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Patton and the Tank: A Love Affair Begins

 

Through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond.

Brigadier General Hugh Elles, Commander British Tank Corps, Battle of Cambrai

 

 

 

Captain George S. Patton was not a happy man.  A personal aide to General John J. Pershing, and in command of the Headquarters Company of the AEF, he lacked sufficient work for his vigorous mind and nature.  Writing to his wife he poured out his frustration:  “nothing but [a] hired flunky. I shall be glad to get back to the line again and will try to do so in the spring. These damn French are bothering us with a lot of details which have nothing to do with any- thing. I have a hard time keeping my patience.”  Pershing had promised him an eventual command in an infantry unit, but for a cavalry trooper like Patton that was a prospect he met with a decided lack of enthusiasm.

Tanks were a natural option, but surprisingly the tank initially aroused no enthusiasm in Patton.  “Tanks aren’t worth a damn” he had written in July 1917, and, indeed, the battlefield record of these primitive first steps in armored warfare were unimpressive.  Used in penny packets by commanders with no idea of how to utilize these newfangled gadget, manned by officers and men who did lack courage but did lack knowledge and skill, and suffering the birthing pangs of cutting edge technology in war, tanks had failed to make much impact thus far in the Great War.  In the months ahead that would all change at the Battle of Cambrai on November 20, 1917 when the massed use of 437 tanks led to an unprecedented advance on the Western Front and sent the church bells in Britain madly ringing.  The Germans counterattacked and took back most of the ground the British had gained before the battle sputtered out on December 7, 1917, but perceptive Germans saw that a new factor had entered into the conflict: Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: His Answer

George Orwell would have found Pope Francis fascinating:

 

One year ago to this day, four Cardinals submitted five yes-or-no questions to Pope Francis asking him if his 2016 exhortation on marriage and the family — Amoris Laetitia — conforms to perennial Catholic teaching on marriage, moral absolutes, conscience, and the sacraments. 

The Pope has refused to answer their questions, despite the moral and pastoral chaos that ensued throughout the whole of Christendom as priests, bishops, and cardinals interpreted his teachings in completely contradictory ways. Some allowed civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in habitual adultery to receive Holy Communion. Some did not. 

Today, on the first anniversary of the dubia, has the Pope finally given his answer? It would seem so, though certainly not directly.

Let me explain. 

While the body of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four dubia signers, has hardly been in the ground more than a week, the pope today announced he is abolishing the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family and replacing it with a new institute focused on implementing Amoris Laetitia.

Cardinal Caffarra was the founding president of the institute, overseeing it from its launch in 1981 until 1995. The institute was founded to be a center for scientific study in the fields of anthropology and Christocentric thought so as to address the crisis of marriage and the family within the Church. 

The institute has been faithful to perennial Catholic teaching. It even produced an excellent book titled Marriage: Theological and Pastoral Considerations in the lead-up to the recent Synods on the Family that faithfully and clearly put forward Catholic teaching on marriage and the sacraments.

Caffarra outlined what he called the “institute’s DNA” in a 2016 graduation address to the John Paul II Institute in Washington D.C. 

He said that the institute was founded to address a crisis where “the human person had lost awareness of himself, of the truth of his being a person, so that he no longer understood the truth of marriage; not only in the intellectual sense, but in the existential sense.”

“John Paul II establishes the relation between marriage and the human person by means of the philosophy and the theology of the body. This is the most precious heritage that he entrusted to the Institute. The Church lacked this theology and philosophy, and she still has not fully assimilated the wealth of insights contained in these teachings,” he said at the time. 

I was studying for a Ph.D at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Australia a few years ago, before it was closed. I selected this school knowing that I would be formed in authentic Catholic teaching on all the hot-button issues of the day, including contraception, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc. My dissertation topic was on the morality behind using the naked human body in art and media. It was an intellectually rich time in my life for which I will be forever grateful. I, and many other faithful Catholics, have always viewed the institute as a lighthouse of orthodoxy. 

Caffarra outlined in his Washington D.C. talk how the institute was originally founded to especially reflect on the Church teaching against contraception as found in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. 

“The Apostolic Constitution Magnum matrimonii sacramentum, the document which founded the Institute canonically, assigns as a specific task of the Institute the reflection on this Encyclical. This is the great theme of the truth about human procreation,” he said. 

“The Institute’s DNA, if we can say that, is therefore as follows: to discover the truth about marriage and the family, on the basis of an adequate anthropology, in order to help the husband and the wife to live fully their conjugal vocation,” he said.

Caffarra has not been dead two weeks and Pope Francis has already issued a Motu Proprio (by his own command) that destroys the John Paul II Institute’s DNA and replaces it with a DNA foreign to the institute’s original aim. That foreign DNA can be precisely summed up in the dubia submitted to the Pope by Caffarra and the other three Cardinals. 

What I find especially disturbing in this matter is that the Pope has gutted the institute while essentially keeping the institute’s name the same. All I could think of was George Orwell’s novel 1984 in which institutes are set up with beautiful-sounding names like the ‘Ministry of Truth,’ but which are actually agents of the ever-changing politically correct propaganda of the day. 

Pope Francis, in his Motu Proprio, says the newly reformed “John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences” will be used as a platform to implement his teachings in Amoris Laetitia.  Continue Reading

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September 20, 1860: Baron Renfrew Begins His Visit to the US

 

When my bride and I moved to Dwight, Illinois, in 1985 we purchased a house located only a few blocks from a 20 acre park, Renfrew Park.  This was good planning on our part.  When our kids made their appearance in the nineties, they loved playing in the park, and we have many fond family memories of fun there.  We quickly learned that the name of Renfrew Park commemorated the visit of British royalty to our little town in September 1860, just before the Civil War.

Prince Edward had been carefully brought up by his parents, perhaps too carefully.  Kept from free association with people outside of tutors and family, he viewed his trip to Canada and America in 1860 as a great adventure.  It was.  Edward was the first Prince of Wales to visit the United States.  He made a great impression with his affability and his gift for speaking to everyone, high and low, with friendly interest.  Officially traveling incognito as “Baron Renfrew”, one of the lesser titles of the Prince of Wales,  on the eve of the Civil War, he charmed almost all Americans he encountered, north and south, drawing huge crowds during his 2600 mile tour of the country from September 20, 1860-October 20, 1860.

One of his minor stops was the Village of Dwight at the beginning of his tour.  He visited a corn farm and then went prairie chicken hunting where Renfrew Park is now located.  The Prince enjoyed himself immensely and relished the rest he had from the huge crowds that came out to meet him in larger communities. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: The Pope Luther Was Looking For?

America, the Jesuit rag, published a fan letter from a liberal Lutheran who loves Pope Francis:

 

Dear Pope Francis,

Maybe you have heard: 2017 is a big year for Lutherans. Many are giddy with excitement as we commemorate the audacity of a certain 16th-century Augustinian monk, who on Oct. 31, 1517, nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. Fingers flutter across keyboards feverishly extolling or disputing Martin Luther’s contributions and flaws. But I—one who has marinated in American Lutheranism most of her life—find myself writing to you, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Perhaps it is an odd moment for Lutheran fan mail. Yet, ever since you became the Bishop of Rome in 2013, I have become increasingly convinced that you are the pope that Luther was looking for 500 years ago. Here are four reasons why.

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Trump UN Speech

 

President Trump was very undiplomatic in his speech at the UN:  he told the truth:

 

Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before.

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly.

Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations.

The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.

This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law. The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are “We the people.” Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history.

In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values. As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.

All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to with work together in close harmony and unity, to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.

The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek the future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions such as this one to defend the sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all. For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope.

We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideologies. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goal, interests, and values. That realism forces us to confront the question facing every leader and nation in this room, it is a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of complacency, numb to the challenges, threats, and even wars that we face, or do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow.

If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more. We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America, only to die a few days later.

We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother, using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country, to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies. If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.

No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.

It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved. But we must do much more.

It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. We face this decision not only in North Korea; it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian live, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.

This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me.

It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. Above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors. The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth, where their people can be happy and prosperous once again? The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its finance, and in Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamic extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world. We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nation. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and fi — who support and finance terror groups like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and others that slaughter innocent people.

The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the deescalation of the Syrian conflict, and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict. The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries to be part of the rebuilding process. For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.

Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach. For decades the United States has dealt with migration challenges here in the Western Hemisphere.

