January 22, 1917: Peace Without Victory

Sunday, January 22, AD 2017

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The United States was two months from entering the Great War when President Wilson addressed the Senate a century ago, calling for Peace Without Victory and laying out the beginnings of what would eventually be his Fourteen Points as the basis of peace:

Gentlemen of the Senate:

On the 18th of December last, I addressed an identical note to the governments of the nations now at war requesting them to state, more definitely than they had yet been stated by either group of belligerents, the terms upon which they would deem it possible to make peace.  I spoke on behalf of humanity and of the rights of all neutral nations like our own, many of whose most vital interests the war puts in constant jeopardy.

The Central Powers united in a reply which state merely that they were ready to meet their antagonists in conference to discuss terms of peace.  The Entente powers have replied much more definitely and have stated, in general terms, indeed, but with sufficient definiteness to imply details, the arrangements, guarantees, and acts of reparation which they deem to be the indispensable conditions of a satisfactory settlement.  We are that much nearer a definite discussion of the peace which shall end the present war.  We are that much nearer the definite discussion of the international concert which must thereafter hold the world at peace.

In every discussion of peace that must end this war, it is taken for granted that the peace must be followed by some definite concert of power which will make it virtually impossible that any such catastrophe should ever overwhelm us again.  Every love of mankind, every sane and thoughtful man must take that for granted.

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Stamped With the Divine Image

Sunday, January 22, AD 2017

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We  hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are  created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic  interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their  lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of  the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to  all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their  enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and  likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded,  and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole  race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized  upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide  their children and their children’s children, and the countless  myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise  statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity  to breed tyrants, and so they established these great  self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man,  some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that  none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look  up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to  renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth,  and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues  might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would  hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles  on which the temple of liberty was being built.

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

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Roe V. Wade and the Right to Rule Ourselves

Sunday, January 22, AD 2017

 

On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade and in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton made up a Constitutional right to abortion out of thin air.  There was nothing in the Constitution forbidding the states from regulating abortion, and the states had so regulated, and often criminalized, abortion since the inception of the Republic.  Roe and Doe were terrible crimes against the unborn, but they were also blows against the most precious civil liberty Americans possess:  the right to rule ourselves.

If Roe were overturned, the abortion regime of abortion on demand would be limited to a handful of states.  Some states would ban abortion outright in almost all cases.  Most would bring abortion under ever growing restrictions that would shrink the number of abortions performed.  One of the prime defenses of abortion currently, that is a Constitutional right, would be no more.  Pro-lifers would be free to focus on the ugly reality of abortion without fear that Federal courts by judicial fiat would upend hard won pro-life legislation at the state level.

How do we get there? Two main paths that I can see. 

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God Bless the USA

Saturday, January 21, AD 2017

 

 

It is thought by many, and said by some, that this republic has already seen its best days; that the historian may now write the story of its decline and fall. Two classes of men are just now especially afflicted with such forebodings. The first are those who are croakers by nature. The men who have a taste for funerals, and especially national funerals. They never see the bright side of anything, and probably never will. Like the raven in the lines of Edgar A. Poe, they have learned two words, and those are, ‘never more’. They usually begin by telling us what we never shall see.

Frederick Douglass, December 7, 1869

Something for the weekend.  This rendition of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA seems very appropriate as a new administration begins.  We Americans are a tough and resilient people, something our adversaries frequently forget and something we too also fail to sometimes remember.

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PopeWatch: Tramp Stamp

Saturday, January 21, AD 2017

 

 

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

 

 

According to several reports out today, the Vatican will be issuing lower back tattoos to Catholics in honor of German priest and protestant reformer Martin Luther this October.

Although Martin Luther was declared a heretic and excommunicated in 1521, Vatican officials have reportedly sent letters to all Catholics that are “able and willing” to visit Rome for the “official issuing of the ecclesiastical tramp stamp.”

“We believe that Martin Luther, though deemed a heretic by the antiquated Catholic Church, is deserving of recognition for being a witness to the gospel,” said Vatican Tramp Stamp official Eduardo Rosalini. “Also because we want people to like us. No matter whether it’s our fault or not. We do as Christ did in the Scriptures when he apologized to Pontius Pilate, blaming hypocritical members of the Sanhedrin for driving [Pilate] away from a potential conversion to Judaism.”

Rosalini went on to say that, although Catholics will not be eligible for indulgences for getting the tramp stamp due to Luther’s stance on the issue, they will, nevertheless, be compensated with salvation “no matter what sins they commit after the getting the tattoo.”

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Pope Francis to President Trump

Friday, January 20, AD 2017

 

 

Hattip to Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts.  A message to our new President from the Pope:

 

The Honorable Donald Trump, President of the United States of America,

Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.

At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.

Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

Franciscus PP.

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Abraham Lincoln Sums Up the Obama Years

Friday, January 20, AD 2017

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, “And this too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

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President Trump’s Inauguration

Friday, January 20, AD 2017

 

 

I will be busy in the law mines when the Inauguration ceremony is held.  Let me know in the comboxes what you think.  Analysis from me when I get home tonight.  Paul Zummo will be live blogging the speech at The Cranky Conservative.  Go here to read it.

