11

As God is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

Well actually some Turkeys can.  Wild Turkeys can fly, albeit clumsily and not more than about 100 yards at a time.  Domestic Turkeys, bred for the table, cannot fly, largely due to their overdeveloped chests, home to all that prized white breast meat.  I don’t know if the publicity stunt would have fared much better with terrified flying wild Turkeys landing near onlookers.  Some things man simply was not meant to meddle with, and that includes dropping Turkeys from great heights.

 

1

1917 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America
A ProclamationIt has long been the honored custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings and mercies to us as a nation. That custom we can follow now even in the midst of the tragedy of a world shaken by war and immeasurable disaster, in the midst of sorrow and great peril, because even amidst the darkness that has gathered about us we can see the great blessings God has bestowed upon us, blessings that are better than mere peace of mind and prosperity of enterprise.

We have been given the opportunity to serve mankind as we once served ourselves in the great day of our Declaration of Independence, by taking up arms against a tyranny that threatened to master and debase men everywhere and joining with other free peoples in demanding for all the nations of the Worworld what we then demanded and obtained for ourselves. In this day of the revelation of our duty not only to defend our own rights as nation but to defend also the rights of free men throughout the world, there has been vouchsafed us in full and inspiring measure the resolution and spirit of united action. We have been brought to one mind and purpose. A new vigor of common counsel and common action has been revealed in us. We should especially thank God that in such circumstances, in the midst of the greatest enterprise the spirits of men have ever entered upon, we have, if we but observe a reasonable and practicable economy, abundance with which to supply the needs of those associated with us as well as our own. A new light shines about us. The great duties of a new day awaken a new and greater national spirit in us. We shall never again be divided or wonder what stuff we are made of.

And while we render thanks for these things let us pray Almighty God that in all humbleness of spirit we may look always to Him for guidance; that we may be kept constant in the spirit and purpose of service; that by His grace our minds may be directed and our hands strengthened; and that in His good time liberty and security and peace and the comradeship of a common justice may be vouchsafed all the nations of the earth.

Wherefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of November next as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, and invite the people throughout the land to cease upon that day from their ordinary occupations and in their several homes and places of worship to render thanks to God, the great ruler of nations.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in the District of Columbia this 7th day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventeen and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-second.

 

18

The Golden Thread

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us Mark Shea’s predictable take on the Roy Moore controversy:

 

 

 

Both in and out of the courts.  A case study, by Mark Shea. 

Knowing Mark’s own political loyalties, is wasn’t difficult to believe that Mark would do what he did, and that’s join with all of Roy Moore’s political opponents and adversaries on both sides of the aisle and demand Moore be removed from his senate race.  Most, like Mark, made this call long before more women were produced from the same part of the town where Moore was living forty years ago, and before Moore made some of his own questionable statements.  Many, like Mark, did it within a day of the WP piece that initially broke the story.

Mark, like Steven Greydanus, has made it clear that Moore’s guilt is all but obvious.  There is no room for debate.  If you don’t immediately condemn Moore and want him punished, then you support child molesters.  Sort of like what people used to say about the Catholic Church, but I’m sure that’s different.  After all, Mark asks why women would make false accusations for no reason?

Which brings us to this little tidbit that came my way.  In it, we have a cry for justice against a vile women who has made an innocent man’s life a nightmare with endless false accusations and stalkings.  And who is that man?  It would be Mark Shea’s nephew

Personally, I have no more vested interest in the case against Mark’s nephew than I do the case against Roy Moore.  My thing would be to wait to demand punishment until the cases were heard in an official capacity.  Was Mark’s nephew lying to protect himself, or was the woman lying?   I might have my own opinions, but I certainly wouldn’t want anyone punished until official inquiries and investigations were conducted that included examining the evidence.

Same with Moore.  But yet, whereas Mark found it easy to accuse a woman who had falsely accused his own nephew, Mark finds it just as easy now to believe every woman accusing Moore and immediately call for Moore, the child molester per Mark, to be punished, no physical evidence or corroborating documentation needed.

And that, kiddies, is why we have the rule of law.  It’s to protect us from people who can’t quite see the fact that they appear to be playing fast and loose with consistent application of standards, and who seem to be guided more by emotionalism and raw personal bias and prejudice, than an actual quest for truth and justice.

 

Go here to comment.  When I am tempted to rush to judgment I try to recall the golden thread that runs through American law, the presumption of innocence.  Rumpole of the Bailey stated it well:

 

 

When factual allegations are made, I try to remind myself that the burden of proof is on the accuser, inside or outside of the courtroom.

14

Charles Manson Dead

A reminder of evil times past:

 

The man who masterminded one of the most heinous murder sprees in American history — is dead  … this according to the sister of his famous victim.

Debra Tate tells TMZ she received a call from the prison telling her Manson died 8:13 PM Sunday.

We’re told the prison is contacting all of the victims’ families.

Manson was recently wheeled into Bakersfield hospital and escorted by 5 uniformed cops. Our sources had said at the time, “It’s just a matter of time.” He was covered in blankets and looked ashen in the gurney.

TMZ broke the story … Manson was taken from Corcoran State Prison to the hospital back in January where he was being treated for intestinal bleeding.

As we reported … Manson was supposed to undergo surgery but it was deemed too risky.

Manson has been locked up since his arrest in December 1969 for the Tate-LaBianca murders. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit the slayings, which occurred one day after the next in August 1969.

 

Go here to read the rest. Charles Miles Maddox, known as Charles Miles Manson, founded a muderous cult known as the Manson Family.  A petty criminal, Manson spent his life in and out of state and federal prisons, being released in 1967.  Manson for years was fixated on starting a race war in which he would play the role in the apocalyptic aftermath of Jesus Christ.  That summary does too much credit for the ravings of Manson who clearly was mentally ill.  One of his followers Catherine Share stated how Manson’s fixation on the Beatles helped initiate what Manson called the Helter Skelter scenario:

“When the Beatles’ White Album came out, Charlie listened to it over and over and over and over again. He was quite certain that the Beatles had tapped in to his spirit, the truth—that everything was gonna come down and the black man was going to rise. It wasn’t that Charlie listened to the White Album and started following what he thought the Beatles were saying. It was the other way around. He thought that the Beatles were talking about what he had been expounding for years. Every single song on the White Album, he felt that they were singing about us. The song ‘Helter Skelter’—he was interpreting that to mean the blacks were gonna go up and the whites were gonna go down.”

It says much for just how bizarre the late sixties were in the 1960s, and how many lost souls were running around, especially in California, that Manson had no problem, although clearly crazy and dangerous, in assembling a following eager to do his bidding.

As a result of this lunacy a total of seven people would be murdered in the Tate-LaBianca murders, on August 9 and August 10, 1969, with Manson and his followers attempting to leave clues that would convince the police that Black militants had performed the slayings.

Being a bunch of drug-besotten losers, the plan quickly backfired with Manson and his loons being arrested and placed on trial.  Manson was sentenced to death with his death sentence being commuted to life imprisonment.  As a result of this, the relatives of the victims had to relive the crimes each time that Manson came up for parole, he would appeal before the parole board twelve times, and they testified that he should never breathe free air again. The board on his last appearance noted that Manson had never given any sign of remorse for his crimes.  His next parole hearing would have been when he had attained the age of 92.  He was 83 at the time of his death.

It is chilling to recall that a portion of the hard left regarded Manson as a hero back in 1969:

The charismatic Bernardine Dohrn, later a friend of Barack and Michelle Obama, feverishly told Weatherman followers: “Dig it: first they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”

When I asked Weatherman Mark Rudd why his otherwise intelligent friends paid homage to Manson, he told me: “We wanted to be bad.”

Like Dohrn, Rolling Stone later went on to enjoy mainstream respectability despite publishing bizarre views on one of the twentieth century’s most notorious serial killers. Whereas Manson looked every bit the madman on the cover of Life, he appeared as a visionary on the front page of Rolling Stone. Therein, the magazine depicted Manson’s refusal to offer an insanity plea as a principled stand and characterized his criticism of the legal system as “obviously accurate in many ways.” In calling him Charlie, a first-name-basis intimacy later reserved for Madonna, Prince, Bruce, and other singing celebrities, the magazine actively sought to humanize the man who dehumanized so many.

Other underground newspapers went further. The Los Angeles-based Tuesday’s Child proclaimed, “Manson: Man of the Year” on one cover and depicted Manson as Jesus Christ dying on the cross under the tag “Hippie” on another. The Los Angeles Free Press ran a weekly column penned by Manson. The Other, playing off controversial remarks made by the president, headlined an issue “Manson Declares Nixon Guilty.” Upon the release of an album of Manson’s music, several underground newspapers provided advertising for it gratis.

Go here to read the rest.

One of his followers, Lynette Alice, “Squeaky” Fromme attempted to assassinate President Ford on September 5, 1975.  Sentenced to life imprisonment, she was paroled in 2009.

Looking back on the evil, wasted life of Charles Manson we see the end to which the misuse of free will can drive a person, and the mystery of why Christ died for even such as Charles Manson, but God can love even when Man can’t.

 

2

John Adams and Benjamin Franklin Debate National Symbols

After the American Revolution, former American officers in that struggle created a fraternal organization called the Society of Cinncinatus, named after the Roman consul and dictator, a constitutional office of the Roman Republic in emergencies, who saved Rome through his efforts in the fifth century BC and then retired to his humble farm.  The Society selected as its symbol a bald eagle.  In a letter to his daughter Sally Bache on January 26, 1784, no doubt with his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, Dr. Franklin indicated that he thought another bird would have been a better choice.

 

 

 

 

Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perch’d on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping and Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country, tho’ exactly fit for that Order of Knights which the French call Chevaliers d’Industrie. I am on this account not displeas’d that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. Eagles have been found in all Countries, but the Turkey was peculiar to ours, the first of the Species seen in Europe being brought to France by the Jesuits from Canada, and serv’d up at the Wedding Table of Charles the ninth. He is besides, tho’ a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

 

 

2

St. Augustine (Hippo) says Jesus is a God of Mercy

I thought this discourse on the Psalms, taken from St. Augustine of Hippo as the Second Reading of the Office of Readings might be pertinent…I’ll quote most of the whole thing–go to the link for the rest.

“All the trees of the forest will exult before the face of the Lord, for he has come, he has come to judge the earth. He has come the first time, and he will come again. At his first coming, his own voice declared in the gospel: Hereafter you shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds. What does he mean by hereafter? Does he not mean that the Lord will come at a future time when all the nations of the earth will be striking their breasts in grief ? Previously he came through his preachers, and he filled the whole world. Let us not resist his first coming, so that we may not dread the second.

 

….

 

All the trees of the forest will exult. He has come the first time, and he will come again to judge the earth; he will find those rejoicing who believed in his first coming, for he has come.

 

He will judge the world with equity and the peoples in his truth. What are equity and truth? He will gather together with him for the judgment his chosen ones, but the others he will set apart; for he will place some on his right, others on his left. What is more equitable, what more true than that they should not themselves expect mercy from the judge, who themselves were unwilling to show mercy before the judge’s coming. Those, however, who were willing to show mercy will be judged with mercy. For it will be said to those placed on his right: Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the beginning of the world. And he reckons to their account their works of mercy: For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me drink.

 

What is imputed to those placed on his left side? That they refused to show mercy. And where will they go? Depart into the everlasting fire. The hearing of this condemnation will cause much wailing. But what has another psalm said? The just man will be held in everlasting remembrance; he will not fear the evil report. What is the evil report? Depart into the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. Whoever rejoices to hear the good report will not fear the bad. This is equity, this is truth.

 

Or do you, because you are unjust, expect the judge not to be just? Or because you are a liar, will the truthful one not be true? Rather, if you wish to receive mercy, be merciful before he comes; forgive whatever has been done against you; give of your abundance. Of whose possessions do you give, if not from his? If you were to give of your own, it would be largess; but since you give of his, it is restitution. For what do you have, that you have not received?These are the sacrifices most pleasing to God: mercy, humility, praise, peace, charity. Such as these, then, let us bring and, free from fear, we shall await the coming of the judge who will judge the world in equity and the peoples in his truth.”  

-St. Augustine of Hippo, Discourse on the Psalms, taken from Office of Readings for 19 Nov. 2017

15

Pal Jesus is a Myth

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Matthew 25:  14-30

One of the more appalling aspects of Christianity in the past half century is the growth of viewing Jesus as some sort of insipid forgiveness machine, a pal Jesus who will ever give us a thumbs up, no matter how wretched our behavior.  The Gospels give us a very different portrait of Jesus.  The above reading is typical:  a Jesus who expects much of us and who will punish those of us who fail to match His expectations.  In many ways the above is a terrifying passage because it is so at odds as to common perceptions of Jesus.  The prime mission of the Church is to convey the Truth of Christ, and if popular perceptions of the Second Person is any guide, the Church is failing appallingly, currently, at that task.

We must also recall the love of Christ of course which rescues us from the sin of despair.  However, like any love worthy of the name it requires much of us.  Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow Him.  It is almost a trite statement today.  In his time it was shocking, fully as shocking as a priest telling us that we must take up our electric chairs, or gas chambers, and follow Christ.  The early disciples of Christ knew how demanding, and sometimes dangerous, it was to follow Christ, and yet they did so.  May we have a fraction of their wisdom, faith and raw courage.

2

November 19, 1794: Jay Treaty is Signed

 

 

 

In retrospect it is difficult to see why the Jay Treaty was so controversial.  The US got the removal of various forts in the north and the northwest that the British had refused to relinquish, secured most favored nation status, and received the then enormous sum of eleven million dollars from the British for damage to American merchant shipping.  Of course the British obtained some of their goals, but on the whole the Treaty was a win for America.  President Washington vigorously endorsed it.  However Jefferson, clearly seeing the hand of Hamilton behind it, raised a ferocious opposition to the Treaty that was not quelled by its ratification by the Senate in 1795, the vote being 20-10.  (Contrary to the video below Adams did not cast a tie-breaking vote, treaties needing a two-thirds vote in any case to be ratified.)  Instead, anti-Treaty forces became the nucleus of Jefferson’s Republican party in opposition to the pro-Treaty forces, the new Federalist party.  Thus was born the First Party System and the origin of the two party system that has become such an enduring feature of American government.  Here is the text of the treaty:

Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation, between His Britannick Majesty; and The United States of America, by Their President, with the advice and consent of Their Senate.

His Britannick Majesty and the United States of America, being desirous by a Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation to terminate their Differences in such a manner, as without reference to the Merits of Their respective Complaints and Pretensions, may be the best calculated to produce mutual satisfaction and good understanding: And also to regulate the Commerce and Navigation between Their respective Countries, Territories and People, in such a manner as to render the same reciprocally beneficial and satisfactory; They have respectively named their Plenipotentiaries, and given them Full powers to treat of, and conclude, the said Treaty, that is to say; His Brittanick Majesty has named for His Plenipotentiary, The Right Honourable William Wyndham Baron Grenville of Wotton, One of His Majesty’s Privy Council, and His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and The President of the said United States, by and with the advice and Consent of the Senate thereof, hath appointed for Their Plenipotentiary The Honourable John Jay, Chief Justice of the said United States and Their Envoy Extraordinary to His Majesty, who have agreed on, and concluded the following Articles

ARTICLE 1.

There shall be a firm inviolable and universal Peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between His Britannick Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and the United States of America; and between their respective Countries, Territories, Cities, Towns and People of every Degree, without Exception of Persons or Places.