We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are born overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.

I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their home. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflict in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief, in South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria and Yemen.

We have invested in better health and opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and the Women Entrepreneur’s Finance Initiative, part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe.

We also thank — we also thank the secretary general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security, and prosperity. Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble end have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them. For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council.

The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it. Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems. The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.

In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially. Nations of the world must take a greater role in promoting secure and prosperous societies in their own region. That is why in the Western Hemisphere the United States has stood against the corrupt, destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom.

My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse. The socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country.

This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation — prosperous nation, by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives, to preserve his disastrous rule. The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. The situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch.

As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal — that goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy. I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people. The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.

We are fortunate to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors. I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela. The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.

From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity. In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair and it must be reciprocal.

For too long the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals, and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules, and our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind, but they are forgotten no more and they will never be forgotten again.

While America will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America’s strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today. If this organization is to have any hope of successfully confronting the challenges before us, it will depend, as President Truman said some 70 years ago, on the independent strength of its members.

If we are to embrace the opportunities of the future and overcome the present dangers together, there can be no substantive for strong, sovereign, and independent nations, nations that are rooted in the histories and invested in their destiny, nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer, and most important of all, nations that are home to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens, and for all that is best in the human spirit.

In remembering the great victory that led to this body’s founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil, also fought for the nations that they love. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain. Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts, our minds, and our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities, and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us.

This is the ancient wish of every people and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul. So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world. We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you, God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

 

10

Abysmal

There are good political ads, bad political ads and this political ad by Dan Helmer, a carpet bagging Army veteran from New Jersey seeking to win the 10th District Virginia Congressional seat currently occupied by Republican Barbara Comstock.  The pro-abort Helmers may have a political future, but this ad is doing its best to make his political career still-born.

 

 

 

 

0

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

Judge Douglas ought to remember when he is endeavoring to force this policy upon the American people that while he is put up in that way a good many are not. He ought to remember that there was once in this country a man by the name of  Thomas Jefferson, supposed to be a Democrat—a man whose principles and policy are not very prevalent amongst Democrats to-day, it is true; but that man did not take exactly this view of the insignificance of the element of slavery which our friend Judge Douglas does. In contemplation of this thing, we all know he was led to exclaim, “I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just!” We know how he looked upon it when he thus expressed himself. There was danger to this country—danger of the avenging justice of God in that little unimportant popular sovereignty question of Judge Douglas. He supposed there was a question of God’s eternal justice wrapped up in the enslaving of any race of men, or any man, and that those who did so braved the arm of Jehovah—that when a nation thus dared the Almighty every friend of that nation had cause to dread His wrath. Choose ye between Jefferson and Douglas as to what is the true view of this element among us.

Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1859

 

7

PopeWatch: Rodolfo Kusch

Sandro Magister gives us one of the intellectual fathers of the Pope:

 

 

Halfway through the first chapter, Jorge Mario Bergoglio also gives for the first time the name of the anthropologist who inspired his conception of “people”:

“There is a thinker that you should read: Rodolfo Kusch, a German who lived in northwestern Argentina, an excellent philosopher and anthropologist. He made one thing clear: that the word ‘people’ is not a logical word. It is a mythical word. It is not possible to speak of people logically, because that would mean making only a description. In order to understand a people, to understand what are the values of this people, one must enter into the spirit, into the heart, into the work, into the history, and into the myth of its tradition. This point is truly at the basis of the theology called ‘of the people.’ That is to say, to go with the people, see how it expresses itself. This distinction is important. The people is not a logical category, it is a mythical category.”

And a few pages later, Francis comes back to the subject to scold “L’Osservatore Romano” for having distorted his thought:

“I have said and have repeated: the word ‘people’ is not a logical concept, it is a mythical concept. Not mystical, but mythical. [. . .] I once said ‘mythical’ and L’Osservatore Romano involuntarily erred in the translation, speaking of ‘mystical people’. And do you know why? Because they did not understand what mythical people means. They said to themselves: No it is the pope who made a mistake, let’s put ‘mystical’.”

In effect, that’s precisely what happened. On the way back from the journey to Mexico, during the usual in-flight press conference, on February 7, 2016 Francis said precisely – speaking in Italian – that “the word ‘people’ is not a logical category, it is a mythical category.”

The video of the press conference, which is still available, is irrefutable proof of this. At the 52:29 mark, the word that comes from the pope’s mouth is “mythical” and not “mystical.”

The next day, however, “L’Osservatore Romano” changed the word to “mystical.” And the same thing happened with the official transcription of the press conference in multiple languages, the one that can still be read today on the Vatican website.

Francis quickly found out about the word change. And in an interview the following July 6 with the trusty Antonio Spadaro, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica” – an interview that ended up in a volume with the homilies and discourses of Bergoglio from when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, published that same summer – he did all he could to put things back into place:

“There is a word that is very mistreated: there is so much talk about populism, about populist politics, about populist platforms. But this is a mistake. People is not a logical category, nor is it a mystical category, if we understand it in the sense that everything the people does is good or in the sense that the people is an angelic category. No! It is a mythical category, if anything. I repeat: mythical. People is an historical and mythical category. The people is made in a process, with the sights set on a common objective and project. History is built by this process of generations that succeed each other within a people. It takes a myth to understand the people. When you explain what a people is, you use logical categories because you have to explain it: they are needed, of course. But you do not explain in this way the meaning of belonging to the people. The word people has something more that cannot be explained in a logical manner. Being part of the people is being part of a shared identity made of social and cultural bonds. And this is not an automatic thing, on the contrary: it is a slow, difficult process toward a shared project.”

Curiously, “L’Osservatore Romano” – on November 11, 2016, in presenting the book with the homilies and discourses of Bergoglio – reproduced this clarification in its entirety, perhaps without realizing that it had been the cause of it.

But even those who manage the official publication of the pope’s texts did not bat an eye, leaving the word “mystical” in place of “mythical.”

And this brings us up to the book-length interview of this year with Dominique Wolton, in which Bergoglio lets loose.

Once again without anyone correcting the error, in the official collection of the pope’s discourses.

In any case, this “qui pro quo” has brought one benefit. It has given Pope Francis an opportunity to clarify further the meaning and roots of his populism. Where between “myth” and “mystique” the difference is not so great, as has been understood for some time:

> Bergoglio, Politician. The Myth of the Chosen People

As for his inspiration, Rodolfo Kusch (1922-1979), it is interesting that the pope should have named him.

An author of both anthropological and theatrical works, Kusch took his inspiration from Heidegger’s philosophy to distinguish between “being” and “dwelling,” describing with the first category the rationalistic and domineering vision of Western man and with the second the vision of the indigenous Latin American peoples, in peace with nature and animated by none other than a “myth.”

For Kusch, the first of the two visions, the Eurocentric one, is intolerant and incapable of understanding the second, which he instead wanted to accentuate and to which he dedicated his most important studies. For this reason too he found himself at the margins of the culture of the dominant elites and instead found an admirer in Bergoglio. Continue Reading

1

September 18, 1895: Booker T. Washington Delivers the Atlanta Compromise Speech

 

 

 

What has become known as the Atlanta Compromise Speech, delivered to The Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia is one of the most tantalizing, and saddest, might have beens in the history of the nation.  Black educator and writer Booker T. Washington, the voice of Black America in the eyes of the general public, to an enthusiastic and overwhelmingly white audience, expounded his vision of a New South where white and black working together could lead to an era of prosperity such as the South had never known:

Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upward, or they will pull against you the load downward. We shall constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one-third [of] its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic.

It is one of the great tragedies of American history that Washington’s prediction went largely ignored after an initial warm reception.  The South paid for it with almost half a century of relative economic sluggish growth, and, in may ways, the nation is still paying for it.  Booker T. Washington September 18, 1895: Continue Reading

26

Mark Shea, the Angelic Doctor, Francis Bacon and Truth

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s ongoing debate with strawmen:

 

 

I must admit, one reason I left Patheos was so that I could keep better track of Mark Shea.  When I came on board Patheos, our editor asked me to leave Mark alone and cease and desist arguments with him.  I more or less behaved myself, usually confining any references to Mark to the praise and ‘well done’ category.

That didn’t stop Mark, however, from visiting my blog a few times and throwing out his usual preemptive accusations, and then leaving.  Since Mark banned me from his own sites, I couldn’t respond, and he never returned to dialogue with me.

