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Winston Churchill: July 4, 1918

A speech given by the half-American Winston Churchill at a celebration of the Fourth of July at the city of Westminster, England on July 4, 1918:

 

We are, as the Chairman has stated, met here to-day in the City of Westminster to celebrate the hundred and forty-second anniversary of American Independence. We are met also, as he has reminded you, as brothers in arms, facing together grave injuries and perils, and passing through a period of exceptional anxiety and suffering. Therefore we seek to draw from the past history of our race inspiration and encouragement which will cheer our hearts and fortify and purify our resolution and our comradeship. A great harmony exists between the Declaration of Independence and all we are fighting for now. A similar harmony exists between the principles of that Declaration and what the British Empire has wished to stand for and has at last achieved, not only here at home, but in the great self-governing Dominions through the world. The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document; it follows on Magna Charta and the Petition of Right as the third of the great title deeds on which the liberties of the English-speaking race are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying these principles and learning this lesson we have maintained unbroken communion with those powerful Commonwealths which our children have founded and have developed beyond the seas, and which, in this time of stress, have rallied spontaneously to our aid. The political conceptions embodied in the Declaration of Independence are the same as those which were consistently expressed at the time by Lord Chatham and Mr. Burke and by many others who had in turn received them from John Hampden and Algernon Sidney. They spring from the same source; they come from the same well of practical truth, and that well, ladies and gentlemen, is here, by the banks of the Thames in this famous Island, which we have guarded all these years, and which is the birthplace and the cradle of the British and the American race. It is English wisdom, it is that peculiar political sagacity and sense of practical truth, which animates the great document in the minds of all Americans to-day. Wherever men seek to frame polities or constitutions which are intended to safeguard the citizen, be he rich or be he poor, on the one hand from the shame of despotism, on the other from the misery of anarchy, which are devised to combine personal liberty with respect for law and love of country — wherever these desires are sincerely before the makers of constitutions or laws, it is to this original inspiration, this inspiration which was the product of English soil, which was the outcome of the Anglo-Saxon mind, that they will inevitably be drawn. Continue Reading

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Fortnight For Freedom: Top Ten Patriotic Movies for the Fourth

For those of you who want some patriotic movies to watch over the  Fourth of July, here are some suggestions for viewing.  Longtime readers of this blog will see that this differs somewhat from earlier lists of top ten patriotic movies with some additions and deletions.  Feel free to suggest additional movies in the comboxes.

10. National Treasure (2004)-Sure it’s cursed with a ridiculous plot involving the masons and a treasure, it is still a lot of fun and calls us back to the foundation document, the Declaration of Independence, that is the cornerstone of our Republic.

9. Hamburger Hill (1987)-Content advisory: very, very strong language in the video clip which may be viewed here.  All the Vietnam veterans I’ve mentioned it to have nothing but praise for this film which depicts the assault on Hill 937 by elements of the 101rst Division, May 10-20, 1969.  It is a fitting tribute to the valor of the American troops who served their country in an unpopular war a great deal better than their country served them.

 

8.    Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)-James Cagney in perhaps the greatest film bio of them all, a salute to George M. Cohan, the legendary composer, playwright and patriot.

 

7.      Saving Lincoln (2013)-  Overshadowed by the Lincoln film of 2012, this rendition of Lincoln’s years as President is first rate.

The human cost of the War is always at the core of the film, as we see in the delivery of the Gettysburg Address where some of the members of the crowd hearing Lincoln are holding pictures of soldier relatives who have died.

Lincoln in the film comes to believe that he will die in office and accepts his fate, hoping that God will spare him until his work is accomplished.

 

 

6.    Gettysburg (1993)-The movie that I think comes the closest to conveying to us the passions of the Civil War.  You really can’t understand America unless you understand the Civil War.  As Shelby Foote, one of the greatest historians of the war, said:  “Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.” Continue Reading

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Fortnight For Freedom: Martin Treptow’s Pledge

Martin August Treptow was a barber from Cherokee, Iowa.  Enlisting in the National Guard, during World War I his unit was called up and Treptow found himself in the 168th Infantry, part of the 42nd Division, called the Rainbow Division by Major Douglas MacArthur, who would rise during the War to eventually command the division, because it consisted of National Guard units that stretched across the country like a rainbow.