ARTICLE 2.

His Majesty will withdraw all His Troops and Garrisons from all Posts and Places within the Boundary Lines assigned by the Treaty of Peace to the United States. This Evacuation shall take place on or before the first Day of June One thousand seven hundred and ninety six, and all the proper Measures shall in the interval be taken by concert between the Government of the United States, and His Majesty’s Governor General in America, for settling the previous arrangements which may be necessary respecting the delivery of the said Posts: The United States in the mean Time at Their discretion extending their settlements to any part within the said boundary line, except within the precincts or Jurisdiction of any of the said Posts. All Settlers and Traders, within the Precincts or Jurisdiction of the said Posts, shall continue to enjoy, unmolested, all their property of every kind, and shall be protected therein. They shall be at full liberty to remain there, or to remove with all or any part of their Effects; and it shall also be free to them to sell their Lands, Houses, or Effects, or to retain the property thereof, at their discretion; such of them as shall continue to reside within the said Boundary Lines shall not be compelled to become Citizens of the United States, or to take any Oath of allegiance to the Government thereof, but they shall be at full liberty so to do, if they think proper, and they shall make and declare their Election within one year after the Evacuation aforesaid. And all persons who shall continue there after the expiration of the said year, without having declared their intention of remaining Subjects of His Britannick Majesty, shall be considered as having elected to become Citizens of the United States.

ARTICLE 3.

It is agreed that it shall at all Times be free to His Majesty’s Subjects, and to the Citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said Boundary Line freely to pass and repass by Land, or Inland Navigation, into the respective Territories and Countries of the Two Parties on the Continent of America (the Country within the Limits of the Hudson’s Bay Company only excepted) and to navigate all the Lakes, Rivers, and waters thereof, and freely to carry on trade and commerce with each other. But it is understood, that this Article does not extend to the admission of Vessels of the United States into the Sea Ports, Harbours, Bays, or Creeks of His Majesty’s said Territories; nor into such parts of the Rivers in His Majesty’s said Territories as are between the mouth thereof, and the highest Port of Entry from the Sea, except in small vessels trading bona fide between Montreal and Quebec, under such regulations as shall be established to prevent the possibility of any Frauds in this respect. Nor to the admission of British vessels from the Sea into the Rivers of the United States, beyond the highest Ports of Entry for Foreign Vessels from the Sea. The River Mississippi, shall however, according to the Treaty of Peace be entirely open to both Parties; And it is further agreed, That all the ports and places on its Eastern side, to whichsoever of the parties belonging, may freely be resorted to, and used by both parties, in as ample a manner as any of the Atlantic Ports or Places of the United States, or any of the Ports or Places of His Majesty in Great Britain.

All Goods and Merchandize whose Importation into His Majesty’s said Territories in America, shall not be entirely prohibited, may freely, for the purposes of Commerce, be carried into the same in the manner aforesaid, by the Citizens of the United States, and such Goods and Merchandize shall be subject to no higher or other Duties than would be payable by His Majesty’s Subjects on the Importation of the same from Europe into the said Territories. And in like manner, all Goods and Merchandize whose Importation into the United States shall not be wholly prohibited, may freely, for the purposes of Commerce, be carried into the same, in the manner aforesaid, by His Majesty’s Subjects, and such Goods and Merchandize shall be subject to no higher or other Duties than would be payable by the Citizens of the United States on the Importation of the same in American Vessels into the Atlantic Ports of the said States. And all Goods not prohibited to be exported from the said Territories respectively, may in like manner be carried out of the same by the Two Parties respectively, paying Duty as aforesaid

No Duty of Entry shall ever be levied by either Party on Peltries brought by Land, or Inland Navigation into the said Territories respectively, nor shall the Indians passing or repassing with their own proper Goods and Effects of whatever nature, pay for the same any Impost or Duty whatever. But Goods in Bales, or other large Packages unusual among Indians shall not be considered as Goods belonging bona fide to Indians. No higher or other Tolls or Rates of Ferriage than what are, or shall be payable by Natives, shall be demanded on either side; And no Duties shall be payable on any Goods which shall merely be carried over any of the Portages, or carrying Places on either side, for the purpose of being immediately reimbarked, and carried to some other Place or Places. But as by this Stipulation it is only meant to secure to each Party a free passage across the Portages on both sides, it is agreed, that this Exemption from Duty shall extend only to such Goods as are carried in the usual and direct Road across the Portage, and are not attempted to be in any manner sold or exchanged during their passage across the same, and proper Regulations may be established to prevent the possibility of any Frauds in this respect.

As this Article is intended to render in a great Degree the local advantages of each Party common to both, and thereby to promote a disposition favourable to Friendship and good neighbourhood, It is agreed, that the respective Governments will mutually promote this amicable Intercourse, by causing speedy and impartial Justice to be done, and necessary protection to be extended, to all who may be concerned therein.

ARTICLE 4.

Whereas it is uncertain whether the River Mississippi extends so far to the Northward as to be intersected by a Line to be drawn due West from the Lake of the woods in the manner mentioned in the Treaty of Peace between His Majesty and the United States, it is agreed, that measures shall be taken in Concert between His Majesty’s Government in America, and the Government of the United States, for making a joint Survey of the said River, from one Degree of Latitude below the falls of St Anthony to the principal Source or Sources of the said River, and also of the parts adjacent thereto, And that if on the result of such Survey it should appear that the said River would not be intersected by such a Line as is above mentioned; The two Parties will thereupon proceed by amicable negotiation to regulate the Boundary Line in that quarter as well as all other Points to be adjusted between the said Parties, according to Justice and mutual Convenience, and in Conformity, to the Intent of the said Treaty.

ARTICLE 5.

Whereas doubts have arisen what River was truly intended under the name of the River st Croix mentioned in the said Treaty of Peace and forming a part of the boundary therein described, that question shall be referred to the final Decision of Commissioners to be appointed in the following Manner-Viz-

One Commissioner shall be named by His Majesty, and one by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and Consent of the Senate thereof, and the said two Commissioners shall agree on the choice of a third, or, if they cannot so agree, They shall each propose one Person, and of the two names so proposed one shall be drawn by Lot, in the presence of the two original Commissioners. And the three Commissioners so appointed shall be Sworn impartially to examine and decide the said question according to such Evidence as shall respectively be laid before Them on the part of the British Government and of the United States. The said Commissioners shall meet at Halifax and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. They shall have power to appoint a Secretary, and to employ such Surveyors or other Persons as they shall judge necessary. The said Commissioners shall by a Declaration under their Hands and Seals, decide what River is the River St Croix intended by the Treaty.

The said Declaration shall contain a description of the said River, and shall particularize the Latitude and Longitude of its mouth and of its Source. Duplicates of this Declaration ant of the State meets of their Accounts, and of the Journal of their proceedings, shall be delivered by them to the Agent of His Majesty, and to the Agent of the United States, who may be respectively appointed and authorized to manage the business on behalf of the respective Governments. And both parties agree to consider such decision as final and conclusive, so as that the same shall never thereafter be called into question, or made the subject of dispute or difference between them.

ARTICLE 6.

Whereas it is alledged by divers British Merchants and others His Majesty’s Subjects, that Debts to a considerable amount which were bona fide contracted before the Peace, still remain owing to them by Citizens or Inhabitants of the United States, and that by the operation of various lawful Impediments since the Peace, not only the full recovery of the said Debts has been delayed, but also the Value and Security thereof, have been in several instances impaired and lessened, so that by the ordinary course of Judicial proceedings the British Creditors, cannot now obtain and actually have and receive full and adequate Compensation for the losses and damages which they have thereby sustained: It is agreed that in all such Cases where full Compensation for such losses and damages cannot, for whatever reason, be actually obtained had and received by the said Creditors in the ordinary course of Justice, The United States will make full and complete Compensation for the same to the said Creditors; But it is distinctly understood, that this provision is to extend to such losses only, as have been occasioned by the lawful impediments aforesaid, and is not to extend to losses occasioned by such Insolvency of the Debtors or other Causes as would equally have operated to produce such loss, if the said impediments had not existed, nor to such losses or damages as have been occasioned by the manifest delay or negligence, or wilful omission of the Claimant.

For the purpose of ascertaining the amount of any such losses and damages, Five Commissioners shall be appointed and authorized to meet and act in manner following-viz- Two of them shall be appointed by His Majesty, Two of them by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the fifth, by the unanimous voice of the other Four; and if they should not agree in such Choice, then the Commissioners named by the two parties shall respectively propose one person, and of the two names so proposed, one shall be drawn by Lot in the presence of the Four Original Commissioners. When the Five Commissioners thus appointed shall first meet, they shall before they proceed to act respectively, take the following Oath or Affirmation in the presence of each other, which Oath or Affirmation, being so taken, and duly attested, shall be entered on the Record of their Proceedings, -viz.- I. A: B: One of the Commissioners appointed in pursuance of the 6th Article of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation between His Britannick Majesty and The United States of America, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will honestly, diligently, impartially, and carefully examine, and to the best of my Judgement, according to Justice and Equity decide all such Complaints, as under the said Article shall be preferred to the said Commissioners: and that I will forbear to act as a Commissioner in any Case in which I may be personally interested.

Three of the said Commissioners shall constitute a Board, and shall have power to do any act appertaining to the said Commission, provided that one of the Commissioners named on each side, and the Fifth Commissioner shall be present, and all decisions shall be made by the Majority of the Voices of the Commissioners then present. Eighteen Months from the Day on which the said Commissioners shall form a Board, and be ready to proceed to Business are assigned for receiving Complaints and applications, but they are nevertheless authorized in any particular Cases in which it shall appear to them to be reasonable and just to extend the said Term of Eighteen Months, for any term not exceeding Six Months after the expiration thereof. The said Commissioners shall first meet at Philadelphia, but they shall have power to adjourn from Place to Place as they shall see Cause.

The said Commissioners in examining the Complaints and applications so preferred to them, are impowered and required in pursuance of the true intent and meaning of this article to take into their Consideration all claims whether of principal or interest, or balances of principal and interest, and to determine the same respectively according to the merits of the several Cases, due regard being had to all the Circumstances thereof, and as Equity and Justice shall appear to them to require. And the said Commissioners shall have power to examine all such Persons as shall come before them on Oath or Affirmation touching the premises; and also to receive in Evidence according as they may think most consistent with Equity and Justice all written positions, or Books or Papers, or Copies or Extracts thereof. Every such Deposition, Book or Paper or Copy or Extract being duly authenticated either according to the legal Forms now respectively existing in the two Countries, or in such other manner as the said Commissioners shall see cause to require or allow.

The award of the said Commissioners or of any three of them as aforesaid shall in all Cases be final and conclusive both as to the Justice of the Claim, and to the amount of the Sum to be paid to the Creditor or Claimant. And the United States undertake to cause the Sum so awarded to be paid in Specie to such Creditor or Claimant without deduction; and at such Time or Times, and at such Place or Places, as shall be awarded by the said Commissioners, and on Condition of such Releases or assignments to be given by the Creditor or Claimant as by the said Commissioners may be directed; Provided always that no such payment shall be fixed by the said Commissioners to take place sooner then twelve months from the Day of the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty.

ARTICLE 7.

Whereas Complaints have been made by divers Merchants and others, Citizens of the United States, that during the course of the War in which His Majesty is now engaged they have sustained considerable losses and damage by reason of irregular or illegal Captures or Condemnations of their vessels and other property under Colour of authority or Commissions from His Majesty, and that from various Circumstances belonging to the said Cases adequate Compensation for the losses and damages so sustained cannot now be actually obtained, had and received by the ordinary Course of Judicial proceedings; It is agreed that in all such Cases where adequate Compensation cannot for whatever reason be now actually obtained, had and received by the said Merchants and others in the ordinary course of Justice, full and Complete Compensation for the same will be made by the British Government to the said Complainants. But it is distinctly understood, that this provision is not to extend to such losses or damages as have been occasioned by the manifest delay or negligence, or wilful omission of the Claimant. That for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of any such losses and damages Five Commissioners shall be appointed and authorized to act in London exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the preceding Article, and after having taken the same Oath or Affirmation (mutatis mutandis). The same term of Eighteen Months is also assigned for the reception of Claims, and they are in like manner authorised to extend the same in particular Cases. They shall receive Testimony, Books, Papers and Evidence in the same latitude, and exercise the like discretion, and powers respecting that subject, and shall decide the Claims in question, according to the merits of the several Cases, and to Justice Equity and the Laws of Nations. The award of the said Commissioners or any such three of them as aforesaid, shall in all Cases be final and conclusive both as to the Justice of the Claim and the amount of the Sum to be paid to the Claimant; and His Britannick Majesty undertakes to cause the same to be paid to such Claimant in Specie, without any Deduction, at such place or places, and at such Time or Times as shall be awarded by the said Commissioners and on Condition of such releases or assignments to be given by the Claimant, as by the said Commissioners may be directed. And whereas certain merchants and others, His Majesty’s Subjects, complain that in the course of the war they have sustained Loss and Damage by reason of the Capture of their Vessels and Merchandize taken within the Limits and Jurisdiction of the States, and brought into the Ports of the same, or taken by Vessels originally armed in Ports of the said States:

It is agreed that in all such cases where Restitution shall not have been made agreeably to the tenor of the letter from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Hammond dated at Philadelphia September 5th 1793. A Copy of which is annexed to this Treaty, the Complaints of the parties shall be, and hereby are referred to the Commissioners to be appointed by virtue of this article, who are hereby authorized and required to proceed in the like manner relative to these as to the other Cases committed to them, and the United States undertake to pay to the Complainants or Claimants in specie without deduction the amount of such Sums as shall be awarded to them respectively by the said Commissioners and at the times and places which in such awards shall be specified, and on Condition of such Releases or assignments to be given by the Claimants as in the said awards may be directed: And it is further agreed that not only to be now existing Cases of both descriptions, but also all such as shall exist at the Time, of exchanging the Ratifications of this Treaty shall be considered as being within the provisions intent and meaning of this article.

ARTICLE 8.

It is further agreed that the Commissioners mentioned in this and in the two preceding articles shall be respectively paid in such manner, as shall be agreed between the two parties, such agreement being to be settled at the Time of the exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty. And all other Expences attending the said Commissions shall be defrayed jointly by the Two Parties, the same being previously ascertained and allowed by the Majority of the Commissioners. And in the case of Death, Sickness or necessary absence, the place of every such Commissioner respectively, shall be supplied in the same manner as such Commissioner was first appointed, and the new Commissioners shall take the same Oath, or Affirmation, and do the same Duties.

ARTICLE 9.

It is agreed, that British Subjects who now hold Lands in the Territories of the United States, and American Citizens who now hold Lands in the Dominions of His Majesty, shall continue to hold them according to the nature and Tenure of their respective Estates and Titles therein, and may grant Sell or Devise the same to whom they please, in like manner as if they were Natives; and that neither they nor their Heirs or assigns shall, so far as may respect the said Lands, be and the legal remedies incident thereto, be regarded as Aliens.

ARTICLE 10.

Neither the Debts due from Individuals of the one Nation, to Individuals of the other, nor shares nor monies, which they may have in the public Funds, or in the public or private Banks shall ever, in any Event of war, or national differences, be sequestered, or confiscated, it being unjust and impolitick that Debts and Engagements contracted and made by Individuals having confidence in each other, and in their respective Governments, should ever be destroyed or impaired by national authority, on account of national Differences and Discontents.