That became frustrating to be sure.  I tried to behave on my part, and yet felt I was coming out on the short end.  Therefore one of many reasons to leave Patheos was so I could speak more openly about Mark’s descent into the deepest levels of the modern Left.

This post is a grand example.  First of all, there is nothing wrong with the substance of what Mark says about Church teaching.  The Church condemns racism.  If you only oppose immigration because you are a racist, then that is bad.  Likewise, our salvation does not rest in blood or soil or nation.  The Church is not America, nor is it Western Civilization.

But that’s not the problem. First, Mark used a rather poor example to illustrate the opposing side of the debate.  Assuming this all came to Mark as he indicates – and knowing how Mark falsely accused me of saying things about him, I must wonder – it is obviously a poorly written, poorly thought out piece.  There are other, better pieces explaining the problems with open borders and post-national Christianity.  The biggest problem is that whatever negative results occur, it won’t be us who pay the price.  It will be future generations.  A sort of martyrdom by proxy: By the degree to which future generations pay for our opinions have we declared our righteousness.

Mark doesn’t address those.  He takes something written by what could pass as a high school Facebook rant.  And he uses it to subtly suggest this is par for the course for those who don’t agree with the Church’s current approach to the subject.

He then does the really, super duper bad thing.  He ascribes only the most vile and evil motives to those who oppose open border immigration.  And then, to add salt to the wound, he takes it to the next level:

“…is (like all these Alt Right guys) obsessed with his sperm.  That’s why he bizarrely speaks of “cuckolds” as he insults celibate “Catholic leaders”.  It’s all about the weird fear these guys have that darkskins will inseminate “their” white women.  The sexual insecurity of these wretched bully boys just leaps off the page every time they write.”

Go here to read the rest.  Saint Thomas Aquinas would take arguments he rejected, make them stronger than their adherents did, and only then subject the arguments to his powerful analysis.  Of course the Angelic Doctor didn’t post on the internet and his goal was not to get hits from red meat fans.  His whole purpose was to arrive at the truth of any subject he wrote about, as best as he could.  Unfortunately the attitude of  most internet posters to truth is summed up in the beginning of Francis Bacon’s essay Of Truth:

“What is truth?” said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.

We can do better than that, and not just Mark Shea.  This is a duty especially for those of us who follow Truth Incarnate.

 

15

PopeWatch: Humanae Vitae

 

The next shoe to drop in this Pontificate?

 

Father George Woodall, who teaches moral theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, outlined what he called “grave” concerns about a papal commission recently set up by Pope Francis that will, he says, “re-examine Humanae vitae (HV) in the light of Amoris laetitia.” The article was published on the National Catholic Register September 12. 

Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae taught that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life,” calling the use of contraception (including the pill, condom, withdrawal, and other methods) “intrinsically wrong.” The encyclical celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. 

Woodall listed the “precise points of doctrine” in the encyclical that he suspects the commission will re-examine. These include: 

  • “The principle of the inseparability of the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act (HV, n. 12), stated by Paul VI to be the basis for the condemnation of contraception (HV, n. 14).”
  • “The teaching that each and every conjugal act must remain open to procreation (HV, n. 11).”
  • “The condemnation of contraception as intrinsically morally disordered and hence incapable of being justified even for a good intention in pressing circumstances on the basis either that it might be the lesser evil or that it might partake of the goodness of those conjugal acts before and/ or after, during the whole of the married life, which had been or would be open to procreation, the reason being that what is intrinsically immoral may never be done even for a good intention (HV, n. 14).”
  • “The fact that this teaching, as the constant teaching of the Magisterium on this matter, is unchanged and unchangeable because the Magisterium has no power to decide what should be true, but only to proclaim what is true (HV, nn. 6, 18).”

Woodall predicted that if the commission were to use the moral principles and language found in Pope Francis 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, it would recommend that Humanae vitae “should be rejected or, more likely, should not be interpreted legalistically.”

The commission would likely say, he said, that the encyclical should not be “imposed as burdens on couples unable to bear them by those wishing to cast stones at people in difficulties, but should be presented to them as mere ‘ideals’, which married couples should seek to fulfill, but which they might not be able always to fulfill in pressing circumstances and which, for a good intention — and perhaps through discernment, assisted by a pastor in the light of their unique circumstances — they might violate, set aside, or interpret creatively,” he said. 

Just as the “pastoral approach” in Amoris Laetitia was used to suggest that the 6th commandment against adultery does not apply to some couples in “irregular” situations, so too in this case, said Woodall, a similar approach would be used to suggest that Humanae vitae does not “really apply to some couples because, in their circumstances they could not be expected to abide by them.” Continue Reading

7

Saint Augustine and the Donatists

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

Matthew 18:  21-35

Throughout the history of the Church there has always been a tension between mercy and justice.  This tension was very much at the fore during the time of Saint Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries.  During the persecution of Diocletian in the third century, some bishops and priests, along with many ordinary Christians, apostatized in order to save their lives.  After the persecution these same individuals often asked for readmission to the Church.  The question arose as to what was to be done with these individuals.  The Catholic view was that after a period of penitence, often quite lengthy, these penitent sinners could be readmitted to the Church.  This generosity appalled not a few Catholics who had borne persecution and risked their lives for the Faith.  Bishop Donatus of Cathage, primate of North Africa, taught that those who had apostatized had to be re-baptized and then admitted back into the Catholic Church, and that the sacraments could not be administered by clergy who had fallen from the Faith.  The Church taught that the powers of the clergy were inherent in their office and that  their moral unworthiness did not affect the validity of the sacraments they administered.  A few minutes reflection convinces me of the necessity of this doctrine of the Church.  Otherwise we would have a continual concern with whether each priest or bishop is leading a holy life, something we usually have no way of knowing, and continual doubts about the validity of the sacraments we receive.

The teachings of Donatus were condemned by Pope Miltiades in 313.  The Donatists in response formed their own church, very strong in North Africa, and many cities and towns had both Catholic and Donatist churches, with the Donatists establishing their own hierarchy.

Saint Augustine battled the Donatists in his sermons and other writings.  In 411 a conference was held at Carthage attended by both Catholic and Arian bishops before an Imperial official, Marcellinus, a friend of Saint Augustine.  The Catholics, confident in their teaching and also confident of Imperial support, had instigated the idea of the conference.  The outcome of the conference was foreordained, with the Donatists being banned by the Empire, although it is also clear that the Donatist spokesmen were no match for Saint Augustine in debate.

Donatist bishop Petitilian stated during the conference:  “He who receives faith from the faithless receives not faith, but guilt, [and] everything consists of an origin and a root; and if it has not something for a head, it is nothing”

Saint Augustine responded:

“Wherefore, whether a man receive the sacrament of baptism from a faithful or a faithless minister, his whole hope is in Christ, that he fall not under the condemnation that ‘cursed is he that placeth his hope in man.’ Otherwise if each man is born again in spiritual grace of the same sort as he by whom he is baptized, and if when he who baptizes him is manifestly a good man, then he himself gives faith, he is himself the origin and root and head of him who is being born… when the baptizer is faithless without its being known, then the baptized person receives faith from Christ. …in that case all who are baptized should wish that they might have faithless baptizers.”

Sinful clerics are a scandal that have ever been with the Church beginning with Judas.  They often wreak much damage to the Faith.  However, even such unworthy vessels are channels of the grace of Christ per the power granted to Peter and the Church by Christ.  Human sinfulness can never withstand the power of God, or even obstruct it, if God intends otherwise.  The Donatists envisaged a Church presided over by Saints, a vision very different from that of Christ who saw His Church completing her mission in spite of human sin and folly, at all times using weak humans to bring the message of salvation and the grace of God.

 

 

 

3

Ty Cobb and Myths

Ty Cobb (1886-1961), the Georgia Peach. One of the greatest ball players who ever strapped on cleats, he has also been long regarded as a violent racist and a dirty player.  According to a recent biographer, he was neither:

 

 

History, is, or should be, a continuing search for the truth.  In regard to Ty Cobb it appears that the search for the truth about him is bearing fruit.  He was neither an angel nor a monster but a work in progress throughout his life, as we all are.