July 30th, 1918 was a hard day for the division.  Participating in the Second Battle of the Marne which stopped the last major German offensive of the War and saved Paris from capture, the division was attempting to take Hill 212 on La Croix Rouge Farm and incurring heavy casualties.  A message from Treptow’s unit needed to be taken to another platoon.  Private Treptow did not hesitate, but grabbed the message and ran off with it.  As he neared the platoon leader to deliver the message, Treptow was cut down by a burst of German fire.  He was twenty-five years old.  Sergeant  Joyce Kilmer was killed on the same day, in the same battle, a little bit later.  Go here to read about him. Continue Reading

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Rescuer in a Dark Time

“Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

Mark Twayne

 

 

The last surviving rescue dog of 9-11 Ground Zero departs this Vale of Tears.

An old tale states that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden all the animals turned their backs to them except the dogs, who got up and trotted out into the wilderness with them.

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Fortnight For Freedom: God Bless America

 

Something for the weekend.  God Bless America sung by the imperishable Kate Smith.  This song became the rallying song for the United States during World War II.  Witten by Irving Berlin in 1918 while he was serving in the Army and revised by him in 1938, it was performed by Kate Smith on her radio show in 1938 and became an immediate hit, reaching unbelievable heights of popularity during World War II.  The song is a prayer to God, as the first stanza, rarely performed today, makes clear:

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home

God bless America, My home sweet home.

Few entertainers became so connected with one song as Kate Smith did with God Bless America.  A Protestant, Kate Smith attended Mass for years prior to her conversion to Catholicism.  In this Fortnight For Freedom we express our love for America and fervently beseech God to guide her.

 

 

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Ten Years of TAC: Murder and Redemption

 

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from May 3, 2015.)

When I was a kid I watched way too much TV.  How little of those hours I can recall now!  However there is one television show that I watched that has always stayed with me.  On October 25, 1971, when I was a freshman in high school, a Gunsmoke episode aired entitled Trafton.  The guest star of the episode was character actor Victor French, who would make twenty-three appearances on Gunsmoke, usually portraying a villain.  The Trafton episode was no exception.  He portrayed a gunman known simply as Trafton.  A murderer, Trafton had learned the gunman’s trade while riding with Confederate raider “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the War.  The episode opens with Trafton and his gang shooting up a town in New Mexico.  They attempt to rob the bank, only to find that the vault contains no money.  Frustrated, on his way out of town Trafton sees a Catholic Church.  He enters the Church and goes up to the altar, and takes a gold cross, a gold communion chalice and a gold paten.  The priest appears and tries to stop him,  Trafton unhesitatingly gunning down the priest.  Seeing a gold cross about the neck of the dying priest, Trafton stoops down to remove the cross.  As he does so the priest with his last strength, to the utter astonishment of Trafton, says, “I forgive you.” and with his bloody right hand traces a cross on the forehead of Trafton just before he dies.  Trafton uneasily touches his forehead, and then leaves the Church and rides off. Continue Reading

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Harlan Ellison: Requiescat In Pace

Sad news.  Harlan Ellison, the enfant terrible of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, a man who managed to get into arguments with virtually every major science fiction writer of his day, has passed away at age 84.  Ellison tended to be a major pain in the rump to almost everyone who encountered him for more than a few minutes, but he was on Bradbury’s level of ability as a writer.  Great artists can be fairly sketchy individuals and I think Ellison fit firmly into that category, although, to be fair, I suspect due to his rep more than a few of his colleagues gained some amusement in baiting him.  I have read most of what he wrote, and although I was not a fan of his I recognized both the depth of his imagination and his skill at portraying beings in crisis.  Well, whether he lands in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory, I would recommend enlarging the complaint department.

 

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Benjamin Franklin

That Being, who gave me existence, and through almost threescore years has been continually showering his favors upon me, whose very chastisements have been blessings to me ; can I doubt that he loves me? And, if he loves me, can I doubt that he will go on to take care of me, not only here but hereafter? This to some may seem presumption ; to me it appears the best grounded hope ; hope of the future built on experience of the past.

Benjamin Franklin, June 19, 1764

 

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PopeWatch: Tweet

The Catholic wing of the Catholic Church is out of favor in the current pontificate:

 

An indication of the true state of the Catholic Church under the Francis pontificate was unwittingly revealed by the Pope’s biographer and one of his most ardent defenders in a tweet.

“One time, the fringe at big Catholic events was made up of LGBT groups, women’s ordination & ‘Church of the poor’ advocates, complete with their friendly bishops,” observed Catholic journalist and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh in a June 18, 2018 Tweet. “Now the fringe is occupied by traditionalists (incl bishops) pushing a 1930 encyclical as a way out of ‘confusion’.”  

