6

Every Day Heroes

 

 

Natural catastrophes, like wars, bring out the best and worst in Men.  I have been pleased that in Houston thus far there seems to be more of the former than the latter.  Native Houstonian Beldar at Beldar Blog gives us his pespective:

 

Americans and people the world over are watching heart-grabbing, jaw-dropping, eye-watering videos and stories from Harvey via a combination of the national TV news networks and the major news websites, plus their own social media platforms, with their customized profiles based on their particular histories, preferences, settings, etc., influenced directly and indirectly by their respective locations and sets of friends.

Houstonians like me who’ve not been much directly affected by Harvey are watching those same national media, of course. Many of us are supplementing the national networks, or deserting them, for local TV news stations, whose coverage and performance is in every respect superior to their national counterparts. Local reporting is more in depth, of course, and more knowledgeable, of course, and better connected to history, of course. But it’s also showing significantly better perspective and judgment, with less hysteria, less ratings-pandering, less sensationalism, and vastly more critically useful factual information.

Moreover, and less obviously: My Facebook feed, customized to my set of friends and contacts, is giving me a constant, steady set of more granular news in parallel to what I’m seeing on TV (local or national) or other general internet sources.

So to my friends in, say, California: I’m seeing the heroic stories you’re seeing. But I’m also seeing dozens of individual people I know — neighbors, relatives, law colleagues and judges, old friends from college, people I’ve “met” only online — engaged in quiet, effective, and almost completely unreported heroism. There’s no reason why FB would be or could be curating this sort of thing effectively for the vast set of people who aren’t living in Houston or on the Gulf Coast or otherwise involved in the rescue & recovery efforts.

But these smaller, less flashy rescues, these bunking arrangements, these boat loans and sandwich deliveries and “I heard from your cousin, she’s alive!” messages that I’m seeing pass among my fellow Houstonians through the particular lens of my set of FB friends — these things, individually and especially cumulatively, are awe-inspiring. These decent acts, these attempts to be useful and helpful, are more striking to me precisely because unlike the heroes I’m seeing on TV, these particular acts of heroism are being performed by people I already know. And I think it’s a very reasonable inference that millions of other Houstonians in my approximate position are likewise seeing a different set of people who they know, who are being similarly heroic during Harvey — but of whom you and I are utterly unaware, and always will be. Continue Reading

14

Why Did the Democrat South Become Republican?

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

PopeWatch: Formal Correction

Cardinal Burke has outlined what a formal correction of Pope Francis might look like:

 

The cardinal told The Wanderer newspaper Aug. 14 that such a formal act of correction has not been invoked “for several centuries” and until now it has never been used “in a doctrinal way.”

But he said it would be “quite simple” and involve presenting on the one hand the “clear teaching of the Church” and on the other “what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff.” The teaching in question in particular relates to doctrinal matters published in the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. 

“If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” the cardinal explained, adding that a “formal declaration” would be submitted to the Holy Father to which he would be “obliged to respond.”

The cardinal stressed that the dubia, five questions which he and three other cardinals (Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner) issued nearly a year ago, aimed to give the Holy Father the occasion to clarify these aspects of Church teaching.

They were issued in a “very respectful way and not in any way aggressive,” he said, but as the Pope has “chosen not to respond” to them, “so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth.”

“These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points,” he said. 

The cardinal, a former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court, did not give a timeframe for the correction, but hinted at its urgency by stressing that the Church is “being torn asunder right now by confusion and division” and that unity is at stake.

“The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this,” he said.

Cardinal Burke first suggested a possible formal correction of the Pope in an interview with the Register last November, saying it is “clearly quite rare” but if there was no response, then it would be a “question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.” He spoke then of “tremendous division” that is “not the way of the Church.” Continue Reading

10

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Robert E. Lee

I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it. I need not refer one so well acquainted as you are with American history, to the State papers of Washington and Jefferson, the representatives of the federal and democratic parties, denouncing consolidation and centralization of power, as tending to the subversion of State Governments, and to despotism.

Robert E. Lee, In a letter to Lord Acton, December 15, 1866

 

15

Logical Fallacies

I have long enjoyed Mike Rowe’s former program Dirty Jobs.  It was a humorous paean to the men and women, and my sainted father and mother were in their ranks, who work at completely non-glamorous jobs that are dirty and not infrequently dangerous, and help make our society function.  On Facebook he has posted a memorable response to a SJW:

Chuck Atkins says…”One of the tenants of white nationalism is that college educated people are academic elitests. Comment? No? I’m not surprised. You never take a political stand because you don’t want to alienate anybody. Its bad for business. I get it. But there is a current of anti intellectualism in this country – promoted by Republicans. Those people love you, and they think your initiative is their initiative. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is kickin our ass academically.”

Hi Chuck

Since we’re being candid, allow me to say how much I dislike your post. Everything about it annoys me – your smug and snarky tone, your appalling grammar, your complete lack of evidence to support your claims, and of course, the overarching logical fallacy that informs your entire position. What really bugs me though, is the fact that you’re not entirely wrong. It’s true; I haven’t shared any political opinions this week, in part anyway, because doing so might very well be “bad for business.”

What can I say? I work for half-a-dozen different companies, none of whom pay me to share my political opinions. I run a non-partisan foundation, I’m about to launch a new show on Facebook, and I’m very aware that celebrities pay a price for opening their big fat gobs. Gilbert Gottfried, Kathy Griffin, Colin Kaepernick, Milo Yiannopoulos…even that guy from Google who just got himself fired for mouthing off. There’s no getting around it – the first amendment does not guarantee the freedom to speak without consequences. And really, that’s fine by me.

So no – I’m not going to share my personal feelings about Charlottesville, President Trump, or the current effort to remove thousands of statues of long dead soldiers from the public square. Not just because it’s “bad for business,” but because it’s annoying. I can’t think of a single celebrity whose political opinion I value, and I’m not going to assume the country feels any differently about mine. So, rather than blow myself up, or chime in with all the obvious observations about the cowardly scum in the pointy hats, I’m going to talk instead about my belief that comments like yours pose a far greater threat to the future of our country than the existence of a memorial to Thomas Jefferson, or a monument to George Washington. Ready? Let’s start with a closer look at your claims.

You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an “academic elite.” You then say that Republicans promote “anti-intellectualism.” You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter – your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief. Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common – a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans “love” me because they believe that my initiative and “their” initiative are one and the same. But of course, “their” initiative is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.

Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things “intellectual.” And poof – just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!

Far-fetched? Far from it. That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for “more dead cops.” Logical fallacies are everywhere.

As I type this, a Democrat on CNN is making an argument that says, “because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, those Republicans now opposed to tearing down his memorial are “pro-slavery,” and therefore aligned with the modern day KKK.” That’s a logical fallacy.

Over on Fox, a Republican is arguing that “any Democrat who has not yet condemned the Senator from Missouri for publicly wishing that Donald Trump be assassinated, is guilty of wishing for the exact same thing.” That’s a logical fallacy.

Yesterday, on The Science Channel, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a noted astronomer, tweeted that the ability of scientists to accurately predict the solar eclipse, was proof that predictions of global warming were also accurate. That’s a logical fallacy.

Want to hear another one? Imagine something like this, unfolding over on MSNBC.

“Good Evening, America, our top story tonight… Chuck Atkins is a racist! Why? Because he can’t spell. Just look at his grammar! In a recent post on Mike Rowe’s Facebook page, Mr. Atkins, while bemoaning America’s global academic standing, not only misspelled “elitist,” he used “tenants” when he meant “tenets.” He neglected to use a hyphen in “anti-intellectual,” and he misplaced several commas and apostrophes! But why is he a racist, you ask? Simple. Because everyone knows racists are ignorant. Chuck Atkins is clearly a poor speller. Poor spelling and grammar are signs of ignorance. Ergo – Chuck Atkins is a racist! Boom! The matter is settled!”