ARTICLE 11.

It is agreed between His Majesty and the United States of America, that there shall be a reciprocal and entirely perfect Liberty of Navigation and Commerce, between their respective People, in the manner, under the Limitations, and on the Conditions specified in the following Articles.

ARTICLE 12.

His Majesty Consents that it shall and may be lawful, during the time hereinafter Limited, for the Citizens of the United States, to carry to any of His Majesty’s Islands and Ports in the West Indies from the United States in their own Vessels, not being above the burthen of Seventy Tons, any Goods or Merchandizes, being of the Growth, Manufacture, or Produce of the said States, which it is, or may be lawful to carry to the said Islands or Ports from the said States in British Vessels, and that the said American Vessels shall be subject there to no other or higher Tonnage Duties or Charges, than shall be payable by British Vessels, in the Ports of the United States; and that the Cargoes of the said American Vessels, shall be subject there to no other or higher Duties or Charges, than shall be payable on the like Articles, if imported there from the said States in British vessels. And His Majesty also consents that it shall be lawful for the said American Citizens to purchase, load and carry away, in their said vessels to the United States from the said Islands and Ports, all such articles being of the Growth, Manufacture or Produce of the said Islands, as may now by Law be carried from thence to the said States in British Vessels, and subject only to the same Duties and Charges on Exportation to which British Vessels and their Cargoes are or shall be subject in similar circumstances.

Provided always that the said American vessels do carry and land their Cargoes in the United States only, it being expressly agreed and declared that during the Continuance of this article, the United States will prohibit and restrain the carrying any Melasses, Sugar, Coffee, Cocoa or Cotton in American vessels, either from His Majesty’s Islands or from the United States, to any part of the World, except the United States, reasonable Sea Stores excepted. Provided also, that it shall and may be lawful during the same period for British vessels to import from the said Islands into the United States, and to export from the United States to the said Islands, all Articles whatever being of the Growth, Produce or Manufacture of the said Islands, or of the United States respectively, which now may, by the Laws of the said States, be so imported and exported. And that the Cargoes of the said British vessels, shall be subject to no other or higher Duties or Charges, than shall be payable on the same articles if so imported or exported in American Vessels.

It is agreed that this Article, and every Matter and Thing therein contained, shall continue to be in Force, during the Continuance of the war in which His Majesty is now engaged; and also for Two years from and after the Day of the signature of the Preliminary or other Articles of Peace by which the same may be terminated

And it is further agreed that at the expiration of the said Term, the Two Contracting Parties will endeavour further to regulate their Commerce in this respect, according to the situation in which His Majesty may then find Himself with respect to the West Indies, and with a view to such Arrangements, as may best conduce to the mutual advantage and extension of Commerce. And the said Parties will then also renew their discussions, and endeavour to agree, whether in any and what cases Neutral Vessels shall protect Enemy’s property; and in what cases provisions and other articles not generally Contraband may become such. But in the mean time their Conduct towards each other in these respects, shall be regulated by the articles hereinafter inserted on those subjects.

ARTICLE 13.

His Majesty consents that the Vessels belonging to the Citizens of the United States of America, shall be admitted and Hospitably received in all the Sea Ports and Harbours of the British Territories in the East Indies: and that the Citizens of the said United States, may freely carry on a Trade between the said Territories and the said United States, in all articles of which the Importation or Exportation respectively to or from the said Territories, shall not be entirely prohibited; Provided only, that it shall not be lawful for them in any time of War between the British Government, and any other Power or State whatever, to export from the said Territories without the special Permission of the British Government there, any Military Stores, or Naval Stores, or Rice. The Citizens of the United States shall pay for their Vessels when admitted into the said Ports, no other or higher Tonnage Duty than shall be payable on British Vessels when admitted into the Ports of the United States. And they shall pay no other or higher Duties or Charges on the importation or exportation of the Cargoes of the said Vessels, than shall be payable on the same articles when imported or exported in British Vessels. But it is expressly agreed, that the Vessels of the United States shall not carry any of the articles exported by them from the said British Territories to any Port or Place, except to some Port or Place in America, where the same shall be unladen, and such Regulations shall be adopted by both Parties, as shall from time to time be found necessary to enforce the due and faithful! observance of this Stipulation: It is also understood that the permission granted by this article is not to extend to allow the Vessels of the United States to carry on any part of the Coasting Trade of the said British Territories, but Vessels going with their original Cargoes, or part thereof, from one port of discharge to another, are not to be considered as carrying on the Coasting Trade. Neither is this Article to be construed to allow the Citizens of the said States to settle or reside within the said Territories, or to go into the interior parts thereof, without the permission of the British Government established there; and if any transgression should be attempted against the Regulations of the British Government in this respect, the observance of the same shall and may be enforced against the Citizens of America in the same manner as against British Subjects, or others transgressing the same rule. And the Citizens of the United States, whenever they arrive in any Port or Harbour in the said Territories, or if they should be permitted in manner aforesaid, to go to any other place therein, shall always be subject to the Laws, Government and Jurisdiction, of what nature, established in such Harbour, Port or Place according as the same may be: The Citizens of the United States, may also touch for refreshment, at the Island of st Helena, but subject in all respects to such regulations, as the British Government may from time to time establish there.

ARTICLE 14.

There shall be between all the Dominions of His Majesty in Europe, and the Territories of the United States, a reciprocal and perfect liberty of Commerce and Navigation. The people and Inhabitants of the Two Countries respectively, shall have liberty, freely and securely, and without hindrance and molestation, to come with their Ships and Cargoes to the Lands, Countries, Cities, Ports Places and Rivers within the Dominions and Territories aforesaid, to enter into the same, to resort there, and to remain and reside there, without any limitation of Time: also to hire and possess, Houses and ware houses for the purposes of their Commerce; and generally the Merchants and Traders on each side, shall enjoy the most complete protection and Security for their Commerce; but subject always, as to what respects this article, to the Laws and Statutes of the Two Countries respectively.

ARTICLE 15.

It is agreed, that no other or higher Duties shall be paid by the Ships or Merchandize of the one Party in the Ports of the other, than such as are paid by the like vessels or Merchandize of all other Nations. Nor shall any other or higher Duty be imposed in one Country on the importation of any articles, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the other, than are or shall be payable on the importation of the like articles being of the growth, produce or manufacture of any other Foreign Country. Nor shall any prohibition be imposed, on the exportation or importation of any articles to or from the Territories of the Two Parties respectively which shall not equally extend to all other Nations.

But the British Government reserves to itself the right of imposing on American Vessels entering into the British Ports in Europe a Tonnage Duty, equal to that which shall be payable by British Vessels in the Ports of America: And also such Duty as may be adequate to countervail the difference of Duty now payable on the importation of European and Asiatic Goods when imported into the United States in British or in American Vessels.

The Two Parties agree to treat for the more exact equalization of the Duties on the respective Navigation of their Subjects and People in such manner as may be most beneficial to the two Countries. The arrangements for this purpose shall be made at the same time with those mentioned at the Conclusion of the 12th Article of this Treaty, and are to be considered as a part thereof. In the interval it is agreed, that the United States will not impose any new or additional Tonnage Duties on British Vessels, nor increase the now subsisting difference between the Duties payable on the importation of any articles in British or in American Vessels.

ARTICLE 16.

It shall be free for the Two Contracting Parties respectively, to appoint Consuls for the protection of Trade, to reside in the Dominions and Territories aforesaid; and the said Consuls shall enjoy those Liberties and Rights which belong to them by reason of their Function. But before any Consul shall act as such, he shall be in the usual forms approved and admitted by the party to whom he is sent, and it is hereby declared to be lawful and proper, that in case of illegal or improper Conduct towards the Laws or Government, a Consul may either be punished according to Law, if the Laws will reach the Case, or be dismissed or even sent back, the offended Government assigning to the other, Their reasons for the same.

Either of the Parties may except from the residence of Consuls such particular Places, as such party shall judge proper to be so excepted.

ARTICLE 17.

It is agreed that, in all Cases where Vessels shall be captured or detained on just suspicion of having on board Enemy’s property or of carrying to the Enemy, any of the articles which are Contraband of war; The said Vessel shall be brought to the nearest or most convenient Port, and if any property of an Enemy, should be found on board such Vessel, that part only which belongs to the Enemy shall be made prize, and the Vessel shall be at liberty to proceed with the remainder without any Impediment. And it is agreed that all proper measures shall be taken to prevent delay, in deciding the Cases of Ships or Cargoes so brought in for adjudication, and in the payment or recovery of any Indemnification adjudged or agreed to be paid to the masters or owners of such Ships.

ARTICLE 18.

In order to regulate what is in future to be esteemed Contraband of war, it is agreed that under the said Denomination shall be comprized all Arms and Implements serving for the purposes of war by Land or Sea; such as Cannon, Muskets, Mortars, Petards, Bombs, Grenades Carcasses, Saucisses, Carriages for Cannon, Musket rests, Bandoliers, Gunpowder, Match, Saltpetre, Ball, Pikes, Swords, Headpieces Cuirasses Halberts Lances Javelins, Horsefurniture, Holsters, Belts and, generally all other Implements of war, as also Timber for Ship building, Tar or Rosin, Copper in Sheets, Sails, Hemp, and Cordage, and generally whatever may serve directly to the equipment of Vessels, unwrought Iron and Fir planks only excepted, and all the above articles are hereby declared to be just objects of Confiscation, whenever they are attempted to be carried to an Enemy.

And Whereas the difficulty of agreeing on the precise Cases in which alone Provisions and other articles not generally contraband may be regarded as such, renders it expedient to provide against the inconveniences and misunderstandings which might thence arise: It is further agreed that whenever any such articles so becoming Contraband according to the existing Laws of Nations, shall for that reason be seized, the same shall not be confiscated, but the owners thereof shall be speedily and completely indemnified; and the Captors, or in their default the Government under whose authority they act, shall pay to the Masters or Owners of such Vessels the full value of all such Articles, with a reasonable mercantile Profit thereon, together with the Freight, and also the Demurrage incident to such Detension.

And Whereas it frequently happens that vessels sail for a Port or Place belonging to an Enemy, without knowing that the same is either besieged, blockaded or invested; It is agreed, that every Vessel so circumstanced may be turned away from such Port or Place, but she shall not be detained, nor her Cargo, if not Contraband, be confiscated; unless after notice she shall again attempt to enter; but She shall be permitted to go to any other Port or Place She may think proper: Nor shall any vessel or Goods of either party, that may have entered into such Port or Place before the same was besieged, block aced or invested by the other, and be found therein after the reduction or surrender of such place, be liable to confiscation, but shall be restored to the Owners or proprietors thereof.

ARTICLE 19.

And that more abundant Care may be taken for the security of the respective Subjects and Citizens of the Contracting Parties, and to prevent their suffering Injuries by the Men of war, or Privateers of either Party, all Commanders of Ships of war and Privateers and all others the said Subjects and Citizens shall forbear doing any Damage to those of the other party, or committing any Outrage against them, and if they act to the contrary, they shall be punished, and shall also be bound in their Persons and Estates to make satisfaction and reparation for all Damages, and the interest thereof, of whatever nature the said Damages may be.

For this cause all Commanders of Privateers before they receive their Commissions shall hereafter be obliged to give before a Competent Judge, sufficient security by at least Two responsible Sureties, who have no interest in the said Privateer, each of whom, together with the said Commander, shall be jointly and severally bound in the Sum of Fifteen hundred pounds Sterling, or if such Ships be provided with above One hundred and fifty Seamen or Soldiers, in the Sum of Three thousand pounds sterling, to satisfy all Damages and Injuries, which the said Privateer or her Officers or Men, or any of them may do or commit during their Cruize contrary to the tenor of this Treaty, or to the Laws and Instructions for regulating their Conduct; and further that in all Cases of Aggressions the said Commissions shall be revoked and annulled.

It is also agreed that whenever a Judge of a Court of Admiralty of either of the Parties, shall pronounce sentence against any Vessel or Goods or Property belonging to the Subjects or Citizens of the other Party a formal and duly authenticated Copy of all the proceedings in the Cause, and of the said Sentence, shall if required be delivered to the Commander of the said Vessel, without the smallest delay, he paying all legal Fees and Demands for the same.

ARTICLE 20.

It is further agreed that both the said Contracting Parties, shall not only refuse to receive any Pirates into any of their Ports, Havens, or Towns, or permit any of their Inhabitants to receive, protect, harbour conceal or assist them in any manner, but will bring to condign punishment all such Inhabitants as shall be guilty of such Acts or offences.

And all their Ships with the Goods or Merchandizes taken by them and brought into the port of either of the said Parties, shall be seized, as far as they can be discovered and shall be restored to the owners or their Factors or Agents duly deputed and authorized in writing by them (proper Evidence being first given in the Court of Admiralty for proving the property,) even in case such effects should have passed into other hands by Sale, if it be proved that the Buyers knew or had good reason to believe, or suspect that they had been piratically taken.

ARTICLE 21.

It is likewise agreed that the Subjects and Citizens of the Two Nations, shall not do any acts of Hostility or Violence against each other, nor accept Commissions or Instructions so to act from any Foreign Prince or State, Enemies to the other party, nor shall the Enemies of one of the parties be permitted to invite or endeavour to enlist in their military service any of the Subjects or Citizens of the other party; and the Laws against all such Offences and Aggressions shall be punctually executed. And if any Subject or Citizen of the said Parties respectively shall accept any Foreign Commission or Letters of Marque for Arming any Vessel to act as a Privateer against the other party, and be taken by the other party, it is hereby declared to be lawful for the said party to treat and punish the said Subject or Citizen, having such Commission or Letters of Marque as a Pirate.

ARTICLE 22.

It is expressly stipulated that neither of the said Contracting Parties will order or Authorize any Acts of Reprisal against the other on Complaints of Injuries or Damages until the said party shall first have presented to the other a Statement thereof, verified by competent proof and Evidence, and demanded Justice and Satisfaction, and the same shall either have been refused or unreasonably delayed.

ARTICLE 23.

The Ships of war of each of the Contracting Parties, shall at all times be hospitably received in the Ports of the other, their Officers and Crews paying due respect to the Laws and Government of the Country. The officers shall be treated with that respect, which is due to the Commissions which they bear. And if any Insult should be offered to them by any of the Inhabitants, all offenders in this respect shall be punished as Disturbers of the Peace and Amity between the Two Countries.

And His Majesty consents, that in case an American Vessel should by stress of weather, Danger from Enemies, or other misfortune be reduced to the necessity of seeking Shelter in any of His Majesty’s Ports, into which such Vessel could not in ordinary cases claim to be admitted; She shall on manifesting that necessity to the satisfaction of the Government of the place, be hospitably received, and be permitted to refit, and to purchase at the market price, such necessaries as she may stand in need of, conformably to such Orders and regulations as the Government of the place, having respect to the circumstances of each case shall prescribe. She shall not be allowed to break bulk or unload her Cargo, unless the same shall be bona fide necessary to her being refitted. Nor shall be permitted to sell any part of her Cargo, unless so much only as may be necessary to defray her expences, and then not without the express permission of the Government of the place. Nor shall she be obliged to pay any Duties whatever, except only on such Articles, as she may be permitted to sell for the purpose aforesaid.

ARTICLE 24.