Ivereigh was responding to a tweet by another Catholic journalist, Ed Pentin, who had called attention to a parallel conference to be held in Ireland at the same time as the Vatican sponsored World Meeting of Families (WMOF).  

The alternate conference which will run concurrently with the WMOF is being held to defend the Church’s teaching on sexuality.  

The 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii, mentioned by Ivereigh in his tweet, will be highlighted at the parallel conference. The document was Pope Pius XI’s response to the Anglican church approving contraception — the first time a Christian denomination had done so — at the Lambeth Conference. In it Pope Pius XI defended marriage and family life, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage, prohibiting artificial birth control, and reaffirming the Church’s stance on abortion. He also took a firm stand on eugenics.

 

Go here to read the rest.  In these dire times all Catholics should recall what Saint Athanasius wrote when Arianism seemed to be the wave of the future:

 

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth?

Why do we observe Independence Day on the Fourth of July each year?  Is it merely a historical commemoration, or is it because the lightning words of the Declaration of Independence still have meaning and relevance today?  This is not a new issue.  In the debate over slavery which embroiled this nation a century and a half ago, the phrase “all men are created equal” from the Declaration was argued and fought over.  On June 26, 1857, Abraham Lincoln, in response to the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, contended in a speech in Springfield, Illinois, that the phrase “all men are created equal” applied to blacks as well as whites:

Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family, but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once, actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterwards, actually place all white people on an equality with one or another. And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the Senator, for doing this obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language of the Declaration. I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal—equal in “certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet, that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that “all men are created equal” was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, nor for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should re-appear in this fair land and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.

I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and objects of that part of the Declaration of Independence which declares that “all men are created equal.”

Now let us hear Judge Douglas’ view of the same subject, as I find it in the printed report of his late speech. Here it is:

“No man can vindicate the character, motives and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal—that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain—that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colonists in the eyes of the civilized world in withdrawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.”

My good friends, read that carefully over some leisure hour, and ponder well upon it—see what a mere wreck—mangled ruin—it makes of our once glorious Declaration. Continue Reading

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Amen!

As usual, The Babylon Bee is on target:

 

U.S.—After Justice Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, the nation took a brief moment to thank the Lord that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, and thus would not be able to select his replacement for the Supreme Court.

The nation acknowledged that it didn’t deserve God’s blessings but thanked Him anyway for sparing them a Clinton presidency.

“Father God, we just want to thank You that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the presidency. We know, Lord, that Trump isn’t ideal either, but hoo boy. That was a close one,” one man said in a special emergency prayer and thanksgiving service held at his church in Kentucky. “You truly are wise and sovereign.”

Go here to read the rest.  I guess Hillary Clinton’s outreach to Christians which seemed to be non-existent, go here to read about it, might need a fine tuning for the Dems in 2020.   Their traditional implicit slogan of Hey you stupid Christers, vote for us, doesn’t seem to be working.

 

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PopeWatch: China

The bad deal with China gets worse.  Sandro Magister gives us the details:

 

In his recent interview with Philip Pullella of Reuters, Pope Francis was also asked about China and about what cardinal secretary of state Pietro Parolin had said about it, according to whom “dialogue moves forward with successes and failures, two steps forward and one back.”

Francis expressed confidence in an agreement between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities, even if this does not come soon:

“I think the Chinese deserve the Nobel Prize for patience, because they are good, they know how to wait, time is theirs and they have centuries of culture…They are a wise people, very wise. I respect China a lot. […] With respect to time, someone mentioned Chinese time. I think it is God’s time, forward, calm.”

And as for the criticisms of Cardinal Joseph Giuseppe Zen Zekiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, he downplayed them:

“I think he’s a little scared. Perhaps age might have some influence. He is a good man. He came to talk to me. I received him, but he’s a bit scared. Dialogue is a risk, but I prefer the risk to the sure defeat of not talking.”

Lately, however, the news from China has not been encouraging at all. In May, Settimo Cielo reported on an upswing of anti-Christian repression, and the flimsy justifications set forth by the supporters of an agreement at any cost were worthless.

On June 19, the highly informative website “Bitter Winter,” which deals with religious freedom in China, founded and directed by Massimo Introvigne, reported on a textbook episode of the terrible climate surrounding the negotiations:

> Catholic Priest Detained for Plans to Discuss Proposed China-Vatican Agreement in Hong Kong

The protagonist of the episode is a priest named Yan Lixin, 55, of Guangping in the province of Hebei, the leader of several communities of what is referred to as the “underground” Church, meaning that it is run by bishops who are appointed by Rome but not recognized by the Chinese authorities.

