Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 26 years. Small town lawyer. President of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center.

Civil War Book Haul

 

While in Wisconsin, my family and I visited the Civil War museum in Kenosha.  It has quite a few fascinating exhibits, including period battle flags, uniforms, films, a toy soldier exhibit showing the stand of the Iron Brigade on the first day of Gettysburg, etc.  One of my favorite features of the museum is their gift shop which has a huge collection of used Civil War books for sale.  I never fail to find often rare books on the Civil War.  Here is a list of my purchases for 43 dollars earlier in the week:

  1. Jefferson Davis:   American Patriot 1808-1861, Hudson Strode (1955)-Poor Jefferson Davis, portrayed as the Devil incarnate by the North during the War, he was often used as a scapegoat by Southerners after the War.  The simple truth is that Davis was a gifted man who brought the Confederacy close to independence against all the odds.  Hudson Strode was the first historian to have access to many of the personal papers of Jefferson Davis and launched a vigorous counterattack to the image of Davis as a bloodless pedant, revealing him instead as a passionate and complex man.
  2. The Hidden Face of the Civil War, Otto Eisenschiml (1961)-The Austrian born Eisenschiml was an oil company executive, and a tireless Civil War historian.  He is perhaps best known for his 1937 look at the Lincoln assassination which posited that Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton was behind the assassination.  I regard this theory as completely loony.  However, Eisenschiml was never afraid of controversy and is always entertaining to read.    In this volume he savages both the North and the South for incompetence in the waging of the Civil War.
  3. The Celebrated Case of Fitz John Porter:  An American Dreyfus Affair, Otto Eisenschiml (1950)-Eisenschiml takes on the case of General Porter who was court-martialed and removed from the Army for his actions at Second Bull Run, and who fought for 25 years to clear his name, a fight he ultimately won.
  4. Lincoln’s Scapegoat General: A Life of General Benjamin Butler, 1818-1893, Richard S. West, Jr. (1965)-A book in defense of “Beast” Butler.  I like seeing arguments made for impossible cases, and attempting to convince me that Butler was not the most incompetent Union general is close to an impossible task.
  5. General Sherman’s Son:  The Life of Thomas Ewing Sherman, SJ, Joseph T. Durkin, SJ (1959)  A biography of the Jesuit son of General Sherman written by a Jesuit.  Go here to read about Father Sherman.
  6. Grant Wins the War, James R. Arnold (1997)-A good one volume look at the Vicksburg campaign, the most decisive campaign of the War.

Continue reading

Plagiarizing a Plagiarist

 

 

The internet is all afire with the claim that Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican Convention  yesterday lifted a section from Michelle Obama’s Convention speech in 2008.  Likely the plagiarism did occur and Trump should fire his wife’s speechwriter.  However, it is also likely that Michele Obama’s speech writer plagiarized that section of her speech from a 1992 book, Business Success in South Africa.  Per the Zero Hedge blog:

However, in a curious development, the IOTWReport website finds some curious analogues between Michelle’s own 2008 speech, and a book written in 1992 by African author Rob Marsh titled, “Business success in South Africa.” Spot the similarities. Continue reading

Blue Lives Matter

 

Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County gave a fiery speech at the Convention yesterday:

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“Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to make something very clear: Blue  Lives Matter!

I want to talk with you about something important, indeed, a concept that five law enforcement officers were murdered and nine more were wounded for earlier this month in Dallas, and for which three more were murdered yesterday in Baton Rouge:  that is the importance of Making America Safe Again.

I believe that this noble mission is not just a requirement, but a prerequisite for achieving this campaign’s goal of Making America Great  Again.

We simply cannot be great if we do not feel safe in our homes, on our streets, and in our communities.

I see this every day, at street level where many Americans increasingly have an uneasiness about the ability of their families to live safely in these troubling  times. This transcends race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, and  lifestyle.

If you don’t believe it, a recent Gallup poll confirms it: more than half of all Americans now worry a great deal about crime and violence, up consistently and dramatically from just a few years ago.

For African-Americans that number is 70 percent.

 

Continue reading

Republican Convention Open Thread

Pirate Lincoln

So the Trump Convention begins.  I predict record audiences if no other prediction is safe.  I will be surprised if it is dull.  Trump is an unworthy messenger of a powerful wave of discontent among the American people, a discontent that the elites in our country have done their best to ignore.  At this Convention we will get clues as to how well or poorly Trump will be riding this wave for the rest of the campaign.