There’s not much we can do about the news, but here on Facebook, I think we can do better. This isn’t Twitter. We’re not limited to a few inflammatory sentences and a flurry of emojis. Take a moment, Chuck. Think. Make a rational argument. Otherwise, just link us to a cat video. People love those, and they’re almost never “bad for business.” (Unless of course, the cat gets hurt. People hate that.) Just don’t assume that people will care about your beliefs, if you’re not willing to back them up with some relevant facts and a rational conclusion. Here, for instance, are a few facts that matter to me, with respect to my foundation and the recurring charge of “fostering anti-intellectualism.” Continue Reading

1

Grant Puts a Stop to Treason Trials

 

 

It is  little remembered now, but in 1865 there was a brief attempt to conduct treason trials against Confederate generals.  On June 7, 1865, U.S. District Judge John C. Underwood in Norfolk, Virginia issued indictments against Lee, Longstreet, Early and other Confederate generals on charges of treason.  Lee wrote to General Grant asking if the terms granted at Appomattox were still in effect.  Furious at this attempt to undo his work, Grant immediately wrote to Secretary of War Stanton:

 

In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith, as well as true policy, dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. Bad faith on the part of the Government, or a construction of that convention subjecting the officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the Government as an entire release from all obligations on their part. I will state further that the terms granted by me met with the hearty approval of the President at the time, and of the country generally. The action of Judge Underwood, in Norfolk, has already had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from further prosecution of them. Continue Reading

13

The Entire Civil War

 

 

 

Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.

Shelby Foote

 

 

 

An excellent brief retelling of the Civil War by the Civil War Trust using animated maps:

 

2

Forgotten Heroes of the Revolution

 

Congress on April 3, 1776 formally authorized American privateers to raid British merchant ships.  In this Congress was merely recognizing what was already well under way, the patriot governments of the various colonies having issued letters of marque and reprisal since the beginning of hostilities.   The British parliament would authorize privateers against American merchant ships in December 1776.

Privateers were a traditional part of European naval war which fitted in well with the American national character.  Private operations, a common seamen on board a privateer after a successful cruise of capturing several British ships, could come back home with a small fortune in his pocket, often enough to purchase a small farm, or an inn, or set himself up in trade.  Privateers led by more daring commanders would even make prizes of several smaller ships of the Royal Navy.  Of course the risks were commensurate with the rewards, with death by sinking, or the slow death of rotting away in a British prison hulk if a crew was captured, ever a possibility.  Most American sailors were eager to take the risk, so many that the Continental Navy often found it difficult to man its ships. Some 11, 500 Americans died on the British prison ships, more than were killed in battle in all wars of America up to the Mexican War.  The dead are remembered in the Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn.

Some 1,697 American privateers would set sail during the War, capturing an astounding 2, 283 ships, acquiring badly needed supplies for the Continental Army and sending British maritime insurance rates soaring.  Some 55,000 Americans served as privateers during the War.  About one-fifth of these men lost their lives, either in the deeps of the seas, or as unwilling recipients of the hospitality of His Britannic Majesty after capture.  It is likely that the American Revolution could not have been won but for these men who waged a private war afloat.

 

 

4

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis continues to let others “clarify” Amoris Laetitia, and Sandro Magister gives us the details:

 

 

“The writing is very good and fully explicates the meaning of chapter VIII. . . There are no other interpretations.” With these words Pope Francis, in a letter dated September 5 of last year, approved a note from the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires who in interpreting the postsynodal apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” admitted the possibility of Eucharistic communion for the divorced and remarried who continue to cohabit “more uxorio.”

But this was a matter of a private letter to an Argentine monsignor employed in the secretariat of that group of bishops. And even the note approved by the pope was not initially intended for publication and does not bear the names of the signers. Too little and too poorly done to clarify in a definitive way the authentic meaning – that is, attributable with certainty to its author – of “Amoris Laetitia.”

An attempt has been made in recent days by the theologian closest to the pope, the Argentine Víctor Manuel Fernández, to settle this question, with the tepid assistance of “L’Osservatore Romano.” But without success.

And it could not have been otherwise. Because the confusion is at the origin. It is within the very text of “Amoris Laetitia,” which never says fully, in a clear and incontrovertible way, what Pope Francis limits himself to hinting at.

The passage that gets closest to it is in paragraph 305:

“Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin –which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.”

And in the connected footnote 351:

“In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’ (ibid., 47: 1039).”

As is very well known, Francis has been asked in various forms and a number of times to bring clarity on such a confused and bungled text. In particular on the part of four cardinals, to whom the pope did not want to give a response or even grant an audience.

But here comes Fernández to sermonize that the letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires is enough and then some for those who “want to know how the pope himself interprets what he has written.”

And to those who object that a letter of that sort is too little, Fernández makes his rebuttal by dusting off a precedent concerning the interpretation of Vatican Council I, when Pius IX, in 1875, clarified a controversial point by endorsing a letter from the bishops of Germany to chancellor Bismarck.

“If the pope has received a unique charism in the Church at the service of the correct interpretation of the Word of God,” Fernández writes peremptorily, “this cannot rule out his capacity to interpret the documents that he himself has written.” It does not matter how and when he does so, the important thing is that it should be known that the “war” against him is over.

“What is left after the storm:” this is the title that the pope’s trusted theologian decided to give to the essay that he published in the latest issue of “Medellín,” the theology journal of the Latin American Episcopal Council, in the run-up to Francis’s journey to Colombia in September and to Chile and Peru next January:

> El capítulo VIII de “Amoris Laetitia”: lo que queda después de la tormenta

Since the author of the article is not only very close to Jorge Mario Bergoglio but also the de facto architect of much of “Amoris Laetitia,” to such an extent that it contains entire sections of articles of his from a decade or so ago, this statement of his was immediately interpreted as inspired by the pope himself.

Whose intention would have been to clarify once and for all – through Fernández as his chosen spokesman – two things above all.

The first is that the interpretation of the Argentine bishops is also his, and is the right one.

The second is that if Francis preferred to make way for communion for the divorced and remarried not in the body of “Amoris Laetitia” but only in skimpy footnotes, it is because he wanted to do so “in a discreet manner,” because he does not consider this the center of the document, but rather the capitals “dedicated to love.”

But the question remains: what level of authority can be attributed to an article like the one that appears in the journal “Medellín,” signed by a theologian universally considered less than mediocre? Continue Reading

4

Storm Prayer

 

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. † God became man, † and the Word was made flesh. † Christ was born of a Virgin. † Christ suffered. † Christ was crucified. † Christ died. † Christ rose from the dead. † Christ ascended into Heaven. † Christ conquers. † Christ reigns. † Christ orders. † May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning † Christ went through their midst in Peace, † and the word was made flesh. † Christ is with us with Mary. † Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root David, has won. † Holy God! † Holy Powerful God! † Holy Immortal God! † Have mercy on us. Amen!

 

Prayers for all contributors, readers and commenters in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  Put your prayer requests in the comboxes.

14

Dark Powers

Would extraterrestrial alien civilizations be friendly or malevolent?  Here is a post that argues they would be benign:

 

 

The second possibility is a little more intriguing. Imagine a benevolent or benign spacefaring alien species, akin to the Vulcans from Star Trek. If they’ve figured out how to successfully traverse the distances between the stars, then they have technology that’s at least hundreds of years beyond our own, and potentially thousands, tens of thousands or more. We have enough problems on our world figuring out how to manage our own planet, and we have the resources of an entire world, a solar system, and a massive, energy-giving Sun. For a species to come as far as an intelligent, spacefaring alien would have come, they must have figured out a solution to a whole slew of problems that humanity clearly still grapples with. Meeting a civilization such as this could only have positive outcomes for our own. Continue Reading

6

August 27, 1917: President Wilson Responds to the Peace Plea of Pope Benedict

Eventually President Wilson would incorporate parts of the peace plan, go here to read about it, Pope Benedict proposed on August 1, 1917 in his Fourteen Points Peace Plan, but on August 27, 1917 Wilson formally rejected the Pope’s Plan:

AUGUST 27, 1917

To His Holiness Benedictus XV, Pope:

In acknowledgment of the communication of Your Holiness to the belligerent peoples, dated August 1, 1917, the President of the United States requests me to transmit the following reply:

Every heart that has not been blinded and hardened by this terrible war must be touched by this moving appeal of His Holiness the Pope, must feel the dignity and force of the humane and generous motives which prompted it, and must fervently wish that we might take the path of peace he so persuasively points out. But it would be folly to take it if it does not in fact lead to the goal he proposes. Our response must be based upon the stern facts and upon nothing else. It is not a mere cessation of arms he desires; it is a stable and enduring peace. This agony must not be gone through with again, and it must be a matter of very sober judgment that will insure us against it.

