friday, November 25, AD 2016

orl-truman-turkey-os0044784669-20161122
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
At this season, when the year is drawing to a close, tradition suggests and our hearts require that we render humble devotion to Almighty God for the mercies bestowed upon us by His goodness.

Devoutly grateful to Divine Providence for the richness of our endowment and the many blessings received, may we continue to give a good account of our stewardship by utilizing our resources in the service of mankind. May we have the vision and courage to accept and discharge honorably the responsibilities inherent in our strength by consecrating ourselves to the attainment of a better world.

Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1946, as a day of national thanksgiving; and I call upon the people of this Nation to observe that day by offering thanks to God for the bounties vouchsafed us, and by rededicating ourselves to the preservation of the “Blessings of Liberty” envisaged by our forefathers in the preamble to the Constitution.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 28th day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-six and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-first.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, AD 2016

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers, commenters and contributors of TAC!  I have an endless amount to thank God for, but I will limit myself to my bride of 34 years and counting, my two kids home with us for Thanksgiving Break, the fact that we are all in good health and that we are free men and women in a free land.  Please leave what you are thankful for in the comboxes.

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10 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving!

  • That the Supreme Court choices of the near future are safe from Hillary Clinton. Yes…yes…yes. That the orchestrated Democratic push by the nytimes and cnn and celebrities and the View failed miserably. That Trump is resetting expectations to the less extreme…though he better stop that tendency prior to becoming Hillary Clinton…himself.
    That stocks are rocking…perhaps til April. That interest on the 30 year bond is ascendant and now over 3%….at 6% I might bail on stocks and switch to 30’s because the world is getting too many black swans. That God is using this Pope to remind Catholics that infallibility is rarer than thought… which they should have known by the death penalty hustle of his two predecessors….which Francis of course hyperbolized even further.

  • I’m very grateful for our family.
    My wife Mary Kathleen is a blessing that words alone cannot fully express. She is a natural wonder of the universe. My faith. A gift that comes directly from God is truly amazing, and I’m forever indebted to His kindnesses and Mercy.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
    Peace to your households.

  • For the first time since last Christmas, I had all of my family back home last night including my son at the Air Force Academy. We went to see Hacksaw Ridge. If Thanksgiving itself doesn’t make you thankful, watching the movie with loved ones surely will. It was amazing, and an incredible witness to the power of God in each of our lives. I couldn’t be more grateful to those who deny themselves for the benefit of others, whether in the armed forces or not. We are truly blessed in this still great nation of ours. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Gratitude for the fact that there have existed Roman Catholic clergy ( ex. Sheen above ) who actually subscribed to the Church teaching that patriotism ( love of country ) is a true virtue and not a politically incorrect mortal sin.

  • I am most grateful that our Blessed Lord and Savior got me sober from heroin, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol some 30 years ago, and in spite of all my efforts to the contrary over the last three decades He has kept me sober. All other things in my life – wife, children, job, house, car – flow from that one act of mercy on May 16th, 1986 (the date of my last drink and drug). Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Blessed Mother Mary.

  • Tonight, I am grateful for family and friends (living and deceased) and for my sons.
    .
    And, grateful that (God bless him and his) Mac has the courage and wits to do the great work he does here.
    .
    Every night I am thankful that God Almighty’s only begotten Son by His life, death, and Resurrection purchased for us the rewards of eternal life.
    .
    I am grateful that my President is Christ Jesus and no man (not so sure about woman) can move me.
    .
    Finally, (Praise the Lord!) at the Thanksgiving dinner table no one that voted for Crooked Hillary was present.

  • Thanks Donald for all you do to defend the Catholic faith, our Constitution in a way that is both helpful, wise and always with the right touch of humor.

    May you and your family enjoy many more Thanksgivings and the Blessings of God.

  • My family of course, I have everyone close by.
    The ability to attend Mass with a smart, kind and compassionate Priest.
    I read so many stories of my brothers and sisters around the world denied this precious gift.
    I need to keep all things in perspective.
    Many ,many thankfuls.

  • For God, Family and Country.

  • Happy Thanksgiving. We, too, have much to be thankful for.

The Pilgrims and Socialism

Thursday, November 24, AD 2016

From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

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5 Responses to The Pilgrims and Socialism

  • I’ve always found that argument extremely weak. I heard Limbaugh retelling the same tale on Wednesday. He made one statement, during his ‘story’, about how their initial ‘socialist’ model left those with the talents and abilities without motivation to work hard. Now, maybe it’s me, but I think they had plenty of motivation, called survival. With so many who would die, and knowing their plight, they had a motivation beyond any conceivable economic theory. Their problem was that they didn’t know how to survive in a radically different environment than they were used to. Their plans had gone wrong, they landed where they weren’t planning, they came late in the season with harsh weather and no clear knowledge of how to survive. That they survived at all was a miracle. That they happened into an area where different native tribes would be willing to consider new allies in their own struggles, helped. But trying to make this a Capitalist/Socialist morality play is, to me, along the same lines as making it all about imperialist invaders and beautiful and noble natives who only want to give peace a chance.

  • Socialism has a poor economic record Dave. The Pilgrim example is just one page of a very long book. I also think that William Bradford, who was there, has a better insight into what happened than either of us. I do agree that the Pilgrims were quite ill-prepared to be successful settlers beyond the common ownership system they initially saddled themselves with.

    Jamestown had a similar experience, but there the problem was crony capitalism with all profits and land owned by the Virginia Company. The colony flourished once a private property system for the colonists was instituted

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/early-settlements/essays/jamestown-and-founding-english-america

  • Socialism does have a poor record, but I don’t think we can equate the trials that the pilgrims experienced as the result. Like I said, when I heard Limbaugh say that the problem they encountered that first year was a lack of motivation, I had to think that survival was likely a good motivator. And it was. Their plight was rather the result of poor planning and a series of circumstances that dropped them into an area for which they were not prepared. Again, this does not in any way mean Socialism is good, it’s just I don’t think this is one of the better examples, especially when pointing to their first winter.

  • Dave, if survival is a proper motivator (and hey, I won’t knock it), then the question becomes: how did anyone starve ye ‘olde Communist countries?

    Probably for the same reason people don’t lose weight nowadays even though doing so would be in the interest of their survival. Because growing crops (likes exercise) means being more concerned about the survival far down the road, whereas we have right now. And I don’t wanna.

    That’s always the catch. By the time survival happens and suddenly the people are motivated to grow, it’s a bit too late for the crops to come.

  • The motivation issue here quoted from Bradford has some sameness with issues in
    Obamacare (young healthy people not signing on) and other shared responsibility schemes including Social Security (being used for current needs) etc

    ” For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. “

Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2016

A reminder from the late, great Johnny Cash that we all have so much to thank God for when we sit down with our families this Thursday.  Perhaps we should also recall these words from Theodore Roosevelt in his final Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1908:

 

For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfil its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

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One Response to Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving

  • I’m thankful for a load: Number Two son to be wed 3 December; Number Three son to be wed 29 July 2017; Number One son has another child coming April 2017; we have our health; most importantly we have our Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for the God-given grace to be not afflicted by whomever occupies the White House. “Put not your trust in princes.”
    .
    “Who’s got it better than us? Nobody!”
    .
    When (now rarely) I hear a Johnny Cash sing what comes to mind is Sunday mornings strolling in pain through a hot southern town after a long drinking bout. Ouch.