Donald R. McClarey
A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world’s peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.
Pope Francis to UN delegation, March 9, 2014
Prager University explains why our present system of taxation and fairness are not on speaking terms. My bride has described a possible sequel to this video:
SEQUEL (Suggested by Don’s wife Cathy): Harry sells his house and moves out of the cul-de-sac, leaving Tom & Dick to fend for themselves (& argue with the much-less-“brotherly” new neighbor) in regard to any future neighborhood improvements — and the cul-de-sac is renamed “Detroit.”
PopeWatch was started because of lack of information about Pope Francis and the often confusing utterances he made. It was hoped by PopeWatch that day to day examination of the acts and words of the Pope would lead to greater clarity about him. Judging from Father Z, after more than a year and a half as Pope, Pope Francis is still confusing many Catholics:
There are times when I have listened to Pope Francis or have read what he has said, and I am left scratching my head.
I have stated here quite a few times that, sometimes, I have no idea what he is talking about or to whom he is addressing himself.
Apparently I’m not alone.
At Hell’s Bible there is an article about the USCCB meeting. HERE
Francis Card. George of Chicago, a seriously smart guy, has the same questions.
“He says wonderful things,” Cardinal George said about Francis in an interview on Sunday, “but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?”
Cardinal George, who is 77 and being treated for cancer, remains a voting cardinal until age 80 and says he would like to travel to Rome to see Francis: “I’d like to sit down with him and say, Holy Father, first of all, thank you for letting me retire. And could I ask you a few questions about your intentions?”
If even Card. George is sometimes puzzled, I feel somewhat confirmed.
When I have asked Argentinians about Francis, I have been told that they often express themselves with hyperbole. I don’t know how much stock to put in that generalization, but… hey…. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
An interesting look at a painting of General Sherman in 1866. Paintings do not bulk very large in our historical memory of the Civil War. The cutting edge technology of photography had by the Civil War usurped the role of painting in preserving the images of the famous for posterity. Sherman looks distinctly more haggard and old in his Civil War photographs than in this 1866 portrait. Of course, it is post war, so some of the difference is no doubt due to the easing of the burden of command and the trauma of war that Sherman had to the full during the conflict. However, paintings do seem to often smooth the rough edges of the subjects of portraits with a calm that may not have been typical of the person being painted. Photographs, even the primitive photography of the Civil War era, captured the more immediate emotions of the subjects than a portrait painted over several sittings. Additionally, photographs made no pretensions to be art, but simply a utilitarian means of preserving likenesses, while portrait paintings usually strove to be both.
The portrait was painted by George Peter Alexander Healy, perhaps the most renowned American portrait painter of his day. Sherman, at least as represented in popular memory as a no nonsense soldier, one would expect to have a fairly prosaic mind and not to be interested in art. Such was not at all the case. Sherman suggested to the painter a portrait known as The Peacekeepers which recalled a meeting of Lincoln, Grant and Sherman near the end of the War: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Faithful readers know that George Cardinal Pell was a hero at the Synod, openly telling the powers that be that they had to stop attempting to manipulate it. Go here to read about his profile in courage.
It comes as little surprise then that the powers that be at the Vatican have now painted a target on his back. Father Z gives us the details:
Marco Tosatti, more and more a guy to follow in the Italian press for analysis of churchy things, has a piece at La Stampa about Card. Pell and how things are going in the Curia.
I don’t have time to translate the whole thing for you right now, but here is a sample:
How annoying Pell is …
There are those in the Curia who are seeking to de-legitimize the straightforward Australian Cardinal, head of the Secretariat of Finance, underscoring his brusque and direct character. Also, because of his speeches and the Synod on the family. But perhaps there are other motives…
Now that the departure of Cardinal Burke from the Signatura has been formalized, taking power away from one of the most straightforward and independent voices, in the Roman Church, in the Curia they are talking about a slithery maneuver to de-legitimize the Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the new financial and economic Secretariat. He, like Burke, is someone who does not mince his words.
They became aware of this at the Synod, when the Australian Cardinal forcefully burst out against the secretary [Card. Baldisseri], who was suggesting the hypothesis of voting by raised hands, instead of in secret, on the texts. And he continued to speak even with his microphone turned off [how Reaganesque!] before they turned it back on for him, exclaiming “There has to be transparency! Everyone ought to be able to express himself as he wants!” It was certainly an exchange of opinions that wasn’t very muffled, which reached its apex when, at the suggestion to treat the whole situation with a communiqué through the press office, Pell let fly, “We don’t trust their communication!”, or something similar. At this point, applause erupted, with many of the Synod fathers all speaking together.