His Holiness in substance proposes that we return to the status quo ante bellum, and that then there be a general condonation, disarmament, and a concert of nations based upon an acceptance of the principle of arbitration; that by a similar concert freedom of the seas be established; and that the territorial claims of France and Italy, the perplexing problems of the Balkan States, and the restitution of Poland be left to such conciliatory adjustments as may be possible in the new temper of such a peace, due regard being paid to the aspirations of the peoples whose political fortunes and affiliations will be involved.

It is manifest that no part of this program can be successfully carried out unless the restitution of the status quo ante furnishes a firm and satisfactory basis for it. The object of this war is to deliver the free peoples of the world from the menace and the actual power of a vast military establishment controlled by an irresponsible government which, having secretly planned to dominate the world, proceeded to carry the plan out without regard either to the sacred obligations of treaty or the long-established practices and long-cherished principles of international action and honor; which chose its own time for the war; delivered its blow fiercely and suddenly; stopped at no barrier either of law or of mercy; swept a whole continent within the tide of bloodпїЅnot the blood of soldiers only, but the blood of innocent women and children also and of the helpless poor; and now stands balked but not defeated, the enemy of four-fifths of the world. This power is not the German people. It is the ruthless master of the German people. It is no business of ours how that great people came under its control or submitted with temporary zest to the domination of its purpose; but it is our business to see to it that the history of the rest of the world is no longer left to its handling. Continue Reading

6

Who Are They To Judge?

 

 

 

No doubt quite a few members of the Antifa, being on the far left, are in sympathy with the current thuggish regime running Venezuela.  The latest from that tormented land:

 

While socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro continues to crack down on any remaining semblance of freedom in Venezuela, the people he often talks about helping are doing whatever they can to stay alive. Today the Guardian reports on the young girls who have turned to prostitution to avoid starvation:

As night falls over Caracas, and most of the city’s residents lock their doors against its ever more violent streets, Adriana Velásquez gets ready for work, heading out into an uncertain darkness as she has done since hunger forced her into the only job she could find at 14.

She was introduced to her brothel madam by a friend more than two years ago after her mother, a single parent, was fired and the two ran out of food. “It was really hard, but we were going to bed without eating,” said the teenager, whose name has been changed to protect her.

Since then Venezuela’s crisis has deepened, the number of women working at the brothel has doubled, and their ages have dropped. “I was the youngest when I started. Now there are girls who are 12 or 13. Almost all of us are there because of the crisis, because of hunger.”

As horrible to contemplate as this is, there are many younger children who simply starve. About half of children in Venezuela now show signs of malnourishment and 12% suffer from acute malnourishment. Meanwhile, the socialist government which is creating this nightmare is now describing hunger as a form of patriotism: Continue Reading

8

Our New Look, The Changes Explained

If you haven’t noticed we have made some changes to The American Catholic website, mostly aesthetic.

The previous version was messy and clunky.  I take responsibility for that.  I was using Themler, a new CMS Creator tool that I never used and was annoyed with the slow changes it was making.

I got distracted and left the mess alone for too long.

So now I threw away Themler and decided to do it old school using my ancient programming skills in CSS.  The 12-hour gap of the website being down was my fault.  I messed around with a PHP file that I wasn’t supposed to touch.

Well, back to now.

What is different. . .

  1.  I’m using a powder blue and an Indian red for colors and IM Fell English Caps for the title and Alegreya Small Caps for the tag line.
  2. I changed the Cross and Eagle as well.  I only changed the color for the cross from red to Indian red.  The Eagle is the same, but I changed the blue and red to powder blue and Indian red.
  3. The background to the header is Indian red and the background for the body is powder blue.  The posts are excerpted so you will have to click on ‘Continue Reading’ to read the rest.
  4. There is now a featured image with the excerpt.
  5. One other change and it could be a major change depending on people’s viewpoints, but I changed the default avatar from a randomly generated abstract pic to a smiling and laughing Pope Francis.  If you want something else, go to Gravatar and create your own.  It’s free and easy to do.  Here is the link:  http://en.gravatar.com/

Please leave me any feedback either praising or with constructive criticism.

And yes, I will return to writing for The American Catholic.

8

One People

Something for the weekend.  The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The BandWhen I read Civil War history I do not read it in an us v. them spirit.  Everybody involved is an American:  Confederate, Union, black slave.  It is the great American epic, our Iliad.  It was visited upon us by God, I believe, for the reason Lincoln stated:

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

The great lesson of the Civil War is that we are one people, North and South, black and white, and when I study that period in our history I always attempt to remember that fact.

6

PopeWatch: Halting the Tides

 

King Canute Pope Francis called a halt to liturgical change from Vatican II for all time:

 

Today, Pope Francis said, “there is still work to do in this direction, in particular rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.” He said that this is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons [for it]… [and] of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it.”

The Supreme Pontiff insisted, “After this magisterial, and after this long journey, we can assert with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” Continue Reading

1

Black Trump Supporter Attacked by Antifa

 

 

 

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

 

 

The Antifa always support minorities, unless they have the temerity not to think in ideological lockstep with them:

 

Laguna Beach police arrested a man for allegedly sucker punching a Trump supporter during competing rallies at Main Beach on Sunday.

20-year-old Richard Losey was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with battery and terroristic threats.

Video captured Losey allegedly punching R.C. Maxwell while he wasn’t looking.
Maxwell spoke to FOX 11 on Wednesday, saying that the attack was unprovoked.

“If the optics were completely different and I was a black lives matter supporter and I was attacked on the Trump side of a protest I would be in the spotlight on CNN right now,” Maxwell said. “I went over to the left side to see if I could engage them with dialogue and I was instantly encircled by the so called anti fascists.”

In the days after the assault, Losey appeared to identify himself on Twitter, admitting that he punched Maxwell because he wouldn’t stop talking about Donald Trump, and replying “arrest me, lmfao” when someone called for his arrest.

“I think the fact that I’m a black conservative causes a lot of problems for the left side because there’s no way they can really resolve that according to their narrative of what they think trump supporters are, so I think that was a bit triggering to the other side,” Maxwell said. “I was getting lots of specific comments like you’re a sellout, you’re an Uncle Tom.” Continue Reading

10

The Face of White Supremacy

Further evidence that we are living in a time of National Hysteria and immense stupidity:

The American Civil Liberties Union backpedaled Wednesday on tweeting a photo of a white baby holding a U.S. flag after users called it racist.

The seemingly harmless photo showed a blond-haired toddler in a “Free Speech – ACLU” onesie holding a U.S. flag and what appears to be a colorful toy dog. The tweet read, “This is the future that ACLU members want.”

But users quickly accused the ACLU of promoting white supremacy — a point the organization apparently agreed with.

“When your Twitter followers keep you in check and remind you that white supremacy is everywhere,” the ACLU responded, including a .gif of Kermit the Frog saying, “That’s a very good point.” Continue Reading

16

Think It Will End With Confederates?

He talked of the early days of America and the men who had made those days. It wasn’t a spread-eagle speech, but he made you see it. He admitted all the wrong that had ever been done. But he showed how, out of the wrong and the right, the suffering and the starvations, something new had come. And everybody had played a part in it, even the traitors.

Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster

The attempt to read Confederates out of American history, thereby implicitly giving a posthumous “You Are Right!” to the Confederate contention that they had left the Union, by the ignorant yahoos of the iconoclastic left, is only the beginning.  Hattip to my friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative:

Last week, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a review of “symbols of hate” on city property. It got off to an okay start I guess. Some plaques to Robert E. Lee were removed, and this:

CBS2 reached out to de Blasio’s office to find out what criteria they will be using to determine which plaques and monuments across the city should be removed, but are still waiting for a response.

Now we have the response:

The city’s 76 foot tall monument to explorer Christopher Columbus which sits in Columbus Circle could be considered for the chopping block, removed as part of the mayor’s new purge.