5

PopeWatch: Punched by the Holy Spirit

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

 

 

Days after the Pontiff sustained injuries after hitting his head in a popemobile accident in Colombia, Pope Francis has now condemned his own motu proprio, Magnum Principium, allowing bishops’ conferences control over the translation of liturgical texts.

Pope Francis had originally published the motu proprio, which shifted control over liturgical texts from Apostolic See to diocesan bishop, before hitting his head against a bar during the accident.

According to one adviser to the pope, Monsignor Alberto Pico, Pope Francis began acting “odd” not long after the accident.

“On the plane back to Rome, he was reading a copy of Magnum Principium and began calling it a bunch of crap, before opening the door to the plane and throwing it out. He wasn’t aware that he was the one who wrote it. When we told him that it was his own writing, he became extremely angry and would not believe us.”

Pico went on to say that moments after landing in Rome, Francis demanded to go to a chapel located just miles from the airport, where he began preparations to say the Latin Mass, saying, “Dammit, Pico, hand me my chasuble…now!”

“It was all quite surreal. After the Mass, he asked those close to him to begin the processes of reversing nearly everything he has said and done since his election, including demoting nearly all of the bishops and cardinals that he had created. In this way, His Holiness added, he would be able to retire in one year, and would be able leave the Church as it had been before his election.” Continue Reading

1

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Something for the weekend.  Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.  Written in 1844 by Henry Alford, a Church of England rector, it quickly became a favorite hymn throughout the English speaking world.

 

My village of Dwight, Illinois is having its annual Harvest Days festival this weekend.  It is a sight to behold, especially the basset waddle on Sunday.  Seeing hundreds of bassets waddling down the streets of Dwight is a sight that will remain with you for a very long time!

 

1. Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!

2. We ourselves are God’s own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

3. For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take the harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offences purge away,
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In the garner evermore.

4. Then, thou Church triumphant come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All be safely gathered in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In God’s garner to abide;
Come, ten thousand angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest home!

 

3

Requiescat In Pace: Harry Dean Stanton

Veteran character actor Harry Dean Stanton has passed away at 91.  I will always recall him in this riveting scene from Red Dawn (1984).  A World War II veteran, he appeared in over 184 films and endless television shows.  Whatever political beliefs he had, he kept to himself, unlike many in his profession.  I will miss him.

 

18

Demographics and Destiny

John Judis is a man of the Left, but nonetheless an honest man.  He wrote a book fifteen years ago stating that demographics would create an enduring Democrat majority.  He now states that he was wrong:

Whiteness is not a genetic category, after all; it’s a social and political construct that relies on perception and prejudice. A century ago, Irish, Italians, and Jews were not seen as whites. “This town has 8,000,000 people,” a young Harry Truman wrote his cousin upon visiting New York City in 1918. “7,500,000 of ’em are of Israelish extraction. (400,000 wops and the rest are white people.)” But by the time Truman became president, all those immigrant groups were considered “white.” There’s no reason to imagine that Latinos and Asians won’t follow much the same pattern.

In fact, it’s already happening. In the 2010 Census, 53 percent of Latinos identified as “white,” as did more than half of Asian Americans of mixed parentage. In future generations, those percentages are almost certain to grow. According to a recent Pew study, more than one-quarter of Latinos and Asians marry non-Latinos and non-Asians, and that number will surely continue to climb over the generations.

Unless ethnic identification is defined in purely racial—and racist—terms, the census projections are straight-out wrong and profoundly misleading. So is the assumption that Asians and Latinos will continue to vote at an overwhelming clip for Democrats. This view, which underpins the whole idea of a “new American majority,” ignores the diversity that already prevails among voters lumped together as “Latino” or “Asian.” Cuban-Americans in Miami vote very differently from Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles; immigrants from Japan or Vietnam come from starkly different cultures than those from South Korea or China. While more than two-thirds of Asian voters went for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016, they leaned the other way in the 2014 midterms: National exit polls showed them favoring Republicans by 50 to 49 percent.

Similarly, while Latinos form a strong Democratic bloc in California, in most states they don’t automatically punch the “D.” In Texas, Senator John Cornyn bested his Democratic opponent among Latinos in 2014 by a small margin, and Senator Richard Burr won 49 percent of the Latino vote in North Carolina last year over a strong liberal challenger. In Florida, Marco Rubio almost won the Latino vote in 2016. Those are not the kinds of numbers on which you can build a lasting majority. Continue Reading

15

PopeWatch: Fifty Shades of Gray

Pope Francis continues on his course of ensuring that traditional Catholic moral teachings is watered down into useless pap:

Pope Francis told a group of newly ordained bishops that “authentic discernment” cannot be reduced to repeating “rigid” moral formulas to persons whose situations “can’t be reduced to black and white.”Discernment, the pope said, “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas such as ‘high clouds send little rain’ to a concrete person, who’s often immersed in a reality that can’t be reduced to black and white.”

He cautioned bishops against being “imprisoned by nostalgia for being able to give just one answer to apply in all cases,” adding that discernment is an “antidote against rigidity, because the same solutions aren’t valid everywhere.” 

Pastors must have “the courage to ask themselves if yesterday’s proposals are still evangelically valid,” he said. 

Pope Francis’ made his comments Thursday morning to newly appointed bishops from around the world. They met at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace as part of an annual training program offered by the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. 

During the meeting, Pope Francis advised the bishops to consult three specific groups — his brother bishops, his own priests, and the lay faithful — when discerning. Continue Reading

2

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Frederick Douglass

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too-great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settIed” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

Frederick Douglass, July 5, 1852, The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

 

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thomas Jefferson

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.

Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Protesters covered a Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia in a black shroud during a demonstration late Tuesday — charging the former president as a “racist” and “rapist.”

The group covered the monument representing the nation’s third president and founder the university in protest of the school’s response to the violent “Unite the Right” white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after a man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters on Aug. 12, The Daily Progress reports.

“One month ago, we stood on the front lines in downtown Charlottesville as all manner of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and neo-fascists swarmed the area,” one speaker told the crowd. “Two months ago, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in their safe space, fully robed and fully protected by multiple law enforcement agencies who brutalized and tear gassed peaceful counter-protesters.” Continue Reading

16

PopeWatch: Murderous Monks

This should be instructive:

 

After remarking on the need for a consistent pro-life approach on immigration in the US, Pope Francis might have to clean house on that topic with religious brothers closer to home. The Belgian Brothers of Charity issued a defiant statement today after a Vatican order to stop offering euthanasia, especially in non-terminal cases, for their psychiatric patients. Rather than comply, the monks insist that they have plenty of room within Catholic teaching to assist in suicides when patients request it:

 

Go here to read the rest.  So here we have Catholic Monks killing people in defiance of Church teaching and the Vatican has been having “talks” with them.  Compare and contrast the draconian treatment of the friars and sisters of the Immaculate who committed the appalling offense of being more Catholic than the current Pope.  Stay tuned and we will see how the Vatican deals with an Order committing the minor offense of being complicit in the slaying of the innocent.

10

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts Finds That Telling Truth Out of Season can be an Unpopular Avocation

So Deacon Steven Greydanus has banned me from his Facebook page.

We’ve had some good discussions he and I.  We haven’t always agreed, but generally we’ve debated well, and I’ve certainly learned some things.

But this time the topic of immigration came up.  He posted an editorial about immigration (this was posted on Mark Shea’s webpage, since I can’t access Deacon’s FB page at this point), what it is, America’s rights and immigrants and all.  We’ve heard it a thousand, million times. 

I responded by something that’s been buzzing around my head for a couple days.  When Trump said he would do away with DACA, you had the obvious outcry: But the babies!   While this was being done, the MSM ran out and found case after case of people who would be hurt by this.

While doing this, some news outlets also went a different direction.  I believe they were trying to say ‘Look how unfair this is!  People who have lived their lives, and are now firmly set in a path toward contributing to society, will be uprooted and thrown out!’  To that end, they interviewed various business leaders, tech giants and even Ivy League universities about all those undocumented individuals who will be hurt by this.  Undocumented workers who have good jobs, are attending college, going to Harvard, and on and on.

And that got me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  Isn’t it possible that sympathy for people who have spent their lives breaking the law, who are now attending Harvard, might go down hard for Americans who are struggling to pay bills, can barely feed their own families, and have no hope for their own children affording college?  I mean, I’m not hearing much from the Church about that.  Oh, the Church talks its usual concern for the poor and injustice at home.  But how does it square supporting people who have broken the law, spent their lives breaking the law, and our now reaping great rewards while their surrounding citizens are watching their fortunes diminish?

