5 Responses to World War I in Six Minutes

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Did Government Meddling Bring About the Great Depression?

Thursday, August 17, AD 2017


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

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7 Responses to Did Government Meddling Bring About the Great Depression?

  • Interesting post. As far as length and severity a book published in recent years claims that FDR was responsible for that. Unfortunately I don’t have the title in mind.
    I do know that my MN grandparents, great grandparents, grand aunts and uncles turned Republican
    because of FDR. One relative of my mother’s generation didn’t change over until high interest rates in Carter’s administration seriously affected his small business. My second cousins are conservatives with the exception of one who was graduated from the liberal U Wisconsin in Madison.

  • If not the Great Depression, it clearly set the stage for our near-permanent Nanny State mentality. “The government will save us” is the most pleasurable of all aphrodisiacs.

  • Interesting post. As far as length and severity a book published in recent years claims that FDR was responsible for that. Unfortunately I don’t have the title in mind.

    The Forgotten Man?

  • No. Inflexible monetary policy turned an ordinary business recession into a severe Depression. The gold standard wasn’t an initiative of the Hoover Administration and the academic and policy mentalities which promoted its maintenance were not Hoover Administration initiatives, either. The British government went off the gold standard in September 1931 and began to recover within a matter of months. The succeeding 18 months were horrific for American business. Our recovery began when the Roosevelt Administration was able to engineer a devaluation of the currency in the Spring of 1933, as well as some salutary measures to stabilize the banking system.

  • The inflexible monetary policy combined with a policy designed to keep nominal wages high (as described in the video) would have worked in tandem to make the situation must work. Both would have combined to cause real wages to rise, cutting any chance at recovery.

    The video doesn’t cover this but there was a pretty strong recovery that started in 1933 following the removal from the gold standard. However, that stalled and we had a second recession during the Great Depression (1937). Ohanion attributes this to wages being kept high through the strengthening of unions. Also to keep businesses happy the government cut back on antitrust regulation to appease businesses. So again prices and wages couldn’t fall to allow the recovery to continue. This combo was exacerbated by a shift back to tighter monetary policy.

  • The inflexible monetary policy combined with a policy designed to keep nominal wages high (as described in the video) would have worked in tandem to make the situation must work. Both would have combined to cause real wages to rise, cutting any chance at recovery. The video doesn’t cover this but there was a pretty strong recovery that started in 1933 following the removal from the gold standard. However, that stalled and we had a second recession during the Great Depression (1937).

    There were no policy tools to prevent nominal wage cuts during the period running from 1929 to 1933. I’m not sure if the literature in labor economics has settled on an explanation for the resistance to nominal wage cuts during that period (as opposed to 1920-21). Hoover did promote nominal wage maintenance, but that was hortatory. As for the 1937-38 recession, it was a modest affair compared with 1929-33. The year-over-year decline in production (comparing 1938 to 1937) was 3.5%. That comparing 1933 to 1929 was 30%. Conventional Keynesian accounts of that secondary recession attribute it to contractionary fiscal policy. A more recent thesis has concerned monetary policy. The thing is, empirical studies of the effect of fiscal policy suggest weak multipliers are the norm, so the fiscal explanation is not the most plausible.

    The economy resumed rapid growth in the latter half of 1938.

    The trouble with the Roosevelt Administration was that they adopted a series of measures which damaged the labor market, and made a hiring recover (as opposed to a production recovery or an income recovery) quite slow.

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The Country Dodged A Bullet

Wednesday, August 16, AD 2017

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


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

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24 Responses to The Country Dodged A Bullet

  • Two unfortunate opportunists–McCain being the other.
    Just how complicit–by ideological design, by ignorance, or by misguided loyalty to the establishment–are many of the very leaders who pretend to guard the traditional values of the people?
    As far as the neutered police are concerned, standing down in the face of planned anarchy is the purest of disloyalty to the very purpose for which your profession exists. Law and order become the fodder of political chicanery, and everyone’s freedom becomes the ultimate victim.

  • No significant corps of people has ‘fought bigotry’ since I was of an age to read a newspaper. It’s invariably competing collections of retromingent blowhards marking the trees.

  • The swiftness and ferocity with which Antifa has been defended and shielded from criticism by not only the left and their media allies, but by certain elements within the institutional right is somewhat interesting. Perhaps it suggests the necessity of a little investigative snooping to see if there is a money trail to follow.

  • You cannot buy Romney. It’s just an indication of the degree to which elite opinion is a monoculture. I bet Ted Cruz was pretty lonely at Jones, Day.

  • Our governor, John Kasich, came out and called Trump an embarrassment and said there is no moral equivalency to the KKK and Nazis. I suppose the hundreds of millions tortured and murdered by anyone who wasn’t KKK and Nazis should find comfort in that. That’s why he’s not President Kasich. The whole ‘anything to the left of center is by default not bad’ should cause people to run screaming into the night. And yet how many Republicans, Pundits, and Catholics are buying it. As my boys said, “It’s not going to be pleasant for those who don’t conform to the Left, is it?” I’d like to tell them not to worry.

  • It takes ZERO moral courage for Romney to say what he said. Repugnant to the core.

  • By the (ahem) logic of these people who insist that ONLY the alt-right bears any responsibility for what happened in Charlottesville, and that any attempt to state otherwise is tantamount to being a Nazi sympathizer, I suppose that everyone who fought in the Pacific during WWII must have been a Nazi sympathizer because they weren’t fighting Hitler? I guess it’s now morally impossible to have more than one enemy or to fight a battle on more than one front.

  • Our governor, John Kasich, came out and called Trump an embarrassment and said there is no moral equivalency to the KKK and Nazis.

    Of course Kasich’s embarrassed. Trump whooped is a$$. Kasich’s entire adult life up to age 48 consisted of political office and his time in business was likely derived from being able to work the phones.

  • Yeah Mitt, nothing says “I oppose racism.” like baseball bats, rocks, and urine bombs!

    Now, I think the blowhardish ashatted way President Trump conducted himself at Tuesday’s presser merits criticism, his pointing out there was blame on both sides is just a plain fact.

  • Fascist elements were trying to seize control of the streets (as they always do). They were met with heroic resistance from peace-loving workers and students determined to stop them. Where is the moral equivalence?-

  • TRump chiefly and Haley at the UN and Xi of China with Russian help just contained Kim Jun Un. You’d never know it since
    an obsession by the pro abortion culture..NY Times/ comedians on late night/ dems and gop’ ers beaten in the primary fills half of the US.

  • The “ANTIFA” are communist, and should be considered the “alt-left”. As Nazis and communists are two-sides of the same bloody coins, so are the alt-left and alt-right.
    Like the Battle of Stalingrad, I hope they both lose.