“He is a controversial figure, and I know that many people take offense to that, but for many of us who come from the Caribbean Islands we see him as a controversial figure,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito said. “We have to look at history. We have to look at it thoroughly and clearly.”

This is to be expected. Eradicating Columbus has been on the leftwing ‘to-do’ list forever.

A spokesperson said Viverito also thinks that Grant’s Tomb should be on the review list. Grant has been regarded by some as anti-Semitic.

“In 1862, he signed general order 11, expelling Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. I wonder if you think that given the large number of Jewish, he should be buried in New York City,” CBS2’s Kramer asked the mayor.

“Marcia, I’m not familiar with that history. Obviously I take it very seriously, but I’m not familiar with it. We don’t tolerate anti-Semitism in New York City,” the mayor said. “We have to look at each one of these cases. We’ll have a commission. They’ll come up with some universal rules.”

(History of General Order 11)

As ESPN showed last night with its decision to reassign Asian sportscaster Robert Lee from doing play-by-play for a football game in Charlottesville, VA, because his name might be scary, we are no longer on a slippery slope when it comes to this nonsense. We are in a total freefall into the Volcano Of Good Feelings. Continue Reading

Give ’em Hell 54th!

The negroes fought gallantly, and were headed by as brave a colonel as ever lived.” –

Confederate Lieutenant Iredell Jones, who observed the 54th’s fateful advance on Fort Wagner.

In a Civil War mood lately because of current events.  The below scene from the movie Glory (1989) never fails to move me.  Courage is a precious virtue and the just never fail to honor it, even when displayed by foes.

Ah, Mary pierced with sorrow,
Remember, reach and save
The soul that comes to-morrow
Before the God that gave!
Since each was born of woman,
For each at utter need —
True comrade and true foeman —
Madonna, intercede!

Rudyard Kipling

 

 

 

3

Theodore Roosevelt on Robert E. Lee

THE WHITE HOUSE,

WASHINGTON, D.C.

January 16, 1907

To the HON. HILARY A. HERBERT, chairman,
CHIEF JUSTICE SETH SHEPHERD, GENERAL MARCUS J. WRIGHT,
JUDGE CHARLES B. HOWRY, MR. WILLIAM A. GORDON,
MR. THOMAS NELSON PAGE, PRESIDENT EDWIN ALDERMAN,
MR. JOSEPH WILMER, and others of the
Committee of Arrangement for the Celebration of the Hundredth Anniversary
of the Birth of General Robert E. Lee.

Gentlemen:

I regret that it is not in my power to be with you at your celebration. I join with you in honoring the life and career of that great soldier and high-minded citizen whose fame is now a matter of pride
to all our countrymen. Terrible though the destruction of the Civil War was, awful though it was that such a conflict should occur betweenbrothers, it is yet a matter for gratitude on the part
of all Americans that this, alone among contests of like magnitude, should have left to both sides as a priceless heritage the memory of the mighty men and the glorious deeds that the iron days
brought forth. The courage and steadfast endurance, the lofty fealty to the right as it was given to each man to see the right, whether he wore the gray or whether he wore the blue, now make the
memories of the valiant feats, alike of those who served under Grant and of those who served under Lee, precious to all good Americans. General Lee has left us the memory, not merely of his extraordinary skill as a general, his dauntless courage and high leadership in campaign and battle, but also of that serene greatness of soul characteristic of those who most readily recognize the obligations of civic duty. Once the war was over he instantly under took the task of healing and binding up the wounds of his countrymen, in the true spirit of those who feel malice toward none and charity toward all; in that spirit which from the throes of the Civil War brought forth the real and indissoluble Union of to-day. It was eminently fitting that this great man, this war-worn veteran of a mighty struggle, who, at its close, simply and quietly undertook his duty as a plain, every-day citizen, bent only upon helping his people in the paths of peace and tranquillity, should turn his attention toward educational work; toward bringing up in fit fashion theyounger generation, the sons of those who had proved their faith by their endeavor in the heroicdays.

There is no need to dwell on General Lee s record as a soldier. The son of Light Horse Harry Lee of the Revolution, he came naturally by his aptitude for arms and command. His campaigns
put him in the foremost rank of the great captains of all time. But his signal valor and address inwar are no more remarkable than the spirit in which he turned to the work of peace once the war was over. The circumstances were such that most men, even of high character, felt bitter and vindictive or depressed and spiritless, but General Lee s heroic temper was not warped nor his great soul cast down. He stood that hardest of all strains, the strain of bearing himself well through the gray evening of failure ; and therefore out of what seemed failure he helped to build the wonderful and mighty triumph of our national life, in which all his countrymen, North and South, share. Immediately after the close of hostilities he announced, with a clear sightedness which at that time few indeed of any section possessed, that the interests of the Southern States were the same as those of the United States ;  that the prosperity of the South would rise or fall with the welfare of the whole country; and that the duty of its citizens appeared too plain to admit of doubt. He urged that all should unite in honest effort to obliterate the effects of war and restore the blessings of peace; that they should remain in the country, strive for harmony and good feeling, and devote their abilities to the interests of their people and the healing of dissensions. To every one who applied to him this was the advice he gave.  Although absolutely without means, he refused all offers of pecuniary aid, and all positions of emolument, although many such, at a high salary, were
offered him. He declined to go abroad, saying that he sought only “a place to earn honest bread while engaged in some useful work.” This statement brought him the offer of the presidency of
Washington College, a little institution in Lexington, Va., which had grown out of a modest foundation known as Liberty Hall Academy. Washington had endowed this academy with one hundred shares of stock that had been given to him by the State of Virginia, which he had accepted only on condition that he might with them endow some educational institution. To the institution which Washington helped to found in such a spirit, Lee, in the same fine spirit, gave his services. He accepted the position of president at a salary of $1,500 a year, inorder, as he stated, that he might do some good to the youth of the South. He applied himself to his new work with the same singleness of mind which he had shown in leading the Army of Northern Virginia. All the time by word and deed he was striving for the restoration of real peace, of real harmony, never uttering a word of bitterness nor allowing a word of bitterness uttered in his presence to go unchecked. From the close of the war to the time of his death all his great powers were devoted to two objects: to the reconciliation of all his countrymen with one another, and to fitting the youth of the South for the duties of a lofty and broad-minded citizenship.

Such is the career that you gather to honor; and I hope that you will take advantage of the one hundredth anniversary of General Lee s birth by appealing to all our people, in every section of this
country, to commemorate his life and deeds by the establishment, at some great representative educational institution of the South, of a permanent memorial, that will serve the youth of the comingyears, as he, in the closing years of his life, served those who so sorely needed what he so freely gave.

Sincerely yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

 

7

PopeWatch: Criticisms

The Pope’s leftist agenda is drawing fire not only within the Church but from without the Church according to Sandro Magister:

In this month of August, Pope Francis has found himself facing opposition on two of the best-known points of his preaching. And opposition in an unusual form: because the critiques have not come from inside the Church, but from outside, from authoritative voices of secular opinion; and also because he has never been explicitly named in the controversy, although it is evident that the criticisms were aimed against him as well.

*

The first point concerns the phenomenon of migration. In recent days, a ruling from the Italian judiciary and an appeal signed by a certain number of intellectuals of the far left have compared the reception centers for immigrants sailing from Libya for Italy to “concentration camps,” and the rejection of their indiscriminate admittance to a “mass extermination” analogous to that of the Jews on the part of the Nazis.

These comparisons are not new. Frequent recourse has been made in recent times to words like “lager,” “extermination,” “holocaust” to denounce the treatment reserved for immigrants by those who do not want to accommodate them without reservation.

But this time, in conjunction with the joint decision of the Italian government and the Libyan authorities to put the brakes on the shipments of migrants carried out until now by criminal organizations at the expense of many lives, and in conjunction with the resolute support for this decision from the president of the Italian episcopal conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the aberrant association of the “non-welcome” of immigrants with the extermination of the Jews has not passed by in silence, but has generated a healthy flare-up of criticisms.

Properly speaking, none of the critics has mentioned Pope Francis by name. But he too not long ago had referred to as “concentration camps” the camps for receiving immigrants in Greece and Italy.