I must dash. Perhaps one of you can finish it, or I can get to it later.
In any event, it doesn’t sound as if this day of the Synod, at least, was replete with boring consensus, except insofar as the Synod Fathers were in angry consensus about how they were being manipulated. My spies from the Synod tell me that it was pretty tense and that there was more than a few voices raised.
So, the knives that were out for Burke are now being sharpened for Card. Pell. Bet on it. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Captains can’t break the law. They is the law as far as I am concerned.
Third Mate Flask’s response to the contention by First Mate Starbuck that Captain Ahab should be removed from command: Moby Dick screenplay by Ray Bradbury.
Over at The Catholic Thing Father James V. Schall, SJ, has an enthralling piece on whether a heretical Pope is a possibility:
Under Pope Francis, columnists from all over the world broach the “heresy” question, which he is said to foment. Cardinal Burke remarked that Pope Francis should clarify just what he stands for. William Oddie thinks that, in recent comments on marriage, Francis has done this. Others are not so sure. I know a man who thinks that the pope should simply resign because his comments have caused so much anguish and confusion.
George Weigel noted that the modern world has waited half a century for the Catholic Church to accept its mores. It has not done so under Francis. A correspondent in Argentina, however, writes that only three views of this pope exist: 1) he is a modernist, but covers himself by occasionally talking of the devil, 2) he seeks attention and power by attracting everything to himself, and 3) he is a confused thinker but basically orthodox. The man adds that this last view is no longer tenable. Still he sent a document that Archbishop Bergoglio wrote on the gay question in which Francis upheld the old Roman Law tradition of marriage that referred to a mother and the sons begotten of her. But I would be surprised if Pope Francis did not have a huge following in Argentina.
Some writers hold that a pope cannot be a heretic. I had a professor of theology who held that, if a pope was about to sign an heretical document, he would be dead the next morning. Others maintain that if a heretic is elected to the papacy, he will automatically convert on accepting the Office of Peter.
The technical issue of an heretical pope goes back to Reformation discussions, led by the Jesuits, Robert Bellarmine and Francisco Suarez, among others. Jacques Maritain, Yves Simon, and John Courtney Murray brought up the issue in discussing the difference between political and ecclesiastical authority. We read in Romans that the authority of an emperor, as that of a pope, comes from God, but in differing ways. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
The fifth in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.
We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose. I like to refer to these as The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity. Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post. We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin, here the Pierced Vermin, here the F-Bomb Vermin and here the Texting Vermin. The fifth of the Hamsters is the Trashy Vermin.
I grew up in a blue collar family in which money was never plentiful. ( I loved the old Jackie Gleason show The Honeymooners. It was a howlingly funny show and they were more broke than we were.) However, my parents always found money in our budget to make sure that all of us had good clothes to wear for Church and special occasions. “Good clothes” meant a suit and tie for Dad, a nice dress for Mom, and sports jackets and ties for myself and my brother. Now I know those of you born after 1980 will find this hard to credit, but we were not uncommon in that regard. At Mass virtually every one was dressed that way. (I still dress that way, and it is uncommon enough that a visiting priest brought how I was dressed to my attention as I entered Church with my family a few years ago.) Evidence of this is clear in the movies from the period. For example, we have the film Blackboard Jungle (1955), which at the time was thought to be a shocking look at juvenile delinquency. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
In an address to African Bishops Pope Francis talked about the seminary training needed for priests in order to prepare them to deal with Muslims:
I think it is important that the clergy receive a more structured training in the seminary in order to carry out a constructive dialogue with Muslims, a dialogue ever more necessary to live a peaceful coexistence with them,” he said.
The Pope noted that Africa presents a special situation for Christians because Islam is “strongly majoritarian” in many places. He added that there are great differences from place to place in the “conditions of reciprocal relations” with Islam.
The Pope added that if all of us who believe in God want to serve reconciliation, justice, and peace, “we must work together to outlaw all forms of discrimination, intolerance and sectarian fundamentalism.” On the Church’s part, he said, she “must constantly bear witness to the love of God, the Creator of all men, making no distinction among religions in her social action.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today
Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Infantry Division at Kohima.