In April, the bishop of Hong Kong, Michael Yeung Ming-cheung – recognized by both Rome and Beijing, who a few days ago, on June 23, was on  an “ad limina” visit with the pope – had invited Fr. Yan to his city for a public discussion precisely on the negotiations underway over the procedure for appointing future Chinese bishops.

Fr. Yan booked the flight to Hong Kong on his cellphone. And on April 9, with the same phone, he got in contact with a Japanese journalist who was also invited to the same discussion. But his phone was under surveillance, so that same evening a dozen police officers descended on his home.

The priest was arrested and held at a hotel in Handan, where he was subjected to incessant interrogation. After seven days they moved him to a different hotel, in Guangping, still under arrest. And the interrogation continued, with the main objective of forcing Fr. Yan to enroll in the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

This goal is not a trivial matter. Far from it. In the 2007 letter from Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics – which is still viewed even by Pope Francis as the “magna carta” of the Church in China –  the Patriotic Association is considered the foremost of those “entities that have been imposed as the principal determinants of the life of the Catholic community,” membership in which “is the criterion for declaring a community, a person or a religious place legal and therefore ‘official,’” but whose “declared purpose to implement ‘the principles of independence and autonomy, self-management and democratic administration of the Church’ is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”

So then, in full fidelity to the Church, Fr. Yan refused to yield. And after twenty days in custody, on April 28, he was released, but under the requirement not to leave his region and to be traceable at all times.

Since then he has been living under strict surveillance and has had to reduce the frequency of his celebration of Mass with his communities, to avoid as much as possible putting this too in danger.

Go here to read the rest.  I bet Pope Francis as a kid kept having his lunch money taken from him by sharper kids.  His deal with China gives the Church precisely nothing while selling out loyal Chinese Catholics.  Stupidity on Stilts!

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Fortnight For Freedom: Freedom is not a “Worship Word”

Long time readers of this blog will not be surprised to see that I have managed to work a Star Trek episode into one of the Fortnight For Freedom posts!

One of the “alternate Earth” episodes that became fairly common as the original Star Trek series proceeded, as explained by Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development, and stringent episode budgets,  the Omega Glory episode in the video clip at the beginning of this post featured an Earth where a cataclysmic war had driven the Americans, the Yangs, out of their cities and into primitive warbands.  Chinese Communists, the Kohms, settled in America.  Their technology was a few steps higher than the Yangs.  The Yangs had been waging a war for generations to drive the Kohms from their land, and the episode coincided with the Yangs taking the last of “the Kohm places”.

Over the generations, the Yangs had forgotten almost all of their history and what little knowledge remained was restricted to priests and chieftains.

“Cloud William: Freedom?

James T. Kirk: Spock.

Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.

Cloud William: It is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.

James T. Kirk: Well, well, well. It is… our worship word, too.

 

 

Continue Reading

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires

I go to Bankruptcy Court and news breaks out!  Anthony Kennedy, the key swing vote on the Supreme Court, is retiring effective at the end of July.  Trump gets another nomination to the Supreme Court and the Democrats go crazy.  This will be a major fight and put the Supreme Court front and center as an issue in the Senate races this Fall.  The Trump Court may be Trump’s longest lasting legacy.  More as I have time to breath after the law mines shut down today.

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Ten Years of TAC: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from February 4, 2014.  It seems appropriate to run this now, since yesterday the majority of the Supreme Court overruled the Korematsu decision. “The dissent’s reference to Korematsu, however, affords this Court the opportunity to make express what is already obvious: Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—’has no place in law under the Constitution.’ )

 

 

In times of war the laws fall silent.  That is from the Latin maxim Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges.  A  study of history reveals just how true that is, and Justice Scalia reminds us of that fact:

 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told law students at the University of Hawaii law school Monday that the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japa­nese-Americans during World War II but that he wouldn’t be surprised if the court issued a similar ruling during a future conflict.

Scalia was responding to a question about the court’s 1944 decision in Kore­ma­tsu v. United States, which upheld the convictions of Gordon Hira­ba­ya­shi and Fred Kore­ma­tsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.

“Well, of course, Kore­ma­tsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime question-and-answer session.

Scalia cited a Latin expression meaning “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”

“That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification but it is the reality,” he said.