He did so in a homily given on April 22 at the Roman basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber Island, during a ceremony commemorating the “new martyrs” of the 20th and 21st centuries.

And this sally of his reinforced even more the standard storyline on Pope Francis when it comes to immigration: as a pope of unlimited welcome for all, always and at all costs.

Because it is true that Francis, in this regard, has also occasionally said the opposite. For example, during one of his inflight press conferences, on the way back from Sweden last November 1, he praised the “prudence” of leaders who put limits on accommodation, because “there is not room for all.”

Just as it is true that Cardinal Bassetti spoke with the prearranged approval of the pope – who had himself just come from a private meeting with Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni – when last August 10 he supported the hard line of the government of Rome against “those who exploit the phenomenon of migration in an inhumane manner” by organizing crossings from Libya to Italy.

But the fact remains that these correctives have not made a dent in the image of Francis that has been built up in the media, as a champion of indiscriminate accommodation. And one may wonder if this is the work of the media alone or his as well, considering the overwhelming preponderance of his appeals for welcome full stop, compared with the paltry number of his commendations of “prudence” in governing the phenomenon of migration.

*

The second point of the preaching of Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio that has ended up under fire from criticism has to do with his overall political vision, hostile both to globalization, in which he sees the perverse effects prevailing, and to free market policies, which he has often branded as “economy that kills.” Continue Reading

5

Hysteria Days

Outkick brings us the news that we are definitely in the midst of full blown national hysteria:

“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue.”

In a story that seems made for The Onion, but is actually true, according to multiple Outkick fans inside ESPN MSESPN decided to pull an Asian college football announcer named Robert Lee off the William and Mary at University of Virginia college football game because they were concerned that having an ASIAN FOOTBALL ANNOUNCER NAMED ROBERT LEE would be offensive to some viewers.

Did I mention that Robert Lee is Asian?

Is this even real life anymore? This might even be worse than MSESPN apologizing for the fantasy football slave draft a couple of weeks ago.

To avoid offending left wing idiots Robert Lee, the Asian college football announcer, not the Confederate General who died in 1870 and shares a name with him, was switched to the Youngstown State at Pittsburgh game and Dave Weekley will now call the William and Mary at University of Virginia game. Continue Reading

2

Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Orwell

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

George Orwell, 1984

 

Theodore Roosevelt and the East Saint Louis Race Riot of 1917

 

On July 2, 1917, the nation was rocked by one of the worst race riots in its history.  Black men, women and children were slain in East Saint Louis, estimates of the killed ranging from 40 to 200.  President Wilson said almost nothing about this atrocity.  Former President Theodore Roosevelt on July 6, 1917, at a mass meeting in Carnegie Hall to welcome the representatives of the new, and fated to be short-lived, democratic Russian government, in his remarks spoke about the riot:

“Before we speak of justice for others it behooves us to do justice within our own household. Within the week there has been an appalling outbreak of savagery in a race riot in East Saint Louis, a race riot for which, as far as we can see, there was no real provocation, and which, whether there was provocation of not, was waged with such an excess of appalling brutality as to leave a stain on the American name.

Now, friends, the longer I live the more I grow to abhor rhetoric that isn’t based on facts, words that are not translated into deeds. And when we applaud the birth of democracy in another people, the spirit which insists on treating each man on the basis of his right as a man , refusing to deny the humblest the rights that are his, when we present such a greeting to the representatives of a foreign nation, it behooves us to express our deep condemnation of acts that give the lie to our words within our own country.”

Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, spoke next and in this remarks attempted to place the blame for the race riot on employers importing cheap black labor from this South.  This attempt to justify the riot outraged Roosevelt who spoke again:

“I am not willing that a meeting to commemorate the birth of democracy and justice in Russia shall seem to have given any approval of or apology for the infamous brutalities that have been committed on negroes at East St. Louis. Justice with me is not a mere phrase or form of words. How can we praise the people of Russia for doing justice to the men within their boundaries if we in any way apologize for murder committed on the helpless? In the past I have listened to the same form of excuse advanced on behalf of the Russian autocracy for pogroms of Jews. Not for a moment shall I acquiesce in any apology for the murder of women and children in our own country. I am a democrat of democrats. I will do anything for laboring man except what is wrong.” Continue Reading

12

Paypal and Jihad Watch

 

Paypal has an almost complete monopoly when it comes to private electronic fund transfers.  Paypal has now banned Jihad Watch from using its services.  In a country where a baker can be sued for not wishing to bake a cake for a gay marriage you might wonder how this is possible and so do I.  Here is the story from Breitbart:

Online payment company PayPal has banned Jihad Watch and the site’s director Robert Spencer from accepting online donations using the service.

PayPal has reportedly suspended the account of Jihad Watch, according to the website’s director, Robert Spencer. In a post on Jihad Watch calling for the boycott of PayPal, Spencer outlined his correspondence with the company over a number of emails. PayPal’s suspension of Spencer’s account came shortly after an article published by Lauren Kirchner of ProPublica who criticized tech companies such as PayPal that allow Jihad Watch to utilize their online services.

“Because of its “extreme hostility toward Muslims,” the website Jihadwatch.org is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League,” wrote Kirchner. “But its designation as a hate site hasn’t stopped tech companies — including PayPal, Amazon, and Newsmax — from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially.”

Shortly after the publication of this article that PayPal contacted Spencer with an email which stated,

Dear Robert Spencer,

We have recently reviewed your usage of PayPal’s services, as reflected in
our records and on your website https://www.jihadwatch.org. Due to the
nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in
accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement. As a result, we have placed a
permanent limitation on your account.

We ask that you please remove all references to PayPal from your website.
This includes removing PayPal as a payment option, as well as the PayPal
logo and/or shopping cart.

If you have a remaining balance, you may withdraw the money to your bank
account. Information on how to withdraw money from your PayPal account can
be found via our Help Center.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions or
need our support, please contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management
Department at [email protected]

Sincerely,
Ronita
PayPal Brand Risk Management
PayPal

Breitbart reached out to Spencer, who gave the following comment on his sudden suspension from PayPal:

People have complained for years about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” list lumping legitimate groups in with the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. Now this has teeth, as PayPal and others are closing their platforms to those who dissent from the establishment Leftist line, based on the SPLC’s hit list.

The Left sees blood in the water after Charlottesville and is moving in for the kill, attempting to delegitimize, silence and destroy all dissenting voices. The freedom of speech, the foundation of a free society, is being eroded away under our very noses. The recent meeting of the Vice President of Facebook with the Pakistani government, and his assurances that Facebook would remove all criticism of Islam, reveal what’s really going on here: not an attempt to shut down actual “hate speech,” which would result in the closing of many mosques, but an attempt to shut down all criticism of Islam in accord with Sharia blasphemy laws, with the goal of allowing the jihad to advance unopposed and unimpeded.

The SPLC has previously been accused of using its list of “hate figures” as a political tool to silence conservatives. Spencer alleges that the group is doing exactly that by listing Jihad Watch as a “hate site.” Journalist Ken Silverstein has previously called the SPLC “essentially a fraud,” and stated that the SPLC had “a habit of casually labeling organizations as ‘hate groups.’” Silverstein also said, “In doing so the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.” Continue Reading

2

Trump on Afghanistan

 

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Rudyard Kipling, The Young British Soldier

Further proof that Trump can give a good speech when he wants to.

Almost sixteen years in Afghanistan.  The attempt to reform Afghanistan was a noble effort, but now stands revealed as complete folly.  In certain areas on Earth all you can do is raid them if they give sanctuary to your enemies and get out as quickly as possible.  Afghanistan is one of those places.  In Afghanistan governmental corruption is not a crime, but a time-honored way of life.  It is impossible to eliminate the loathsome Taliban because of their sanctuaries in Pakistan.  The Taliban draw their recruits from the Pashtuns.  There are 13 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and 30 million in Pakistan.  Pakistani military intelligence give support to the Taliban.  Not all Pashtuns support the Taliban, but enough do so that throughout our sixteen years we have often been able to take territory from the Taliban but eventually they always come back.  They can’t hurt us much.  Last year 14 Americans died in the War.  However, they believe they can outlast us and that is their clear strategy.  If Trump can shut down Pakistani support, the Taliban may wither away, especially if support is given to non-Taliban elements among the Pashtuns.  I doubt if that is possible and stasis will result until the Americans tire of this unending conflict and withdraw.

