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.
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.
1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.(1)
2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.
3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has “when the fullness of time came”(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.
4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God’s Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.
Since the time of the Reformation, the lack of devotion to the Mother of God has been a sign of the dying of Christendom. Saint Maximilian Kolbe had been dedicated to the Virgin Mother since he had a vision of her when he was a boy. She offered him the red crown of martyrdom or the white crown of purity, and he chose to take both. By his founding of the Immaculata Militia and his devotion to the Immaculata, our Blessed Mother found a knight and champion in Kolbe willing to proclaim her message in the teeth of the indifference and hostility of a world that so desperately needs precisely the love and compassion of the Queen of Heaven.
After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Saint Maximilian Kolbe threw open the doors of the monastery at a Niepokalanów and gave assistance to thousands of refugees, including 2000 Jews. Even the wife of a Nazi Gauleiter was moved by the endless compassion that Kolbe had for all who sought his assistance. Facing a seemingly hopeless situation he gave hope and love to all he encountered. Hope and love have always been in short supply on this planet and perhaps never more so than today.
A man carrying out the precepts of the Gospels under Nazi rule was a marked man, and so I am sure it came as no surprise to Father Kolbe when he was arrested by the Gestapo on February 17, 1941. After a short stay at Pawiak prison, on May 28, 1941 he was sent to the extermination camp of Auschwitz to die. Adolph Hitler was not the Anti-Christ, but it is hard in light of the death camps not to see him, along with his colleague in mass murder Joseph Stalin, as a developer of methods that might be utilized by the Anti-Christ. Auschwitz is as close as humanity has come to creating a literal Hell on Earth, and into this industrial slaughter camp strode Father Kolbe, Prisoner 16670. Whatever terrors await us in this century it is hard to believe we will manage to surpass the nihilistic worship of mass death that went on at Auschwitz. The reaction of Father Kolbe? Subject to the same beatings, starvation and brutality as his fellow prisoners, Kolbe moved among them at night, telling them that he was a Catholic priest. He prayed with them and heard their confessions. A constant theme for him was that the prisoners must pray for their persecutors and return evil with good. When he was beaten, Father Kolbe would not cry out but would pray for the man beating him. I confess that I could not do that, but I recognize the perfection of Christian love that Saint Maximilian achieved by doing so. In the midst of his sufferings he was able to send a last letter to his dear mother.
“Dear Mama, At the end of the month of May I was transferred to the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love. It would be well that you do not write to me until you will have received other news from me, because I do not know how long I will stay here. Cordial greetings and kisses, affectionately. Raymond.”
I think that when he wrote that letter he already suspected that the ultimate sacrifice might soon be required of him.
Allied bombers had been used on August 13, 1945 dropping leaflets over Japan which described, in Japanese, the surrender offer and the Allied response. On August 14, 1945 Hirohito met with his military leaders, several of whom spoke in favor of continuing the War. Hirohito urged them to help him bring the War to an end. Meeting then with the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War and heard out those who recommended a rejection of the Allied offer unless there was a guarantee that the Emperor would continue to reign. Hirohito then spoke:
I have listened carefully to each of the arguments presented in opposition to the view that Japan should accept the Allied reply as it stands and without further clarification or modification, but my own thoughts have not undergone any change. … In order that the people may know my decision, I request you to prepare at once an imperial rescript so that I may broadcast to the nation. Finally, I call upon each and every one of you to exert himself to the utmost so that we may meet the trying days which lie ahead.
In normal times in Japan that would have been that. It was quite rare for the Emperor to so overtly intervene in a decision of the government, indeed it was forbidden under the then current Japanese constitution, but when he did, it would have literally been unthinkable for any Japanese not to instantly obey. However, these were far from normal times.
The rest of the day was taken up with Hirohito preparing an address to his people and having a recording played to be broadcast on August 15, 1945. Washington was advised that Japan had surrendered via the Japanese embassies in Switzerland and Sweden and the Allied world went wild with joy.
