Donald R. McClarey

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

Why the Milwaukee Riots

 

Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County explains it all:

 

The Milwaukee riots should be the last time the policies of liberal Democrats are held up as anything other than misery-inducing, divisive, exploitative and racist manipulation of the urban populations. Unfortunately they won’t.

As Sheriff of Milwaukee County, I am furious that the progressive left has put my citizens in harm’s way and that I had to send my officers into cauldrons of anarchy and hatred that were created by the left.

As an elected public servant I am livid that Milwaukee’s pathetic, kowtowing city officials and aldermen take this opportunity to abandon their citizens and preen before the Black Lives Matter-enabling media.

As a leader who understands that freedom and earned success are the pathways out of the ghetto, I’m disappointed, too, in any Republican that feels they need to tiptoe around the patently obvious issue at-hand: we are folding our society of freedom ensured through law-and- order over to bullies of the left. The politicians and talking heads on both sides of the aisle who offer little resistance and total cowardice.

The failed progressive urban policy causes anger and resentment in people that simmers below the surface. The officer-involved-shooting was simply a catalyst that ignited the already volatile mixture of inescapable poverty, failing K-12 public schools, dysfunctional lifestyle choices like father absent homes, gang involvement, drug/alcohol abuse and massive unemployment.

Here are the facts: Milwaukee is run by progressive Democrats. Their decades-long Democrat regime has done nothing to reduce these urban pathologies, in fact, their strategies have exacerbated the situation by expanding the welfare state.

That things have not improved and in fact worsened in the American ghetto after eight years of Barack Obama is remarkable only to those who have not been paying attention to our nation’s cities.

There’s only one answer, which is for the citizens of America to expose and heap scorn on this lying and dangerous triad of big government, liberal mainstream media, and the lost souls of the urban ghettos both these institutions feed upon for their power. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Apology

 

 

 

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The Pope has issued a strange apology:

 

Last Friday, when Francis visited a Rome center for women rescued from prostitution rackets, he delivered an apology for one of these issues through both deeds and words, asking forgiveness from the women there, in the name of Christianity, for the suffering they’ve endured.

Although the Vatican didn’t give much information regarding the visit – it usually never does, when these encounters are considered private –  Italian Father Aldo Bonaiuto, spiritual director of the Pope John XXIII Community Francis visited, spoke to Vatican Radio about it.

“[Francis] used very beautiful, yet very strong words: he asked for forgiveness in the name of all Christians for the violence and all the wrong-doings these girls had to suffer through,” Bonaiuto quotes the pope saying.

In the last three years, the Argentine pontiff has been one of the most outspoken global leaders on the matter of human trafficking, an illegal industry which affects more than 40 million people who are forced to work in slave-like conditions.

Francis has repeatedly called it “a crime against humanity.” Continue reading

August 16, 1780: Battle of Camden

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“But was there ever an instance of a General running away as Gates has done from his whole army? And was there ever so precipitous a flight?  One hundred and eighty miles in three days and a half.  It does admirable credit to the activity of a man at his time of life.”

Colonel Alexander Hamilton’s comment after the battle of Camden

 

 

 

 

 

The battle of Camden, August 16, 1780, was a humiliating defeat for the Americans.  Led by General Horatio Gates, a former British officer, 3700 Americans, more than half of them militia, were defeated by 1500 British regulars and 600 Loyalist militia.  900 Americans were killed and wounded, and a thousand Americans captured, compared to a British loss of 68 killed and 250 wounded.  Most of the American militia ran at the opening of the battle and Gates fled with them, riding his horse 60 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Gates, thankfully, was never given a field command again.  His blundering had thrown away the only major American regular military force remaining in the South.  It was a disaster for the Americans and a humiliating one.

The one bright spot in this fiasco was the heroism of General Johann de Kalb and the Maryland and Delaware Continentals he led.  Born in 1721 into a family of peasants, de Kalb managed the incredible feat in Eighteenth Century Old Regime France of rising due to sheer ability to the rank of Brigadier General and entered the ranks of the nobility as a baron.  He first became familiar with America in 1768:  serving as a French spy he traveled throughout the colonies to determine the level of dissatisfaction of the colonists with British rule.  He grew to sympathize with the Americans.  He came back to America with Lafayette in 1777, becoming a Continental Major General.