It shall not be lawful for any Foreign Privateers (not being Subjects or Citizens of either of the said Parties) who have Commissions from any other Prince or State in Enmity with either Nation, to arm their Ships in the Ports of either of the said Parties, nor to sell what they have taken, nor in any other manner to exchange the same, nor shall they be allowed to purchase more provisions than shall be necessary for their going to the nearest Port of that Prince or State from whom they obtained their Commissions.

ARTICLE 25.

It shall be lawful for the Ships of war and Privateers belonging to the said Parties respectively to carry whithersoever they please the Ships and Goods taken from their Enemies without being obliged to pay any Fee to the Officers of the Admiralty, or to any Judges what ever; nor shall the said Prizes when they arrive at, and enter the Ports of the said Parties be detained or seized, neither shall the Searchers or other Officers of those Places visit such Prizes (except for the purpose of preventing the Carrying of any part of the Cargo thereof on Shore in any manner contrary to the established Laws of Revenue, Navigation or Commerce) nor shall such Officers take Cognizance of the Validity of such Prizes; but they shall be at liberty to hoist Sail, and depart as speedily as may be, and carry their said Prizes to the place mentioned in their Commissions or Patents, which the Commanders of the said Ships of war or Privateers shall be obliged to shew. No Shelter or Refuge shall be given in their Ports to such as have made a Prize upon the Subjects or Citizens of either of the said Parties; but if forced by stress of weather or the Dangers of the Sea, to enter therein, particular care shall be taken to hasten their departure, and to cause them to retire as soon as possible. Nothing in this Treaty contained shall however be construed or operate contrary to former and existing Public Treaties with other Sovereigns or States. But the Two parties agree, that while they continue in amity neither of them will in future make any Treaty that shall be inconsistent with this or the preceding article.

Neither of the said parties shall permit the Ships or Goods belonging to the Subjects or Citizens of the other to be taken within Cannon Shot of the Coast, nor in any of the Bays, Ports or Rivers of their Territories by Ships of war, or others having Commission from any Prince, Republic or State whatever. But in case it should so happen, the party whose Territorial Rights shall thus have been violated, shall use his utmost endeavours to obtain from the offending Party, full and ample satisfaction for the Vessel or Vessels so taken, whether the same be Vessels of war or Merchant Vessels.

ARTICLE 26.

If at any Time a Rupture should take place (which God forbid) between His Majesty and the United States, the Merchants and others of each of the Two Nations, residing in the Dominions of the other, shall have the privilege of remaining and continuing their Trade so long as they behave peaceably and commit no offence against the Laws, and in case their Conduct should render them suspected, and the respective Governments should think proper to order them to remove, the term of Twelve Months from the publication of the order shall be allowed them for that purpose to remove with their Families, Effects and Property, but this Favor shall not be extended to those who shall act contrary to the established Laws, and for greater certainty it is declared that such Rupture shall not be deemed to exist while negotiations for accommodating Differences shall be depending nor until the respective Ambassadors or Ministers, if such there shall be, shall be recalled, or sent home on account of such differences, and not on account of personal misconduct according to the nature and degrees of which both parties retain their Rights, either to request the recall or immediately to send home the Ambassador or Minister of the other; and that without prejudice to their mutual Friendship and good understanding.

ARTICLE 27.

It is further agreed that His Majesty and the United States on mutual Requisitions by them respectively or by their respective Ministers or Officers authorized to make the same will deliver up to Justice, all Persons who being charged with Murder or Forgery committed within the Jurisdiction of either, shall seek an Asylum within any of the Countries of the other, Provided that this shall only be done on such Evidence of Criminality as according to the Laws of the Place, where the Fugitive or Person so charged shall be found, would justify his apprehension and commitment for Tryal, if the offence had there been committed. The Expence of such apprehension and Delivery shall be borne and defrayed by those who make the Requisition and receive the Fugitive.

ARTICLE 28.

It is agreed that the first Ten Articles of this Treaty shall be permanent and that the subsequent Articles except the Twelfth shall be limited in their duration to Twelve years to be computed from the Day on which the Ratifications of this Treaty shall be exchanged, but subject to this Condition that whereas the said Twelfth Article will expire by the Limitation therein contained at the End of two years from the signing of the Preliminary or other Articles of Peace, which shall terminate the present War, in which His Majesty is engaged; It is agreed that proper Measures shall by Concert be taken for bringing the subject of that article into amicable Treaty and Discussion so early before the Expiration of the said Term, as that new Arrangements on that head may by that Time be perfected and ready to take place. But if it should unfortunately happen that His Majesty and the United States should not be able to agree on such new Arrangements, in that case, all the Articles of this Treaty except the first Ten shall then cease and expire together.

Lastly. This Treaty when the same shall have been ratified by His Majesty, and by The President of the United States, by and with the advice and Consent of Their Senate, and the respective Ratifications mutually exchanged, shall be binding and obligatory on His Majesty and on the said States, and shall be by Them respectively executed and observed with punctuality, and the most sincere regard to good Faith. And Whereas it will be expedient in order the better to facilitate Intercourse and obviate Difficulties that other Articles be proposed and added to this Treaty, which Articles from want of time and other circumstances cannot now be perfected; It is agreed that the said Parties will from Time to Time readily treat of and concerning such Articles, and will sincerely endeavour so to form them, as that they may conduce to mutual convenience, and tend to promote mutual Satisfaction and Friendship; and that the said Articles after having been duly ratified, shall be added to, and make a part of this Treaty.

In Faith whereof We the Undersigned, Ministers Plenipotentiary of His Majesty The King of Great Britain; and the United States of America, have signed this present Treaty, and have caused to be affixed thereto, the Seal of Our Arms.

Done at London, this Nineteenth Day of November, One thousand seven hundred and ninety Four.

GRENVILLE [Seal) JOHN JAY [Seal]

 

Bonus:  One of the rules of American history:  Don’t mess with George:

 

 

2

PopeWatch: Twitter and Beep

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

 

 

Pope Francis took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to chastise some in the priesthood and the laity who use their cell phones to take pictures during Masses, saying they should focus on God instead.

“The priest does not say ‘lift up your cell phones to take pictures’ during the Mass,” Francis tweeted to almost 15 million Twitter followers just before he consecrated the Body and Blood of Christ. “He says ‘lift up your hearts.’”

A short time later, Pope Francis could visibly be seen regularly checking his post to see how many likes and retweets he was receiving, with an assistant holding his phone to show him as he distributed communion.

“It makes me very sad when I celebrate Mass here in the piazza or in the basilica and I see so many cell phones held up. The Mass is not a show. I know it sometimes seems like one with all the guitars and balloons and other crap we allow, but it’s not. so remember, no cell phones!”

Francis later went on to take a minute during the announcements to tweet, “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…”

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch called the Vatican to ask the Pope for comment.  PopeWatch was put on hold, but the Pope never picked up.  Instead PopeWatch received this text:  Gringo, stop bothering me!  Il Papa.

PopeWatch will not go away forever Holiness, but will be on Thanksgiving hiatus until November 27, 2017.

3

Turkey in the Straw

“I have lately made an Experiment in Electricity that I desire never to repeat. Two nights ago being about to kill a Turkey by the Shock from two large Glass Jarrs containing as much electrical fire as forty common Phials, I inadvertently took the whole thro’ my own Arms and Body.”

Benjamin Franklin, December 25, 1750

 

 

Something for the weekend.  Turkey in the Straw seems appropriate for the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The spirited rendition above is by the Skillet Lickers, a Georgia band of the twenties and thirties of the last century. Part time musicians, they made up in enthusiasm and faithfulness to the traditional music they played, what they may have lacked in technical skill.

7

Countess Von Zeppelin Accuses Theodore Roosevelt

 

Countess Isabella Von Zeppelin through her attorney and medium Gloria “no spectral ambulance should go unchased” Allred, today accused former President Theodore Roosevelt of groping her.  Through unearthly sobs, the spirt of the Countess wailed, “It was while he was a student in Germany.  He asked me if I wanted to see his collection of stuffed animals.  Always having an interest in taxidermy I followed him into his room.  While I was admiring a stuffed owl, the American swine had the effrontery of tapping me on the shoulder to direct my attention to a stuffed raven.  I off course fled the room in tears.  I have remained silent for well over a century with this shame and I now had to speak out.”

Ms. Allred then challenged Congress to conduct a séance to bring President Roosevelt back from the dead to face ex post facto impeachment.  Repeated requests for comment from the former President have gone unanswered.

8

Moore and Kennedy

Yeah, yeah I know, Tu quoque, and I don’t care a red cent.  Kennedy was regaled as the Lion of the Senate.  At his death he received a virtual canonization mass:

 

 

My favorite sendoff for Kennedy, to highlight the difference in treatment of Moore and Kennedy, came with this piece of bilge written by Melissa Lasky at Huffington Post:

 

Mary Jo wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan. She was a dedicated civil rights activist and political talent with a bright future — granted, whenever someone dies young, people sermonize about how he had a “bright future” ahead of him — but she actually did. She wasn’t afraid to defy convention (28 and unmarried, oh the horror!) or create her own career path based on her talents. She lived in Georgetown (where I grew up) and loved the Red Sox (we’ll forgive her for that). Then she got in a car driven by a 36-year-old senator with an alcohol problem and a cauldron full of demons, and wound up a controversial footnote in a dynasty.

We don’t know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she’d have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history. What we don’t know, as always, could fill a Metrodome.

Still, ignorance doesn’t preclude a right to wonder. So it doesn’t automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted’s death, and what she’d have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded.

Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.

When liberals attempt to assert the moral high ground in regard to Moore, please always recall that for most of them such maneuvers are merely tactical in nature.

13

November 17, 1973: I Am Not A Crook

The Nixon tragedy: A man of unsurpassed courage and outstanding intelligence but without vision. An opportunist who missed his greatest opportunity.

Eric Hoffer

 

 

 

 

Hard to believe that it is forty-four years since the infamous “I am not a crook” news conference of President Nixon.  The video clip gives a taste of the surreal quality of those times.  For the sake of attempting to cover up a politically inspired burglary in a presidential election that the Democrats were busily throwing away, Nixon in 1972 embarked on a cover-up that eventually destroyed his Presidency, with his resignation in disgrace coming in August of 1974.

Greek tragedy is too mild a term to apply when discussing the presidency of Nixon.  Dealt a bad hand in Vietnam, he extricated the country from Vietnam while building up the South Vietnamese military to the extent that they could hold their own against the North Vietnamese, as long as supplies kept flowing from the US and their ground forces were supported by American air power.  His diplomatic opening to Red China was a masterful, if fairly obvious, strategic win over the Soviets.  Talks with the Soviets helped lower the temperature of the Cold War.  Domestically Nixon was the liberal Republican he always was, with wage and price controls and an expansion of the Federal government.  Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Arms Race

It is always distressing to see how factually challenged the Pope tends to be.  For example:

 

Indeed, the escalation of the arms race continues unabated and the price of modernizing and developing weaponry, not only nuclear weapons, represents a considerable expense for nations. As a result, the real priorities facing our human family, such as the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and healthcare projects, and the development of human rights, are relegated to second place.

 

Go here to read the rest.  There is no arms race.  In the US the money spent on arms is dwarfed by social spending.  European nations spend next to nothing on their military compared to social spending.  As is often the case the Pope is shadow boxing with phantoms that exist only in his mind.

17

“By Man Shall His Blood be Shed, A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment” : A Review

A guest post by commenter Greg Mockeridge:

 

To say that confusion about what the Church really teaches about the death penalty is a real problem in Catholic circles today is an understatement of biblical proportions. This confusion has been fostered by the oft-repeated opposition of the US. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as a whole, individual bishops and, to a lesser extent, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has compounded the problem even further with some of his recent statements.

The recently published book, “By Man Shall His Blood be Shed, A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment” by Dr. Ed Feser and Joseph Bessette makes a significant contribution in the much-needed effort to dispel this confusion.

Dr Edward Feser is Associate Professor of philosophy at Pasadena College in Pasadena, CA. Joseph Bessette is the Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics at Claremont College Prior to that he worked for nine years in criminal justice, on the staff of Cook County, Ill. State Attorney Richard M. Daley (1981-1984) and then as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice (1985-1990).

As the credentials of the two authors seem to imply, this book approaches the issue of capital punishment from both the perspective of Catholic teaching and secular jurisprudence and makes what I believe is an airtight case on both grounds. In the interest of full disclosure, I am coming to this with a decidedly pro-death penalty viewpoint. But if my judgment is clouded as a result of that, it should be plain to any objective observer. However, I, like the authors, believe it is legitimate for a Catholic to oppose capital punishment as a matter of policy, but not in principle.

Among those who give words of praise to the book are well-known Catholic figures like Frs. James Schall, Gerald Murray, and Robert Sirico, as well as canonist Dr. Ed Peters. Not one bishop is included amongst the names. Gee, why am I not surprised?

The introduction on page 12 states: “Yet traditional natural law reasoning is simply not widely understood today even among most Catholics. Moral thinking about capital punishment, even among Catholics, is often guided instead by what amounts to little more than platitudes lacking any clear content or rational foundation or by ethical theories that are incompatible with Catholic teaching.” In my experience, not only is this true, but it understates the problem. For example, about two years ago, I had a brief e-mail exchange with a priest friend of mine on capital punishment. This priest has formal training in Rome in moral theology, but yet he exhibited the same platitude-laden thinking devoid of both rational foundation and understanding of traditional Catholic teaching decried by the aforementioned quote. When someone like myself, who barely graduated high school in the Detroit public school system, displays a better grasp of how both the natural law and traditional Catholic morality approaches this issue than a priest educated in Rome, we have a serious problem!

In this light, it is only proper that the first chapter deals with the natural law. While I personally think the chapter could have been shorter and its language simplified, it is well worth the somewhat laborious read. In this chapter, the authors go to significant lengths to criticize the so-called New Natural Law Theory (NNLT) whose proponents include Drs. Germain Grisez, William May, E. Christian Brugger, Robert P. George, and others. In general, they posit, per the authors, that capital punishment not only shouldn’t be administered in practice, but that it is not even morally permissible in principle. This view puts them at odds with what the Church has traditionally taught regarding the death penalty. And yet these men all have established reputations for Catholic orthodoxy! Strange orthodoxy!

In the following chapter,”Church Teaching and Capital Punishment” they continue their criticisms of the NNLT. On page 143, they state: “Indeed, in our view it is surprising that the new natural law position on capital punishment has not generated more vigorous opposition among Catholics concerned with faithfulness to tradition and to the Magisterium.” While I would wholeheartedly agree that lack of opposition to this on the part of faithful Catholics is a problem, it is not at all surprising when you consider that the NNLT proponents are feted by many American bishops. This includes bishops who are considered heroes by many orthodox Catholics like, for example, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. Chaput endorses Dr. Brugger’s work. Brugger also was Cardinal Francis J. Stafford Chair of Moral Theology at St John Vianney Seminary in Denver from 2008 (while Archbishop Chaput was still the Ordinary in Denver) to around 2016. I would not be surprised if Chaput was instrumental in Brugger’s hiring at SJV. What I find surprising is that the authors are unaware of this. This is a significant problem I have with this book. The authors downplay the scandalous conduct of the bishops (although such accusations can be deduced from their treatment of the bishops’ position) on this issue. I will have more to say about this later. But I have to wonder if this is the decision of the authors or the powers-that-be at Ignatius Press.