One of the frequently overlooked aspects of American involvement in World War I, is the massive shipments of food from the United States to the Allies that kept them from experiencing the type of dearth of food that afflicted Germany in the latter years of the War. Behind the success of this effort was one of the greatest geniuses of organization in American history, future president Herbert Hoover. Since the onset of the War he had organized food relief for occupied Belgium, and is still honored there, for his central role in preventing mass famine in that war devastated country, where the German conquerors had little concern of whether the Belgian civilians had food to eat. Hoover performed similar miracles of humanitarian relief in occupied France.
I his Executive Order of August 14, 1917 President Wilson established the Food Administration Grain Corporation with Herbert Hoover on the Board. This was part of the United States Food Admninistration which Wilson appointed Hoover to lead. Future posts will explore Hoover’s actions in charge of this organization. Here is the text of the Executive Order of August 14, 1917:
At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Of all the figures of the Old Testament, Elijah has always stood out for me. The most powerful of the prophets sent by God, he lived at a time of mass apostasy in the Kingdom of Israel. Under King Ahab and his Queen Jezebel, a daughter of the King of Sidon and a priestess of Baal, a great spirit of what many today would call ecumenicalism went forth, as Israel turned away from the stern God Yahweh, to the pleasure seeking ways of Baal. Elijah, his name means “Yahweh is my God”, would have none of it, and led the Traditionalists among the Yahweh worshipers who opposed the new spirit abroad in the land. The deeds of Elijah are well known, from the battle of the gods on Mount Carmel, to his being taken up to Heaven by a chariot of fire, but the most striking passage in his career is the incident of the still, small voice, set forth in today’s reading at Mass.
From the only source of reliable Catholic news on net, Eye of the Tiber:
The largest cross-boarder Lefeverist smuggling tunnel to date was discovered in a midnight raid earlier today by Swiss Guards. The smugglers fled, abandoning contraband with a street value of over 3 million euros.
Smuggled goods found included pirated copies of “Teach Yourself Latin” software, DVD’s of “The Cardinal,” as well as thousands of copies of Familiaris Consortio and the Decrees of the Council of Trent.
Lead detective on the case Giovanni Verde told EOTT this morning that all of the items seized were street ready.
“From here they would have gone out and been available in the Vatican colleges and back rooms by sunrise,” noting that the tunnel terminated in a small subterranean chapel under one of the Vatican buildings. “See how the chapel is set up ad orientem? This is a site of a clandestine Tridentine Mass.”
Rumors have been circulating for years that undocumented Lefeverists were responsible for the countless tunnels undermining the Vatican since the early 1970’s. According to Verde, his goal is not simply taking down the powerful Lefeverist “cartel,” but also “the numerous groups inside the Vatican supporting them.”
Verde told reporters that he has been tracking a “shadowy figure” who is considered the true leader of the cartel.
“We only know him as “Denzinger,” but he is highly respected in some circles, and his writings are quoted like the Bible. It’s not a secret in the Vatican that the recently terminated the head of the CDF, Gerhard Cardinal Muller, was an admirer of Dezinger.
“It was clear for a number of years that the Cardinal had been Denzinger’s man inside the halls of the Vatican, and now we finally have hard evidence of a conspiracy. Denzinger’s influence over the CDF and the Church will finally be broken.”
Something for the weekend. Since your humble scribe is on vacation with his family, the song Vacation sung by Connie Francis seemed appropriate. Written by Francis, Gary Weston and Hank Hunter, the song made it to number nine of the top 100 in 1962.
During the current Pontificate, PopeWatch has found comfort in this passage on the entry under Alexander VI at New Advent:
An impartial appreciation of the career of this extraordinary person must at once distinguish between the man and the office. “An imperfect setting”, says Dr. Pastor (op. cit., III, 475), “does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.” There have been at all times wicked men in the ecclesiastical ranks. Our Lord foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and “those who are without”. Similarly, He compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation.