13

PopeWatch: Open Borders

I answer that, Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts. For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]”; and again (Exodus 22:9): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].” Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people. Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews (viz., the Egyptians among whom they were born and educated, and the Idumeans, the children of Esau, Jacob’s brother), that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations had been hostile, such as the Ammonites and Moabites) were never to be admitted to citizenship; while the Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity: for it is written (Exodus 17:16): “The war of the Lord shall be against Amalec from generation to generation.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Question 105, Article 3

 

 

 

 

The Pope is in favor of open borders as he made very clear in this statement issued yesterday:

 

Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43).  The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.[1] This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.  This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.

In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.[2]

Considering the current situation, welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.  This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.  At the same time, I hope that a greater number of countries will adopt private and community sponsorship programmes, and open humanitarian corridors for particularly vulnerable refugees.  Furthermore, special temporary visas should be granted to people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries.  Collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions, particularly where people are returned to countries which cannot guarantee respect for human dignity and fundamental rights.[3]  Once again, I want to emphasise the importance of offering migrants and refugees adequate and dignified initial accommodation.  “More widespread programmes of welcome, already initiated in different places, seem to favour a personal encounter and allow for greater quality of service and increased guarantees of success”.[4]  The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved Predecessor, Benedict XVI,[5] obliges us to always prioritise personal safety over national security.  It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that agents in charge of border control are properly trained.  The situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees requires that they be guaranteed personal safety and access to basic services.  For the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.[6]

The second verb – protecting – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status.[7]  Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices.[8]  This must be ongoing, as far as possible, in the country of migration, guaranteeing them adequate consular assistance, the right to personally retain their documents of identification at all times, fair access to justice, the possibility of opening a personal bank account, and a minimum sufficient to live on.  When duly recognised and valued, the potential and skills of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them.[9]  This is why I hope that, in countries of arrival, migrants may be offered freedom of movement, work opportunities, and access to means of communication, out of respect for their dignity.  For those who decide to return to their homeland, I want to emphasise the need to develop social and professional reintegration programmes.  The International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a universal legal basis for the protection of underage migrants.  They must be spared any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.  Equally, when they come of age they must be guaranteed the right to remain and to enjoy the possibility of continuing their studies.  Temporary custody or foster programmes should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors separated from their families.[10]  The universal right to a nationality should be recognised and duly certified for all children at birth.  The statelessness which migrants and refugees sometimes fall into can easily be avoided with the adoption of “nationality legislation that is in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law”.[11]  Migratory status should not limit access to national healthcare and pension plans, nor affect the transfer of their contributions if repatriated.

Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator.[12]  Among these, we must recognize the true value of the religious dimension, ensuring to all foreigners in any country the freedom of religious belief and practice.   Many migrants and refugees have abilities which must be appropriately recognised and valued.  Since “work, by its nature, is meant to unite peoples”,[13] I encourage a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all – including those seeking asylum – the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue.  In the case of underage migrants, their involvement in labour must be regulated to prevent exploitation and risks to their normal growth and development.  In 2006, Benedict XVI highlighted how, in the context of migration, the family is “a place and resource of the culture of life and a factor for the integration of values”.[14]  The family’s integrity must always be promoted, supporting family reunifications – including grandparents, grandchildren and siblings – independent of financial requirements.  Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities must be granted greater assistance and support.  While I recognize the praiseworthy efforts, thus far, of many countries, in terms of international cooperation and humanitarian aid, I hope that the offering of this assistance will take into account the needs (such as medical and social assistance, as well as education) of developing countries which receive a significant influx of migrants and refugees.  I also hope that local communities which are vulnerable and facing material hardship, will be included among aid beneficiaries.[15]

The final verb – integrating – concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.  Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.  This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings”.[16]  This process can be accelerated by granting citizenship free of financial or linguistic requirements, and by offering the possibility of special legalisation to migrants who can claim a long period of residence in the country of arrival.  I reiterate the need to foster a culture of encounter in every way possible – by increasing opportunities for intercultural exchange, documenting and disseminating best practices of integration, and developing programmes to prepare local communities for integration processes.   I wish to stress the special case of people forced to abandon their country of arrival due to a humanitarian crisis.  These people must be ensured adequate assistance for repatriation and effective reintegration programmes in their home countries.

In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed above.  Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities. Continue Reading

19

Business as Usual for the Left

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
Rahm Emanuel, current Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff for Barack Obama

Carl Olson at Catholic World Report notes that in the aftermath of Charlottesville it is business as usual for the left:

 

“Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.” — Pope Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge (March 14, 1937)

“Their conflict is not one of ideologies, for Communism and Naziism are both destructive of human freedom.” — Abp. Fulton Sheen, Philosophies at War (1943)

There are many aspects to the violent, ugly, and shameful actions that have taken place in Charlottesville, Virginia, these past few days but I focus here on just a couple of them, seeking to make a couple of connections to ongoing troubles in the Church.

First, at risk of being misunderstood or misrepresented, I am a bit bemused at the flood of statements, remarks, exhortations, demands, tweets, posts, and declarations that certain groups must—must!—renounce, condemn, and otherwise harshly decry the words and deeds of the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and related haters. It’s as if we GenXers and the Millennials nipping at our heels have never, in all of our many years in public schools and in various public settings, really heard or learned that racism is an evil, as it surely is. But, in fact, if there are any evils that approach the status of objective certainty in the eyes of the ordinary, younger American today, they are surely racism, sexism, and homophobia (and perhaps Islamophobia as well).

A couple of nights ago, as matters turned deadly in Charlottesville, I saw that a well-known Catholic commentator was excoriating “conservatives” and “Trump supporters” and other apparently dubious deplorables for failing to step up and offer endless condemnations. Silence or even a low level of social media shouting was taken, it appears, as a tacit admission of  support of said racists. It was a ploy both clever and crude: “Do this, or I’ll have to conclude that you aren’t upholding my lacking, emotive, and ideological assumptions!”

Some study of history, both American and otherwise, as well as nearly thirty years of following politics closely has taught me a handful of near certain things. One of them is that the Left, from its extreme fringes to even its more moderate and mainstream forms, will use anything and everything to smear, deride, shame, and even destroy those deemed politically conservative and orthodox Christian. (I don’t have time, unfortunately, to explain why I’ve never believed Donald Trump is conservative. Another time.) For such folks, many of them quite active in Charlottesville, history exists to be re-written or destroyed, reason is ignored or attacked, and order—social, political, religious, etc.—is to be broken and discarded.

Those considered enemies by the Left are called “bigots” and “racists” and worse, and they told to shut up, grovel, and bow to the angry hordes—whether in the streets or on social media. David Harsanyi sums it well over at The Federalist:

The left doesn’t take responsibility for the violence on its fringes, for the murder of five cops in Dallas, or the assassination attempt on Republican leadership, or the serial vandalism, or the mobs of free-speech antagonists on campuses, or the rioters at WTO, or those who desire to massacre social conservatives in Washington, because it’s inconvenient to the left’s preferred narrative. They don’t see these people as their responsibility. But you, my conservative voter, do you condemn in the harshest terms those Nazis in Charlottesville that you spawned by supporting tax cuts and judicial restraint and Donald Trump? And even then, condemnation is not enough. You may not mention anyone else or any other factor or you risk being smeared as a Nazi-apologist.

Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: It’s Not Just Converts!

 

Friends of PopeWatch, Paul Zummo and Jay Anderson, dealt last week with the convert bashing that has become the latest line of defense by the acolytes of the current pontificate.  That some of the more ardent defenders of every jot and tittle of the current pontificate, Mark Shea that is your cue, are themselves converts, was not addressed by the convert bashers.  Of course the simple truth is that many Catholics, cradle and convert, are alarmed by Pope Francis.  Dan Hitchens at Catholic Herald points this out:

This brings me to Austen Ivereigh’s latest piece suggesting that the epicentre of current anxiety is neither priests nor the laity, neither Westerners nor Africans, but converts. Ivereigh diagnoses “convert neurosis” in a range of writers, from “elegant commentators such as Ross Douthat” all the way down to “ex-Anglicans in my own patch such as Daniel Hitchens of the Catholic Herald.” Our neurosis reveals itself in disproportionate anxiety at the state of the Church; a horror of doctrinal development beyond our favourite period of Catholic history; and a failure to trust that “the Holy Spirit guides” Pope Francis. In sum, “their baggage has distorted their hermeneutic”.