  The usual open thread rules apply.  Be concise, be charitable and, above all be amusing.

On Vacation 2016

 

 

I am on vacation with my family until July 26.  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, and my wife’s phone that can serve as a mobile hot spot, 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 Hillary files suit against Satan for the recovery of her soul, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

We will begin up in 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.  Then it is back home for some Illinois activities.  GenCon will come later during the first week in August.  Unfortunately I have a case that will eat up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday up to noon of that week.  It will not interfere with GenCon, but it does mean that we had to separate that from our annual trip to Wisconsin.  So, On Wisconsin! Continue reading

The Man in the High Castle

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Ecclesiastes 12:5

The late Philip K. Dick, paranoid, left-leaning, mentally ill and drug abuser, was nevertheless a science fiction writer of pure genius.  His book The Man in the High Castle (1962) introduced me as a boy to the genre of alternate history, with his unforgettable evocation of a United States divided by the victorious Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  One of the main plot devices in the book is a novel The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which posits an alternate reality in which the Allies won World War II.  Like most of Dick’s work, the book suggests that the dividing line between alternate realities can be very thin.

“The Nazis have no sense of humor, so why should they want television? Anyhow, they killed most of the really great comedians. Because most of them were Jewish. In fact, she realized, they killed off most of the entertainment field. I wonder how Hope gets away with what he says. Of course, he has to broadcast from Canada. And it’s a little freer up there. But Hope really says things. Like the joke about Goring . . . the one where Goring buys Rome and has it shipped to his mountain retreat and then set up again. And revives Christianity so his pet lions will have something to—”

Continue reading

PopeWatch: Mecca

 

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

 

Responding to Cardinal Robert Sarah’s suggestion that priests celebrate Mass ad orientem, or facing east, Pope Francis today praised the idea, asking all priests to face Mecca while saying Mass.

Speaking to a large crowd at his weekly Wednesday Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said that facing Mecca during Mass could be the ecumenical boost the Church and the east need “in these dark times.”

“It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction, toward Mecca, the holiest site in all of Islam. This will accomplish two things…first, it will be as a sign of unity between east and west. Second, when we kneel at Mass, we will not only be kneeling for Christ’s forgiveness, but kneeling to those we harmed during the Crusades, which was our fault. They will, thereby, act in pseudo persona Christi as we humbly ask for God’s forgiveness.”

Francis went on to ask all priests to “implement this practice wherever possible, unless of course you’re already located somewhere in the east, in which case, ad populum will be permissible.”

After close to a ten second paused, Francis smiled, saying “Man…Sarah’s so smart, right? How does he come up with this stuff? He’d make such a great pope. He’s nothing like the Burke idiot I got rid of.”

PopeWatch attempted to contact the Pope for a comment, but was advised that he was on a pilgrimage. Or a hegira.  Something like that.

The Gael

 

Something for the weekend.  The Gael (the theme from the movie Last of the Mohicans)  performed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.  Excellent music when traveling.

July 15, 1870: Georgia Readmitted to the Union

wilson-whiteleague

Georgia was the last of the former Confederate States to be readmitted to the Union.  Congress refused to sit Georgia representatives or senators in Congress in 1869 due to the action of the Georgia legislature in expelling black members of that body.  This was followed by an attack by a white mob in the town of Camilla, Georgia on a Republican gathering that killed 12 blacks.  Federal military rule was reimposed in December of 1869.  In 1870 the troops were withdrawn and the Georgia Congressional delegation seated, when the Georgia legislature agreed to sit blacks.  By 1872 Geogia was firmly under the control of one of the so-called “Redeemer” white governments throughout the old Confederacy that used a mixture of legislation and terrorism to disenfranchise blacks.  The Civil War ended slavery and preserved the Union.  The Reconstruction era failed to protect the civil rights of blacks, a sad legacy that is still impacting the nation.

PopeWatch: Cardinal Caffarra

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Carlo Cardinal Caffarra has uttered words that every Catholic should heed:

 

 

“To Catholic faithful who are confused about the Doctrine of the Faith concerning marriage, I simply say: ‘Read and meditate upon the Catechism of Catholic Church nn.1601-1666,’” Caffarra said. “And when you hear some talk about marriage — even if done by priests, bishops, cardinals — and you then verify that it is not in conformity with the Catechism, do not listen to them. They are the blind leading the blind.”