After Gates and the militia fled, de Kalb and his 800 Continentals fought ferociously against the entire British Army, making charge after charge, with de Kalb at the head shouting, “To me, my Continentals!”  His Continentals were defeated only after de Kalb fell with 11 wounds.  General Cornwallis, commander of the British forces at Camden, had his personal surgeon treat his brave adversary.  De Kalb died three days later.  To a British officer who offered his sympathy, de Kalb gave a ringing reply that should be remembered by every American:  “I thank you sir for your generous sympathy, but I die the death I always prayed for: the death of a soldier fighting for the rights of man.”  The towns and counties named DeKalb throughout the United States are a tribute to a very brave man and able soldier who died for his adopted country.

Here is the report of Cornwallis on his victory:

Cornwallis, Charles, the Earl
1780 Letter from Charles, the Earl, Cornwallis to Lord George
Germain, dated 21 August 1780.
My Lord:
It is with great pleasure that I communicate to Your Lordship an Account of a Compleat Victory obtained on the 16th Inst., by His Majesty’s Troops under my command, over the Rebel
Southern Army, Commanded by General Gates.

In my Dispatch, No. 1, I had the honour to inform Your Lordship that while at Charlestown I was regularly acquainted by Lord Rawdon with every Material incident or Movement made by the
Enemy, or by the Troops under His Lordship’s command. On the 9th Inst. two Expresses arrived with an account that Genl. Gates was advancing towards Lynche’s Creek with his whole Army, supposed to amount to 6,000 men, exclusive of a Detachment of 1,000 Men under Genl. Sumpter, who, after having in vain attempted to force the Posts at Rocky Mount & Hanging Rock, was believed to be at that time trying to get round the left of our position, to cut off our communications with the Congarees & Charleston; That the disaffected Country between Pedee & Black River had actually revolted, and that Lord Rawdon was contracting his Posts and preparing to assemble his force at Camden. Continue reading

Feminist Rapist

 

 

I have been observing leftists for over half a century and even so they still can take me by surprise at their willingness to jettison morality for the sake of political expediency.  From Wonkette, a feminist and foul mouthed site:

 

 

  • To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.

Go here to read the rest.  Machiavelli would not be surprised, but even he I think would have been disgusted.

 

Bear Growls: Cross Examination

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has worked in the law mines.  Here are his remarks on cross examination:

 

Cross examination is the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of the truth,” said John Henry Wigmore.  And he was right.

You may know that the chief difference between direct examination and cross-examination is that the lawyer may lead on the latter.  In other words, questions may (should always) be phrased as statements.  It is the most adversarial part of a trial that is itself the capstone of the adversary system of law. Continental countries prefer to use the inquisitorial system, in which a tribunal of neutral judges examine the evidence and reach a verdict.

Well, la di da.  

The genius of the Anglo-American system is that it allows both sides to fight it out, thus ensuring nothing will be left out, nothing left unchallenged. Assuming equal resources and skill of attorneys, and (most importantly) a judge who will allow real trial lawyers to do their jobs, the adversary system is fair, often dramatic, and always sporting.

Within this dramatic, adversary system, cross-examination is the crown jewel. Truly, the only way one may defeat an effective cross is to simply tell the truth.  How many times has the Bear seen a witness, say a police officer, implode on the stand, because he suspected every question was some sort of trick, and would deny the sky was blue before agreeing with the Bear on cross?

The Bear found that the best way to deal with an evasive witness is to patiently ask the exact same question, word-for-word, with the same inflection.  Yes, it seems weird, but everyone assumes the lawyer knows what he’s doing. The witness will not understand, will become disoriented, then frightened, and will look like a liar.  Too many lawyers get into arguments with the witness on cross, which is throwing away your superior position.  Just pray you have a judge who appreciates the trial lawyer’s role in an adversary system and doesn’t just become impatient and tell you to move on.

You have a right to an answer to a fair question.  And when the opposing counsel objects, “Asked and answered,” say, “Your Honor, that objection belongs only to the opposing side during direct, and in any case the witness has for reasons best known to himself, refused to answer my question.” (Commenting on the witness’ credibility like that might get you some pushback from the judge, but the Bear might not be able to resist, depending on a lot of things.)