Isn’t it possible that sympathy for that Harvard grad who never became a citizen might not be easy to extract from that struggling American family who can barely afford cloths and a decent car for their family? Continue Reading

11

Big Sis Explains 1984

 

All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers.

George Orwell, 1984

 

Hillary in What Happened, her non-apologia for being the most inept major party Presidential candidate in American history, explains to us what George Orwell’s 1984 was all about.  The idea that what we should take from 1984 is to trust in the media, our leaders and experts has the virtue of being a rather unique take on 1984.  It takes precious little imagination to see Hillary in the role of torturer so chillingly portrayed by the late Richard Burton.

 

 

The country really dodged a bullet when it came to Big Sis.

 

20

PopeWatch: Anti-Catholicism

Robert Royal at The Catholic Thing notes that anti-Catholicism is on the rise:

 

But anti-Catholicism did not and still has not gone away: witness the outrageous grilling of Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett last week in a Senate judiciary hearing by Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, and Dick Durbin.

I will pass over the slimy details, which you may read here, except to say that “orthodox Catholic” may be about to become a political term for someone whose religious beliefs disqualify him or her from public office. Perhaps even make them unwelcome in polite society.

You can’t be surprised that the Democrats – even the nominally Catholic Durbin – attacked. They are wedded to the belief that contraception, abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights (even for very young children) not only define our “deepest values” as Americans, but must be embraced by any faith that wishes to remain a respectable presence in American society.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

 

 

In 2012 the Pope Emeritus warned of a rising threat to American religious liberty:

 

One of the most memorable aspects of my Pastoral Visit to the United States was the opportunity it afforded me to reflect on America’s historical experience of religious freedom, and specifically the relationship between religion and culture. At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation’s founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.

 

And Pope Francis?  PopeWatch is simply grateful that he is not cheering on the anti-Catholic bigots–yet.

1

September 13, 1862: Special Order No. 191

George B. McClellan throughout his life up until 1862 had been a very fortunate man.  Born into a family of wealth and prestige, he had gone through the Mexican War without a scratch and had been incredibly successful in civilian life, becoming president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad at the age of 34.  In 1861 he had benefited from overwhelming numbers and lacklustre opposition in West Virginia, leading to Union victories which catapulted him to become General-in-Chief of the Union armies.

Then 1862 arrived and McClellan’s good fortune seemed to desert him.  His delay in launching a general union offensive caused Lincoln to remove him as General-in-Chief, in effect demoting him to simply being the commander of the Army of the Potomac.  His luck also seemed to go astray during his disastrous Peninsula Campaign, where his inordinate caution and meager battlefield generalship threw away a golden opportunity to seize Richmond and perhaps end the war.

After the crushing of Pope’s Army of Virginia at Second Bull Run, Lincoln reluctantly placed McClellan back in command to fight against Lee in his invasion of Maryland.  Now McClellan was lethargically following parts of Lee’s army, McClellan seemingly gun-shy after his defeat at the hands of Lee in the Peninsula Campaign.

On September 13, 1862 McClellan’s good fortune reappeared in a dramatic fashion.  At approximately 10:00 AM that day Corporal Barton W. Mitchell of the 27th Indiana volunteers found a copy of an order from Robert E. Lee wrapped around three cigars.  The order was dated September 9, 1862 and was designated Special Order No. 191.  The order presumably was lost by a staff officer of D. H. Hill’s division which had been camping on the ground  previously.  The order was a movement order which detailed how Lee had divided up his army for the Maryland campaign.  The order was quickly sent up the chain of command to McClellan.

McClellan was exultant.  With this order he knew how Lee had divided his command and where the separate pieces of the Army of Northern Virginia were marching.   “Here is a paper with which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home.”, he prophetically told his old friend General John Gibbon.  He telegraphed Lincoln:

The PRESDT,

I have the whole rebel force in front of me, but am confident and no time shall be lost. I have a difficult task to perform, but with God’s blessing will accomplish it. I think Lee has made a gross mistake and that he will be  severely punished for it. The army is in motion as rapidly as possible. I hope for a great success if the plans of the  rebels remain unchanged. We have possession of Catoctin. I have all the plans of the rebels, and will catch them in their own trap if my men are equal to the emergency. I now feel that I can count on them as of old. All forces of Pennsylvania should be placed to co-operate at Chambersburg. My respects to Mrs. Lincoln. Received most enthusiastically by the ladies. Will send you trophies. All well, and with God’s blessing will accomplish it.

Geo. B. McClellan

Here is the text of Special Order No. 191: Continue Reading

31

Thank the British Empire?

OK Prager U this video might be too much for me.  I fully share my sainted Mom’s ambivalence to all things British.  She taught me all the Irish rebel songs, but she also loved the Queen.  The speaker on the video, H.W. Crocker III, has written the best one volume history of the Church, Triumph, that I have ever read.  He also wrote the Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire that I think even Sir Winston Churchill would have thought went over the top in its adoration of all things British.  Oh well, below is the Prager U video followed by two videos that highlight my conflicted feelings to the land of Magna Carta and Henry VIII:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

September 12, 1847: Battle of Chapultepec Begins

 

The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.

Ulysses S. Grant, decorated veteran of the Mexican War

 

 

On September 12, 1847 General Winfield Scott began his assault on the Castle of Chapultepec, the key to Mexico City.  If Chapultepec could be taken, Mexico City would fall and the War won.  Here is Scott’s report to the Secretary of War:

 

 

Head-Quarters of the Army,
National Palace of Mexico, Sept. 18, 1847.

Sir: – At the end of another series of arduous and brilliant operations of more than forty-eight hours’ continuance, this glorious army hoisted, on the morning of the 14th, the colours of the United States on the walls of this palace.

The victory of the 8th, at the Molino del Rey, was followed by daring reconnoissances on the part of our distinguished engineers – Captain Lee, Lieutenants Beauregard, Stevens, and Tower – Major Smith, senior, being sick, and Captain Mason, third in rank, wounded. Their operations were directed principally to the south – towards the gates of the Piedad, San Angel (Niño Perdido), San Antonio, and the Paseo de la Viga.

This city stands on a slight swell of ground, near the centre of an irregular basin, and is girdled with a ditch in its greater extent – a navigable canal of great breadth and depth – very difficult to bridge in the presence of an enemy, and serving at once for drainage, custom-house purposes, and military defence; leaving eight entrances or gates, over arches – each of which we found defended by a system of strong works, that seemed to require nothing but some men and guns to be impregnable.

Outside and within the cross-fires of those gates, we found to the south other obstacles but little less formidable. All the approaches near the city are over elevated causeways, cut in many places (to oppose us), and flanked on both sides by ditches, also of unusual dimensions. The numerous cross-roads are flanked in like manner, having bridges at the intersections, recently broken. The meadows thus checkered are, moreover, in many spots, under water or marshy; for, it will be remembered, we were in the midst of the wet season, though with less rain than usual, and we could not wait for the fall of the neighbouring lakes and the consequent drainage of the wet grounds at the edge of the city – the lowest in the whole basin.

After a close personal survey of the southern gates, covered by Pillow’s division and Riley’s brigade of Twiggs’ – with four times our numbers concentrated in our immediate front – I determined on the 11th to avoid that net-work of obstacles, and to seek, by a sudden diversion to the south-west and west, less unfavourable approaches.

To economize the lives of our gallant officers and men, as well as to insure success, it became indispensable that this resolution should be long masked from the enemy; and again, that the new movement, when discovered, should be mistaken for a feint, and the old as indicating our true and ultimate point of attack.

Accordingly, on the spot, the 11th, I ordered Quitman’s division from Cuyoacan, to join Pillow, by daylight, before the southern gates, and then that the two major-generals, with their divisions, should, by night, proceed (two miles) to join me at Tacubaya, where I was quartered with Worth’s division. Twiggs, with Riley’s brigade and Captains Taylor’s and Steptoe’s field batteries – the latter of 12-pounders – was left in front of those gates, to maneuver, to threaten, or to make false attacks, in order to occupy and deceive the enemy. Twiggs’ other brigade (Smith’s) was left at supporting distance, in the rear, at San Angel, till the morning of the 13th, and also to support our general depot at Mixcoac. The stratagem against the south was admirably executed throughout the 12th and down to the afternoon of the 13th, when it was too late for the enemy to recover from the effects of his delusion.