I am on vacation with my family until August 21. My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent. That is now by choice. In the past it was not, but now with ubiquitous wi-fi, portable ipads and kindles, that is no longer the case, and truth to tell, it hasn’t been for the last several years. I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example: Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, Trump admits that some orange furred critter has died on his head or Robert Mueller admitting that he is a Russian spy, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.
We will begin at the library school that my daughter is attending, the baby of the family having decided to follow my bride’s footsteps. She was too bright to follow in mine!
Then on to Kenosha, Wisconsin with a visit to my bride’s mother. We have been doing this since the birth of the twins and it has always been a fun family gathering. I heartily recommend both the Kenosha Civil War Museum and the Milwaukee Zoo Then it is back home for some Illinois activities including next Wednesday hosting the local Rotary District Governor, since, for my sins no doubt, I am serving as President of the local Rotary Club in Dwight for the eighth occasion.
In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home in the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.
And Winston Churchill, with an irony perhaps too broad and easy, noted in Parliament that the people who preferred invasion to A-bombing seemed to have “no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves.”
Paul Fussel, Thank God for the Atomic Bomb
It has been rather quiet this year on the annual breast beating over the Atomic bombings around Saint Blogs. Here are a few posts I have seen:
Deacon Jim Russel at Crisis looks at the principle of Double Effect and the bombings. It is a rather good piece. Go here to read it.
Ah, what would the August Bomb Follies be without Patheos. Mary Pezullo at Steel Magnificat puts us on notice that she is not like those terrible Catholics who defend the bombings. Go here to read it.
Matthew Walther at The Week I think would like to dig up Harry Truman and put him on trial if he could. Go here to read his post.
Mark Shea contributes the latest droppings from his mind here.
An Evangelical minister who specializes in helping Christians facing persecution writes to the Pope:
August 3, 2017
I am writing to request a meeting between Catholic and Evangelical leaders from the United States at a place and time of your choosing. Though, I’m hoping we can meet quickly.
I speak for many Evangelicals when I say that we have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church. Your commitment to the poor and to pastoral ministry and your efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.
As you know more than most, all of this has also come at a time of historic Christian persecution in more places than perhaps at any time in Christian history. Together, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Christians throughout the entire world have shared – as you’ve said – “an ecumenism of blood.”
It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement.
I have to confess what prompted this request were articles published in the La Cattolica Civilitas recently and in the New York Times.
We feel like this conversation is an urgent one, and I will bring a half dozen or so of our denominational heads and significantly influential Evangelicals for our time together.
We would also like to use the time to meet with various other high level officials throughout the Vatican to find ways in which we can cooperate on matters of great concern to us all, especially as it relates to refugees, the poor and the persecuted.
I might add that when God put it on my heart to write you directly, I immediately reached out to a mutual friend of ours. He has recounted to me the warm experiences that he’s had with you, and they are what prompted me to write you, knowing that you would receive this letter in kindred spirits.
With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.
Glen Cambell has passed away at age 81. I will let Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts do the honors:
Glen Campbell died today. One of the earliest memories I have is watching him perform on some variety show. It was on our old console television set that was about as big as our sofa. We lived out in the country then, and moved in town shortly after I turned five. That must mean I was around four, and it would have been c. 1971 give or take.
Campbell was one of those individuals who formed the backdrop of my life. He was always there. His name rolled off as easy as The Beatles or Star Wars. His signature song, Rhinestone Cowboy, was released when I was around eight or nine. It was one of those songs everyone sang, whether correctly or not.
Over the years, he was always just there. A part of my collective memories. When he announced he had Alzheimer’s, I was sad. My Dad had the same, and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.
Nonetheless, the memories for me remain. God grant his family peace and strength through the upcoming years. And eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.
Go here to read the comments. Strangely, my memories of Campbell go back 48 years to his performance in True Grit (1969). I thought he did a fine job and it is a pity he didn’t do more acting.