Two State Police Detectives: Epic Fails on Cross

One time, an evasive state police detective turned to the judge in obvious distress, and pleaded, “But I don’t know how to get around that question!”  No kidding.  Luckily, the Bear had a good judge who bit the witness’ head off.

In another trial – this one for murder / death penalty –  the Bear’s question was, “why did you interrogate Mr. Pontious on videotape?”  The detective kept doggedly answering, “to get to the truth,” probably a stock answer they teach detectives at seminars on “Avoiding Wily Defense Lawyer Traps.”

However, the police had clearly decided the Bear’s client was guilty long before that, and, in fact, they already had the answers to all the questions they asked him on tape.  They had already interrogated him off camera, and this was just the production of the supreme piece of evidence against him: a videotaped interrogation.

Everyone – especially the jury – knew darn good and well the purpose was to secure a videotaped confession to use as evidence against the suspect at trial. Jurors are not stupid. If the witness had simply told the truth, the Bear couldn’t have touched him.  But the state police detective assumed that since the Bear was asking, there must be some trick behind the question.  He was desperate to portray himself to the jury as a disinterested philosopher, who would never get his hands dirty by producing evidence for trial. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

For thirty minutes, the Bear kept pleasantly asking the same question, in exactly the same way, like a tape recorder, and the detective kept giving different evasive answers.  Talk about looking like Captain Queeg! One question. Now, it is true this was a sneaky Bear trick. The Bear had decided the detective was not very bright, and would fall for the most obvious trick: asking for a truthful answer to an inconsequential question.

The Bear had a very good judge.  If time was being wasted, it was the witness who was wasting it, not the Bear.  Obviously, that is what the judge thought. The jury was less than impressed with the detective’s performance and ultimately he was blamed for losing a murder case. But that was a bit unfair. The jury just got that one right. With kind assistance from the Bear.

Adversary Does Not Mean Mean

Many people who have been taught by television shows – which must get the lawyer and the witness in one, tight shot – imagine the lawyer is in the witness’ face, yelling, until the witness breaks down and admits to the murder.  Jose Ferrer’s cross-examination of Humphrey Bogart in the Cain Mutiny is more accurate. Trial defense counsel is not friendly, but zeros in on the witnesses weak points relentlessly. There, the man on the stand himself revealed himself to to be unfit, which was the real issue at trial.

The Bear has no compunction about revealing the character defects that impact credibility in today’s great issues, through argument, satire or agitprop. Mark this well, visitors, friends and Woodland Creatures. Controversy is not just about the rightness or wrongness of this issue or that one. Let others argue about each apple. The Bear would lay his axe at the base of the tree, provided it were a rotten tree, bearing bad fruit, and expect nothing but praise from men of good will. Now that he mentions it, he has a vague recollection of the same imagery employed by someone.

Only one time did the Bear actually elicit an in-court confession while cross-examining a defendant. It involved a homosexual groping, and the details are not edifying. The Bear lined up all the hopes and effort this young man had placed in his budding Navy career, and, after a sympathetic pause, simply asked why on earth would he throw it all away? The kid had been worn down by that time, and said he just couldn’t help himself.

That was one of the Bear’s very first trials, and the feat was never repeated. Continue reading

Marbury v. Madison

 

A dramatization of the events surrounding the case of Marbury v. Madison.  Part of the Equal Justice Under Law series that ran in 1977 on PBS.

William Marbury was one of the “Midnight Judges” appointed by President Adams in the waning hours of his administration, 16 Federal district judges and 42 justices of the peace, all members of Adams’ Federalist party.  The Senate, still controlled by the Federalists, approved his appointments en masse the next day on March 4, 1801, the same day Thomas Jefferson was sworn in.  Acting Secretary of State John Marshall, who was also the newly appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sent out the commissions to be delivered to the newly appointed judges and justices of the peace.  Not all could be delivered prior to Jefferson assuming office, and he ordered Levi Lincoln, Attorney General and Acting Secretary of State pending the arrival of James Madison in Washington, not to deliver the remaining commissions.