The first step in the new movement was to carry Chapultepec, a natural and isolated mound, of great elevation, strongly fortified at its base, on its acclivities, and heights. Besides a numerous garrison, here was the military college of the republic, with a large number of sub-lieutenants and other students. Those works were within direct gun-shot of the village of Tacubaya, and until carried, we could not approach the city on the west, without marking a circuit too wide and too hazardous. Continue Reading

6

Pure Schadenfreude

 

I am beginning to think that the maxim Pride goeth before a fall will be permanently attached forever more with a picture of Hillary:

 

Hillary Clinton was so confident of victory last year that she bought a second house next to her residence in Chappaqua, New York, to accommodate White House staff during presidential retreats there.

“I thought I was going to win,” she said.

The New York Post reported last year on the Clintons paying $1.16 million for the three-bedroom, ranch-style home next to their house in Chappaqua. The newspaper’s source said at the time it was thought to be a weekend retreat for their daughter Chelsea’s family. Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: DACA

 

 

 

Well, the Pope has put his uninformed two cents in on DACA:

 

During the interview, Francis admitted that he’s unfamiliar with the particulars of DACA, or with Trump’s decision. But he is confident about one thing: Separating children from their families doesn’t align with a pro-life attitude, because it “isn’t something that bears fruit for either the youngsters or their families.”

Francis said he hopes Trump rethinks the decision.

“I believe that this law comes, I think, not from Congress but from the executive branch of the government,” he said, according to a translation by Crux. “If it is so, I have the hope that it’s re-thought, because I heard the president of the United States introduce himself as a ‘pro-life’ man.” Continue Reading

9

Unforgettable Flight 93

 

When they got up that morning sixteen years ago the very last thing that the 33 passengers and the seven crew of United Flight 93 expected was to be engaged in a life and death struggle to retake an airliner that was headed to Washington DC as a terrorist missile.    All they expected the day to bring was a hum drum flight from Newark to San Francisco.  Just ordinary people living their lives.  Their occupations included pilot, first officer, flight attendant, an environmental lawyer, the owner of a public relations firm,  university students, a senior vice president of a medical development company, a sales representative for Good Housekeeping magazine, a manager of a US Wildlife animal refuge, an arborist, an account manager for a corporation, an ironworker, retirees, a computer programmer, a computer engineer, a lobbyist for the disabled, a real estate agent,  an executive vice president of a corporation and a free lance medical writer.  They were wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, all with unique histories and lives, with little in common except that they happened to be on board Flight 93 when the world changed.

The plane took off at 8:42 AM Eastern Time.  Four terrorists had boarded amidst the other 33 passengers.  The terrorists began to hijack the plane at 9:28 AM, soon after both the hijacked airliners had struck the Twin Towers in New York City, and just brief minutes before a fourth airliner was hijacked in Washington and slammed into the Pentagon.  At 9:28:17 AM a member of the cockpit crew shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” over the radio, with sounds of violence in the background.  35 seconds later someone in the cockpit shouted over the radio, “Mayday!  Get out of here!  Get out of here!”

By 9:31 AM the terrorists were in control of the cockpit.  They informed the passengers that they were in control of the plane and falsely told them they had a bomb.  Now began the final 30 minutes of Flight 93.

Passengers and crew during these final 30 minutes made 35 airphone calls and two cell phone calls.  They quickly learned of the other hijacked planes that had been flown into the Twin Towers.

Passenger Jeremy Glick managed to reach his wife.  He told her that the passengers voted whether to try to take back the plane and decided that they were going to attempt it.  He retained his sense of humor telling his wife that he still had his butter knife from the meal that had been served on board the plane.  Before he and the other passengers attacked the hijackers he wished her and their daughter a happy life, a clear indication that he did not expect to survive the effort to retake the plane.

Flight Attendant Sandra Bradshaw called her husband and told him that she was boiling water to throw on the hijackers.

Passenger Thomas Burnett, Jr. called his wife and she told him about the other planes that had hit the Twin Towers.  He called her back after their first conversation and told her:  “We’re going to take back the plane.  We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway. It’s up to us. I think we can do it.”

“What do you want me to do?” Deena, his wife, asked him.

“Pray, Deena,” he said “Just pray.”

He ended the phone call by telling his wife:  “I know we’re all going to die – there’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you honey.”

Burnett was a devout Catholic.  He began attending daily mass in 1998.  When his wife asked him why he was doing this he told her:  ‘I feel like God is calling me to do something, and I don’t know what it is. But I know it’s going to have a great impact on a lot of people.’ He said, ‘The reason I’ve been going to daily Mass is because I feel like if I can be closer to God, then I’ll know what his plan is for me.'” Continue Reading

1

Dies Irae

DIES IRAE

Day of wrath, day that will dissolve the world into burning coals, as David bore witness with the Sibyl.

How great a tremor is to be, when the judge is to come briskly shattering every (grave).

A trumpet sounding an astonishing sound through the tombs of the region drives all (men) before the throne.

Death will be stunned and (so) will Nature, when arises (man) the creature responding to the One judging.

The written book will be brought forth, in which the whole (record of evidence) is contained whence the world is to be judged.

Therefore when the Judge shall sit, whatever lay hidden will appear; nothing unavenged will remain.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed.

What am I the wretch then to say? what patron I to beseech? when scarcely the just (man) be secure.

King of tremendous Majesty, who saves those-to-be-saved free, save me, Fount of piety.

Remember, faithful Jesus, because I am the cause of your journey: do not lose me on that day.

Thou has sat down as one wearied seeking me, Thou has redeemed (me) having suffered the Cross: so much labor let it not be lost.

Just judge of the avenging-punishment, work the gift of the remission (of sins) before the Day of the Reckoning.

I groan, as the accused: my face grows red from (my) fault: spare (this) supplicant, O God.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed.

Thou who forgave Mary [the sinful woman], and favorably heard the (good) thief, hast also given me hope.

My prayers are not worthy, but do Thou, Good (God), deal kindly lest I burn in perennial fire.

Among the sheep offer (me) a place and from the goats sequester me, placing (me) at (Thy) right hand.

After the accursed have been silenced, given up to the bitter flames, call me with the blest.

Kneeling and bowed down I pray, My heart contrite as ashes: Do Thou {, my End,} care for my end.

That sorrowful day, on which will arise from the buring coals Man accused to be judged: therefore, O God, do Thou spare him.

Faithful Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Amen.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed. Amen.

7

Pope Gregory The Great on Being a Watchman

And if the watchman see the sword coming, and sound not the trumpet: and the people look not to themselves, and the sword come, and cut off a soul from among them: he indeed is taken away in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at the hand of the watchman.

Ezekiel 33: 6

 

 

 

“Mortal, I have set you as a watchman to the house of Israel.” Note that Ezekiel, the one the Lord sent to preach the word, is called “a watchman.” A watchman or sentinel takes a post on the highest point, in order to see whoever may be coming from a distance. Similarly, anyone appointed watchman to a congregation should live a “higher” life so as to keep all things in sight.

As I say these words, I realize I am reproaching myself. For I do not preach as I ought, nor does my personal example accord with these principles that I’m preaching even now. I can’t deny my guilt, for I’ve become lethargic and negligent in my work; though perhaps by recognizing my failure I’ll win some sympathy and pardon from the judge. Before I started this work, while living in a religious community, I was able to refrain from talking about idle topics and to devote my mind to prayer. Since taking up this new pastoral position, I have been unable to concentrate on prayer, because I’m so distracted by my responsibilities.

For example, I have to consider questions about churches and communities and make assessments about people’s lives and acts. One minute I’m involved with a public policy issue, and the next minute I have to worry over outside threats to the well-being of the church under my care. I have to accept a public role in political matters in order to support good government. I have to bear patiently with law-breakers, and then confront them with an attitude of charity.

I am split and torn to pieces by the variety of weighty things on my mind. When I try to concentrate and pull myself together to preach, I feel inadequate to that sacred task. I am often compelled by the nature of my position to associate with worldly people, and sometimes I become casual in my speech; because if I spoke as my conscience dictates with all formality, I know some of them would simply drop me and that I could never influence them towards the goal I desire for them. So I endure their aimless chatter in patience. Then, because I am weak myself I am drawn gradually into idle chitchat — and I find myself saying the kind of thing that before I didn’t even want to listen to! I’ve come to relish wallowing where once I would have been ashamed to stray by accident.