When I was a boy there was a middle aged man who walked with a pronounced limp around our neighborhood. The rumor around among the kids of the neighborhood was that he wasn’t right in the head and that he was a drunk. His face was disfigured and we kids called him gympie, although not, mercifully, to his face. One day I remarked to my father that we called this man gympie. My father rarely got angry, but he did on that occasion. He told me that man was a hero. He had served in the Army during the Korean War, had been captured by the Chinese and had been tortured by them. They had broken his right leg repeatedly and had used branding irons on his face. He never gave in to them and would not tell them anything but his name, rank and serial number. By the time he was exchanged at the end of the war his health was destroyed and his mind had been shattered by his experiences. He returned to his home town and was cared for by his parents. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in town had annual collections for him to supplement his Army pension so he would never be in financial need. By the end of this recitation I was in tears. That day taught me the true meaning of Veterans’ Day: service above self. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Raymond Cardinal Burke discusses the possibility of schism in an interview with Diana Montagna at Aleteia:
But there is increasing talk of fear of schism, that if the Synod of Bishops keeps going in the direction it’s going, that it’s going to get worse. What could be done to avoid that happening, in your view?
We have individually to make sure that we keep in strong contact with the Tradition through our study of the Catechism, above all through prayer, and also through sound spiritual direction, strong in our Catholic faith and our witness to it. And then that we use other occasions and opportunities, whether it’s our personal witness in our daily contacts, visits with family and friends and so forth, to underline the beauty of the truth about marriage. And also events like today’s, a colloquium centering around questions that were raised at the Synod on the Family, and other questions around which there is a lot of confusion.
I think, for instance, of the question: is it possible that the Church’s teaching can remain the same and yet that she could have a pastoral practice which seems to contradict it. Those kinds of questions need to be addressed. And the confusion, too, surrounding the position of the Fathers of the Church with regard to Communion for those who are in irregular unions, or the confusion surrounding the practice of the Orthodox Churches and so forth, and the idea that we should adopt the same practice.
It was a total disaster.
The final report noted the need for “sensitivity to the positive aspects” of civil marriages and, “with obvious differences, cohabitation.” The Church, it says, “needs to indicate the constructive elements in these situations.” The paragraph, number 41, passed the requisite two-thirds majority. Do you find it disturbing that this paragraph gained a two-thirds majority among the bishops?
The language is at best confused, and I’m afraid that some of the Synod Fathers may not have reflected sufficiently on the implications of that, or maybe because the language is confused, didn’t understand completely what was being said. But that is disturbing for me. And then the whole matter: that even though [certain] paragraphs were removed, and rightly so, although contrary to practice in the past the document was printed with those paragraphs included, and one had to go and look at the votation to see that certain paragraphs had been removed. It’s disturbing to me that even those sections which were voted to be removed still received a substantial number of votes.
Absolutely. We couldn’t have any discussion on that text, but we voted paragraph by paragraph, and what’s the point of voting paragraph by paragraph except to either accept a paragraph of have it removed. This is just one more disturbing aspect about the way in which Synod of Bishops was conducted.
No, because the General Secretary has identified himself very strongly with the Kasper thesis, and he is not hesitant to say so and has gone around also giving talks in various places. He’s less outspoken than Cardinal Kasper but nevertheless it’s clear that he subscribes to that school. So no, this is going to go on and that’s why it’s important that we continue to speak up and to act as we are able to address the situation. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me as I write- dirty, bearded, their clothing food-spattered and filthy- they look like the castoffs of creation. Yet they have a sense of loyalty, generosity, even piety greater than any men I have ever known. These rugged men have the simple piety of children. You can’t help loving them, in spite of their language and their loose sense of private property. Don’t ever feel sorry for a priest in the Marines. The last eight weeks have been the happiest and most contented in my life.
Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War
On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams:
“Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said battalions but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve with advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present War with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by names of First and Second Battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.”
I have always admired Marines, in spite of my having been part of the Green Machine during my long ago peace time military servitude. Here is a recent example of why I admire them:
Sinke is a decorated veteran who did tours in Vietnam and received five Purple Hearts. When Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian service member, was shot and killed last month while guarding Canada’s war memorial, Sinke felt obligated to honor the fallen hero.
So Sinke, who lives in Canada, donned his Marine uniform and sword and went to the memorial to stand guard on Friday. He told local media that he came to pay tribute to fallen comrade in arms and he wanted to show that Canadians will not be intimidated. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
JUST A FEW OF COMMUNISM’S MANY VICTIMS: The sad stories of those killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Communism was — and is, still — sold as something moral. But it’s a system of slavery, benefiting a few at the top at the expense of the many beneath. It was enforced by death and cruelty, because without death and cruelty it couldn’t work even for a little while. The people who say nice things about communism today either know this and are lying, or are profoundly stupid. Either way, you need neither listen to them, nor afford them even the smallest degree of respect.
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
John Stuart Mill
Just in time for Veterans Day! David Masciotra at Salon has a piece that perfectly encapsulates the contempt and hate many on the left have for those who serve in our military. The opening paragraph is a treasure trove of the pre-occupations of leftists in this country:
Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.