The chapter does do an excellent job at decoding what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says regarding capital punishment. I say decoding because it mixes the prudential judgment of the Church hierarchy with doctrinal imperatives in such a way that can be difficult to distinguish. I have personal experience with this very thing in trying to explain to fellow Catholics what the Church actually teaches on the subject. It is a necessary task fraught with frustration.

One of the claims made by anti-death penalty activists is that it devalues human life. On the surface, this claim sounds plausible. And it would be true if the death penalty were carried out in an unjust or in a careless way. But such is certainly not the case in the U.S. On page 65, the authors give a brilliant response:

The opponent of capital punishment might acknowledge that the murderer has forfeited his right to life but argue that even if murderers deserve to die, we only perpetuate the “cycle of violence” if we kill them. Once again, though, if this were a good objection to capital punishment, it would be a good objection to any other punishment. It is like saying that imprisoning kidnappers further erodes respect for human freedom, or that fining thieves perpetuates the cycle of theft. Of course, no one speaks of a “cycle of theft” or a “cycle of kidnapping”, precisely because everyone knows there is a crucial moral difference between the innocent and the guilty, and thus a crucial moral difference between the way criminals treat the innocent and the way public authorities treat the guilty. When we punish, we simply are not, from a moral point of view, doing the same thing to offenders that they did to their victims and thus are not furthering any morally problematic “cycle”. But this is as true of the penalty of death as it is of any other punishment. Talk of a “cycle of violence” papers over the crucial moral difference between the innocent and the guilty and thereby falsely insinuates that execution is morally on a par with murder. In fact, just as incarcerating kidnappers affirms the value of human freedom and fining thieves affirms the value of property rights, so too does executing murderers affirm the value of human life.

As far as the “cycle of violence” claim goes, Archbishop Chaput makes this claim in language that is suggestive of moral equivalence “What the death penalty does achieve is closure through bloodletting and violence against violence—which is not really closure at all, because murder will continue as long as humans sin, and capital punishment can never, by its nature, strike at murder’s root. Only love can do that.”

 
In fact, stronger arguments can be brought forth that opposition to the death penalty has often been motivated by a devaluing of innocent human life. Most opponents of the death penalty are pro-abortion and have effectively used that issue to drive a wedge between pro-lifers. On page 206, the authors quote the late Cardinal Avery Dulles: “The mounting opposition to the death penalty in Europe since the Enlightenment has gone hand in hand with a decline of faith in eternal life.” And there is no greater attack on human life than the attack on faith in life eternal.
 

No book written making a Catholic defense of the death penalty by American authors would be complete without an extensive treatment of the opposition to it by the USCCB. Chapter 4 is entitled “The American Bishops Campaign Against the Death Penalty”. The authors point out how markedly different the U.S. bishops position nowadays is from that of what American Catholics were taught less than sixty years ago. It is also different from what many American bishops held less than two generations ago. On page 284 the book points out:

The American bishops first addressed the subject in a general meeting in 1974. Philosopher-theologian Germain Grisez (the founder of new natural law theory and a prominent Catholic opponent of the death penalty) was commissioned to write a background study. He submitted a fifty-one-page document, from which a committee produced a seven-page brief against the death penalty, including scriptural, theological, and practical arguments for its abolition. The statement proved to be highly controversial. Some bishops objected that it “implied rejection of the teaching of the church regarding the limited right of the state to take life”. Others objected to the interpretation of scriptural passages. A cardinal questioned “whether the reference to capital punishment being discriminatory was sufficiently compelling” and “whether there was sufficient evidence to say that capital punishment was not being applied in an even-handed application”. The next day, after the document was revised, the same cardinal “noted that the reference to deterrence in the statement ignored the legitimate vindictive aspect of punishment”.

On Page 285: “As Archbishop Francis Furey of San Antonio, Texas, an outspoken proponent of the death penalty, wrote in 1977: ‘It is a divisive issue in the Church in this country. Perhaps that is as it should be. There are arguments on both sides. However, to say that the U.S. hierarchy, as such, is opposed to capital punishment, is just a plain lie.'” It would be unimaginable today for an American bishop to speak the way Archbishop Furey did a mere forty years ago.

It would be practically impossible for any honest reader to read this chapter as well as what the bishops say about capital punishment that the bishops’ statements are an affront to the traditional teaching of the Church. For instance, on page 310-311 we read: 


Consider these passages, quoted above, from the USCCB’s Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice (2000), the bishops’ most extensive treatment of criminal 
justice in the United States:

We seek justice, not vengeance. We believe punishment must have clear purposes: protecting society and rehabilitating those who violate the law. . . . [Jesus] rejected punishment for its own sake, noting that we are all sinners (Jn 8). Jesus also rejected revenge and retaliation and was ever hopeful that offenders would transform their lives and turn to be embraced by God’s love. . . Punishment for its own sake is not a Christian response to crime. Punishment must have a purpose. It must be coupled with treatment and, when possible, restitution. . . . We ask all Catholics—pastors, catechists, educators, and parishioners—to join us in rethinking this difficult issue and committing ourselves to pursuing justice without vengeance.


Apart from the unjustified inference that Christ’s refusal to countenance the stoning of the adulteress (Jn 8:1-11) was a biblical teaching about punishment (see our earlier discussion), what does it mean to say that Christ rejected “punishment for its own sake” or that “punishment for its own sake is not a Christian response to crime” because “punishment must have a purpose”? What kind of punishment, exactly, was Christ supposedly rejecting in the 

bishops’ view?

Apparently, he was, in their view, rejecting purposeless punishment, which Christians should always reject. When the bishops formally address the matter (most fully in their first systematic treatment of the death penalty in 1980), they identify three key justifications for punishment: “retribution, deterrence, and reform”.63 These are the purposes that punishment is meant to serve, all of which the bishops accept as legitimate. What, then, counts as punishment without a purpose, and who has ever urged that criminals be punished for no purpose? Who today calls for punishing criminals—whether with the death penalty, prison, or fines—for no reason at all? Surely, those in ancient Israel who wished to stone adulterers had a very specific purpose in mind: to discourage adultery. Perhaps the key to understanding the force of the bishops’ point is the sentence that follows “Punishment must have a purpose” in the document we cite: “It must be coupled with treatment and, when possible, restitution.” Retribution has seemingly disappeared from view, even though, as we have seen, the bishops themselves elsewhere acknowledge retribution as one of the legitimate purposes of punishment, and, as we showed in earlier chapters, it is in the Catholic tradition the chief purpose.

 

The current Catechism of the Catholic Church reaffirms this traditional view: those responsible for “safeguarding the common good” have “the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense” (CCC 2266). We should not be surprised if most readers interpret the bishops’ phrase “punishment for its own sake” as code for retributive punishment. Unfortunately, then, the bishops’ statements strongly imply that Christ was simply opposed to retributive punishment, a position quite contrary to traditional Catholic teaching.

Absolutely correct, but the authors follow that up with this: “We hasten to emphasize that we do not believe that the bishops intend in statements like this to contradict the Church’s traditional teaching. Rather, we think that, in their zeal to rally others to the abolitionist cause, they have too frequently resorted to making statements that have rhetorical and emotional force, but that are theologically highly imprecise and misleading.” (emphasis in original.)

Well, I would say the authors are being hasty themselves in the above statement. These are Catholic bishops. How can they not know that at the very least the upshot of their statements run afoul of Church teaching? And the USCCB statement they cite above is far from the only statement from the bishops conference as a whole as well as individual bishops that, practically speaking, is contrary to Church teaching. For instance, Archbishop Chaput, while acknowledging that capital punishment is not intrinsically evil, uses phrases like “Church teaching against the death penalty”  . Archbishop Chaput said this about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s position on the death penalty: “Second, if we say we’re Catholic, we need to act like it. When Catholic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia publicly disputes Church teaching on the death penalty, the message he sends is not so very different from Frances Kissling (of “Catholics for a Free Choice” fame) disputing what the Church teaches about abortion. I don’t mean that abortion and the death penalty are equivalent issues. They’re not. They clearly do not have equal moral gravity. But the impulse to pick and choose what we accept in Church teaching is exactly the same kind of “cafeteria Catholicism ‘in both cases.'”

Now, it would have been one thing if he took issue with the way the late Justice Scalia portrayed St. Pope John Paul II’s statements in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae as an attempt on the pope’s part to change traditional Church teaching, as Cardinal Dulles did.  But to paint Scalia as dissenter from Church teaching in the way he did by comparing him to Francis Kissling of the hideous Catholics for Free Choice is both calumnious and mean spirited.

As far as John Paul II’s stated opposition to the death penalty is concerned, while I think he didn’t go nearly as far as many American bishops as he didn’t smear the pro-death penalty viewpoint like the bishops have and still do, it was rather irresponsible considering the kind of confusion it caused. Based upon what the authors say about JPII and the death penalty, they couldn’t credibly take issue with me on that. I have often wondered if Cardinal Ratzinger’s explicit inclusion of there being “legitimate diversity of opinion” with regard to the death penalty in the 2004 official CDF letter to Cardinal McCarrick on the Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion wasn’t an attempt at damage control.

During the Nov. 2016 election cycle, there were two ballot measures having to do with the death penalty in California, Prop. 62, which would have put a moratorium on the death penalty and Prop. 66 which called for a speeding up of the process between sentencing and execution. Thankfully, the former failed and the latter passed. To whip up support for Prop. 62, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, another darling of the “orthodox” Catholic establishment, made a video where he claims that the Church teaches the death penalty is no longer acceptable. The Church teaches no such thing and Archbishop Gomez knows it. It is much more plausible in light of what the authors themselves say that “zeal for the abolitionist cause” is more important to the bishops than clearly conveying what the Church teaches on this matter. And the authors do their cause no favors by sugar coating the culpability of the bishops on this issue. Again, is this their idea or that of the powers-that-be at Ignatius Press? Certainly the latter is very plausible particularly in the case of Archbishop Chaput. Catholic World Report, which is published by Ignatius, ran a disgusting puff piece on Chaput penned by George Weigel. Weigel somehow forgot to mention how those orthodox Catholics who take a pro-death penalty and/or anti-illegal immigration view, both legitimately Catholic, are treated by the Archbishop.

Another startling, but all too common, act of episcopal malfeasance is the dutiful parroting of the fraudulent claims put forth by anti-death penalty activist groups like the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) and the ACLU, and several others. They often make the claim that the death penalty does not deter, is used in a racist manner against minorities, and that it is used unjustly toward the poor. For starters, all these claims should a least be met with enough skepticism to merit further investigation. But if you were to read only the claims repeated by the USCCB, you would be misled into believing that there are no valid arguments being made to the contrary. First of all, the prospect of the more extreme punishment is going to have a deterrent effect at least in general is just human nature. And you don’t get much more extreme than death. And the authors cite several peer reviewed studies that seem to support this idea. Surprisingly, there are two studies the authors do not mention, the 2005 AEI/Brookings Institute Study and one conducted by the University of Colorado in 2007. In the latter study, Naci Mocan, a participant in the study and death penalty opponent makes a key admission:

” ‘Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it,’ said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. ‘The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect.’A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. ‘The results are robust, they don’t really go away,’ he said. ‘I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?’ “

However the authors (Feser and Besette) do acknowledge that  “As this brief review demonstrates, from the perspective of quantitative social science, the deterrent effect of the death penalty is very much an open question.” (page 320) Given the very truncated application of how the death penalty is carried out, it would seem to me that the social science means of determining its deterrent effect is extremely limited.

Next is the race card. Given that we live a in a culture that is minority-sensetive to a fault, this claim ought to be viewed with suspicion barring solid evidence. Columnist and token conservative at the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby once described this claim thus,  “The anti-black ‘racism’ of the US death penalty system is like the Abominable Snowman: ugly, alarming, widely believed in, and nonexistent.” Again, the numbers support that quip. Although, as the authors point out, whites are more likely to commit capital crimes at higher per capita rates, blacks commit these crimes at a rate disproportionately higher than their representation in the population. One would think if the bishops were really motivated by a genuine pastoral concern, they would be lamentingly asking why is this so. They might posit the fact that the breakdown of the black family is such that it lays the groundwork for dangerous criminal activity. And they would thus be able to credibly link family breakdown, which in large part is fueled by sexual promiscuity, with the culture of death that murder, not the just imposition of the death penalty, inflicts on black society. But they don’t. And that’s because, once again, their zeal for the abolitionist cause is more important to them than upholding the teaching of the Church on this matter. On pages 354 to 367, the book goes into great detail demonstrating both the racial breakdown of how the death penalty is meted out and how to interpret what the numbers mean. But this pretty much sums up their case “One can read widely in the literature on race and the death penalty and never learn that a federal judge, after extensive review, had found that the most famous of the studies purporting to demonstrate racism in the post-Furman era had not even made a ‘prima facie case of discrimination’.” (page 363)

The accusation that the death penalty discriminates against the poor is one that can, on its face, seem plausible. After all, wealthier people can afford more talented legal representation than those less wealthy. But this overlooks a basic truth as well, namely that this fact in itself doesn’t mean the poor are unjustly treated in capital cases. The truth is the exact opposite. It would be like saying the huge disparity between someone making ten million dollars a year and someone making five hundred thousand dollars a year is an injustice. But that is basically what someone claiming the death penalty unjustly discriminates against the poor would have to say if he were to be consistent. Again we should start out asking what are the causes and conditions of why the poor, like blacks, are disproportionately represented on death row. The authors ask and answer this crucial question thus:

“So, one wonders what kind of unfairness is demonstrated by the mere fact that death row inmates, like prisoners generally, are more likely to be poor than is the nation’s population. If males disproportionately commit more murders than females, we would expect them to be disproportionately represented on death row. Similarly, if the poor disproportionately commit more murders than the nonpoor, we would expect them also to be disproportionately represented on death row. We should not be surprised that violent criminals, and especially the worst among them, do not have stellar work histories. Many have been in and out of prison for much of their adult lives, have been deeply involved in the drug subculture, have drifted in and out of the job market, or have otherwise lived on the fringe of society. They tend to lack the very character traits that have moved tens of millions of Americans from modest beginnings into a solid middle-class life. Thus, it is not that poverty has driven these offenders to crime; rather, the same bad character traits that have led them to crime have also led them into poverty.” (page 368) And the numbers back this up.

Like with the sad fact that blacks are disproportionately represented on death row, the bishops could credibly posit that the breakdown of the family has consequences that pose grave danger to society. But no, they act like loyal leftist ideologues on the issue of capital punishment.

There is more that can be said about this book than I have covered here. The book, “By Man Shall His Blood be Shed” is a must read for anyone who earnestly desires to understand both Catholic teaching on the subject of capital punishment and the wider societal ramifications. But its failure to explicitly call out the bishops conference, as well as individual bishops who have reputations for orthodoxy like Chaput, Gomez, and Wenski by name, for episcopal malfeasance as opposed to being merely misguided significantly undermines the credibility a book of this caliber should have.

23

Six Impossible Liturgical Things before Breakfast

Inspired by Pope Francis’s latest pronouncements on proper conduct at Holy Mass, I’ve thought of  some other things that we might wish to happen.