What kind of a watchman am I? Far from the heights to which I aspire, I am constrained by my weakness. And yet — the one who created me and redeemed me and all humanity can give me, even in my unworthiness, some grace to glimpse the whole of life, and the skill and ability to speak of what I see. So it is for the love of God that I do not spare myself in preaching.

2

September 10, 1776: Nathan Hale Volunteers to Spy on the British

 

How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country.

Joseph Addison, Cato (1712)

 

 

 

At age 21 Captain Nathan Hale was already marked as  a man on the rise.  A graduate of Yale, he was an early advocate of advanced education for women and had taught a class of college level subjects to twenty young ladies prior to the War.  With the coming of the War he enlisted as a First Lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut regiment.  During the battle of Long Island he distinguished himself by leading a raid seeking to burn the frigate HMS Phoenix.  The raid failed in its main goal but several tenders of the frigate were destroyed and four cannon and six swivel guns were captured.

Due to his enterprise and courage Hale was invited to join the Ranger unit being formed by Colonel Thomas Knowlton.  The ancestral outfit of modern American Army Rangers, Knowlton’s Rangers specialized in reconnaissance and raids and were given their orders directly by General Washington.  On September 10, 1776 Knowlton brought to his officers a personal request from Washington that one of them volunteer to spy in New York to bring him back accurate intelligence on what the British army would do next.  His request was met with stony silence.  These were brave men, but they regarded the work of a spy morally dubious and a death by hanging if discovered, the fate of a common felon rather than a soldier.  Hale, the youngest man present, broke the silence and said simply that he would do it. Captain William Hull, later a Major General in the War of 1812, remonstrated with his friend:  “He said to him that it was not in the line of his duty, and that he was of too frank and open a temper to act successfully the part of a spy, or to face its dangers, which would probably lead to a disgraceful death.” Hale replied, “I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, its claim to perform that service are imperious.” Continue Reading

13

The Left Hates US

How then shall we perform it?–At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at the great hate affair that most of the Left has long had with America:

Yes, Virginia, the cat is out of the bag.  It has been for some time.  Most Americans, Christians, and people of sound mind could tell that the radical revolutionaries emerging in the 20th century, and especially the later half of the 20th century, loved Bolshevism, but hated America.

They denied it of course.  In fact, for the longest time, the only real evil was to suggest that those who seemed to hate America in fact hated America.

But those days are gone.  It should be clear to anyone with half a brain that the Left, or most who so identity, think of America with all the affection that Nazis reckoned Jews, or the KKK feels about Blacks.  They hate it.  Some, like Antifa, wear the proclamation as a badge of honor.

To them, from the moment that great villain Columbus came to slaughter and enslave, through the next several centuries, this fledgling civilization all but redefined evil and terror in the world.  Name a sin, and nowhere was it worse than America.  Other countries had their problems, of course.  If they couldn’t be linked to America (or, in deference to the yet to be discovered New World, the Christian West), then it was downplayed, dismissed, or even excused on ‘cultural’ grounds.

But once the first Europeans begin settling east of the Mississippi, true darkness covered the lands, and continued to until the mid-20th century.

So we have this story, told purely from that angle.  It is not a story of a man whose family fled his own country in order to achieve success here, who had to overcome prejudices while becoming one of the most beloved artists of the 20th century that nobody ever heard of (note: most don’t know Disney artists by name other than Uncle Walt).

No, read the tag:

The late Tyrus Wong, whose paintings formed the basis of Disney’s iconic film, is finally receiving the recognition he deserves. Seventy-five years after “Bambi,” Wong is the subject of an “American Masters” film on PBS, a documentary portrait that reveals how he overcame a harrowing immigration process and years of racism in the United States to become one of the most prolific artists in recent memory.

I’ve read stories about Jews fleeing the Nazis that sounded less harrowing.  Nothing positive except his own praiseworthy accomplishments.  It’s as if he did this all despite the unparalleled evils of America, rather than because he came to America.

This is important.  First, to define the entire history of the US as one of history’s great evils, it justifies throwing down everything that was identified with the historic US.  That includes, but is not limited to, a Christian moral framework, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, or any artifact from that era of perpetual midnight. Continue Reading

0

Goodbye Broadway, Hello France

 

Something for the weekend.  Goodbye Broadway, Hello France.  A century ago the first American units had landed in France, the vanguard of the American Expeditionary Forces that would grow to over two million men.  To commemorate this vast event, Billy Baskette composed this song in 1917 with C. Francis Reisner and Benny Davis writing the lyrics.  The song became one of the mega-hits of the War.

3

PopeWatch: Cardinal Caffarra

Two of the four cardinals who requested clarification from the Pope of Amoris Laetitia have now died while waiting for an answer.  Sandro Magister brings us the letter that the late Cardinal Caffarra sent to the Pope on April 25, the feast day of Saint Mark the Evangelist:

 

 

Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine “munus.” We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the “munus” of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five “dubia,” asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia.”

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.

Most Holy Father,

A year has now gone by since the publication of “Amoris Laetitia.” During this time, interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from but contrary to the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. Not only access to the Holy Eucharist for those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin, and intend to remain in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening – how painful it is to see this! – that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on. One is reminded of the bitter observation of B. Pascal: “Justice on this side of the Pyrenees, injustice on the other; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent lay faithful, who are deeply in love with the Church and staunchly loyal to the Apostolic See, have turned to their Pastors and to Your Holiness in order to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine concerning the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist. And in these very days, in Rome, six lay faithful, from every Continent, have presented a very well-attended study seminar with the meaningful title: “Bringing clarity.”

Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an Audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in Your prayers, as we pledge to remember You in ours. And we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra

Rome, April 25, 2017
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist Continue Reading

24

Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Believing Catholic?

The abortion uber alles cult that now masquerades as the Democrat party was on full display recently, as Scott Johnson of Powerline relates :

 

Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. So what was Senator Dick Durbin doing asking Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett — one of President Trump’s nominees to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” How is it that Senator Dianne Feinstein thought it could be proper to observe of Professor Barrett: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”

 

Kevin Daley puts Durbin’s question and Feinstein’s comment in the context of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Professor Barrett (and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen) here. Tiffany Bates has more for the Daily Signal here. They are only the most recent evidence of the demeaning treatment to which believing Catholics are subjected by devout Democrats, but the nakedness of the bigotry still shocks.

Go here to read the rest.  The Democrats view faithful Catholics as a threat and will use any means to drive them from public life and the public square.    How any faithful Catholic could cast a ballot for this anti-Catholic party astonishes me.

 

 

6

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

You will be reading in the mainstream media all about a poll by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) that purports to show that white Christians make up only 43% of the population of this fair land of freedom.  Go here to read the poll.  Here is what the media likely will not tell you:

 

  1. PRRI was founded in 2009 by Robert P. Jones.
  2. Jones is a liberal.
  3. For years he has pushed the notion that White Christian America is coming to an end.
  4. Last year, long before the election in November, he published a book with the title The End of White Christian America, go here to look at it.
  5. Hilariously, on August 17, 2016 he published an article stating that White Christian America was dead and Trump’s loss would prove it.  Go here to have some schadenfreude over that exercise in false prophecy.

This is a prime example of why the media is held in disdain by most sentient Americans.  You can bet that an outfit run by a conservative ideologue pushing an agenda, which released a controversial poll supporting such an agenda, would have the background similar to what I have posted above about the conservative in any mainstream media story on the poll.  That the stories in the mainstream media will lack such content about Jones and his worthless poll tells you all you need to know about the agenda of the media.

 

 

6

PopeWatch: Jonathan Pryce

Well this is interesting.  Actor Jonathan Pryce is going to portray Pope Francis:

 

Add Pope Francis to Netflix’s continually growing TV and movie roster names. The streaming service is moving forward with the feature film The Pope, with Jonathan Pryce tapped to play the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, and Anthony Hopkins in talks to play his predecessor Pope Benedict. The film will be directed by City of God helmer Fernando Meirelles, has a script by Anthony McCarten, who wrote The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking and the upcoming Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.  McCarten adapted his stage play. Dan Lin is producing with Jonathan Eirich, and Tracey Seaward. Filming will begin November in Argentina.