I’m wary of this kind of psychologising: it is hard, even with those we know best, to say how their psychological issues affect their opinions. And in this instance the psychoanalysis seems needless, since there are at least as many cradle Catholics who have the same worries as us converts. An obvious example is Cardinal Raymond Burke, who learnt the faith from his mother and father as a farm boy in 1950s Wisconsin. Again, there are many cradle Catholics among the theologians who have expressed concerns: for instance, Dr Joseph Shaw, the spokesman for the 45 priests and theologians. And so on.

Converts and cradle Catholics have the same worries. I’m sorry to go over this again, but it seems worthwhile, since there is a determined effort in some quarters to change the subject. The concerns are about the sacraments and about doctrine. Nothing on this earth is more beautiful and precious than the sacraments, and it is natural for Catholics to be alarmed about the abuse of them. Scarcely anything is as necessary for our happiness as sound doctrine, and it is normal for Catholics to worry that doctrine is being contradicted or confused. There have been as many saints who were relaxed about heresy as there have been saints who despised the poor.

So of course converts and cradle Catholics will be dismayed by sacramental abuses and doctrinal confusion. And it is hard not to use such terms when we read Malta’s bishops claiming that avoiding adultery may be impossible; when we hear of priests, bishops and even cardinals abandoning the Church’s practice on Communion; when papal teachings are used – without contradiction from Rome – to justify novel approaches to divorce, euthanasia and extramarital relationships. (I have chosen a few examples here out of many, which together form a pattern.)

Catholics are living through a serious – not wholly unprecedented, but serious – doctrinal crisis. We all have psychological issues; as Samuel Johnson observed, “Perhaps, if we speak with rigorous exactness, no human mind is in its right state.” But as Johnson elsewhere remarked, there is one indispensable remedy: “The mind can only repose on the stability of truth.”

A favorite tactic of the old Soviet Union was to label dissidents as insane and lock them up in insane asylums.  It surprises PopeWatch not a whit that a similar mode of looking at Catholics who dissent from FrancisChurch, is becoming popular among those who view Pope Francis as ordained by the Holy Spirit to lead us to a New Light that somehow escaped the Church for twenty centuries.

 

2

June 8, 1918: The Great American Eclipse

Today, August 21, 2017, the US will experience a total solar eclipse that will go across the continental United States, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  The last time this occurred was on June 8, 1918, proceeding from Washington State across the US to Florida.  The press gave heavy coverage to the eclipse and rightly warned of the risk of blindness by looking at the eclipse with the naked eye.

I would note that my son’s alma mater, SIU, is in the path of totality of the current eclipse and is running several events today.  Go here to read about it. Continue Reading

Returning Temporarily to an Old Look While I Fix Things Up

If you haven’t noticed, we have returned to our previous look for The American Catholic.

I didn’t like the previous look and it was quite difficult to fix, in fact, I was unable to fix.

So I am returning to the older version while I change WYSIWYG website theme creation tools (switching back to Artisteer and no longer using Themler) to make The American Catholic better than ever.

If you all have suggestions, I am all ears!

Requiescat In Pace: Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis has passed away at 91.  Growing up, the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon was a favorite of my late parents, and they always made sure to contribute.  Like most things about Lewis in his turbulent life, controversy dogged his efforts on behalf of those afflicted with the disease, but over the life of the telethon he raised 2.45 billion dollars for the fight against that insidious genetic malady.  At his best Lewis was a brilliant comic, at his worst only the French could stand him.  He kept his politics to himself, unlike so many in his industry, but judging from the few comments he did make he was on the conservative side of the political ledger, at least in later life.  Lewis will be remembered for making people laugh and his charitable activities and that is not a bad legacy.

10

Celebrating Racists

“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

From a letter by Robert Byrd to Mississippi United States Senator Theodore Bilbo, December 11, 1945

 

 

 

One amusing aspect of the current flap over Confederate statuary is the omission of the memorials to the late Senator Robert Byrd (D.WV).  Go here to read a list of institutions named after him in his native West Virginia.  A former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, Byrd was the longest serving member of Congress when he died in 2010, having been a member of the House and Senate for almost 58 years.  A fierce proponent of segregation when first elected to Congress, his position moderated over time as he amended his beliefs to fit changing political realities within the nation and his Democrat Party.  Nicknamed the Prince of Pork, he succeeded, due to his seniority in the Senate, in getting endless Federal pork for his state.  Since it seems to be an article of faith on the left that memorials to racists must be expunged from the public square, and that arguments that the racists changed are to be rejected out of hand, the omission of Byrd’s tax supported memorials to himself from targeting by the left is curious, until one recalls that the latest hoorah over such monuments has nothing to do with race and everything to do with contemporary political battles, and that highlighting the sins of a contemporary Democrat like Byrd, who was hailed during his lifetime by many liberal Democrats still active in politics, would be politically inconvenient for the puppet masters who pull the strings of the leftist groups who seem to be outraged by racists dead for over a century, but seem quite willing to tolerate recent racists so long as they were members in good standing of the contemporary Democrat power structure.

9

One Reason We Didn’t Have Unending Civil Wars

 

 

 

 

 

One reason we didn’t have unending civil wars after the one that ended in 1865 is because of the generosity of spirit by Abraham Lincoln, Lieutenant General Grant and by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, he of Little Round Top Fame:

The choice of the two officers to oversee the surrender ceremony at Appomattox, Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Confederate General John Brown Gordon, was quite appropriate.  In a War where the vast majority of soldiers were volunteers and not regular soldiers, both these Generals were volunteers, not professional soldiers.  They both during the War saw more combat than most professional soldiers see in an  entire career.  After the War both became active in politics and both often spoke of the need for love of the reunited nation and a forgetting of the angry passions of the Civil War, while ever remembering the courage of the men who had fought it, especially the courage of those who never came back from the War.

 

 

Chamberlain helped begin the healing of the dreadful wounds to the nation caused by the War  at Appomattox.  As the Confederates passed by, Chamberlain ordered a salute to them by the Union troops. He explained why he did this:

“I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?” Continue Reading

1

Saint Augustine and the Canaanite Woman

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Matthew 15: 21-18

 

 

 

 

1. This woman of Canaan, who has just now been brought before us in the lesson of the Gospel, shows us an example of humility, and the way of godliness; shows us how to rise from humility unto exaltation. Now she was, as it appears, not of the people of Israel, of whom came the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and the parents of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; of whom the Virgin Mary herself was, who was the Mother of Christ. This woman then was not of this people; but of the Gentiles. For, as we have heard, the Lord “departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, and behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,” [2593] and with the greatest earnestness begged of Him the mercy to heal her daughter, “who was grievously vexed with a devil.” Tyre and Sidon were not cities of the people of Israel, but of the Gentiles; though they bordered on that people. So then, as being eager to obtain mercy she cried out, and boldly knocked; and He made as though He heard her not, [2594] not to the end that mercy might be refused her, but that her desire might be enkindled; and not only that her desire might be enkindled, but that, as I have said before, her humility might be set forth. Therefore did she cry, while the Lord was as though He heard her not, but was ordering in silence what He was about to do. The disciples besought the Lord for her, and said, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.” And He said, “I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [2595]

2. Here arises a question out of these words; “If He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, how came we from among the Gentiles into Christ’s fold? What is the meaning of the so deep economy [2596] of this mystery, that whereas the Lord knew the purpose of His coming — that He might have a Church in all nations, He said that He was not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel’?” We understand then by this that it behoved Him to manifest His Bodily presence, His Birth, the exhibition of His miracles, and the power of His Resurrection, among that people: that so it had been ordained, so set forth from the beginning, so predicted, and so fulfilled; that Christ Jesus was to come to the nation of the Jews, to be seen and slain, and to gain from among them those whom He foreknew. For that people was not wholly condemned, but sifted. There was among them a great quantity of chaff, but there was also the hidden worth [2597] of the grain; there was among them that which was to be burnt, there was among them also that wherewith the barn was to be filled. For whence came the Apostles? whence came Peter? whence the rest? Continue Reading

7

Joan of Arc, Ignorance and Hate

Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang.