  1. No hymns written after 1905 will be sung at Mass.
  2. There will be no drums, wind instruments, or guitars accompanying the choir for hymns or other liturgical music.
  3. The “Our Father” prayer will be recited or chanted;  anyone who sings the “Notre Dame Folk Choir”  “Our Father” will be required to do penance.
  4. All children under three will sleep through Mass.
  5. No one will arrive at Mass after  the opening prayer;   no one will leave until the second verse of the recessional hymn is sung.
  6. As Pope Francis requested, all cell phones will be off and conversations will be held outside the church.

I have many more, so look for another edition of this.  And feel free to add your own.

19

The Case of Judge Roy Moore and the Divorcee

 

 

Some interesting facts came out yesterday in regard to Moore and his accuser of sexual assault Beverly Young Nelson.  Apparently Judge Moore, when he was a local trial judge, presided over Ms. Nelson’s divorce case in 1999, a factoid that Ms. Nelson did not mention in her tearjerker appearance with Gloria “no ambulance should go unchased” Allred.  Based on my experience of 35 years in the law mines that, alone, is enough to torpedo her accusation.  First, because if it were true her attorney would immediately have filed a motion for substitution of judge.  Second, because it gives her a motive to lie.  Judges rarely make friends when presiding over a divorce case, and they often make lifelong enemies from one of the participants who believe they got the raw end of the stick.  This was a simple fact to find out, and it says all you need to know about the lynch mob media that none of them bothered to even do a cursory investigation of Beverly Young Nelson.

Moore’s attorney, in the above video, also notes that Judge Moore’s signature on the divorce dismissal, had DA stamped after it, the initials of his then administrative assistant.  Here is his signature in that case:

 

 

Moore’s attorney also called for the year book to be placed in neutral hands to be examined by experts in handwriting and ink.  Here is the spluttering reaction of  Gloria “no ambulance should go unchased” Allred to all that.

 

 

Friends, on the question of whether Judge Moore ever assaulted anyone this is a railroad job pure and simple.  Did Moore seek dates with legal teenagers, yeah, I believe that.  Did he ever sexually assault anyone?  Not from the evidence I have thus far seen.

5

PopeWatch: Shhh!

Wow, twice in a week where PopeWatch agrees with the Pope:

 

On Wednesday, Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord.

“When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those in front of us,” the Pope said Nov. 15. However, “it is not a moment for chit-chat.”

“It is a moment of silence for preparing ourselves for dialogue, a time for the heart to collect itself in order to prepare for the encounter with Jesus,” he said, adding that “silence is so important.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Silence is usually golden, but at Mass it is priceless

4

November 16, 1940: Mad Bomber of New York Plants First Bomb

George Metesky, the most disgruntled of all disgruntled workers, planted his first bomb at a Consolidated Edison power plant on Manhattan.  A former Marine, Metesky had worked for Consolidated Edison and been injured at a work place accident in 1931.  Consolidated Edison successfully defeated his legal attempt to obtain compensation, his last appeal occurring in 1936.  (He waited too long in order to file a claim under workers compensation.)  He developed a strong hatred for the company, and decided to use homemade bombs to get his vengeance.  His first bomb was a crude one, a brass pipe filled with gunpowder, with an ignition mechanism consisting of batteries and sugar.  The bomb was discovered before it could go off.  It was wrapped in a note signed F.P. stating :  CON EDISON CROOKS – THIS IS FOR YOU.

 

 

 

In September 1941 the police found a similar bomb, this time a dud, without a note, laying in the street, five blocks from Consolidated Edison headquarters.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Metesky sent a note to the police stating:  I WILL MAKE NO MORE BOMB UNITS FOR THE DURATION OF THE WAR – MY PATRIOTIC FEELINGS HAVE MADE ME DECIDE THIS – LATER I WILL BRING THE CON EDISON TO JUSTICE – THEY WILL PAY FOR THEIR DASTARDLY DEEDS… F.P.

He kept his word, and took a ten year hiatus from planting bombs.  Between 1951-1956 he planted at least 31 bombs in New York City, twenty-two of which exploded.  Mercifully no one was killed, but fifteen people were injured.

The public was getting hysterical due to the police inability of stopping the bombings, the New York City police being surrounded by blind leads and a wave of false confessions.  They turned to criminologist James Brussels who worked out a profile of the bomber that was published in newspapers by the police:

Male, as historically most bombers were male. Well proportioned and of average build, based on studies of hospitalized mental patients. Forty to fifty years old, as paranoia develops slowly. Precise, neat and tidy, based on his letters and the workmanship of his bombs. An exemplary employee, on time and well-behaved. A Slav, because bombs were favored in Middle Europe. A Catholic, because most Slavs were Catholic. Courteous but not friendly.

Has a good education but probably not college. Foreign-born or living in a community of the foreign-born – the formal tone and old-fashioned phrasing of the letters sounded to Brussel as if they had been written or thought out in a foreign language and then translated into English. Based on the rounded letter “w’s” of the handwriting, believed to represent breasts, and the slashing and stuffing of theater seats, Brussel thought something about sex was troubling the bomber, possible an oedipus complex – loving his mother and hating his father and other authority figures.

A loner, no friends, little interest in women, possibly a virgin. Unmarried, perhaps living with an older female relative. Probably lives in Connecticut, as Connecticut has high concentrations of Slavs, and many of the bomber’s letters were posted in Westchester County, midway between Connecticut and New York City.

Pleased by all the publicity, Metesky entered into a taunting correspondence with the police by sending letters to the New York Journal American.  A Consolidated Edison clerk, Alice Kelly finally broke the case.  She had been assigned to examine files in which injured workers had made explicit or implicit threats.  She noticed that some of the phrases used in Metesky’s letters to Consolidated Edison matched the correspondence  sent by F.P. to the New York Journal American.  Police arrested Metesky on January 21, 1957.  He made a complete confession and told the officers that F.P.  stood for Fair Play.  Found to be insane, Metesky spent 25 years in a mental hospital before being released, having been unresponsive to therapy but otherwise a model inmate.  He died twenty years later in 1994, age 90.

2

Vices of the Articles of Confederation

On November 15, 1777, two hundred and forty years ago, the Congress approved the Article of Confederation and sends them to the States.  The Articles would not go into effect until March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all of the 13 States.  It is interesting to note, and a truly remarkable fact, that the American Revolution was almost entirely fought with the government of the Union, what little there was of it, being the temporary expedient of the Second Continental Congress.

 

 

In April 1787 James Madison wrote a very interesting document outlining the vices of the political system of the United States under the Articles of Confederation.  It is fascinating to read in light of the Constitutional Convention later that year, and also in light of our experience with the Constitution for over two centuries: Continue Reading

0

PopeWatch: Emptied of Content

Edward Pentin interviews Cardinal Burke at the National Catholic Register.  PopeWatch was struck by this statement of the Cardinal:

 

 

Over and above the moral debate, the sense of the ecclesial sacramental practice is increasingly eroding in the Church, especially when it comes to the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. The decisive criterion for admission to the sacraments has always been the coherence of a person’s way of life with the teachings of Jesus. If instead the decisive criterion were now to become the absence of a person’s subjective culpability — as some interpreters of Amoris Laetitia have suggested — would this not change the very nature of the sacraments? In fact, the sacraments are not private encounters with God, nor are they means of social integration into a community. Rather, they are visible and effective signs of our incorporation into Christ and his Church, in and by which the Church publicly professes and actuates her faith. Thus, by turning a person’s subjective diminished culpability or lack of culpability into the decisive criterion for the admission to the sacraments, one would endanger the very regula fidei, the rule of faith, which the sacraments proclaim and actuate not only by words, but also by visible gestures. How could the Church continue to be the universal sacrament of salvation if the meaning of the sacraments were to be emptied of its content?

Go here to read the rest.  Catholicism Lite is a religion which masquerades as Catholicism but only has surface similarities.  Recall the mode of operation  of the Left:

 

1. Target a respected institution 2. Kill & clean it 3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

 

 

 

11

US Bishops Signal Resistance to Pope Francis’s Agenda?

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal (go to Drudge to get the post without a paywall–look for “US Catholic Leaders Signal Resistance to Pope’s Agenda”.)

Here are some quotes:

“—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops chose a conservative archbishop for a key post Tuesday, signaling resistance to Pope Francis’s vision for the church among the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, of Kansas City, was elected chairman of the committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a vote of 96 to 82, he defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich, of Chicago, who is seen as a liberal in the church and a close ally of the pope.

The vote breaks a longstanding tradition of the position being held by a cardinal—an unusual lapse of deference in a highly rank-conscious body—and suggests that Catholic leaders in the U.S. remain largely resistant to the changes Pope Francis is trying to bring to the church.”

…….

” ‘It is clear since 2013 that a majority of them sees the message of Francis’ pontificate, esp. on life and marriage, as not adequate for the Catholic Church in the USA,’ Massimo Faggioli, a theologian at Villanova, said on Twitter after the vote Tuesday.”–Ian Lovett and Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal, 14 Nov, ’17

The vote count was 96 to 82.   Cupich is a Cardinal and the position ordinarily goes to a Cardinal, so the closeness of the vote may be due to this break from tradition, rather than reflecting a focus on abortion and euthanasia as pro-life issues.   The article indicated that Cupich, a supporter of Pope Francis, would probably want to follow Pope Francis’s lead in bringing in other issues–capital punishment, global warming, etc–and this was rejected by the Bishops.

Is this an encouraging sign?   You tell me.

24

Roy Moore: Send in the Clowns

Every good dog and pony show should have a clown interlude and that was supplied yesterday by Gloria “No ambulance should go unchased” Allred.

 

 

 

 

 

Go here to read the accusations of Beverly Nelson Young, who, coincidentally (?), was in the same high school class as Moore’s future wife, who he married in 1984.  Moore has denied everything, and go here to look at a video of his statement.

 

What I find fascinating is the alleged signing by Moore of her yearbook.  I have long regarded handwriting analysis as at best an art rather than a science, but there are people on the internet pointing out facts that might indicate a forgery.  Go here to take a look at one of the posts alleging this.

 

I am not a handwriting analyst, and I will not play one on this blog, but I do have a few questions:

 

  1. Why would Moore sign himself as DA, rather than the Deputy District Attorney, the first full time one appointed in the history of Etowah County?  Attorneys tend to be precise about the offices they hold, and Moore, a newly minted attorney, would have been unlikely to claim the title of his boss.
  2. Why was the restaurant called the Olde Hickory House rather than the Old Hickory House, its correct name?  An odd mistake for Moore to make if he was a regular there, as the alleged victim claimed.  (Scratch this one.  An ad has appeared from 1978 in which the name of the business was spelled Olde Hickory House.)
  3. Handwriting tends to change as people grow older.  (I know mine has.)  How was Moore signing his name back in 1977?
  4. Why give a precise date, 12-22-77, after the note, when the note indicates it was written at Christmas 1977?
  5. OK, I will lapse into handwriting expert just once:  the 77 in Christmas 1977 and in 12-22-77 look different to my completely untrained eyes.
  6. Assuming that Moore had nefarious intent for the young lady, would he, as an attorney, have been stupid enough to give a potential written evidence hostage for the future?  I have been an attorney for 35 years and I can attest that most attorneys tend to be a cautious breed when it comes to protecting themselves.
  7. Why would the alleged victim treat the inscription like a family heirloom all these years?  Why didn’t she rip out the page, strike it out, or have colorful commentary by her written under it noting his attempt to rape her?

I have been involved in more than a few cases where a purported haymaker piece of evidence rebounds on those who seek to use it.  If I were Moore, and if I were innocent, I would demand that the yearbook be submitted to a panel of experts to analyze the handwriting and to attempt to determine the age of the ink.  Stay tuned for future developments in this ongoing soap opera.

 

 

13

PopeWatch: Sins

Catholic prelates in Germany are doing their worst to make Martin Luther seem a champion of orthodoxy by comparison:

 

According to the chairman of the Catholic bishops’ conference of Germany, the death of Jesus Christ was not a redemptive act of God to liberate human beings from the bondage of sin and open the gates of heaven. The Archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, known for his liberal views, publicly denied the fundamental Christian dogma of the sacrificial nature of Christ’s death in a recent interview with a German television station.

Zollitsch said that Christ “did not die for the sins of the people as if God had provided a sacrificial offering, like a scapegoat.”

Instead, Jesus had offered only “solidarity” with the poor and suffering. Zollitsch said “that is this great perspective, this tremendous solidarity.”

The interviewer asked, “You would now no longer describe it in such a way that God gave his own son, because we humans were so sinful? You would no longer describe it like this?”

Monsignor Zollitsch responded, “No.”

Go here to read the rest.  As that noted philosopher Homer Simpson once said:  “This isn’t America!  This isn’t even Mexico!”  This isn’t Catholicism, this isn’t even Protestantism.  The Archbishop has zoomed beyond Christianity entirely and transformed the death of Christ on the Cross into some cheap political statement.  And so we go, down the primrose path, in the Age of Francis.

5

November 14, 1957: The Apalachin Meeting

A Mafia summit meeting was held at the home of Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, New York on November 14, 1957.  Head of the Luciano crime family Vito Genovese  called the meeting to discuss various matters and to attempt to take control of the governing body of the Mafia in America, the Commission having long been divided between a “Conservative Faction” that wanted to run the Mafia in America as the Mafia was conducted in Sicily, and a “Liberal Faction”, led by Genovese, that wanted the Mafia in America to chart its own course free of any Sicilian traditions.  About 100 Mafiosi showed up, with local law enforcement and the New York State Police quickly wondering why all these expensive cars were showing up at a house in sleepy Apalachin.  “Joe the Barber” had been under occasional surveillance by the State Police prior to the meeting.  A raid was conducted and about 58 members of the Mafia, including Genovese, were picked up.  They all claimed that “Joe the Barber” had been sick and they had come to visit him.

 

 

For the Mafia the Apalachin meeting was a long term disaster as it confirmed in the public mind the existence of the Mafia.  After Apalchin, J. Edgar Hoover could no longer ignore the Mafia, and a long term war began between the Federal government and the Mafia which would eventually reduce the Mafia to a shadow of its former self.

10

PopeWatch: Father Perozich

A sign of the wretched times we are living in as Catholics:

 

An outspoken pro-life priest whose bishop banned him from writing bulletin columns is about to retire to Hawaii.

Father Richard Perozich received much attention from the pro-life movement just before the 2016 election when fliers were stuffed in his parish’s bulletins explaining the Democratic Party’s official support for intrinsic evils like abortion. The fliers warned Catholics they put their souls at risk by voting for Democrats. The Diocese of San Diego decried the fliers, which Perozich hadn’t authorized. 

Then, Perozich wrote a bulletin column defending Church teaching on moral issues. He also opined on matters of prudential judgment within Catholic teaching. This led his bishop, Bishop Robert McElroy, to order Perozich to limit his bulletins to “calendaring events.” 

“Bishop McElroy was very gracious in granting” me permission to retire, Perozich, who is nearly 66, told LifeSiteNews.

But Perozich was well-known to the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of San Diego for years before that incident. In his 25 years as a priest, he worked with the diocesan advisory board on Natural Family Planning, started a Courage chapter for people with same-sex attraction seeking chastity, did prison ministry, worked on ecumenical and interfaith efforts, and learned Spanish. 

The “most satisfying” part of being a priest was when Perozich could be “used as an instrument to draw someone to the Lord,” he said. The “best part of being a priest is when one of your people tell me that something I did or said brought you closer to Jesus. Sometimes it can be something I said in a homily, in Confession, [or] in counseling.”