  • “They were met with heroic resistance from peace-loving workers and students determined to stop them. Where is the moral equivalence?-”

    I truly hope you are being facetious, because even you have to be aware of the violent nature of the antifa thugs. These masked cretins have been intimidating – and in some cases, have beaten up – individuals whom they deem to be “fascist.” While in some cases (like Saturday in Charlottesville) this does indeed include actual fascists, but this really means just about anyone holding political views to the right of Bernie Sanders. While some (maybe even most) of the counter-demonstrators truly did have peaceful intent, a very large segment included these disgusting vermin who are truly no better than the KKK/Nazi idiots who marched.

  • Fascist elements were trying to seize control of the streets (as they always do).

    How is acquiring the proper and necessary permits for a demonstration march seizing control of the streets? I’ve never heard of anybody claiming that following proper red tape as “seizing” anything. Are you sure you’re not confusing these guys with BLM?

  • A funny flashback that’s relevant from twitter.

  • I truly hope you are being facetious, b

    You’re talking to the same fellow who referred to UKIP as a ‘neo-fascist’ party.

  • Art Deco wrote, “You’re talking to the same fellow who referred to UKIP as a ‘neo-fascist’ party.”
    The fact that Anne Marie Waters is a leadership candidate for UKIP shows the party’s true colours

  • The fact that Anne Marie Waters is a leadership candidate for UKIP shows the party’s true colours

    The party’s true colors are what it has advocated since its founding. As for Waters, she’s a lapsed Labour Party member best known for her lesbianism and an antagonistic stance toward Islam. The term ‘fascist’ does not mean what you wish to pretend it means.

  • BLM has aided/abetted the assassinations of 20 POs’. Antifas has committed scores of acts of violent crimes. and, the media – chirps. The Democrat/KKK and neo-nazis have no body count in the 21st century.

    Art, DOn’t hold back. let us know how you feel. Did you mean “virtue signaling”? Good stuff! Anyhow: “It’s invariably competing collections of retromingent blowhards marking the trees.”

    We have met he enemy and they is: the lying media, Mitt, and establishment Republicans who can’t see that antifas, BLM, KKK and neo-nazis are all the same species of cockroach.

  • Kasich can’t take it that Trump kicked his ass in the primaries and won Ohio in the general election. I used to respect him but he is becoming another Romney..a complete wuss.

    Meanwhile, the Pakistanis who worked for Wasserman Schultz and were arrested…and the failure of Muller to come up with anything connecting Trump to the Russians…..is totally ignored, which is what the MSM wanted to do when Rep. Scalise was almost murdered by a loony leftist.

  • I used to respect him but he is becoming another Romney..a complete wuss.

    Romney is a very capable man with many accomplishments in the realm of business and family life. Kasich is almost pure politician. Take away the time in office, Romney is still a man of consequence with 20 grandchildren. Take away the politics, Kasich is….well, nobody knows. The two men are not equivalents.

  • New today: “Mitt Romney on Friday urged President Trump to take ‘remedial action in the extreme’ following his response to the Charlottesville violence.” ” An apology would be a defining moment of Trump’s presidency.”
    Agree, Romney is a good businessman and family man, but it’s obvious that his recent pronouncements are for settling a score with Trump. The media, complicit with far left, seizes upon Romney’s words not because Romney is some sage but, because it keeps the C-ville incident in the national spotlight and is negative to Trump.
    Meanwhile, as noted above in several comments, events of more import are happening domestically and internationally and are under reported..

    Meanwhile terrorist attacks in Spain and one in Finland

  • Sixty-two percent of Americans polled oppose tearing down Confederate memorials. That is heartening: a majority of Americans know that tearing down statues and assaulting extremist, right-wing nuts won’t end racism or depose trump or . . .

    Noam Chomsky may, for once, be correct. He writes that Antifas is a huge gift to the right. Don’t believe what you hear from the lying media and swamp/donor-bought/lobbyist-owned GOP squids.

    Consider the potential worst-case, boys and girls. Soros’ $15 an hour isn’t nearly enough.

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Colonel Roosevelt Testifies

Wednesday, August 16, AD 2017



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

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


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

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

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Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017


1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.(1)

2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.

3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has “when the fullness of time came”(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God’s Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

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Saint of the Assumption

Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017



Since the time of the Reformation, the lack of devotion to the Mother of God has been a sign of the dying of Christendom.  Saint Maximilian Kolbe had been dedicated to the Virgin Mother since he had a vision of her when he was a boy.  She offered him the red crown of martyrdom or the white crown of purity, and he chose to take both.  By his founding of the Immaculata  Militia and his devotion to the Immaculata, our Blessed Mother found a knight and champion in Kolbe willing to proclaim her message in the teeth of the indifference and hostility of a world that so desperately needs precisely the love and compassion of the Queen of Heaven.

After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Saint Maximilian Kolbe threw open the doors of the monastery at  a Niepokalanów and gave assistance to thousands of refugees, including 2000 Jews.  Even the wife of a Nazi Gauleiter was moved by the endless compassion that Kolbe had for all who sought his assistance.  Facing a seemingly hopeless situation he gave hope and love to all he encountered.  Hope and love have always been in short supply on this planet and perhaps never more so than today.

A man carrying out the precepts of the Gospels under Nazi rule was a marked man, and so I am sure it came as no surprise to Father Kolbe when he was arrested by the Gestapo on February 17, 1941.  After a short stay at Pawiak prison, on May 28, 1941 he was sent to the extermination camp of Auschwitz to die.  Adolph Hitler was not the Anti-Christ, but it is hard in light of the death camps not to see him, along with his colleague in mass murder Joseph Stalin, as a developer of methods that might be utilized by the Anti-Christ.  Auschwitz is as close as humanity has come to creating a literal Hell on Earth, and into this industrial slaughter camp strode Father Kolbe, Prisoner 16670.  Whatever terrors await us in this century it is hard to believe we will manage to surpass the nihilistic worship of mass death that went on at Auschwitz.  The reaction of Father Kolbe?  Subject to the same beatings, starvation and brutality as his fellow prisoners, Kolbe moved among them at night, telling them that he was a Catholic priest.  He prayed with them and heard their confessions.  A constant theme for him was that the prisoners must pray for their persecutors and return evil with good.  When he was beaten, Father Kolbe would not cry out but would pray for the man beating him.  I confess that I could not do that, but I recognize the perfection of Christian love that Saint Maximilian achieved by doing so.  In the midst of his sufferings he was able to send a last letter to his dear mother.

“Dear Mama, At the end of the month of May I was transferred to the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love. It would be well that you do not write to me until you will have received other news from me, because I do not know how long I will stay here. Cordial greetings and kisses, affectionately. Raymond.”

I think that when he wrote that letter he already suspected that the ultimate sacrifice might soon be required of him.

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10 Responses to Saint of the Assumption

  • Excellent Mr. McClarey.

    God bless your work.
    Have a rewarding vacation.
    St. Maximilian Kolbe pray for us.

    Knights of the Immaculata…pray for the complete and total reign of the Sacred Heart to blanket the entire world as soon as possible.

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  • My dad worked with a fellow who was born in Auschwitz. Somehow he and his mother survived and made their way to Northeast Ohio.