Marbury was among the justices of the peace who did not receive their commissions.  He petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus requiring Secretary of State James Madison to give him his commission.

In a 4-0 decision John Marshall, who should have recused himself from this case due to his involvement with the commissions, gave his enemy Jefferson a short term tactical victory and a long term strategic defeat.  He ruled that Marbury had a right to the commission, but that the Supreme Court lacked the legal authority to order Madison to give him the commission.  The Judiciary Act of 1789 had given to the Supreme Court the power to order writs of mandamus.  Marshall found that Congress could not enlarge the original jurisdiction that the Constitution gave to the Supreme Court and that thus this provision in the Judiciary Act was unconstitutional and that the Court lacked the power to grant such a writ as a matter of original jurisdiction.

Thus did the Court grant itself the key power of judicial review, a power nowhere granted in the Constitution, although some members of the Constitutional Convention assumed that the federal judges would have the power to declare null and void an unconstitutional act.  Hamilton argued in Federalist 78 that the Federal courts would have the power of judicial review.

It would be over a half century before the Supreme Court would strike down another act of Congress, in the infamous case of Dred Scott v. Sanford.  However, the Court was not reluctant during that period to use judicial review to strike down state statutes that they ruled ran afoul of the Constitution. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Fundamentalism

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Carl Olsen at Catholic World Report gives a badly needed corrective to the Pope’s tendency to use the term “fundamentalists” to describe all purpose boogeymen:

This past week I spent several days with some Fundamentalists. Not only did I converse at length with these strange creatures, I ate meals with them and slept in the same house. They fed me well; they never threatened me; I never heard any of them refer other people as “infidels” or “disciples of Satan”. In fact, my family and I were treated like family. Which makes sense: I was spending time with my parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

As regular readers know—and I go into much more detail in Will Catholics Be “Left Behind”?—I was raised in a Fundamentalist home and attended a Fundamentalist Bible chapel co-founded by my father in the early 1970s. While we rarely, if ever, referred to ourselves as “Fundamentalists”, we were well aware of the term; it was impossible to escape in the 1980s, when Jerry Falwell—founder of the Moral Majority—became, in many ways, the face of American Fundamentalism. It was during that same time, on the heels of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, that the word “fundamentalism” took on an even darker quality, synonymous with religious violence in many circles. While “fundamentalism” in North America had long been equated with backwoods preachers, semi-literate Christians, and creationist trolls, the somewhat mysterious attachment of “fundamentalism” to “Islamic” seemed to be just as much about tarring certain American Christians as it did with distinguishing moderate and peace-loving Muslims from violent and extremist Muslims.

 
Put simply, the term fundamentalist has often become, in common parlance, a pejorative term used to effectively place certain groups into that fenced-off area reserved for haters, bigots, homophobes, and uncaring crazies who are either filled with blood lust or have already carried out acts of terror and “absurd violence”. On top of that, it is widely accepted in many quarters that all religions have some form of “fundamentalism”, and it must be sequestered off from those who practice peace, love, and understanding.
This is apparently how Pope Francis understands fundamentalism as well, based on remarks made on several occasions, most recently in his presser on the flight back to the Vatican from his time at World Youth Day in Krakow. As is often the case during such press events, his remarks were fragmentary and not entirely consistent. A reporter asked Francis about “the barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel” in France and noted that the pope had recently insisted that all religions want peace; in fact, Francis had placed the blame on economic inequality: “When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it’s the others who want war.” That is, to put it nicely, nonsense (some commentators were harsher in their assessments). The reporter then asked: “So Holy Father … why do you, when you speak of these violent events, always speak of terrorists, but never of Islam, never use the word Islam?”

 

 
The answer given by Francis was painfully shallow and evasive:

I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy… this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence . . . and no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything. There are violent persons of this religion… this is true: I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them. When fundamentalism comes to kill, it can kill with the language — the Apostle James says this, not me — and even with a knife, no? I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not right or true.