In 2014, Perozich announced to his parish that he was not going to attend a convocation of priests because the speaker was Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, who has said sodomy can express Christ’s “self-gift.”

Radcliffe “shouldn’t even be given a forum to speak because of his previous expressions on sexual issues and marriage and homosexuality,” said Perozich. “So if you’re going to do that, regardless of who’s going to speak, I’m not going to go.” 

He said he didn’t receive any pushback from the diocese for refusing to go.

“As a Christian, I need top-notch people who are real clear in the fullness of the Catholic faith to be my teachers and to express things,” he said. “I didn’t start a protest for other priests not to go, I didn’t tell anyone else not to go – I just told my parishioners that I wasn’t going.”

Changing language means changing meaning

Perozich said he’s always hopeful about the future, but “realistically,” it doesn’t seem that there will be doctrinal clarity any time soon in the Church.

“I don’t see much ability for that to happen because people are asking for changing of language in the Church,” he explained. “For example, our bishop asked that one of the things in the catechism be changed regarding homosexuality” because calling it “disordered” is “a philosophical term and people misunderstand it as a psychological term.”

“You really can’t change those things because they’ll change the meaning,” said Perozich. And the whole purpose of changing language about actions like same-sex activity is so “that you can indeed change the meaning, change the morality.”

The trend of clergy promoting homosexuality doesn’t seem likely to change, Perozich said. 

 

Go here to read the rest.  The heterodox are placed in charge and the orthodox are forced out.  God help us all.

1

Top Ten Posts of All Time on Almost Chosen People

 

 

I get in a stats mood every now and then.  Here are the top ten most viewed posts on Almost Chosen People, the American history blog I write with Paul Zummo:

  1.  Edmund Burke and the American Revolution is the top post with 13,306 views.  Go here to read it.
  2.  Jefferson and Rousseau-On Democracy comes in number two with 11,592 views.  Go here to read it.
  3.  Sam Houston and Secession is at number three with 10,615 views.  Go here to read it.
  4.  Magna Carta comes in at number four with 9,891 views.  Go here to read it.
  5.  Federalist 51-Madison comes in fifth with 8,708 views.  Go here to read it.
  6.  Washington at Prayer has had 7,316 views.  Go here to read it.
  7.  Edmund Burke’s Views on America has 6,525 views.  Go here to read it.
  8.  Lincoln on the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas Nebraska Act comes in at 4,836 views.  Go here to read it.
  9.  George Washington in Trafalgar Square has 4,582 views.  Go here to read it.
  10.  Appropriately, Top Ten Movies for the Fourth of July with 4,194 views rounds out our top ten list.  Go here to read it.

I would note that my co-blogger Paul Zummo wrote the posts at 1,2,5, and 7 places and I drafted the remainder.

7

Not One Thin Dime

 

 

 

(This is a repost from 2014.  Nothing has changed in regard to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and no faithful Catholic should contribute to it.  Go here to read a letter to the Bishops from the Lepanto Institute in regard to the CCHD.)

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas my bride and I usually send Christmas donations to groups we support.  This is the time when we also make a substitute donation to Catholic groups we endorse in lieu of contributing anything to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  Despite window dressing efforts at reform, the CCHD is still in the business of handing out money, given by good-hearted Catholics who think they are contributing money to help people down on their luck, to left-wing pressure groups, many of whom espouse causes directly contrary to the teachings of the Church.

The Lepanto Institute gives us some details on just what a corrupt organization the CCHD is:

The newly launched Lepanto Institute published a report today, which shows a conflict of interest for Ralph McCloud, the Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

McCloud, who approves grants distributed to community organizing groups on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a member of the board of directors of Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ).  Two affiliates of Interfaith Worker Justice received CCHD grants for fiscal year 2014-2015.

The IWJ philosophy is another issue of scandal for an organization that is part of the Catholic Church.

“Ralph McCloud was provided with the facts in 2012, with our showing that the leadership of Interfaith Worker Justice is filled with self-professed pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Marxists,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute.  “By joining the board of directors of IWJ, McCloud has created for himself the very definition of a conflict of interest, and accepted the role of overseeing distribution of funds to an organization in conflict with the Catholic Church’s teaching.”

A report on the leadership of Interfaith Worker Justice is available here.

“In 2012, my colleagues and I published a report on one of the two IWJ affiliates that are currently receiving grants from the CCHD which are in violation of CCHD guidelines,” Hichborn said.

For Fiscal Year 2014-2015, two affiliates of Interfaith Worker Justice received grants from the CCHD totaling $85,000: Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center and The Micah Center.

“How can an individual serve the Church while sitting on the board of IWJ, and in fact approve grants for affiliates of this organization?  It seems impossible,” Hichborn concluded.  “Our Blessed Lord said that man cannot serve two masters, but in the case of IWJ and the CCHD, that is precisely what McCloud is trying to do.”

And this:

The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its own gay straight alliance in 2014, participated in a homosexuality activism coordination event in 2013, and its director of operations signed a letter supporting same-sex marriage.

“CCHD grant guidelines are very clear.  CCHD says it will not fund organizations which are taking actions in violation of Catholic moral teaching,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute.  “This is just one more in the long list of failures in the CCHD’s self-proclaimed rigorous screening process.”

The CCHD’s grant guidelines state, “Organizations that receive CCHD funds must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church.”  The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2357 specifically states, regarding homosexual acts, “under no circumstances can they be approved.”

“What’s perplexing is that in 2012, The Reform CCHD Now coalition sent a profile on the problems with NWBCCC to the Archdiocese of New York, and the response we received was that they decided not to fund that organization before we even sent them the letter,” said Hichborn.  “So, why are they funding them this year, now that it’s clear that things have gotten worse?” Continue Reading

2

Virgins and the Thief in the Night

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Matthew 25: 1-13

I have always liked the ending of the Church year, as we focus in the readings on the Four Last Things:  Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.  In the above reading our Lord, in His usual manner of a parable, sketches out for us His Second Coming and the Final Judgment on the Last Day.  Saint Augustine interprets this for us:

 

They wished to go to meet the Bridegroom. What is the meaning of to go and meet the Bridegroom? To go with the heart, to be waiting for his coming. But he tarried. While he tarries, they all slept. What is all? Both the foolish and the wise, all slumbered and slept. Think we is this sleep good? What is this sleep? Is it that at the tarrying of the Bridegroom, because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold? Are we to understand this sleep so? I like it not. I will tell you why. Because among them are the wise virgins; and certainly when the Lord said, Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold; He went on to say, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Where would you have those wise virgins be? Are they not among those that shall endure unto the end? They would not be admitted within at all, Brethren, for any other reason, than because they have endured unto the end. No coldness of love then crept over them, in them love did not wax cold; but preserves its glow even unto the end. And because it glows even unto the end, therefore are the gates of the Bridegroom opened to them; therefore are they told to enter in, as that excellent servant, Enter into the joy of your Lord. What then is the meaning of they all slept? There is another sleep which no one escapes. Remember ye not the Apostle saying, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that is, concerning them which are dead? For why are they called they which are asleep, but because they are in their own day? Therefore they all slept. Do you think that because one is wise, he has not therefore to die? Be the virgin foolish, or be she wise, all suffer equally the sleep of death.

7. But men continually say to themselves, Lo, the day of judgment is coming now, so many evils are happening, so many tribulations thicken; behold all things which the Prophets have spoken, are nearly fulfilled; the day of judgment is already at hand. They who speak thus, and speak in faith, go out as it were with such thoughts to meet the Bridegroom. But, lo! war upon war, tribulation upon tribulation, earthquake upon earthquake, famine upon famine, nation against nation, and still the Bridegroom comes not yet. Whilst then He is expected to come, all they who are saying, Lo, He is coming, and the Day of Judgment will find us here, fall asleep. Whilst they are saying this, they fall asleep. Let each one then have an eye to this his sleep, and persevere even unto his sleep in love; let sleep find him so waiting. For suppose that he has fallen asleep. Will not He who falls asleep afterwards rise again? Therefore they all slept; both of the wise and the foolish virgins in the parable, it is said, they all slept.

8. Lo, at midnight there was a cry made. What is, at midnight? When there is no expectation, no belief at all of it. Night is put for ignorance. A man makes as it were a calculation with himself: Lo, so many years have passed since Adam, and the six thousand years are being completed, and then immediately according to the computation of certain expositors, the Day of Judgment will come; yet these calculations come and pass away, and still the coming of the Bridegroom is delayed, and the virgins who had gone to meet him sleep. And, lo, when He is not looked for, when men are saying, The six thousand years were waited for, and, lo, they are gone by, how then shall we know when He will come? He will come at midnight. What is, will come at midnight? Will come when you are not aware. Why will He come when you are not aware of it? Hear the Lord Himself, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Lord has put in His own power. The day of the Lord, says the Apostle, will come as a thief in the night. Therefore watch by night that you be not surprised by the thief. For the sleep of death— will you, or nill ye— it will come.

Our time for preparing for the Second Coming of Christ is during this life.  Rather than speculating as whether we live during the Last Days, let us focus on the certainty that the Last Day will come upon us either before or after we taste death.  The exact time is the Lord’s and not ours.  Ours is the duty for us to prepare our souls for this inevitable event, whether it comes in the next second or a billion years from now.

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Butter or Margarine

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

 

Despite efforts to figure whether they were in a Catholic or Protestant service, local parishioners were left baffled after an “animated” man wearing vestments put on a head mic and began pacing back and forth as he delivered his sermon.

“The man looked like a priest and I was quite certain I was in a Catholic Church,” said longtime parishioner Joyce Parlin who had no clue as to what the hell was going on. “But he kept pacing back and forth, ending each statement with a ‘can I get an amen?’ No one was exactly sure what he was asking for. I overheard one gentleman respond, ‘yes, I suppose,’ but the priest or pastor or whatever he was kept desperately asking if he could get more amens.”

Parlin went on to add that the priest or pastor or whatever the heck he was continually used words like “fellowship” and “ministry” during his sermon, words, Parlin admitted, she had never heard before.

“He also used the phrase ‘saved by the Blood of the Lamb,’ which I suppose is some sort of Christian take on the TV show ‘Saved by the Bell.’ Hell, I don’t know.”

At press time, the band has begun singing praise a worship as beach balls are being thrown to and fro, confirming that the event is a Life Teen Mass.

 

Go here to read the comments.   PopeWatch called the Pope for comment, but when he answered he was either speaking in tongues or gargling and PopeWatch was unable to understand him.

6

Every Day Is Veterans Day

Something for the weekend.  Eternal Father.  Today I have the honor of delivering the Veterans Day speech in my village of Dwight.  The speech was written by  my son, Donald John McClarey, who was sworn in as an attorney on Thursday, and who will be joining me to work our law mines.  Here is the text of the speech:

 

 

It is the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. Ninety-nine years ago today, the guns on the Western Front fell silent and World War One ended. After such a great and terrible war, it was only natural that this day became a holiday. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed today Armistice Day in 1919 and thirty states made it a state holiday that same year. In 1938, this day became a national holiday by act of Congress. In 1954, after World War Two, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, to honor all the veterans of all of America’s conflicts.

 

Falling as it does on the day World War One ended, a war that has so greatly shaped our world, as so many of our conflicts in the last century and beyond have, in a sense it is fitting that a holiday celebrating all veterans should be held today. However, in a larger sense, in a far greater sense, is there really only one particular day when we should honor our veterans? No, there is not. In reality, every day is Veterans Day, because the actions and sacrifices of our veterans mark every day we live. They have made the world we live in, and we must ever thank them for what they did for us, both at home and throughout the Earth.

 

 

This sounds perhaps overblown, but it is really just a statement of fact. Who is fighting the Taliban and ISIS? Who fought Communism and won the Cold War? Who fought the Nazis and the Empire of Japan? Who fought the Civil War? Who won our independence? The answer is always the same: veterans, American veterans. Most of them ordinary men, and sometimes ordinary women, at first blush no different from anyone you would meet walking around Dwight, who decided to do something extraordinary and stand up for the ideals this nation was founded on, to defeat tyranny and defend liberty, both here and abroad. These ideals are best summed up in the immortal words of 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.”

 

 

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These words have always had an immense impact, with the sheer weight of what they promise to all of us, to all mankind. But it is all too easy to imagine worlds where these words are just empty, high-sounding ink on an old piece of parchment, no more important to us than a scribble on a post-it note that we have crumpled and thrown away. It scarcely bears imagining, worlds where the Declaration and everything it promised would be seen as just a historical curiosity, or, at worst, trash, consigned to the forgotten past by those who rule our world. In order to appreciate what our veterans have accomplished, let us imagine such bleak alternate worlds where the truths of the Declaration were defeated.

 

 

Imagine the Declaration under glass in a British museum displaying documents from a failed American colonial revolt in the 1700s, that was just a minor disturbance on the road to breaking the Thirteen Colonies to the distant will of London. Or, in another world, the Declaration being displayed in a different exhibit, one on the founding documents of a failed republic that tore itself apart over slavery in the 1860s, first in two, then into more fragments of a great nation, as secession became a valid option for any grievance, and states fled a failing Union. Or, worst of all, the Declaration being burnt to ashes as Fascist or Communist armies paraded through our streets, ushering in a new era of hideous nightmares for all mankind.

 

 

The last world is unquestionably the most terrifying because in our world those ideologies murdered hundreds of millions of people and terrorized billions more during the past century. One can only imagine the horrors that would have been unleashed in a world where their madness and evil ruled supreme, bringing all that misery and bloodshed right to our homes, to our families. I have no doubt most of us know loved ones who died fighting in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. I’d like you all to join me in a brief moment of silence for them and for everyone who has died because of those murderous ideologies our veterans fought.

 

 

But we, thankfully, do not live in any of those worlds. We do not live in those worlds because the generations here, and the generations before, did not let them come to pass. Veterans of the past and veterans of today, embodying that which is best in all of us, stood and fought on countless battlefields to preserve the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, bringing us the peace and freedom we enjoy in this country today.

 

 

We live in a world where America stands for freedom. Let me repeat that sacred word: freedom! Many in this day and age like to scoff at that assertion, but we know that no other nation enjoys such a bonding to that noble ideal. Our veterans and their deeds are living proof of that. If anyone looks at the battles they fought, and why they were fought, they will know that America fights for freedom. The victories of our veterans were not just victories for our freedom, but for the freedom of all humanity.

 

Men and women throughout the globe do not look to Britain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, or any other nation to serve as beacons of liberty, beacons for the rights of all. They look to America because they know that throughout its history American soldiers have always striven to uphold those ideals. And so, going back to the beginning of this speech, every day is Veterans Day, because every day we live in the world they made, under God, and for this our veterans deserve every honor we can bestow.

 

 

Everything we enjoy, our veterans gave to us, often at a high price for themselves. Our safety, our prosperity, and most importantly, our freedom, were all made possible by their blood and sacrifice. They made a world where this nation stands tallest among all others, and a world where all men, even if they still groan under a tyrant’s rule, know of the American promise of freedom. When our veterans signed up, they knew what high price their duty might demand to protect our homes and our loved ones. They answered the call, and we are ever in their debt. And so on this day, and on all days, we should thank our veterans, not only for their service, but for all we have. May God bless and cherish our veterans, and the country which they have so nobly served.