    It is taken as Gospel truth that six million Jews died during the Holocaust. I am not disputing that. About six million Poles were killed in WWII. About half were Jews and half were Catholics. Timothy Snyder puts the number at about five million, but in the end what matters is that they were killed by murderous regimes whose ultimate goal was to create their version of Paradise on earth. All such schemes are doomed to fail.

  • A beautiful and unexpected gift occurred yesterday afternoon before our Rosary began. An 83 year old Episcopalian who has been sitting in on our devotion for almost a year asked me if she could convert to Catholism. This makes our second conversion from this nursing home. When I asked her why she wants to become Catholic she said; “Because I want to belong to the first Christian Church founded and receive the Eucharist.” She has been sitting in on the Communion services and Holy Mass for the past year as well. Not coincidental is the fact she asked me yesterday on our Lady’s Great feast! My seventeenth anniversary belonging to the Knights of the Immaculata.

    God is so good.

    She has her faculties about her and Fr. Libby has given me the green light to start preparing her for entrance into our Holy Catholic Church next spring.


  • Two more things about August 15, as it pertains to St. Maximilian and Our Lady:

    August 15 is Polish Armed Forces Day, in commemoration of the Miracle at the Vistula, where the Polish Army counterattacked the Red Army, handing the Communists a crushing defeat and chased them back halfway to Moscow.
    August 16 is the Feast Day of St. Joachim, father of Our Lady.

  • “Fr. Libby has given me the green light to start preparing her for entrance into our Holy Catholic Church next spring.”
    But she is 83! Why is Fr. Libby waiting?!

  • TomD

    I can’t speak for my priest however I will post your concern to him today.
    At this moment in time she is healthy.
    Nothing is prompting a fast track introduction. Kay, our most recent convert, was elated to be received into Holy Church along with the other catechumens two years ago. She was 85.

    If Anne’s health was to deteriorate I am certain that her wishes and Fr. Libby’s abilities to expedite the process would be accomplished.

    Kay loved the moment of our Bishop laying his hand upon her head. The photo of which we used for her memorial
    prayer card at her funeral.

    Thanks TomD for your comment.
    I will inquire about the possibility of the need to expedite the process. No one knows what hour we will be called home.
    For her it could be months prior to Easter.

  • Philip, I am sure Fr. Libby is taking the position that the salvation of Episcopalians is not at risk merely because they are Episcopalians (and I would concur), but hey, every little bit helps.

  • TomD.

    It’s what the action might have on another…(might).

    If a employee of that nursing home gives thought to the rosary devotion and the conversion of two residents making the change to Catholism in their twilight years…well, like I said, it might be a seed planted into a heart. The ripple effect.

    Who knows?

    What I do know is that the two elder women made a decision without being prodded or coerced into it. Something, rather, someone inside their hearts was/is calling them to himself.

    The Eucharist is calling.
    The real presence.
    The true God.
    Every little bit indeed.

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August 15, 1945: The Voice of the Crane

Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017



Allied bombers had been used on August 13, 1945 dropping leaflets over Japan which described, in Japanese, the surrender offer and the Allied response.  On August 14, 1945 Hirohito met with his military leaders, several of whom spoke in favor of continuing the War.  Hirohito urged them to help him bring the War to an end.  Meeting then with the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War and heard out those who recommended a rejection of the Allied offer unless there was a guarantee that the Emperor would continue to reign.  Hirohito then spoke:

I have listened carefully to each of the arguments presented in opposition to the view that Japan should accept the Allied reply as it stands and without further clarification or modification, but my own thoughts have not undergone any change. … In order that the people may know my decision, I request you to prepare at once an imperial rescript so that I may broadcast to the nation. Finally, I call upon each and every one of you to exert himself to the utmost so that we may meet the trying days which lie ahead.

In normal times in Japan that would have been that.  It was quite rare for the Emperor to so overtly intervene in a decision of the government, indeed it was forbidden under the then current Japanese constitution, but when he did, it would have literally been unthinkable for any Japanese not to instantly obey.  However, these were far from normal times.

The rest of the day was taken up with Hirohito preparing an address to his people and having a recording played to be broadcast on August 15, 1945.  Washington was advised that Japan had surrendered via the Japanese embassies in Switzerland and Sweden and the Allied world went wild with joy.

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August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

Monday, August 14, AD 2017


One of the frequently overlooked aspects of American involvement in World War I, is the massive shipments of food from the United States to the Allies that kept them from experiencing the type of dearth of food that afflicted Germany in the latter years of the War.  Behind the success of this effort was one of the greatest geniuses of organization in American history, future president Herbert Hoover.  Since the onset of the War he had organized food relief for occupied Belgium, and is still honored there, for his central role in preventing mass famine in that war devastated country, where the German conquerors had little concern of whether the Belgian civilians had food to eat.   Hoover performed similar  miracles of humanitarian relief in occupied France.

I his Executive Order of August 14, 1917 President Wilson established the Food Administration Grain Corporation with Herbert Hoover on the Board.  This was part of the United States Food Admninistration which Wilson appointed Hoover to lead.  Future posts will explore Hoover’s actions in charge of this organization.  Here is the text of the Executive Order of August 14, 1917:



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4 Responses to August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

  • Thank you for the post with video. Hoover and the American relief to Belgium were and may still be overlooked in text books thanks to historians coverage of the Great Depression – Hoover bad, FDR good. The video referred to America (Americans) as almoners, quaint but apt as we are a very generous nation then and now. Many NGOs for famine relief can be traced back to Hoover’s (pre and post presidency) worldwide efforts to alleviate or prevent hunger.
    The American Catholic posts on such a variety of subjects that encourages its readers to research further.

  • Surely not the same paragon of philanthropy Hoover who threatened to withhold food aid from Hungary if its citizens supported Blessed Kaiser Karl’s attempt to assume his rightful throne as King there? That Herbert Hoover???

  • A fairly accurate rendition of the comic opera attempt of Charles to reverse his abdication and take back the throne of Hungary:

  • So what??? Whether one thinks the plight of Karl and Hungary a comedy or a tragedy, the fact remains that food was used as coercion to achieve a short-sighted political end, the detrimental ramifications of which affected eastern Europe to the end of the last century.

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Still, Small Voice

Sunday, August 13, AD 2017


At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

1Kings 19:11-13

Of all the figures of the Old Testament, Elijah has always stood out for me.  The most powerful of the prophets sent by God, he lived at a time of mass apostasy in the Kingdom of Israel. Under King Ahab and his Queen Jezebel, a daughter of the King of Sidon and a priestess of Baal, a great spirit of what many today would call ecumenicalism went forth, as Israel turned away from the stern God Yahweh, to the pleasure seeking ways of Baal.  Elijah, his name means “Yahweh is my God”, would have none of it, and led the Traditionalists among the Yahweh worshipers who opposed the new spirit abroad in the land.  The deeds of Elijah are well known, from the battle of the gods on Mount Carmel, to his being taken up to Heaven by a chariot of fire, but the most striking passage in his career is the incident of the still, small voice, set forth in today’s reading at Mass.