Sir Winston Churchill

 

 

 

 

Never underestimate human ignorance.  The base of the stunning statue of Saint Joan of Arc in New Orleans was recently, in May of this year, vandalized with a spray painted “Tear it Down” message.  Iconoclastic movements are usually notable for their stark ignorance.  Like their ISIS contemporaries, the fascist left in this country knows little about history and could care less.  I assume that the Joan of Arc statue was, incredibly, mistaken for some sort of Confederate monument.  However, perhaps I am mistaken and the statue was deliberately targeted.  Certainly the red fascists have little reason to love the Maid of Orleans.  Let us count the reasons why monuments to Saint Joan could become the latest targets of the unhinged left:

  1.  She is a Catholic saint.  Little time needs be spent at most leftists sites, before it is clear that the denizens of such sites have little love for the Catholic Church.
  2. She believed that her actions were commanded by God.  For leftists, at best Joan was a religious fanatic, at worst a delusional fool.
  3. She fought to place the Dauphin, the future Charles VIII, on the throne of France.  Fighting for a monarch?  How retrograde.
  4. Instead of fighting the patriarchy, Saint Joan was a pillar of the patriarchal order.
  5. Saint Joan was not a lesbian, and that is sufficient in some left wing circles to make her suspect.
  6. She rallied the poor, not to fight against their class enemies, but to support a right wing King.
  7. She was a patriotic chauvinist.
  8. Her equestrian statues are celebrations of specieism.
  9. Her belief in God obviously makes her suspect of being a right wing fundamentalist.
  10. All of her followers were white.

Saint Joan of Arc, and the other great men  and women of history, are a standing rebuke to the mindless yahoos who largely staff the Antifa and other leftist groups.  They demonstrate that our time has much to learn from the past and that is anathema to current leftists who seek to destroy Western culture and achieve political power through endless strife and chaos.  Ignorance and hate are their dogmas and violence is their mode of worship.  Pray for them. Continue Reading

1

PopeWatch: Homily-cide

 

 

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

 

A man whose body was found in a pew at St. Cecila’s Church Friday died from blunt trauma to the heart, the San Bernardino County medical examiners office found after autopsies performed this morning. “We can’t say much at this time,” one examiner said at a press conference “but what we can say is that the cause of death wasn’t trauma to the actual, physical heart, itself, but to its very nature…the essence that dwells within the recesses of the heart, if you will. I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years.” Many parishioners at St. Cecelia’s are blaming the death on a overly fluffy homily given by Fr. Ron Gustafson the morning of the death. “It was terrible,” one parishioner who attended the Mass said. “He kept using terms like ‘coming together,’ ‘one family,’ and ‘we are church.’” The homily reportedly took a tragic turn when Gustafson began to speak about personal holiness, “He was nearly canonizing the entire parish…we begged him to stop, but he wouldn’t listen.” Gustafson is in custody with the San Bernardino Police department at this hour. Continue Reading

10

Because Shut Up, They Explained

Crux has announced a new “prime directive” regarding their editorial policy, which they have seemingly established in light of the Austen Ivereigh commentary piece I blogged about the other day. Here’s Crux explaining:

“While Crux will always foster vigorous discussion, we will not tolerate attacks on persons. If the nature of a piece requires that specific individuals be named in a critical light, it must always be for their ideas or policy positions, never for their backgrounds, personalities, private lives, supposed dysfunctions or failures, etc.”

Which proves Crux doesn’t quite get the anger over the Ivereigh piece. In other words, they seem to be under the impression that it had more to do with “name-calling” than the actual substance. As further proof that they just don’t get it, they allowed another stinker of a “converts, oh what you please shut up” piece, this time by a convert himself: David Mills. In fairness, Mills doesn’t say that converts should keep silence, at least not forever. As he explains:

For a long time, and perhaps a very long time, the convert will see the Catholic Thing as you see a garden through a bay window, not as you see it when you’re standing amidst the flowers. He sees its design and beauty, but doesn’t feel the sun or smell the flowers or enjoy walking barefoot on the grass. Nor does he know what it is like to get caught in the rain or stung by a bee, or to spend hours weeding. He has to spend many years outside to know what life in the garden is really like.

Jay Anderson takes Mills to task. Jay concedes that Mills has a point when he suggests converts should take their time and “get their feet wet” before speaking out on matters of the faith. But:

This is fetishizing the cradle Catholic experience as being the *REAL* Catholic experience, and holding up any alternative to that as somehow less than. I used to do this exact same thing that Mills is doing when I was a new Catholic. I used to lament that I would never be able to experience the Faith with the instinct and the ethos of a cradle Catholic. That I would somehow always be an “incomplete” or not “REAL” Catholic like all my brethren born into the Faith and that I had somehow been “deprived” of my “birthright” as a “true” Catholic.

Now I recognize that for the utter horse

Well, I won’t spoil the rest, so as Don would say, read the rest here. Needless to say I agree with Jay.

7

Did Government Meddling Bring About the Great Depression?

 

The above video says yes, and attributes the bad policy to Herbert Hoover.  Considering the cycle of boom and bust that America had long seen, the Great Depression stands out for both its length and severity.  Perhaps this is not the answer, but it it is certainly more accurate than the historical myth that says that Hoover did nothing in the face of the Great Depression.

26

The Country Dodged A Bullet

No, Mitt. If you don’t think the antifa demonstrators are equally morally repugnant and guilty of violence, then you’re simply ignorant, no matter what they claim to be fighting.

http://thehill.com/…/346731-romney-bigots-and-those-fightin…

Mitt Romney fired back at President Trump for saying “both sides” were responsible for violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend, claiming…
thehill.com
 

 

Go here to read the rest.  Pit stop in Dwight, lunch with the Rotary District Governor and then on to Indianapolis with the family for Gen Con 50.  In regard to the Charlottesville  debacle, where local law enforcement, ordered to do so by the Democrat mayor, sat on their hands and a completely predictable violent clash occurred, it was black fascists v. red fascists, with no meaningful moral distinction between them.  Romney once again demonstrates how he blew the 2012 election with a mind ever locked into the world of the mainstream media.  More on this murderous farce when I get back from vacation.

Colonel Roosevelt Testifies

 

 

It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune that loves the brave. It is now to be concluded, I hope, with that fine good nature, which is, after all, the distinguishing trait of the American character.

John Hay, US Ambassador to Great Britain, letter to Theodore Roosevelt, July 1898

 

In many ways, Theodore Roosevelt’s  future Secretary of State was correct.  The War was short and victorious for the US, with the divisions of the Civil War largely forgotten by white Americans, North and South,  unified in the fight against Spain.  This was symbolized by the rapturous reception the 6th Massachusetts received from the citizens of Baltimore as it passed through on its way to ship out, box lunches were given to the men in a huge celebration, a stark departure from the bloody greeting received by the regiment from the citizens of Baltimore on its way to Washington in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War.

However, in the aftermath of the War journalists and returning veterans told tales of rampant mismanagement, of appalling rations, inadequate uniforms and chaotic transport.  A political storm arose and President McKinley appointed a commission to investigate the conduct of the War.  Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, who had been unsparing in his private comments about the mismanagement of the Cuban campaign, appeared before the Committee on November 22, 1898, a few weeks after his election as Governor of New York.  Go here to read his testimony.  Roosevelt was restrained in his testimony, noting that the rapid expansion of the Army was bound to encounter problems, and that these problems could be partially alleviated by large scale maneuvers in peace time.

The Commission, commonly called the Dodge Commission after its Chairman General Grenville M. Dodge, would publish its report on February 9, 1899.  While exonerating the War Department it implied that Secretary of War Russell A. Alger, a Civil War combat soldier who rose from private to Colonel, had been incompetent.  Alger denied this, but resigned on July 19, 1899.