1. Anti-white racism? Check.
2. Contempt for American culture? Check.
3. Hatred of patriotism? Check.
4. Paranoia about authoritarianism and/or totalitarianism for those who do not share the political views of the left? Check. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
At the same time, we invite the Soviet Union to consider with us how the competition of ideas and values — which it is committed to support — can be conducted on a peaceful and reciprocal basis. For example, I am prepared to offer President Brezhnev an opportunity to speak to the American people on our television if he will allow me the same opportunity with the Soviet people. We also suggest that panels of our newsmen periodically appear on each other’s television to discuss major events.
Now, I don’t wish to sound overly optimistic, yet the Soviet Union is not immune from the reality of what is going on in the world. It has happened in the past — a small ruling elite either mistakenly attempts to ease domestic unrest through greater repression and foreign adventure, or it chooses a wiser course. It begins to allow its people a voice in their own destiny. Even if this latter process is not realized soon, I believe the renewed strength of the democratic movement, complemented by a global campaign for freedom, will strengthen the prospects for arms control and a world at peace.
I have discussed on other occasions, including my address on May 9th, the elements of Western policies toward the Soviet Union to safeguard our interests and protect the peace. What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.
Ronald Reagan, Address to British Parliament on June 8, 1982
Overshadowed by Republican victories in Congress, Republican control of state legislatures is the real story out of last Tuesday’s elections:
The Republican wave that hit the U.S. Congress in Tuesday’s midterm election also boosted the party in state races, where it gained control of 10 chambers and could be on track to holding the largest number of legislative seats since before the Great Depression.
Democrats lost their majorities in the West Virginia House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New York Senate, Maine Senate, Colorado Senate, Washington Senate, and New Mexico House to Republicans, who also won enough seats to tie control of the West Virginia Senate, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reported on Wednesday.
With Tuesday’s vote, Republicans took over the U.S. Senate, beefed up their majority in the U.S. House and won the governor’s office in several key states. The vote also increased the number of state legislative chambers with Republican majorities to 67 from 57. Party control of the Colorado House and Washington House was still up in the air.
The number of states with Republicans in control of both legislative chambers came to 27 ahead of the election and has now edged closer to the high mark of 30 in 1920, according to Storey. By contrast, Democrats will control the lowest number of state legislatures since 1860, he said. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
After a frustrating month during which Sherman’s planned March to the Sea had been delayed due to jitters of Grant and Sherman regarding Hood’s foray into Tennessee, Sherman readied his troops for their epic march by issuing Special Field Orders 120. This made clear that the army was to live off the land and that supply lines were to be of no consequence during the march:
Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864
I. For the purpose of military operations, this army is divided into two wings viz.: The right wing, Major-General O. O. Howard commanding, composed of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps; the left wing, Major-General H. W. Slocum commanding, composed of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps.
II. The habitual order of march will be, wherever practicable, by four roads, as nearly parallel as possible, and converging at points hereafter to be indicated in orders. The cavalry, Brigadier – General Kilpatrick commanding, will receive special orders from the commander-in-chief.
III. There will be no general train of supplies, but each corps will have its ammunition-train and provision-train, distributed habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one wagon and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due proportion of ammunition – wagons, provision-wagons, and ambulances. In case of danger, each corps commander should change this order of march, by having his advance and rear brigades unencumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start habitually at 7 a.m., and make about fifteen miles per day, unless otherwise fixed in orders.
IV. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. To this end, each brigade commander will organize a good and sufficient foraging party, under the command of one or more discreet officers, who will gather, near the route traveled, corn or forage of any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, corn-meal, or whatever is needed by the command, aiming at all times to keep in the wagons at least ten day’s provisions for the command and three days’ forage. Soldiers must not enter the dwellings of the inhabitants, or commit any trespass, but during a halt or a camp they may be permitted to gather turnips, potatoes, and other vegetables, and to drive in stock of their camp. To regular foraging parties must be instructed the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled.
V. To army corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, &c., and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.
VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, &c., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit, discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging parties may also take mules or horses to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments or bridges. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts, and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.
VII. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along, but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one and that his first duty is to see to them who bear arms. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Twenty-five years ago today my bride and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64 (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers. It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was. Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things. Not Ronald Wilson Reagan. He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer. His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors. In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989.
Here is an interview Sam Donaldson did with Reagan immediately after the fall of the wall:
Lech Walesa, a leader of that band of millions of heroes and heroines, at the head of which were Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, gave this salute to Reagan after Reagan died in 2005: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading