1

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

3

Requiescat In Pace: Harry Dean Stanton

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

 

18

Demographics and Destiny

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

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

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

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

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

15

PopeWatch: Fifty Shades of Gray

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Frederick Douglass

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

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

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

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

 

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thomas Jefferson

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

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

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

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

16

PopeWatch: Murderous Monks

This should be instructive:

 

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

 

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

10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12

Big Sis Explains 1984

 

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

George Orwell, 1984

 

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

 

 

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

 

20

PopeWatch: Anti-Catholicism

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

 

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

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

1

September 13, 1862: Special Order No. 191

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

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

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

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

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

The PRESDT,

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

Geo. B. McClellan

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

32

Thank the British Empire?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

September 12, 1847: Battle of Chapultepec Begins

 

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

Ulysses S. Grant, decorated veteran of the Mexican War

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6

Pure Schadenfreude

 

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

 

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

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

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

5

PopeWatch: DACA

 

 

 

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

 

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

Francis said he hopes Trump rethinks the decision.

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

9

Unforgettable Flight 93

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Pray, Deena,” he said “Just pray.”

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

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

1

Dies Irae

DIES IRAE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faithful Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Amen.

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

7

Pope Gregory The Great on Being a Watchman

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

Ezekiel 33: 6

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

2

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

 

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

Joseph Addison, Cato (1712)

 

 

 

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

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

13

The Left Hates US

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

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

Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, read the tag:

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

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

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

Goodbye Broadway, Hello France

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Cardinal Caffarra

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

 

 

Most Holy Father,

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

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

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

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

Most Holy Father,

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

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

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

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

Carlo Card. Caffarra

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

24

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

6

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

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

 

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

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

 

 

6

PopeWatch: Jonathan Pryce

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

In 1996 he played Juan Peron in Evita:

 

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

2

The Bonnie Blue Flag

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

 

 

 

 

29

Let Them Do Their Dreaming in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

14

PopeWatch: Cracking Down on the Orthodox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

Feast Day of the Saint of the Gutters

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

Mother Teresa

 

 

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

 

10

North Korea has the Hydrogen Bomb

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Google is Evil

 

 

 

 

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

But it isn’t just ideological.

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

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

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

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

How Google Uses Its Power To Silence Critics

NYT: Google Buys Off Non-Profits To Silence Criticism

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

Google is Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Google is STILL Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Going back a bit more….

Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House

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

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

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

Any of you out there a monarchist?

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

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

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

8

PopeWatch: Rigid

The Pope really hates “rigid” priests:

 

The pope also speaks of his state of mind now.

“I feel free,” he said. “Sure, I’m in a cage here at the Vatican, but not spiritually. Nothing makes me afraid.”

What bothers him, he ventured, are people with straitjacket point of views. He singled out “rigid priests, who are afraid to communicate.”

“It’s a form of fundamentalism,” the pope said. “Whenever I run into a rigid person, especially if young, I tell myself that he’s sick.” Continue Reading

10

Life Imitating Art

I am beginning to think that contemporary liberalism is morphing into a cult for people who simply can’t deal with reality:

 

What is Verrit you ask? It’s a new social media site bubble created by Hillary’s number one fan Peter Daou. Apparently, what Hillary fans need most is a safe space where they don’t have to worry about outsiders. They need a social media sanctuary. From the site’s announcement page:

With the essence of American democracy at stake, 65.8 million people saw through the lies and smears and made a wise, patriotic choice. But they continue to be marginalized and harassed. Verrit’s purpose is to become their trusted source of political information and analysis; to provide them (and anyone like-minded) sanctuary in a chaotic media environment; to center their shared principles; and to do so with an unwavering commitment to truth and facts.

Most Hillary supporters, even at progressive site Vox, will admit she has a worrisome secretive side to her personality. But not Peter Daou. His approach to Hillary could best be described as that of a devoted fanboy. If Hillary was a fictional character, he would be the guy who owned every action figure in mint condition (still in the original package). Continue Reading

15

Knights Are Still Among Us

 

 

Hattip to Instapundit.

“Let this sink in for a minute…..Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. Almost all of them driven by men. They’re using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.

Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there’s a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.
These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they’re so much better than.

These are The Quiet Ones. They don’t wear masks and tear down statues. They don’t, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.
But they’ll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They’ll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.

When disaster strikes, it’s what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they’ll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they’ve never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.
And the next time they hear someone talk about “the patriarchy”, or “male privilege”, they’ll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.
In the meantime, they’ll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work’s done.
They’re unlikely to be reimbursed. There won’t be medals. They won’t care. They’re heroes. And it’s what they do.”

Viral Facebook Post by Anonymous

1894 First Federal Labor Day

The late nineteenth century was a time of labor unrest in the United States and in much of the Western world.  A holiday to honor workers had been recognized in many states.  In 1894 legislation was rushed through Congress creating a national labor day holiday on the first Monday in September.  This was a small step in separating the American labor movement from socialist and proto-Communist movements with their May Day observations.  Ironically, Cleveland signed the legislation on June 28, 1894 in the wake of the violent, on both sides, national Pullman strike which would take several lives.  A nervous Congress passed the legislation in six days, which is close to a miracle of swiftness where Congress is concerned.  The new holiday quickly became a hit, with picnic lunches and ball games featuring a farewell to Summer.  Americans have a genius for taking events that initially divided them, the Declaration of Independence, and turning them into celebrations enjoyed by all, and Labor Day, now as American as all the hot dogs and apple pie consumed during Labor Day weekend, is part of that tradition.

 

14

Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Stone

On Labor Day weekend it is good to recall Saint Joseph the Worker.  When God decided to partake in our humanity, He could have had anyone for His foster father, and He chose a humble carpenter, a man who worked with his hands.  Why?

The Bible gives us no indication that Saint Joseph was intelligent, brave or resourceful.  He may have been all these things, but the Bible does not tell us.  We know that he was of the House of David, but judging from all indications in the Bible he lived in relatively humble circumstances.  What made Joseph stand out to God other than the fact of his heritage?

Kindness I think, simple human kindness.  This was graphically demonstrated at the very beginning when Saint Joseph first is mentioned in the Gospel of Saint Matthew 1:18 and 19:

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.

Continue Reading

8

Darkest Hour

 

 

 

 

You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940

The second Winston Churchill movie this year will appear in the US at Thanksgiving.  The first was a bigger bomb than any dropped by the RAF in World War II.  Go here to read British historian Andrew Robert’s scorching review.  However Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldham in the title role, looks magnificent.  It focuses on Churchill’s role in summoning the British people to fight on alone after the Fall of France.

 

If the English had negotiated peace with Nazi Germany in 1940, I have no doubt that Hitler would likely have conquered the Soviet Union in the next year.  In circa 1948-1952 the US might have faced Japan and a nuclear armed Nazi Germany, controlling Europe and the former Soviet Union, with missile technology, and the world may well have been a much darker place indeed after the rubble settled from such a conflict.  The resolution of one man, Churchill, likely changed history for the better, and no greater accolade can be given to any statesman.  I am looking forward to seeing this film with great anticipation.

 

 

 

 

 

4

Quotes Suitable for Framing: CS Lewis

 

 

Now this is a ticklish business. We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

8

PopeWatch: Statues

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

 

SAN ANSELMO, California, August 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic school in California has removed around 162 icons and statues in an effort to be more “inclusive” and avoid “alienating” non-Catholic students.

San Domenico School, a K-12 boarding and day school, is the oldest independent school in California. It was founded by Dominican sisters, who remain involved in its operations today. It is in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The Marin Independent Journal reported last week that parents are concerned the statues being removed is the just the latest incident that demonstrates the school’s declining Catholic identity.

“In our time here, the word ‘Catholic’ has been removed from the mission statement, sacraments were removed from the curriculum, the lower school curriculum was changed to world religions, the logo and colors were changed to be ‘less Catholic,’ and the uniform was changed to be less Catholic,” Shannon Fitzpatrick wrote in an email to school officials. The MIJ published some of her complaints.

The head of San Domenico’s board of trustees, Amy Skewes-Cox, said the school isn’t doing this because of the recent push to remove Confederate statues from public places.

There is “absolutely no connection other than it is change, and people have a hard time with change,” she said. 

“We didn’t want to further that feeling” of “alienation” non-Catholic students might have if they see statues, said Skewes-Cox. 

The statues were apparently “pitched in the basement,” according to the parent of a former student. According to the MIJ, there were 180 statues around the school. There are now only “at least 18” left.

Sister Maureen McInerney, the prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, said it “really isn’t my place” to be involved with the school’s day-to-day operations. 

“If there has been a reduction in the number of statues but there are still many statues around the campus, I think that would be fine,” she said. San Domenico is just “making an effort to be inclusive of all faiths.” 

The school, which costs anywhere from $29,850 to $58,350 annually, says its students “tend to our garden, learn interconnectedness through our ecological literacy program, and reflect on their place within the sacred community of nature.” Continue Reading

1

Heave Ho My Lads

 

Something for the weekend.  Heave Ho My Lads sung by cadets of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

 

Labor Day weekend seems a fitting time to recall again the United States Merchant Marine.  The civilian fleet that carries imports and exports to and from the US, during war time it becomes an auxiliary of the Navy to ship troops and war supplies.  Officers of the Merchant Marine are trained at the Merchant Marine Academy, founded in 1943, at King’s Point, New York.

Technically civilians, one out of 26 merchant mariners died in action during World War II, giving them a higher fatality rate than any of the armed services.   Members of the Merchant Marine were often jeered  as slackers and draft dodgers by civilians when they were back on shore who had no comprehension of the vital role they played, or how hazardous their jobs were.  Incredibly, these gallant men were denied veteran status and any veteran benefits because they were civilians.  This injustice was not corrected until 1988 when President Reagan signed the Merchant Marine Fairness Act.  Some 9,521 United States Merchant Mariners were killed during World War II, performing their duty of keeping the sea lanes functioning in war, as in peace.

 

6

The Fix Was Always In

 

 

If we needed further proof that the voters made the right decision in deciding that Hillary Clinton would not sit in the Oval Office:

 

According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses. Members of the Committee allege Comey made the decision months before FBI agents were finished with the criminal investigation of her mishandling classified information during her time as Secretary of State.

The transcripts were revealed in a letter sent to current FBI Director Christopher Wray, in which lawmakers are demanding an explanation and more documents surrounding the case.

Continue Reading

6

Every Day Heroes

 

 

Natural catastrophes, like wars, bring out the best and worst in Men.  I have been pleased that in Houston thus far there seems to be more of the former than the latter.  Native Houstonian Beldar at Beldar Blog gives us his pespective:

 

Americans and people the world over are watching heart-grabbing, jaw-dropping, eye-watering videos and stories from Harvey via a combination of the national TV news networks and the major news websites, plus their own social media platforms, with their customized profiles based on their particular histories, preferences, settings, etc., influenced directly and indirectly by their respective locations and sets of friends.

Houstonians like me who’ve not been much directly affected by Harvey are watching those same national media, of course. Many of us are supplementing the national networks, or deserting them, for local TV news stations, whose coverage and performance is in every respect superior to their national counterparts. Local reporting is more in depth, of course, and more knowledgeable, of course, and better connected to history, of course. But it’s also showing significantly better perspective and judgment, with less hysteria, less ratings-pandering, less sensationalism, and vastly more critically useful factual information.

Moreover, and less obviously: My Facebook feed, customized to my set of friends and contacts, is giving me a constant, steady set of more granular news in parallel to what I’m seeing on TV (local or national) or other general internet sources.

So to my friends in, say, California: I’m seeing the heroic stories you’re seeing. But I’m also seeing dozens of individual people I know — neighbors, relatives, law colleagues and judges, old friends from college, people I’ve “met” only online — engaged in quiet, effective, and almost completely unreported heroism. There’s no reason why FB would be or could be curating this sort of thing effectively for the vast set of people who aren’t living in Houston or on the Gulf Coast or otherwise involved in the rescue & recovery efforts.

But these smaller, less flashy rescues, these bunking arrangements, these boat loans and sandwich deliveries and “I heard from your cousin, she’s alive!” messages that I’m seeing pass among my fellow Houstonians through the particular lens of my set of FB friends — these things, individually and especially cumulatively, are awe-inspiring. These decent acts, these attempts to be useful and helpful, are more striking to me precisely because unlike the heroes I’m seeing on TV, these particular acts of heroism are being performed by people I already know. And I think it’s a very reasonable inference that millions of other Houstonians in my approximate position are likewise seeing a different set of people who they know, who are being similarly heroic during Harvey — but of whom you and I are utterly unaware, and always will be. Continue Reading

14

Why Did the Democrat South Become Republican?

 

 

One political party for over a century and a half has routinely used appeals based on race to win elections.  The other party, throughout its history, has stood for civil rights for all Americans and denied that government policy should be based on racial discrimination.  The first party is the Democrat Party and the second party is the Republican party.  To get around this simple fact of American political history, some Democrats, especially in election years when the polls are against them, routinely attempt to portray Republicans as racists, in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of the truth.  A hilarious example of this mendacious and bold faced attempt to rewrite history is on display at Politico in an article entitled Race and the Modern GOP.  This recycles the claim of an evil Republican strategy to appeal to white racists in the South who switched en masse to become Republicans.

The problem with this is that it is a liberal fable. It didn’t happen that way. The first breach in the solid South was by Eisenhower who ran on a platform of vigorous support for Civil Rights for blacks. Segregationists retained complete control of the Democrat parties in the South and enjoyed electoral success throughout the period in question. The South changing to Republican had to do with the rise of the cultural issues, an influx of northern Republicans following wide spread use of air conditioning and the rapid economic development of the South, and the anti-military hysteria and isolationism that seized control of the Democrats in the wake of Vietnam.

My co-blogger Paul Zummo had an excellent post on this subject :

Along these same lines, Trende postulates that if any real realignment occurred, it took place during the Eisenhower administration. The Eisenhower coalition, as he puts it, pushed the GOP to decisive victories in seven of nine presidential elections. Moreover, the solid Democratic south began shifting towards the Republican party at this point. In fact the south’s gradual shift towards the GOP had begun as early as the 1920s, but the Depression halted Republican advances here. Once the New Deal had ramped up, the Republicans again began making inroads. Republicans began being truly competitive in presidential elections during the 1950s, then started making inroads in Congressional races in the 1970s and 80s, and are finally now the dominant party on the local level.

Trende’s thesis effectively destroys the notion that Republicans only began being competitive in the south once Nixon deployed the “southern strategy” to woo racist southerners after the Civil Rights Act. As already mentioned, the GOP vote share in the south had been incrementally creeping up in the 1930s, with GOP vote shares moving out of the 15-20% range and inching up towards parity slowly and surely. In fact the GOP vote share in the south did not noticeably increase during  the 1960s, but instead crept up in the same incremental 1-2% annual range. Where Republicans really started making dents were with younger southern voters, as older southerners continued to cling to the Democratic party even though the national party’s values no longer matched their own. Considering that younger voters tended to have much more liberal racial views, the transformation of the south into a Republican stronghold has to be explained by something other than racial matters.

Even though Trende doesn’t come right out and say this, if anything the changing electoral map can just as easily be explained by the Democrats pursuing a northern strategy. As the Democrats began appealing to elite northern voters by pushing a more liberal agenda, this drove southerners and midwesterners away from the party. This trend would continue until Bill Clinton pursued a much different strategy, crafting his agenda to appeal to suburbanites and middle income whites. Clinton and the New Democrats were able to rip into Republican strongholds by advancing a more moderate platform. The end of the Cold War, as well as the rise of the Evangelical right, fractured the Eisenhower coalition, allowing the Democrats to win presidential elections. Continue Reading