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  • Elijah and Moses knew who they were, that is why When Jesus, Who knew WHO HE was, was transfigured, Elijah and Moses and Jesus had conversation. Did Moses or Elijah die or did they walk with God as Enoch walked with God.

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PopeWatch: Denzinger

Saturday, August 12, AD 2017



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



The largest cross-boarder Lefeverist smuggling tunnel to date was discovered in a midnight raid earlier today by Swiss Guards.  The smugglers fled, abandoning contraband with a street value of over 3 million euros.

Smuggled goods found included pirated copies of “Teach Yourself Latin” software, DVD’s of “The Cardinal,” as well as thousands of copies of Familiaris Consortio and the Decrees of the Council of Trent.

Lead detective on the case Giovanni Verde told EOTT this morning that all of the items seized were street ready.

“From here they would have gone out and been available in the Vatican colleges and back rooms by sunrise,” noting that the tunnel terminated in a small subterranean chapel under one of the Vatican buildings.  “See how the chapel is set up ad orientem?  This is a site of a clandestine Tridentine Mass.”

Rumors have been circulating for years that undocumented Lefeverists were responsible for the countless tunnels undermining the Vatican since the early 1970’s.  According to Verde, his goal is not simply taking down the powerful Lefeverist “cartel,” but also “the numerous groups inside the Vatican supporting them.”

Verde told reporters that he has been tracking a “shadowy figure” who is considered the true leader of the cartel.

“We only know him as “Denzinger,” but he is highly respected in some circles, and his writings are quoted like the Bible. It’s not a secret in the Vatican that the recently terminated the head of the CDF, Gerhard Cardinal Muller, was an admirer of Dezinger.

“It was clear for a number of years that the Cardinal had been Denzinger’s man inside the halls of the Vatican, and now we finally have hard evidence of a conspiracy. Denzinger’s influence over the CDF and the Church will finally be broken.”

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8 Responses to Welcome to the Ranks, Jay Stephens

  • Excellent, but the lesson is expensive. Best bet is that only smart kids should go to college and then study subjects that lead directly to a high paying job. No sense spending all that money for a low paying job like sociology, etc. Personally, I like the idea of apprentice programs where there is no cost of college.

  • I hope that my sons learn to do carpentry or plumbing or become electricians. It is hard work. It requires working outside in all types of weather. It requires working early mornings, late nights and weekends. It also means you can start your own business and won’t have to put up with limp wrested left wing girly men who infest college campii today.
    One thing is certain. Neither of my boys will be accountants. They will have a better chance of playing in the National Hockey League.

    We all know we need more priests. Fr. Z once posted an item about a lousy seminary, to which I replied that if they pulled that crap on one of my sons I would show up with my ax handle and go Buford Pusser on the place.

  • An adult (endangered specie) with 100 or higher IQ, and a modicum of morality would not be a liberal.

  • My oldest child wants to go into the allied health field. He’s got a promising future. But I am NOT happy about one of his minors-philosophy. He says it will make him a better thinker. (Um, so will organic chemistry and reading Russell Kirk/Thomas Sowell.)
    He is now okay with abortion up to about 2 weeks past conception.
    I am very, very tempted to say I will not pay that portion of the tuition bill.

  • But I am NOT happy about one of his minors-philosophy. He says it will make him a better thinker.

    If he takes the right courses and has conscientious teachers. Peter Kreeft learned from Brand Blanshard.

    I’ve had the idea for some years that a modern core curriculum should feature six philosophy courses, three levels of calculus, two courses in statistics and research methods, and 15 credits of historical surveys wherein each unit consisted of about 13 lectures, a test, and a paper. A proper Catholic college could then add Church history, several theology courses, and apologetics.

    Faculties cannot agree on a proper core because the arts-and-sciences faculty are over-run with disciplinary partisans. I once had a conversation with the chaplain at one of the remaining Brethren colleges. He tells me that everyone agrees that there should be a core curriculum but the herd-of-cats faculty cannot seem to assemble and agree on one. So, I ask him, why not have the trustees prescribe one. Well, he tells me, that would damage faculty morale (as if keeping dysfunctional people happy should be the institution’s priority). Therein lies one of the intractable problems of higher education. (And see Thomas Sowell on the effect of tenure on institutional policy: once you have tenure, the whole point of the institution is to please its tenured employees).

  • Art Deco

    Plato regarded geometry as an essential prerequisite to the study of philosophy. ΟΨΔΕΣ ΑΓΕΟΜΕΤΡΕΤΟΣ ΕΙΣΙΤΩ ran the inscription over the door of the Academy.

    An elementary mastery of geometries, including analytical geometry, projective geometry, Non-Euclidian geometries would be a valuable grounding, introducing students to what Hardy called, “a map or picture, the joint product of many hands, a partial and imperfect copy (yet exact so far as it extends) of a section of mathematical reality” along with the realisation that it is emphatically not a map or picture of “the spatio-temporal reality of the physical world,” an error to which too many in our day are prone.

    Add to that, a mastery of the languages in which the great philosophers actually wrote, namely Greek and Latin together with a working knowledge of textual criticism, so that we can judge what they actually wrote. This latter would be of inestimable benefit to students of theology, too.

  • Geometry will help you understand…geometry. It’s not preparatory for much of anything. Perhaps some 300-level and above courses in the mathematics department. As for classical languages, there are trade-offs. It takes a good student 4 or 5 years of study at the secondary level to garner a reading knowledge of French, much less more challenging languages (assuming about 18% of your study time is devoted to foreign language and you’re in school 180 days a year). Time spent studying classical languages is time not spent studying something else.

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PopeWatch: Something to Keep in Mind

Friday, August 11, AD 2017


During the current Pontificate, PopeWatch has found comfort in this passage on the entry under Alexander VI at New Advent:


An impartial appreciation of the career of this extraordinary person must at once distinguish between the man and the office. “An imperfect setting”, says Dr. Pastor (op. cit., III, 475), “does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.” There have been at all times wicked men in the ecclesiastical ranks. Our Lord foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and “those who are without”. Similarly, He compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation.


Go here to read the entire entry.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Something to Keep in Mind

  • Excellent point. But in the case of Pope Francis truckloads of faith and patience are required.

  • Keeping at prayer for him has been a worth while exercise. Unseen and hidden are the workings I trust will take place. Realized effects are the increased peace I behold from praying hard for him. Him being Pope Francis.

    Again…take what is good and leave the rest.

  • In God’s mercy he was given the opportunity, which he took, to confess sacramentally before he died. We should all pray that we be able to die in a state of grace. And be glad for those people who live horrible lives but repent and trust God’s love at the end. Maybe this poor pope can pray for us, the whole range of Catholics and Christians who are here and now in moral jeopardy.
    As he relates to our current pope, I didn’t get any indication in the article that Alexander VI threatened the understanding of Catholic teaching??

  • My analogy on this is to never judge the quality of a Rolls Royce by an erratic driver.

  • Good stuff!

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Vacation 2017

Friday, August 11, AD 2017


I am on vacation with my family until August 21.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent. That is now by choice.  In the past it was not, but now with ubiquitous wi-fi, portable ipads and kindles, that is no longer the case, and truth to tell, it hasn’t been for the last several years.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, Trump admits that some orange furred critter has died on his head or Robert Mueller admitting that he is a Russian spy, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

We will begin  at the library school that my daughter is attending, the baby of the family having decided to follow my bride’s footsteps.  She was too bright to follow in mine!

Then on to Kenosha, Wisconsin with a visit to my bride’s mother.  We have been doing this since the birth of the twins and it has always been a fun family gathering.  I heartily recommend both the Kenosha Civil War Museum and the Milwaukee Zoo  Then it is back home for some Illinois activities including next Wednesday hosting the local Rotary District Governor, since, for my sins no doubt, I am serving as President of the local Rotary Club in Dwight for the eighth occasion.

Then on to GenCon 50 over in Indianapolis.



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2 Responses to Vacation 2017

  • “If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled. If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are. Last year’s attendance was in excess of 60,819 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.”

    Just so everyone is aware, I wouldn’t go this year if you are trying to actually get into the convention. The convention has been sold out for weeks. I think this is the first time they have sold out GenCon.

  • Uh, my recollection is that your bride was a language major (French?), Don?

    As someone who was cognitively (congenitally?) unable to learn a second language in a reasonable time, I applaud and envy all language majors. God bless!

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August Bomb Follies 2017

Thursday, August 10, AD 2017

In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home in the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.

And Winston Churchill, with an irony perhaps too broad and easy, noted in Parliament that the people who preferred invasion to A-bombing seemed to have “no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves.”

Paul Fussel, Thank God for the Atomic Bomb




It has been rather quiet this year on the annual breast beating over the Atomic bombings around Saint Blogs.  Here are a few posts I have seen:

  1.  Deacon Jim Russel at Crisis looks at the principle of Double Effect and the bombings.  It is a rather good piece.  Go here to read it.
  2.  Ah, what would the August Bomb Follies be without Patheos.  Mary Pezullo at Steel Magnificat puts us on notice that she is not like those terrible Catholics who defend the bombings.  Go here to read it.
  3. Matthew Walther at The Week I think would like to dig up Harry Truman and put him on trial if he could.  Go here to read his post.
  4. Mark Shea contributes the latest droppings from his mind here.

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45 Responses to August Bomb Follies 2017

  • This seems a corollary of Einstein’s definition of insanity. It happened.

    Millions of US servicemen (RIP) that daily were being killed in the Pacific would offer to fight them for their virtue signaling.

    Judge not lest . . .

    The Hiroshima/Nagasaki canard makes them feel superior and diverts attention from their tacit support of abortion, class hate, sodomy privileges, socialism, etc.

    Seen at Instapundit. For them, there is no “right” answer or “wrong” answer There only are evil and good. And, everyone that disagrees is evil.

    “Droppings” indeed.

  • Having to use nuclear weapons against Japan in WW II, and the concommitant loss of civilian life, was regrettable but we all know it would have been far worse for both side with full scale invasion of the Japanese islands.

    On a side not, I will say again what I have always said: the best nuclear weapon is one whose U-235 or Pu-239 has been recycled for use in fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. Generating electricity from heavy metal atoms once intended to destroy an enemy is in the best tradition of turning swords into plowshares. And the former US-Russian program of Megatons into Megawatts did much to reduce the stockpile of weapons grade uranium. Would Mark “I am the Pope’s gift to the Catholic blogosphere” Shea support ANY of that? Being one of the left coast inhabitants who general have ZERO military experience and NO Godly patriotism, likely NOT.

    In the meantime, we need an overwhelming, modernized, safe and effective nuclear deterrent. The United States, United Kingdom and Israel are the good guys. Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are the bad guys. It is really that simple. The jury however is still out on France (very confused country ever since Robespierre in the 1790s), and the Pakistan-Indian situation never did make much sense, but at least their mutual nuclear deterrents have kept both countries at bay.

    As an American, I think we should have an overwhelmingly powerful nuclear deterrent and an extremely effective missile shield. We should be able to strike with impunity and immunity, and we should be able to prevent any nuclear aggression from reaching us. After all, I am an American and I want us to be victoriously on top. That’s called being patriotic. If someone (like Mark Shea) doesn’t want America on top, then that person needs to leave this country (and perhaps emigrate to the DPRK).

  • If you look at the title of the link to Shea’s dropping at New Advent it says, “Just think of the Enola Gay as a big abortion clinic with wings.”

    Mark gets more than a few facts wrong. Surprising I know.

    First of all, he trots out the false claim that Pius XII condemned the bomb drops. Pius XII said nothing about them publicly.

    Secondly, the Urakami Church (it didn’t become the archdiocesan cathedral until 1981 when it was designated as such by St. John Paul II during his Apostolic Journey to Japan) was not the target of the bomb drop. The target was the Mitsubishi Torpedo Factory. The placards at ground zero at Nagasaki point that out. The church is almost a mile away from ground zero.

    Prominent Catholics (and Shea is not the only one by any means) who condemn the bombings without honestly interacting with the historical facts of the situation Truman faced need to shut the hell up because they do nothing but bring shame on the Church with their calumny!

  • I notice at Shea’s posting on the bomb that he’d not allowing any comments. I guess his ever thinning skin can’t handle differing opinions like he used to do!

  • Maybe someone could organize a crowd-funding campaign to raise enough money to convince Shea to convert back to whatever misbegotten sect he was in before he allegedly became Catholic. It would be a public service.

  • ” Mark “I am the Pope’s gift to the Catholic blogosphere” Shea”

    With this pope, that might be more a literal than a rhetorical statement. And with gifts like this, who needs…? Oh, never mind.

  • I don’t know if Catholic Weekly ever allows comments, none of Shea’s other pieces have there – could be site policy, could be him just not wanting to be called out on his lies.

    In reply to the invasion question, there’s been 3 major counters I’ve seen from the anti-bombers.

    1) Japan was trying to surrender already.
    2) It was unjust to require unconditional surrender.
    3) We could have blockaded them.

    I’ll leave the others to the board to disprove. I’ll merely note with #1 that America had signed a peace treaty with Japan right before the attack on Pearl Harbor. So with what reason would America have to believe future treaties?

  • Also there is this:

    Where Shea adds:

    This was written before Trump’s threats of nuclear annihilation against North Korea began, but there is something chillingly poet that he should choose August 6-9 to give Catholic apologists for nuclear mass murder a chance to repent the lies they have told all these years.

    Of course how could they repent to Pope Shea when he doesn’t allow any of them to come by and talk? It’s a cold religion indeed that demands repentance, then locks the doors on the confession booth.

  • 1) The guys who tried to overthrow the god-king AFTER the bombs were “trying” to surrender?
    2) Baloney
    3) And starved to death the entire population. Brilliant.

    I got through to a lady I know when we were dancing around the subject– it was from the angle of WWII itself– and I pointed out that boys her son’s age were to be handed bombs and told to roll under tanks. And about the teenage girls who charged Marines, armed only with pointy sticks… the Japanese leadership of the time was seriously sick.

  • If one American life was saved by the bomb, it is justified since this war belongs to Japan.

  • 1) Japan was trying to surrender already.
    2) It was unjust to require unconditional surrender.
    3) We could have blockaded them.

    What the Japanese viewed as an acceptable resolution of the War was no occupation and their retaining some of their foreign conquests. The Japanese government, as opposed to factions within the government which wished to see the War concluded on acceptable terms to Japan, never prior to the bombs agreed to surrender. Of course this argument is laughable since even with the two atomic bombings, the Japanese did not surrender until eight days after Hiroshima.

    In regard to unconditional surrender, since Japan was the aggressor in a War in which they killed tens of millions of civilians, unconditional surrender to the US would have been a completely moral result. However, we did not demand unconditional surrender. We gave them conditions in the Potsdam Declaration and Truman lived up to each of the conditions:

    Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
    Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945
    1.We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.
    2.The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.
    3.The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.
    4.The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.
    5.Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
    6.There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.
    7.Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan’s war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.
    8.The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.
    9.The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.
    10.We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
    11.Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.
    12.The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.
    13.We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.

    Yes we could have blockaded them and caused a famine that would have killed tens of millions of Japanese. As it was, MacArthur barely averted famine with massive shipments of food for the US. MacArthur threatened to resign if the food was not forthcoming, flatly stating that famine was not going to happen in Japan on his watch.

  • The problem with debating this is that those who are against it from a traditionally liberal perspective rest on the idea that Japan was finished, it was all about peace, it wanted to end the hostilities, we had them beat, there was no reason to invade, Russia had ended the war in the Pacific already, or anything that makes it wrong. I don’t support the decision personally, but I don’t see it as some unique fluke from an evil United States just itching to nuke Japanese babies in order to take over the world.

  • For those intellectually honest, Richard B. Frank in his Downfall put paid to the notion that Japan was ready to surrender:


  • If one uses Catholic non-consequentialist moral reasoning partly based on Double Effect, then whether or not Japan was going to surrender anyway or how many lives might have been lost in an invasion is irrelevant.

    I tend to think they shouldn’t have done it (though I’m still not completely sure). But whatever the answer, I would never condemn or blame anyone involved. And of course the bombings came after years of conventional terror bombing by both sides.

  • If one uses Catholic non-consequentialist moral reasoning…

    It seems to me (especially when these a-bomb discussions come up) that in trying to run from consequentialism, many Catholics has ended up in the opposite error of moral equivalency. If not the sheer insanity that results never matter with actions.

  • I’m with Oakes. Consequentialism cannot save the decision, only Double Effect can. I am not convinced by Deacon Russell’s explication (or other similar efforts), but I acknowledge that the analysis is very tricky and very smart folks can disagree. In any case, I would no more condemn Truman et al than I would blame a soldier who intentionally kills his dying comrade in order to stop his suffering. Acts can be wrong but understandable and forgivable. Good people do bad things for good reasons all the time, and the actors remain good and the actions remain bad.

  • Nate, you are right that it is erroneous to suggest that results never matter. But when it comes to acts that are intrinsically evil (such as the deliberate targeting of non-combatants in war) the relevance of results is limited chiefly to evaluating an actor’s level of subjective culpability.

  • Well, around and around we go, but nothing alters the fundamental division of opinion: one side believes avoiding the predicted consequences of ground invasion justified the bombings (consequentialism) and the other view is that the deliberate targeting of non-combatants is never moral and not subject to any kind of moral “trade-offs,” being intrinsically evil. I suspect neither side will convince the other. But I *am* certain the ad hominems will continue to fly.

  • The use of atomic weapons in general violates the teachings of Just War and must be condemned no matter what. America committed a war crime when it dropped those terror bombs. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

  • One perhaps “good” effect of the bombings was to demonstrate the bomb’s devastation. And they are much more devastating now. However, quite effective devastation can be and has been wrought by non-nuclear, conventional weaponry, like firebombs and guns. Shoulda, coulda, woulda? Only answer to that is, “Was ya dere?”

  • Tom, it must be pointed out that the intrinsically evil nature of the intentional targeting of non-combatants is an undisputed Catholic teaching. What is disputed is whether Nagasaki and Hiroshima fall within that category as a matter of fact. The debates centers both on the facts surrounding the bombings as well as the proper technical application of Double Effect. There is plenty to study and presumably debate here, but Catholics who believe that an action that has net positive results cannot be wrong is not thinking with the Church.
    Finally, yes all too many folks resort to name-calling and ad hominems, but I don’t think I see any such behavior on this thread, at least yet.

  • An interesting take from a Japanese doctor in 1983. Not dispositive, but worth a read.


  • But I *am* certain the ad hominems will continue to fly.

    Well… yes. Starting a debate by calling the other side evil will usually mean ad hominems fly. 😉

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: While Cardinal Burke is Being Serene, Non-Aggressive, and ‘Charitable’; Someone Needs to Stand for Christ’s Church – The Stumbling Block
  • As a side note, Japan embraced nuclear energy for electricity after the atomic bombing because the country has no oil, no gas, no coal. Then Fukushima happened and unlike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fukushima neither hurt nor killed any member of the public (though 12 recovery workers did die in industrial non-nuclear accidents after the event). Now the country opposes nuclear power.

    The atomic bombing motivated the Japanese to embrace nuclear energy because a small amount of uranium contains a huge amount of energy.

    The Fukushima accident motivated the Japanese to shut all their nuclear power plants down even though NO member of the public was either hurt or killed.

    This is so unlike the natural gas tank explosions in the Chiba Prefecture which killed hundreds, releasing chemical toxins that never ever decay away, and so unlike the hydro damn failures that killed thousands by drowning – all caused by the Tohoku earthquake that led to the tsunami).

    I have never understood such stupidity. The hydro and fossil fuel accidents after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 killed tens of thousands and nuclear killed ZERO in the public. I thought the Japanese were at least above that sort of thing.

    BTW, corollary: all those chemical explosives rained on Tokyo and other cities during WW II killed far more that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    But the Roman Catholic Church has NOTHING to say about that and how that would have continued on indeterminately without the nuking.

    I am disgusted.

  • For two weeks prior to the bombing, American planes dropped leaflets warning the inhabitants to evacuate. A truth that seems to have been eradicated by the liberal, not so patriotic individuals.

  • Lucius, many Catholic prelates and theologians have pointed out that the so-called carpet bombings of Germany and Japan were morally indistinguishable from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and therefore intrinsically evil. Of course, this assertion rests on the conclusion that these bombings were, in fact, the deliberate targeting of non-combatants. Not all historians agree with that assessment.

    Mary, yes that is true and is this fact is often cited as evidence that the bombing therefore cannot fairly be regarded as the deliberate targeting of civilians. This argument is vulnerable to serious rebuttals, however, and I encourage you to research them.

    I have read quite a bit over the years regarding the moral legitimacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and on balance have concluded that they were intrinsically evil acts, even if certainly understandable and forgivable under the circumstances. But my conclusion is not shared by all well-informed Catholic thinkers, and I certainly don’t regard it as free from doubt. Like many moral analyses of historical events, the analysis benefits from high dosages of humility.

  • “I have read quite a bit over the years regarding the moral legitimacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and on balance have concluded that they were intrinsically evil acts, even if certainly understandable and forgivable under the circumstances.”

    Mike, that is where I fall on it. Unfortunately, too many use condemnation of the events as mushroom cloud shaped cudgels with which to bludgeon America, ideological opponents, or anything else. And, as some have charged, Japan is not innocent of having used the clouds as shields to downplay the millions who suffered and died under its administration of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    Like always, it’s not what we do and don’t remember, it’s what we do with it.

  • I haven’t called anyone evil. I used to be just as vociferous in defense of the bombings as I now am against them, so I understand the indignation that people dare to question the morality of an action that may have in fact saved many of *our side’s* military lives. It’s just that at the end of the day, I could not rationalize away the clear traditional teaching (which also appeals to my sense of natural justice) that it’s wrong intentionally to target innocent women and children, a calculus that is changed not one whit by the attempt to “recategorize” the inhabitants of these towns as “combatants,” twisting normal language beyond breaking point. Read the post linked by Don which tells of the priests and penitents incinerated by Fat Boy. They were not combatants. Nor were the small children, and in fact, to my knowledge, while the terror effect of the bombings was extolled as a reason for their use, the flimsy claim that the entire populace of these towns were “combatants” was never advanced.

  • Agreed on all counts, Dave.

  • I see a lot of pontification, especially this time of year, about nuclear weapons by people who know little if anything about military strategy and nothing of any matters relating to nuclear. Such people wouldn’t know the difference between a neutron and an alpha, or what critical means, or how fusion and fission differ, but they perversely believe that they are entitled to an opinion. Really?!

    I therefore highly recommend reading and studing The Strategy of Technology by Dr. Jerry Pournelle (one of President Reagan’s science advisors on the Stategic Defense Initiative), Dr. Stefan Possony and Dr. Francis Kane (Colonel, Retired, USAF):


    I served aboard a nuclear armed, nuclear propelled submarine back in the Cold War, maintaining the peace by the doctrine of Mutual Assurred Destruction – a doctrine that demonstrably worked. Every sailor on my sub prayed we would never have to launch our nukes. But if we were given the order, then by God Russians were going to die. The Old Testament has plenty of precedence for God ordering the Children of Israel to wipe out every man, woman and child in the cities of the Promised Land during the initial invasion. Failure to comply with God’s direction led to continued strife and conflict with unsubdued pagan neighbors. Sadly and regrettably war kills women and children instead of just combatants. God’s wrath rains out on the just and unjust alike. But we get all Pharisitically self-righteous as arm-chair philosopher and theologians filled with useless, worthless sentimentality. War is freaking hell and it is NEVER a good thing and is to be avoided if at all possible, but when it comes, may God see fit to let America win. I don’t want war. None of us guys on the USS Jacksonville SSN-699 wanted war. But when it comes, you got to be able to rain hell on whoever is on the enemy’s line. Yes, avoid non-combatants. But there’s Biblical precedence here. Let’s not forget that.

  • The Bomb Follies are IMO an exercise in “imaginary” virtue at the expense of real virtue — for the sake of being on the “right” side of a moral dilemma that none of of have ever or will ever face (unless we have a time machine that can take us back to 1945 and turn us into Harry Truman), we indulge in rash judgment and contempt toward real, live persons in the here and now. I suppose that debating whether or not Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified is supposed to help us make a sound moral decision in the future if/when nukes have to be used again (North Korea?) but even then, most of us pontificating on these blogs aren’t going to have any say in that matter. A morally messed up world in which there are, sometimes, no options except “evil” and “less evil” is the price we pay for original sin, I guess.

  • “A morally messed up world in which there are, sometimes, no options except “evil” and “less evil” is the price we pay for original sin, I guess.”

    Comment of the week Elaine! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Someone pick up the phone because I called it!

    Over at Dave’s the ever cliche CC (Don knows who I’m talking about) says:

    The bomb was not needed to win the war. Japan was about to surrender anyway. This is according to Churchill, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Admiral King, Admiral Leahy, and others.

  • And Elaine Krewer wins the thread for nailing the issue exactly.

  • Churchill defended the use of the bomb at the time on the floor of the House of Commons. Big Mac was told about the bomb just prior to it being dropped. He was furious. He was looking forward to commanding the invasion of Japan, the biggest amphibious invasion in History. He argued after Hiroshima that an invasion would still be necessary. Ike, contra his memoirs, made no comment on the atomic bombings at the time. Even in his memoirs he noted that he had no responsibility for, and little knowledge of, conditions in the Pacific Theater. King and Leahy wanted to let the blockade lead to a famine that would have starved the Japanese into capitulation. Leahy’s pride also was stung when his prediction that the bomb would be a dud proved to be a dud.

  • “an exercise in “imaginary” virtue”

    “As regards his more general attitude to the war, you must not rely too much on those feelings of hatred which the humans are so fond of discussing in Christian, or anti-Christian, periodicals. In his anguish, the patient can, of course, be encouraged to revenge himself by some vindictive feelings directed towards the German leaders, and that is good so far as it goes. But it is usually a sort of melodramatic or mythical hatred directed against imaginary scapegoats. He has never met these people in real life—they are lay figures modelled on what he gets from newspapers. The results of such fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.”
    CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.

  • I don’t think it’s a worthless pursuit to figure out if certain actions are morally justified or not, and we don’t need to be nuclear scientists to do it. The rhetoric of “well, it’s a messy world, sometimes you hafta choose evil to avoid evil” is not a Catholic viewpoint. Our martyrs would reject that line of reasoning, having rejected doing some “small” evil to avoid some “great” evil. I suspect Thomas More probably heard this argument when he was being urged to accept the Act of Supremacy. It’s curious to me that among otherwise orthodox Catholics, this mushy “morality is not black and white, but gray” line is lifted from the religious Left, who use the exact same language to justify why definitive judgments can’t be made about sexual morality, their pet cause. Vindicating anything the US military has ever done seems to be the cause on “our” side that brings out the “morality is a fuzzy, gray thing” line. It doesn’t diminish our patriotism or national greatness to admit certain of our leaders made a really bad decision. Or don’t we get to criticize our leaders in this country without being accused of being unpatriotic or simpletons?

  • As to the Annual Bomb Argument, my thought is that I’m glad I didn’t have to be in Harry Truman’s shoes.