Continue reading

Terror Strikes Bastille Day

 

 

At least 30 dead in Nice, France as Islamic terrorists continue their war against all who are not them:

 

A spokesman for the Alpes Maritime prefecture advised locals to ‘stay indoors’ as gunfire was heard, and a lorry was driven into a crowd on the Promenade des Anglais, Peter Allen reports.

Bodies could be seen lying on the floor by the beach, as the police and other emergency services tried to deal with a mass panic. 

Fireworks were filling the night sky as the drama unfolded, as the crowds enjoyed July 14th, which is always a Bank Holiday in France.  

“It is absolute chaos,” said an eye witness who works in the Nice judiciary.

“There are reports of dozens of people killed, and many more injured. Bodies are lying everywhere.

“Police are flooding the streets, including anti-terrorism officers.  Nobody knows what to do, except to hide away. Gunmen are meant to be targeting hotels.” 

The lorry was seen mounting the pavement and piling into anyone the driver could see, ramming over those who tried to run away. Continue reading

Trump Picks Pence as Veep

 

Trump has decided to pick Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his Veep:

Gov. Mike Pence is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate.

IndyStar has confirmed that Trump plans to announce Pence as his selection for vice president, ending a weeks-long vice presidential casting call during which Trump vetted a handful of high-profile Republicans.

Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said “a decision has not been made.” A formal announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in Manhattan.

The long-awaited decision upends the political landscape in Indiana and at least partially remakes the Trump campaign in Pence’s image.

In Pence, Trump has added a social conservative who GOP strategists say will reassure rank-and-file Republicans that Trump can be trusted to pursue their interests. Veteran political observers say Pence, a former U.S. House member and chairman of the House Republican Conference, will provide a disciplined counter to Trump’s improvisational campaign style. Pence also brings fundraising power and credibility on a wide range of policy issues that are important to conservatives.

Pence is set to officially become the vice presidential nominee during the Republican National Convention, which starts July 18 in Cleveland. He could become the first vice president from Indiana since Dan Quayle took office in 1989 under George H.W. Bush. Continue reading

When Even the New York Times is Calling Hillary Untrustworthy

 

I had to rub my eyes three times, and I still couldn’t quite believe I was reading this in the New York Times:

Hillary Clinton has emerged from the F.B.I. investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

As Mrs. Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination at the convention in Philadelphia this month, she will confront an electorate in which 67 percent of voters say she is not honest and trustworthy. That number is up five percentage points from a CBS News poll conducted last month, before the F.B.I. released its findings.

Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters.

Mr. Trump is also distrusted by a large number of voters — 62 percent — but that number has stayed constant despite increased scrutiny on his business record and falsehoods in his public statements and Twitter messages.

But Mrs. Clinton’s shifting and inaccurate explanations of her email practices at the State Department appear to have resonated more deeply with the electorate. Continue reading

July 14, 1789: First Bastille Day

 

Thomas Jefferson remained enamored of the French Revolution long after most of the Founding Fathers, sickened by the atrocities of the Revolution, became critics of it.  Jefferson was the American Minister to France at the start of the Revolution, and here is his account of the storming of the Bastille:

 

 

On the 14th, they send one of their members (Monsieur de Corny, whom we knew in America) to the Hotel des Invalides to ask arms for their Garde Bourgeoise. He was followed by, or he found there, a great mob. The Governor of the Invalids came out and represented the impossibility of his delivering arms without the orders of those from whom he received them.
De Corney advised the people then to retire, retired himself, and the people took possession of the arms. It was remarkable that not only the Invalids themselves made no opposition, but that a body of 5000 foreign troops, encamped within 400 yards, never stirred.

 

 
Monsieur de Corny and five others were then sent to ask arms of Monsieur de Launai, Governor of the Bastille. They found a great collection of people already before the place, and they immediately planted a flag of truce, which was answered by a like flag hoisted on the parapet. The deputation prevailed on the people to fall back a little, advanced themselves to make their demand of the Governor, and in that instant a discharge from the Bastille killed 4. people of those nearest to the deputies. The deputies retired, the people rushed against the place, and almost in an instant were in possession of a fortification, defended by 100 men, of infinite strength, which in other times had stood several regular sieges and had never been taken. How they got in, has as yet been impossible to discover. Those, who pretend to have been of the party tell so many different stories as to destroy the credit of them all.

 

 
They took all the arms, discharged the prisoners and such of the garrison as were not killed in the first moment of fury, carried the Governor and Lieutenant governor to the Greve (the place of public execution) cut off their heads, and set them through the city in triumph to the Palais royal. Continue reading

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