Several observations could be made about the above excerpt; I’ll stick to three. First, Francis either doesn’t understand the simple question or he purposefully reshapes it into a straw man. Every Christian knows (or should) that everyone sins, and that Christians are capable of murder and other horrible sins. We are all deeply flawed and mortally wounded by sin. That is Basic Catholic Theology, just as it is basic common sense, as Chesterton noted in Orthodoxy: “Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.” When Mr. Smith murders Mr. Jones in a fit of jealous rage in a bar in Toledo, Ohio, we don’t think, “Ah, he is following his Christian beliefs to their logical conclusion”, or, “Ha! He merely took the Sermon on the Mount and actualized its inherent violent subtext”, but rather, “Alas, he just committed an act of objective evil and has broken one of the Commandments.”

Go here to read the rest.  Two of the strengths of Catholicism traditionally has been its precision with words and the intellectual rigor of its champions.  Alas, Pope Francis displays neither quality.  He is an intellectually sloppy Pope for an intellectually sloppy age.

Five Key Issues

Pence zeroes in on Clinton and her influence peddling as Secretary of State for donations to the Clinton Foundation and big speaking fees for Bill.  He and Trump should focus on five issues:

 

  1.  Clinton is a crook and everyone sentient knows it.
  2. The economy is terrible.
  3. She is clueless on responding effectively to terrorism.
  4. Clinton is on the side of those who are waging war on cops.
  5. If you want to keep things the same, vote for Clinton, the champion of the insiders who are the only ones getting rich.

I realize this might be tame compared to Trump’s usual rambling stream of consciousness rants, but it would have the virtue of getting him elected.

Alfred Hitchcock and the Jesuit

(Yesterday was the 117th birthday of Alfred Hitchcock.  That gives me an excuse to rerun this post from 2012 with new video attachments.)

 

 

When I was a kid I loved watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents, known in its last four years as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.  His sardonic wit and macabre sense of humor I found vastly appealing and no doubt had an impact on my own developing sense of humor.  Hitchcock was a Catholic, although some have claimed that he became estranged from the Faith later in life.  Father Mark Henninger in The Wall Street Journal relates his own encounter with Hitchcock shortly before his death.

At the time, I was a graduate student in philosophy at UCLA, and I was (and remain) a Jesuit priest. A fellow priest, Tom Sullivan, who knew Hitchcock, said one Thursday that the next day he was going over to hear Hitchcock’s confession. Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock’s house.

I was dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand, thanking him.

Tom said, “Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland?” Hitchcock said. “Disgraceful!”

After we chatted for a while, we all crossed from the living room through a breezeway to his study, and there, with his wife, Alma, we celebrated a quiet Mass. Across from me were the bound volumes of his movie scripts, “The Birds,” “Psycho,” “North by Northwest” and others—a great distraction. Hitchcock had been away from the church for some time, and he answered the responses in Latin the old way. But the most remarkable sight was that after receiving communion, he silently cried, tears rolling down his huge cheeks. Continue reading

Saint John of Damascus on the Assumption

THERE is no one in existence who is able to praise worthily the holy death of God’s Mother, even if he should have a thousand tongues and a thousand mouths. Not if all the most eloquent tongues could be united would their praises be sufficient. She is greater than all praise. Since, however, God is pleased with the efforts of a loving zeal, and the Mother of God with what concerns the service of her Son, suffer me now to revert again to her praises. This is in obedience to your orders, most excellent pastors, so dear to God, and we call upon the Word made flesh of her to come to our assistance. He gives speech to every mouth which is opened for Him. He is her sole pleasure and adornment. We know that in celebrating her praises we pay off our debt,  and that in so doing we are again debtors, so that the debt is ever beginning afresh. It is fitting that we should exalt her who is above all created things, governing them as Mother of the God who is their Creator, Lord, and Master. Bear with me you who hang upon the divine words, and receive my good will. Strengthen my desire, and be patient with the weakness of my words. It is as if a man were to bring a violet of royal purple out of season, or a fragrant rose with buds of different hues, or some rich fruit of autumn to a mighty potentate who is divinely appointed to rule over men. Every day he sits at a table laden with every conceivable dish in the perfumed courts of his palace. He does not look at the smallness of the offering, or at its novelty so much as he admires the good intention, and with reason. This he would reward with an abundance of gifts and favors. So we, in our winter of poverty, bring garlands to our Queen, and prepare a flower of oratory for the feast of praise. We break our mind’s stony desire with iron, pressing, as it were, the unripe grapes. And may you receive with more and more favor the words which fall upon your eager and listening ears.