 

Update: Here is the text of the speech:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, fellow Americans and people of the world – thank you.

We the citizens of America have now joined a great national effort to rebuild our county and restore its promise for all our people. 

Together we will determine the course of America for many, many years to come.

Together we will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent, thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another – but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people.

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PopeWatch: Inaugural Address

Friday, January 20, AD 2017

 

Imagine if Pope Francis had given an honest inaugural address back in 2013:

I would like to thank the conclave for my election.  In my pontificate I will emphasize mercy for all, especially for non-Catholics, although selfabsorbed promethean neopelagian had better start running.  I am mildly proud of how humble I am and extreme humility will be a hallmark of my reign.  In regard to Global Warming I intend to fight it with as much energy as I will fight most signs of traditional Catholicism.

In regard to economic matters I despise markets and look with favor at government regulation and control.

As for international peace, it will never come until every last arms merchants is bankrupt.

I believe it is time for the Church to rethink the blanket ban on Communion for Catholics in adulterous marriage.

Europe would greatly benefit from a huge influx of Muslim immigrants.

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March 4, 1865: The Greatest Inaugural Address

Friday, January 20, AD 2017

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Hands down the most moving  inaugural address in American history is the second inaugural address given by President Lincoln, little over a month before his death.  It is short, to the point and powerful.  It is also the most important theological document written by any American President.  Here is the text:

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As If They’d Have Him

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Garrison Keillor is still alive? was my initial reaction to this proclamation by former humorist Garrison Keillor that he is searching for another religion due to the number of Christians who voted for Trump:

 

So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

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March 4, 1841: Longest Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

President William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in American history.  He spoke for one hour and forty-five minutes in a howling snow storm, without wearing a hat or a coat.   Catching pneumonia, he died one month later.  Here is the text of his address:

Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a necessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our Government and what I believe to be your expectations I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in the discharge of the duties which I shall be called upon to perform.

It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former. However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence.

Although the fiat of the people has gone forth proclaiming me the Chief Magistrate of this glorious Union, nothing upon their part remaining to be done, it may be thought that a motive may exist to keep up the delusion under which they may be supposed to have acted in relation to my principles and opinions; and perhaps there may be some in this assembly who have come here either prepared to condemn those I shall now deliver, or, approving them, to doubt the sincerity with which they are now uttered. But the lapse of a few months will confirm or dispel their fears. The outline of principles to govern and measures to be adopted by an Administration not yet begun will soon be exchanged for immutable history, and I shall stand either exonerated by my countrymen or classed with the mass of those who promised that they might deceive and flattered with the intention to betray. However strong may be my present purpose to realize the expectations of a magnanimous and confiding people, I too well understand the dangerous temptations to which I shall be exposed from the magnitude of the power which it has been the pleasure of the people to commit to my hands not to place my chief confidence upon the aid of that Almighty Power which has hitherto protected me and enabled me to bring to favorable issues other important but still greatly inferior trusts heretofore confided to me by my country.

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March 4, 1793: Shortest Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

 

The shortest inaugural address was given on March 4, 1793.  Since it was delivered by George Washington it still managed to be meaningful as well as brief.  I wish every one of his successors had to repeat the final paragraph:

Fellow Citizens:

I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

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PopeWatch: Luther Stamp

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

Martin Luther

PopeWatch pities satirists trying to keep up with this Vatican:

The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday to LifeSiteNews that Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals.

The Vatican regularly issues such memorabilia for special events, including papal trips and holy years. Honoring Luther and the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice, trumping other significant events in the Catholic Church such as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil.

Major events such as Christmas, Easter, the Holy Year of Mercy, and the World Meeting of Families have also merited a commemorative stamp. In the time before a Papal election, when the seat of Peter is vacant, the Philatelic and Numismatic office issues a “Sede Vacante” stamp.

Usually if individuals are commemorated on stamps they are saints, such as Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II, and Pope John XXIII, who most recently were honored with stamps.

While the Vatican has in the past collaborated with other national post offices to create stamps that are not of explicitly religious content, such as Charlie Chaplain or the fall of the Berlin wall, the Luther stamp has an undeniable religious connotation linked with much hostility to the Catholic Church.

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Un-Repentant Terrorist

Wednesday, January 18, AD 2017

 

 

I have been highly critical of President Obama.  In the closing days of his term in office I see that I have not been critical enough:

 

The last imprisoned member of the Puerto Rican independence group that terrorized New York in the 1970s will be a free man in May — 20 years ahead of schedule.

President Obama granted a commutation Tuesday to FALN mastermind Oscar López Rivera, who’s served 35 years of his 55-year sentence.

During the 1970s and 80s, López Rivera was part of FALN, or Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, a group seeking to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. control.

FALN placed more than 130 bombs in American cities — including one in New York on Jan. 24, 1975. The explosive went off in busy Fraunces Tavern during lunch hour. Four people died, including Frank Connor, a 33-year-old father.

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