  • One thing that gets left out of a lot of these discussions Mark Shea is that 20,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Hiroshima bombing. Calling it a terror attack, specifically targeting civilians misses some important facts.
    It’s ironic that people who say supporting welfare payments makes one more pro-life than outlawing abortion would suggest starving the Japanese through a blockade would be better than the bomb.
    I also appreciate Don’s explanations of backgrounds of MacArthur, Eisenhower, etc perspectives above.

  • There was supposed to be “cough” around Shea’s name.

  • I guess our option is not the relative magnitude of evil- but our option is prayer. We can do nothing about the past, it is fixed. The future is not fixed and prayer and repentance can change things, according to B16.

  • This is only peripherally related to the topic of this post. I just got some sad news today. After 40 years of service on nuclear power, my old submarine the USS Jacksonville SSN-699 is returning from her last voyage. She will be decommissioned in 2018 or 2019. She was refueled only once in 4 decades – a heck of a lot of energy in a uranium atom – ain’t God great?


    I was a reactor operator aboard her in the late 70s and early 80s. I got to sleep next to a subroc nuclear missile in the Torpedo Room because I was a junior petty officer and there wasn’t enough berthing space. Basically, we were a nuclear propelled weapons launching platform and people space was a second thought. Oh, I hated it at the time, but every young man ought to have the opportunity of cleaning the bilges beneath the reactor coolant charging pumps while in the North Atlantic in November.

    I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world. Sadly nit wit idiots like Mark Shea have no idea what responsibility and integrity and patriotism really are.

  • Mary, yes that is true and is this fact is often cited as evidence that the bombing therefore cannot fairly be regarded as the deliberate targeting of civilians. This argument is vulnerable to serious rebuttals, however, and I encourage you to research them.
    After the warning the non-combatants were to be absent. So, there cannot be any charge of targeting non-combatants. Nobody knew what the atomic bomb could do. Initially, the scientists believed that the atmosphere would catch fire and a chain reaction would burn our air and kill all of us. Now we know a little more of how to handle nuclear fission. Applying today’s standards to yesterday is not fair. Today’s atomic bombs are more sophisticated as are our scientists.
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the War. The devil is in the details and you and I are dealing with the devil. War is bad. The devil is worse.

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PopeWatch: Letter to the Pope

Thursday, August 10, AD 2017








An Evangelical minister who specializes in helping Christians facing persecution writes to the Pope:


August 3, 2017

Your Holiness,

I am writing to request a meeting between Catholic and Evangelical leaders from the United States at a place and time of your choosing. Though, I’m hoping we can meet quickly.

I speak for many Evangelicals when I say that we have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church. Your commitment to the poor and to pastoral ministry and your efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.

As you know more than most, all of this has also come at a time of historic Christian persecution in more places than perhaps at any time in Christian history. Together, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Christians throughout the entire world have shared – as you’ve said – “an ecumenism of blood.”

It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement.

I have to confess what prompted this request were articles published in the La Cattolica Civilitas recently and in the New York Times.  

We feel like this conversation is an urgent one, and I will bring a half dozen or so of our denominational heads and significantly influential Evangelicals for our time together.

We would also like to use the time to meet with various other high level officials throughout the Vatican to find ways in which we can cooperate on matters of great concern to us all, especially as it relates to refugees, the poor and the persecuted.  

I might add that when God put it on my heart to write you directly, I immediately reached out to a mutual friend of ours. He has recounted to me the warm experiences that he’s had with you, and they are what prompted me to write you, knowing that you would receive this letter in kindred spirits. 

With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.


Rev. Johnnie Moore

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Requiescat In Pace: Glen Campbell

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017


Glen Cambell has passed away at age 81.  I will let Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts do the honors:


Glen Campbell died today. One of the earliest memories I have is watching him perform on some variety show. It was on our old console television set that was about as big as our sofa. We lived out in the country then, and moved in town shortly after I turned five. That must mean I was around four, and it would have been c. 1971 give or take.

Campbell was one of those individuals who formed the backdrop of my life. He was always there. His name rolled off as easy as The Beatles or Star Wars. His signature song, Rhinestone Cowboy, was released when I was around eight or nine. It was one of those songs everyone sang, whether correctly or not.

Over the years, he was always just there. A part of my collective memories. When he announced he had Alzheimer’s, I was sad. My Dad had the same, and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

Nonetheless, the memories for me remain. God grant his family peace and strength through the upcoming years. And eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Go here to read the comments.  Strangely, my memories of Campbell go back 48 years to his performance in True Grit (1969).  I thought he did a fine job and it is a pity he didn’t do more acting.

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7 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Glen Campbell

  • Glen Campbell, Requiescat In Pace

  • I agree. He should have acted more. I was just listening to his music last weekend as I drove through the back roads of Kentucky. Good music, good memories. Sad he’s gone, but from what I’ve read, he’s been gone for some time. RIP.

  • Campbell’s Jimmy Webb-penned hits like Witchita Lineman, Galveston, and Where’s the Playground Susie were a part of the soundtrack of my early childhood. I loved those songs then and still do today.

    But his contributions to the music extend beyond his hits. He was a virtuoso guitarist who was part of a group of elite studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. These musicians provided the instrumental tracks on practically all the hit records that came out of L.A. in the 1960s, everything from the Monkees, Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys (in fact Glen toured with the Beach Boys as Brian Wilson’s replacement on bass when Wilson stopped touring and produced the instrumental tracks on later Beach Boys records) to Frank Sinatra (the main rhythm guitar you hear on Strangers in the Night was played by Glen Campbell), Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole, and many more.

    Denny Tedesco, son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco (whose guitar work you hear on the themes for MASH, Bonanza, and Green Acres to few) produced a documentary on that group of musicans. http://www.wreckingcrewfilm.com/about.php

    Like many music icons Glen Campbell struggled with the demons of alcoholism and drug abuse. His inability to stay clean and sober really tortured him because he had deep religious convictions. Yes, John, he was “gone” for sometime. He had Alzheimer’s.

  • Here’s a sample of some of Glen Campbell’s guitar virtuosity:

  • Glenn was an amazing artist. My favorites were “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman”, and many others – always an easy and enjoyable listen. In my twenties when he hit the scene and was part of my early married life, with one of my sons in his infancy wanting “Campbell” to be played – one of the several LP’s that I had of his – to be put on our stereo. Artits of his ilk – of which there were many in the 60’s and 70’s are a disappearing breed. Hope he makes Heaven – they will enjoy him there.

  • God bless Glen Campbell.
    May he be in perpetual peace.

  • Glen Campbell, Requiescat In Pace. Oh God I love that song.
    I work as an engineer in electric power and that song will always bring a tears. “Utility line work is in the top 10 of the most dangerous jobs in America. Around 30 to 50 workers in every 100, 000 are killed on the job every year. Many others suffer non-fatal loss of limbs from electrical burns and mechanical trauma. That’s more than twice the fatality rate of police officers and firemen…. ” No bagpipers showed up at his funeral. No television cameras, no official speeches. His young widow and three children, along with neighbors, grieved his loss in the little country church in the town where he had lived all of his life. He was just a lineman with the local electric utility…”

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