What shall we offer the Mother of the Word if not our words? Like rejoices in like and in what it loves. Thus, then, making a start and loosening the reins of my discourse, I may send it forth as a charger ready equipped for the race. But do Thou, O Word of God, be my helper and auxiliary, and speak wisdom to my unwisdom. By Thy word make my path clear, and direct my course according to Thy good pleasure, which is the end of all wisdom and discernment.

To-day the holy Virgin of Virgins is presented in the heavenly temple. Virginity in her was so strong as to be a consuming fire. It is forfeited in every case by child-birth. But she is ever a virgin, before the event, in the birth itself, and afterwards. To-day the sacred and living ark of the living God, who conceived her Creator Himself, takes up her abode in the temple of God, not made by hands. David, her forefather,  rejoices. Angels and Archangels are in jubilation, Powers exult, Principalities and Dominations, Virtues and Thrones are in gladness: Cherubim and Seraphim magnify God. Not the least of their Praise is it to refer praise to the Mother of glory. To-day the holy dove, the pure and guileless soul, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, putting off the ark of her body, the life-giving receptacle of Our Lord, found rest to the soles of her feet, taking her flight to the spiritual world, and dwelling securely in the sinless country above. To-day the Eden of the new Adam receives the true paradise, in which sin is remitted and the tree of life growl, and our nakedness is covered. For we are no longer naked and uncovered, and unable to bear the splendour of the divine likeness. Strengthened with the abundant grace of the Spirit, we shall no longer betray our nakedness in the words: “I have Put off my garment, how shall I put it on?” The serpent, by whose deceitful promise we were likened to brute beasts, did not enter into this paradise. He, the only begotten Son of God, God himself, of the same substance as the Father, took His human nature of the pure Virgin. Being constituted a man, He made mortality immortal, and was clothed as a man. Putting aside corruption, He was indued with the incorruptibility of the Godhead.

To-day the spotless Virgin, untouched by earthly affections, and all heavenly in her thoughts, was not dissolved in earth, but truly entering heaven, dwells in the heavenly tabernacles. Who would be wrong to call her heaven, unless indeed he truly said that she is greater than heaven in surpassing dignity? The Lord and Creator of heaven, the Architect of all things beneath the earth and above, of creation, visible and invisible, Who is not circumvented by place (if that which surrounds things is rightly termed place), created Himself, without human co-operation, an Infant in her. He made her a rich treasure-house of His all-pervading and alone uncircumscribed Godhead, subsisting entirely in her without passion, remaining entire in His universality and Himself uncircumscribed. To-day the life-giving treasury and abyss of charity (I know not how to trust my lips to speak of it) is hidden in immortal death. She meets it without fear, who conceived death’s destroyer, if indeed we may call her holy and vivifying departure by the name of death. For how could she, who brought life to all, be under the dominion of death ? But she obeys the law of her own Son, and inherits this chastisement as a daughter of the first Adam, since her Son, who is the life, did not refuse it. As the Mother of the living God, she goes through death to Him. For if God said: “Unless the first man put out his hand to take and taste of the tree of life, he shall live for ever,” how shall she, who received the Life Himself, without beginning or end, or finite vicissitudes, not live for ever. Continue reading

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thomas Jefferson

 

 

I feel an urgency to note what I deem an error in it, the more requiring notice as your opinion is strengthened by that of many others.  You seem in pages 84. & 148. to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions: a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an Oligarchy.  Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so.  they have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privileges of their corps. Their maxim is ‘boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionim,’ and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.  The constitution has erected no such single tribunal knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time & party it’s members would become despots.  It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.  If the legislature fails to pass laws for a census, for paying the judges & other officers of government, for establishing a militia, for naturalization, as prescribed by the constitution, or if they fail to meet in Congress, the judges cannot issue their Mandamus to them.  If the President fails to supply the place of a judge, to appoint other civil or military officers, to issue requisite commissions, the judges cannot force him.  They can issue their Mandamus or distringas to no Executive or Legislative officer to enforce the fulfillment of their official duties, any more than the President or legislature may issue orders to the judges or their officers.  Betrayed by English example, & unaware, as it should seem, of the control of our constitution in this particular, they have at times overstepped their limit by undertaking to command executive officers in the discharge of their executive duties.  But the constitution, in keeping the three departments distinct & independant, restrains the authority of the judges to judiciary organs, as it does the executive & legislative, to executive and legislative organs.  The judges certainly have more frequent occasion to act on constitutional questions, because the laws of meum & teum, and of criminal action, forming the great mass of the system of law, constitute their particular department.  When the legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity.  The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.  This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