 

5

By their Friends Shall Ye Know them:
Mary Robinson, Friend of Francis, Champion of Abortion and Climate Change

Mary Robinson, former president of that once Catholic country, Ireland, and champion of abortion rights and climate change alarmism, is featured in an article in “Vatican Radio”.     It’s interesting that Pope Francis, possibly following that non-Catholic principle, “The ends justify the means”, has held hands with many eminent folks who propose policies directly contrary to Catholic teaching.   Besides Mary Robinson, there is Hans Schellnhuber, German academic who advocates we do all to promote “Gaia” (sp?)–population control?  abortion? one-world control?, Sir Parth Dasgupta–a population control advocate, and who knows how many others. (See here.)  Why does the Church become involved in political issues of dubious validity?

58

Roy Moore and Thirty-Eight Year Old Allegations

The Washington Post delivers a trade mark  eleventh hour hit piece on Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama:

 

Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them. She also was concerned that her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility.

“There is no one here that doesn’t know that I’m not an angel,” Corfman says, referring to her home town of Gadsden.

Corfman described her story consistently in six interviews with The Post. The Post confirmed that her mother attended a hearing at the courthouse in February 1979 through divorce records. Moore’s office was down the hall from the courtroom.

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.

Go here to read the rest.  The only story that has mileage is the one with Corfman who was fourteen at the time.  I am skeptical.  I have followed Moore’s career for a very long time.  He has been controversial for his stances, and hated for them, not only by Democrats, but by the Republican establishment in Alabama for decades.  Every piece of dirt imaginable has been thrown at him, but never a hint of sexual scandal, until yesterday.  If there were even rumors that he was chasing underage girls, this would have been front page news long ago.  For my sins, I have been an attorney for 35 years and I have learned that the older an allegation is, the more skepticism is warranted.  The burden of proof is on the accuser, and that burden isn’t close to being met.  Just one example is the undisclosed fact of who put the Washington Post in contact with Corfman and the other women.  If this allegation were brought in court it wouldn’t survive a motion to dismiss drafted by a new attorney who graduated last in her class.  In politics however, evidence and allegations are often not on speaking terms.

 

Update 1: 

One of Moore’s accusers is a far left partisan, now trying to conceal that fact.  Go here to read about it.  You can toss on the ash heap the myth that all the accusers are apolitical people, reluctant to come forward.  I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

 

3

PopeWatch: Pietro De Marco

 

 

 

Sandro Magister publishes a post by Pietro De Marco, one of the signatories of the Correctio who explains how the “spirit of Vatican II” is the source of the attempt by Pope Francis to transform the Church:

THE HERETICAL BACKGROUND OF MUCH OF TODAY’S PASTORAL PRACTICE

by Pietro De Marco

What convinced me to sign the “Correctio” is its doctrinal core, meaning the clarification of the “false and heretical propositions propagated in the Church” even by Pope Francis. The propositions under censure in fact have the value of going to the heart of intellectual opinions and attitudes of theological-dogmatic significance that for decades have been spread in the intellectual Catholic “koinè.”

Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio participates spontaneously in this “koinè.” It is a result of what is currently called the “spirit of the Council,” meaning of the Council as constructed by the intelligentsia on the sidelines and asserted over the subsequent years. Whole generations, in particular those that are now growing old, have been impregnated with it and are still acting as its representatives with no self-criticism, as if the Church had not gone through more than half a century of travail on account of the errors and perverse effects induced precisely by that “spirit.”

With the current pontificate, a “conciliar” vision made of few formulas, mostly dismissive of that which is the essence of Catholicism – reason and institution, dogma and liturgy, sacraments and morality – is spreading and imposing itself as the public opinion of the Church, sure of the pope’s personal support, brimming with certainty, without discernment of the implications and not without conceit or disdain against those who are opposed to it: in fact, just like every ideology works.

In effect, one grasps an argumentary and rhetorical aspect of this not only of the pontiff’s opinings, but also in official documents like “Amoris Laetitia.” Thus, by way of example, the distinction between regular and irregular is taken as “artificial and exterior”; the age-old judgment on Protestantism is attributed to “fear and prejudice about the other’s faith”; respect for tradition means “keeping in mothballs, like a coating against parasites”; the age-old legitimization of the death penalty on the part of the Church is traced back to the “preoccupation to hold on to power and wealth”; and so on. A dismissive attitude and typical “grassroots” rhetoric, in addition to the anticlerical repertoire, that infested the 1960’s and ‘70’s (I have a detailed and abundant memory of this, between Florence and Bologna) from which the militant conciliar “momentum” never freed itself, but which were in decline until the election of Bergoglio as pope paradoxically re-legitimized them at the very top.

Premises and effects of this culture are indeed expressed in the propositions defined as “false and heretical” by the “Correctio.” Such propositions must be understood as implicit assumptions, or as major premises, of what that “conciliar” vision has for years consistently affirmed or proposed for belief, and implements on the so-called pastoral terrain. When word and practice are brought to their objective premise of a doctrinal nature, their erosive and destructive power appears. These are, in fact, the doctrinal chasms that for decades have made it possible for pastoral practice to drift along on formulas that are liberating, approachable, generous, accompanied by reassurances for the faithful relative to their “evangelical” foundation: a foundation that is taken as self-evident, given the conformity of Jesus, a Jesus weak and “sinful,” to the human as ordinarily experienced.

In the face of all this, the “Correctio” is like a little “Pascendi,” the anti-modernist encyclical of one hundred and ten years ago, but however – and dramatically – does not come from a pontiff but is addressed to him as a censure.

*

It has been pointedly noted how, precisely in the “critical” theological and pastoral cultures that accompany the action of the pope, always aimed at downgrading canon law, unprecedented attention is now being paid to norms. Why? Because the pastoral sensibility, devoid of any theological rationale, has become a pursuit of reduction, of exoneration.  The pastoral concerns that guide clergies and episcopates today consist in seeking to guarantee a sort of egalitarian treatment for the faithful, to gratify them with a public recognition of equal rights of which access to the Eucharist is only the tip of the iceberg, no matter what their situation with regard to moral theology and canon law.  Not many seem to realize this, not even the pope, but the pastoral practice of mercy today runs, particularly in the urban and secularized societies of the whole world, in the petit bourgeois “existential peripheries” more than in the “favelas,” precisely the perverse machinery of the hypertrophy of individual rights.

 

Go here to read the rest.

3

Happy 242nd Birthday to the Corps!

 

Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem.

President Ronald Reagan, letter to Lance Corporal Joe Hickey, September 23, 1983

 

 

 

 

 

On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams:

“Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said battalions but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve with advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present War with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by names of First and Second Battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.”

At the various birthday celebrations by the Marine Corps today, the song given pride of place will of course be the Marines’ Hymn.  The oldest of the official songs of a branch of the US military, the composer of the Marines’ Hymn is unknown, but is thought to have been a Marine serving in Mexico during the Mexican War, hence the “Halls of Montezuma”.  The music is taken from the Gendarmes Duet from the Opera Genevieve de Brabant, written by Jacques Offenback in 1859.

Prior to 1929 the first verse used to end:

” Admiration of the nation,
we’re the finest ever seen;
And we glory in the title
Of United States Marines”

which the then Commandant of the Marine Corps changed to the current lines.  On November 21, 1942,  Commandant Thomas Holcomb approved a change in the words of the first verse’s fourth line from “On the land as on the sea” to “In the air, on land, and sea”.

My favorite rendition of the hymn is in the movie The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)  This film earned John Wayne his first Oscar nomination as best actor.  (Broderick Crawford would win for his stunning performance in All The King’s Men.)   Wayne was initially reluctant to take the role, partly because he had not fought in World War II, and partly because he saw script problems and didn’t like the character of Sergeant Styker as initially written in the screen play.  (There is evidence that Wayne, 34 at the time of Pearl Harbor, and with 3 kids, did attempt to volunteer in 1943 for the Marine Corps with assignment to John Ford’s OSS Field Photographic Unit, but was turned down.)  Continue Reading

10

Twenty-Eight Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

 

Twenty-eight years ago today my bride and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64  (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers.   It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was.  Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things.  Not Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer.  His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors.  In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989.

 

 

Here is an interview Sam Donaldson did with Reagan immediately after the fall of the wall:

Lech Walesa, a leader of that band of millions of heroes and heroines, at the head of which were Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, gave this salute to Reagan after Reagan died in 2004: Continue Reading

10

Clinton Health: The Inside Story

Remember last year when concerns about Clinton’s health were dismissed as right-wing rubbish by the mainstream media?

 

 

Former DNC chairman Donna Brazile says she doesn’t think Hillary Clinton would have remarked that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” if she was in “better health.”

Brazile reveals in her just-released book Hacked that she saw Clinton right before she made the “basket of deplorables” comment, and it was the first time she noticed “Hillary did not look well.”

Brazile “noticed her face was puffy,” “her skin looked pale and papery,” and “her eyes were glazed.” She approached Clinton about her health before the speech and observed her to be “wobbly on her feet” with a “rattled cough” so bad Brazile suggested medical attention.

Go here to read the rest.  Always remember that one of the goals of most of the media is to protect Democrat candidates during elections from true allegations.

 

3

PopeWatch: Not a Show!

 

 

PopeWatch completely agrees with the Pope:

 

And furthering his comments on how, too often, the Mass is lived in a superficial way, Pope Francis remarked on the fact that the priest who celebrates says “Lift up your hearts” not “Lift up your cellphones  to take a photo!”

“This is a bad thing” he said, “It makes me very sad when I celebrate Mass here in the Square or in the Basilica and I see many cellphones raised. And it’s not only the faithful, but also many priests and bishops. Please! Mass is not a show!” 

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

0

Reb Marines

 

Born on March 16, 1861 by an Act of the Confederate Congress,  the Confederate States Marine Corps had an authorized strength of 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, increased in 1862 to 1026 enlisted men.  The Marines never had more than 600 men at one time during the War.  Throughout the War the headquarters and training facilities of the CSMC was at Camp Beal on Drewry’s Bluff and at the Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk.  The Marines were led by Colonel-Commadant Lloyd J. Beall, a former major and paymaster in the United States Army.  Much of the records of the CSMC were destroyed by a fire in Beall’s home after the War in 1887, which also killed Beall. Continue Reading

0

Yankee Marines

 

 

 

During the Civil War the United States Marine Corp had its authorized strength increased to 3000 men, minuscule compared to the Union Army that reached over a million men.  Marine Commandant Colonel John Harris was a traditionalist who believed that the Marines should guard ships and man artillery batteries, leaving the numerous amphibious invasions that took place during the War to the Army.  Even with this restricted scope, 17 Marines earned the newly created Medals of Honor during the War.  Go here to read a comprehensive list of Marine participation in the Civil War.

 

11

More Than Conquerors

As faithful readers of this blog know,  I have often posted humorous videos from The Lutheran Satire.  The man behind the videos, Lutheran Pastor Hans Fiene, has a profound reflection on the Sutherland shootings at The Federalist:

 

So when a madman with a rifle sought to persecute the faithful at First Baptist Church on Sunday morning, he failed. Just like those who put Christ to death, and just like those who have brought violence to believers in every generation, this man only succeeded in being the means through which God delivered his children from this evil world into an eternity of righteousness and peace.

“We do not need to fear the day of persecution that’s coming to the church, because God said it’s going to come. He warned us over 2,000 years ago the day was coming. And rather than fear it, He said just endure it. Now ‘endure it’ is a hard word. ‘Endure it’ doesn’t mean that they might take your ice cream away today. ‘Endure it’ means it may be a rough day. It may be a rough few years. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.”

 

These are words that First Baptist’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, preached on October 19, 2014—a little more than three years before his 14-year-old daughter and 25 other members of his congregation were murdered. Despite the immense sorrow he, his family, and his congregation are now experiencing, I pray they will still trust in these words.

Despite the horror that madman made the saints of First Baptist endure, those who endured it with faith in Christ have received his victory. Although the murderer filled their eyes with terror, God has now filled them with his glory. Although he persecuted them with violence, God seized that violence and has now used it to deliver his faithful into a kingdom of peace. Although this madman brought death to so many, God has used that death to give them the eternal life won for them in the blood of Jesus.

 

Those who persecute the church and those who mock Christians for trusting in Almighty God rather than Almighty Government may believe that the bloodshed in Texas proves the futility of prayer. But we believers see the shooting in Texas as proof of something far different—proof that Christ has counted us worthy to suffer dishonor for his name and proof that no amount of dishonor, persecution, or violence can stop him from answering our prayer to deliver us from evil.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”j

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 31-39

 

 

9

PopeWatch: Stamp

 Is the Pope Catholic?  Remember when that was an adage to indicate the affirmative of a statement?
Antonio Socci:“The Vatican in a complete mess with its celebration of Luther the Heretic in the place of Our Lady.  Never-ending shame in the dark age of Bergoglio.
November 1, 2017
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own”. (John 19,25-27).
 
 
This is one of the most fundamental moments in the Life of Jesus, the very apex of His redeeming mission. Mary is there and right next to Her is John. From that moment on Mary is the Mother of all those who are to come into the Church: Mater Ecclesiæ, as Paul VI called Her at the closure of the Second Vatican Council.
 
However,  Holy Mother Church, to commemorate the event of the 95 theses nailed by Martin Luther to the great door of the Wittenberg Church 500 years ago, thought well about issuing a fine stamp, through the Vatican Post Office. It is described like this in the official presentation:
“It depicts Jesus Crucified in the foreground on a gold, timeless background showing Wittenberg city. In an attitude of penance, on their knees respectively on the left and the right of the the Cross, Martin Luther holds a Bible, source and purpose of his doctrine, while Philip Melanchthon, theologian and a friend of Martin Luther’s, one of the most important protagonists of the Reformation, holds in his hand the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustuana, the first official exposition of the principles of Protestantism  which were drawn up by him.
Go here to read the rest at Rorate Caeli.  The Church is being led by fools and worse.
7

Every Day Heroes

The Sutherland shootings showed humanity at its worst and at its best.  Rich Lowry points out the best:

 

 

The response by the two by-standers who refused to stand by is something else entirely. It was a characteristically small-town American act of self-reliance that shows, no matter how tattered our civil society may be, it still produces people who will risk life and limb for others without hesitation, unbidden by anything other than their own sense of obligation.

When Stephen Willeford, 55, heard of the shooting, he left his house barefoot with his AR-15 and started exchanging fire with Kelley outside the church. An expert shot, Willeford hit Kelley and reportedly aimed for the gaps on his body armor.

When Kelley got in an SUV and sped off, Willeford jumped in Johnnie Langendorff’s truck and told him to give chase.

Langendorff, 27, didn’t ask any questions. He followed Kelley at 95 mph down the highway, until the perpetrator ran off the road into a ditch.

Willeford jumped out of the truck and rested his rifle on top of Langendorff’s hood and shouted for Kelley to “get out.” The murderer apparently took his own life with a gun shot.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Courage in the face of extreme evil is a valuable lesson for all of us.

3

Curse of Tippecanoe

 

 

Two hundred and six years ago, Territorial Governor of Indiana William Henry Harrison smashed the forces of the Indian Confederacy being formed by Tecumseh.  His victory would propel him into the White House three decades later.  His thirty-one day tenure, before dying of pneumonia, is the shortest presidential term on record.

 

An odd coincidence in American history is the death of every President in office beginning with William Henry Harrison and ending with John F. Kennedy elected in a year ending in zero.  A myth was developed ascribing this to a curse put on William Henry Harrison by the brother of the great Indian leader Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, better known as the Prophet: Continue Reading