Go here to read the rest.  Intriguingly Pryce also has portrayed the religious figure, and true believer, High Sparrow in Game of Thrones:

 

 

 

In 1996 he played Juan Peron in Evita:

 

A religious figure with a good deal of Juan Peron in him.  That sounds unpleasantly familiar.

2

The Bonnie Blue Flag

Donald Sutherland as Confederate General Pierre Beauregard calms a group of Confederate civilians under bombardment by Union forces in besieged Charleston by singing The Bonnie Blue Flag.  This is from the 1999 movie The Hunley, a film about the Confederate proto-submarine.  Sutherland has always been a Hollywood liberal, and this scene demonstrates just how recent the politicization of all things Confederate has been by the left in this country.

 

 

 

 

29

Let Them Do Their Dreaming in Mexico

Trump has announced he will cancel in six months the completely illegal Obama Executive Order Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, issued in 2012 to allow the children of illegal aliens to remain in this fair land of freedom so long as they meet certain criteria, such as no felonies, high school graduates or completed a term in the Armed Services of the United States.  The media and the Democrats have designated the 800k applicants under this program by Executive fiat as “American Dreamers”.

It has long been the law in this country that an alien who successfully completes a tour in our Armed Services is granted citizenship.  I support this law and see no reason to change it.  The DACA scheme however was an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the Executive Branch and Trump is wise to do away with it.  We will see what sort of law, if any, Congress implements to succeed it, and if Trump would sign such a law.

Around 74% of the DACA applicants are Mexican, the rest mostly coming from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  Under the law of our country they are illegally here, just as much as their parents who brought them here.  Under the laws of their home nations they are citizens of their countries.  The fact that they were brought here as children is supposed to enlist our sympathies on their behalf.  Why?  If a parent steals a large amount of gems that are now in possession of their children, that gives the children no claim on the gems. Their parents stole the right to live in this country and now we are supposed to feel sympathy for the right of their children to live in this country in perpetuity?

The argument is heard that the “Dreamers” often do not know the language of their birth nation.  Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn and, assuming that their illegal alien parents are still alive, I am sure that they can help teach them once they, too, are deported.  If the “Dreamers” are not familiar with the customs, laws and mores of their birth nations, once again mom, dad, and their other relatives will be of great help in acclimating them.

Of course mass deportation of “Dreamers” is unlikely to come to pass.  The Democrats will oppose it because they believe that the Hispanic vote is their path to permanent majority party status.  The Republicans will oppose it because many of them are idiots, John McCain that is your cue, afraid of the media and in the pockets of too many business interests that profit from cheap illegal alien labor.  Thus our immigration laws will likely remain a sham and the only losers are our native-born Americans, especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder, and very few of our politicians truly give a damn about them or their dreams.

14

PopeWatch: Cracking Down on the Orthodox

It has long been a scandal in the Catholic Church that dissenters from Church teaching are welcomed with open arms in Catholic academia.  Under the current pontificate orthodox Catholics are now being tossed out of  Catholic academia:

A renowned Catholic philosopher has been removed from a Catholic university in Spain by a local archbishop after publishing a critique of Pope Francis’ exhortation on marriage and family. 

Dr. Josef Seifert, an intimate friend of the late Pope St. John Paul II, was removed last week from his post at the International Academy of Philosophy in Granada by Archbishop Javier Martínez Fernández. 

In an article published online last month, Seifert called the Pope’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) a ticking “theological atomic bomb” that has the capacity to destroy all Catholic moral teaching. 

In his article, the philosopher argued that if Pope Francis believes that adultery — to quote the exhortation — “is what God himself is asking” of couples in “irregular” situations, then there is nothing stopping any other intrinsically evil acts from eventually being justified.

“If this is truly what AL affirms, all alarm over AL’s direct affirmations regarding matters of changes of sacramental discipline refer only to the peak of an iceberg, to the weak beginning of an avalanche, or to the first few buildings destroyed by a moral theological atomic bomb that threatens to tear down the whole moral edifice of the Ten Commandments and of Catholic moral teaching,” Seifert wrote. 

Archbishop Fernández related in an August 31 public statement that Seifert’s removal was spurred precisely by his recent article. He said the article “damages the communion of the Church, confuses the faith of the faithful, and sows distrust in the successor of Peter, which, in the end, does not serve the truth of faith, but, rather, the interests of the world.”

Fernández also said that while Seifert was removed from his teaching duties last year after his “first critical writing” on the exhortation, he is now being entirely dismissed from the university. 

“And right now, concurring with the precise and fuller reasons for it, his retirement from the above-mentioned International Academy of Philosophy is now being processed,” the archbishop wrote. 

Last October, the archbishop stated that his archdiocese would adopt the Buenos Aires interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, endorsed by Pope Francis, that allows Communion to be given to couples living in habitual adultery.  Continue Reading

4

Feast Day of the Saint of the Gutters

We are misunderstood, we are misrepresented, we are misreported. We are not nurses, we are not doctors, we are not teachers, we are not social workers. We are religious, we are religious, we are religious.

Mother Teresa

 

 

Today is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, one of God’s torches he sends in His mercy to guide us in a dark world.  I recall this story that I heard from a gentleman who worked with her sisters in New York.  They were flying together on a plane and Mother Teresa asked the stewardess if she could have the money that would have been spent on her inflight meal as a donation for the poor.  The stewardess agreed.  The word spread on the airliner and every passenger followed her example, and a check for all the meals was made out to Mother.  She then asked if she could have the meals that would have been eaten to contribute them to the poor.  The captain of the airliner agreed.  After she was on the ground Mother Teresa asked for a truck so she could drive the meals to her sisters in New York City so they could distribute the meals to the poor.  Mother Teresa then got behind the wheel of the truck, she could barely see over the steering wheel, and drove the truck, with some hair-raising close calls in traffic, to her sisters to serve the meals to the poor.  Almost certainly she did not have a driver’s license!  The gentleman who related the story told me this was a typical day for Mother Teresa.  She immediately brought forth the better angels of even the most hardened sinners she encountered, and even the most selfish of people eagerly joined her crusade to help the poor.  The love of Christ shined forth from her and people responded.  Her life was a prime example of the truth of Christ’s statement that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could fling a mountain into the sea.  With Mother Teresa mountains of indifference to the sufferings of the poor faded and people responded to her and her living out the Gospel literally.  Saint Mother Teresa pray for us poor sinners and ask God to give us some small fraction of your faith and audacity in serving Christ.

 

10

North Korea has the Hydrogen Bomb

Or so they claim, and judging from the latest quake from their test on Sunday they probably do.  If an H-bomb were dropped on Seoul, some two million people would be killed.  Greater devastation would be wreaked on Tokyo and Los Angeles.

North Korea is Exhibit A in the limitations of the rational actor school of foreign relations.  That posits that foreign policy should be based upon the belief that the foreign policy of other states can be understood, and better dealt with, by assuming that the leaders of the state are rational.  Two problems:  even a cursory study of history reveals that some leaders of nations have not been rational, and rationality in any case, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  This is not going to end well, especially for the people luckless enough to be born in North Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Google is Evil

 

 

 

 

A good post detailing a few of the abuses Google has been guilty of by Seton Motley:

But it isn’t just ideological.

Anti-Corporate Voices On Both Right And Left Claim Google Censorship

Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me

New America Foundation Think Tank Ousted Google Critic at Search Giant’s Urging: “An influential U.S. think tank cut off ties to an analyst critical of Google’s market dominance under pressure from Eric Schmidt, the search giant’s chairman and a major donor.”

Companies That Challenged Google’s Monopoly See Antitrust Critics’ Firing As A Threat

How Google Uses Its Power To Silence Critics

NYT: Google Buys Off Non-Profits To Silence Criticism

And these are just the very recent stories. Going back a bit….

Google is Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Google is STILL Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Going back a bit more….

Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House

Google Search for ‘Completely Wrong’ Yields Page of Mitt Romney Photos

Even the hugest and Left-est of uber-Left Google supporters – was long ago warning us.

Google is Coming after Critics in Academia and Journalism. It’s Time to Stop Them: “About 10 years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: ‘To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.’”

Any of you out there a monarchist?

Any of you “have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king?”

I know one thing – I wouldn’t have been a later 1700s Colonial Royalist. I’d have sided with George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gaggle looking to throw off the yoke of the Crown.

And that’s exactly where I am right now. Continue Reading