Thomas Jefferson to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820

First Congressional Authorization For the Use of Force

 

 

It is sometimes contended that in order for the US to legally use armed force against an adversary, a declaration of war is required.  The weakness in this argument is that the Constitution does not set forth what constitutes a declaration of war.  Throughout US history Congress has felt free to authorize the use of force without using the language contained in Congressional declarations of war.  The first Congressional authorization for the use of force was at the outset of the Quasi War with France.  The text of the Congressional authorization of force was as follows: Continue reading

PopeWatch: Dopes

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

 

 

With Armageddon just around the corner, the Russian Orthodox Church is in the midst of a massive doping scandal.

On Monday, the Court of Spiritual Arbitration upheld a doping suspension for nearly 20,000 members of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow said he expects that the International Spiritual Committee will make its final ruling by this Saturday on whether anyone from his church will be allowed to compete for salvation.

“This is a conspiracy by the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Greek Orthodox Church,” Kirill told EOTT. “They know that we will have many more salvations then they will, and they are afraid.”

The doping suspensions could dramatically impact Russia’s ability to compete in souls saved when the first trumpet sounds, with hail and fire, mixed with blood, is thrown to the Earth burning up a third of the trees on the planet, and all green grass, ushering in Judgment Day.

“The Orthodox Church-sponsored spiritual doping program was all about covering up positive drug tests,” said Richard Hewitson, who headed a report about the doping scandal. “We were able to uncovered a church-run doping scheme implicating thousands of parishioners as well as the vast majority of bishops. This includes tampering with drug test samples in order to cover up positive test results by Orthodox parishioners.”

Hewitson went on to explain the doping process, saying, “The process would start by having each parishioner give a clean prayer sample, delivered on paper prior to using any spiritual enhancing drugs that would later be laid at the foot of an icon. Bishops would then proceed to ensure that, any time a positive drug test occurred, the tainted prayer would be replaced with a clean prayer in order to produce clean results.” Continue reading

What Comes Next?

 

Something for the weekend.  What Comes Next? from the musical Hamilton.  King George III, realizing that he is losing the American Revolution, predicts that the colonies would eventually come crawling back to the British. This was a fairly commonplace prediction, and, in the unrest and hard times that beset the new United States prior to the adoption of the Constitution, perhaps not as silly as it seems in retrospect.

The System Is Rigged

 

One of the sure fire applause lines for Trump at his rallies is his contention that the system is rigged.  Well, he is right under this administration:

Several FBI field offices approached the Justice Department asking to open a case regarding the relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation, according to a law enforcement official,” CNN said late Wednesday.

“At the time, DOJ declined because it had looked into allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation around a year earlier and found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to open a case,” the report continued. Continue reading

Clinton Bounce Fades

Hillary and Donald

 

I have been amused at the focus of the media on polls, since polls prior to Labor Day tend not to mean much.  Americans simply do not tend to focus on a Presidential election until we get to September, and often not until late September or early October.  However, polls are useful now for their direction rather than their topline numbers.  After the Republican and Democrat conventions both Trump and Clinton got bounces, Clinton having a bit more of a bounce which is typical usually for Democrats.  Thus we have had rafts of stories making predictions based on these bounces, most of them written by either highly partisan, almost always in a Democrat direction, or highly ignorant reporters.  Looking at the most recent polls we see Rasmussen showing a three point race, Reuters showing a 5 point race and Bloomberg showing a 4 point race.  (I am using the polls with the Libertarians and Greens included, since they are on almost all state ballots.)  The Los Angeles Times tracker poll which has consistently shown a much closer race than any other poll, had it on Thursday as a one point race. Continue reading

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