Avi Soifer, the law school’s dean, said he believed Scalia was suggesting people always have to be vigilant and that the law alone can’t be trusted to provide protection.

Go here to read the rest.

Internment camps were set up after Pearl Harbor during the invasion scare.  Several thousand Italian-Americans and eleven thousand German Americans were interned during the war, but these were individuals who were picked up because investigations indicated that they could be a domestic threat.  The west coast  Japanese were simply scooped up with no individual investigations.  J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, opposed the internment of the Japanese, regarding it as completely unnecessary, but his views sadly were ignored.  About 120,000 Japanese -Americans were interned during the war, the vast majority loyal Americans.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the internment in the case of Korematsu v. United States.  The vote was 6-3.  Six out of the eight Supreme Court Justices appointed by FDR voted to affirm the constitutionality of the internment.  The lone Republican on the court, Justice Owen Roberts, wrote a dissent which deserves to be remembered.  It begins simply and directly:

I dissent, because I think the indisputable facts exhibit a clear violation of Constitutional rights.

This is not a case of keeping people off the streets at night as was Kiyoshi Hirabayashi v. United States,  320  U.S. 81, 63 S.Ct. 1375,  [323  U.S. 214, 226] nor a case of temporary exclusion of a citizen from an area for his own safety or that of the community, nor a case of offering him an opportunity to go temporarily out of an area where his presence might cause danger to himself or to his fellows. On the contrary, it is the case of convicting a citizen as a punishment for not submitting to imprisonment in a concentration camp, based on his ancestry, and solely because of his ancestry, without evidence or inquiry concerning his loyalty and good disposition towards the United States. If this be a correct statement of the facts disclosed by this record, and facts of which we take judicial notice, I need hardly labor the conclusion that Constitutional rights have been violated. Continue Reading

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Civil War III?

 

 

The Left in this country is increasingly deranged.  They have long adopted the tactics of shouting down adversaries and engaging in street thuggery.  Not all Leftists approve of such tactics, but, as perusing almost any Leftist web site demonstrates, Leftist activists cheer on these measures.  Now the Left has taken to hounding administration officials, usually women, in public places and at their homes.

 

 

 

In a country that has known two civil wars, the American Revolution was a civil war as well as a war against British rule, this is all very dangerous.  Social media helps give a megaphone to extremists, and modern technology allows mobs to be summoned at a moment’s notice.  The Left has developed the charming habit of referring to anyone who disagrees with them as racist.  A term increasingly popular on the Left is Nazi for those having the temerity not to be Leftist.  Mark Shea recently called people who support the border policy of the Administration as being Devil Worshipers.   This is the language of hysteria and not the language of normal politics.  Sooner or later this is going to end in a violent battle, and once shooting starts it may well spread throughout the nation.

I have often wondered what the reaction of the leaders North and South would have been if, after election day 1860, some time traveler from the future had brought them into a room and demonstrated, with irrefutable evidence, that a course was being charted which would lead to 750,000 dead, leaving behind countless orphans and widows, in the next few years and a section of the nation devastated.  I think they would all have been appalled, and developed compromises to avoid our Civil War.  Perhaps that demonstrates too much optimism on my part as to the power of the better angels of our nation.  Alas, no such time traveler visited 1860, and no time traveler will visit our time to detail the human cost of the current folly that is taking us down a very dark path.

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PopeWatch: Heretic Pope?

Father Z discusses whether a Pope can teach heresy:

 

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

What if the Pope were to dogmatically declare that [insert major heresy here] was true? I don’t have an answer for this, which means I am utterly dependent on faith that God won’t let such a thing happen.

Still, what if…

So, what if a putative Pope say… what’s a really trendy name… Pope Logan (the second Jesuit to be elected) … were to call everyone to St. Peter’s Square and formally announce:

“We solemnly declare by our Apostolic authority and our office to confirm the brethren and we teach ex cathedra and infallibly so that it must be firmly and immutably held by the faithful that Christ did not rise from the dead in a physical sense, but rather in a spiritual sense in the hearts of His followers at the time.”

That would be pretty bad.

I, too, believe that God would not allow that to happen.  I am with Ratzinger in holding that the role of the Holy Spirit in the election of a Pope is not to choose the Pope, but to ensure that the choice made by the Cardinals is not a total disaster.   A Pope who would attempt to promulgate something obviously contrary to the doctrine of the faith would be a disaster.  Hence, I don’t think that will happen.

As a matter of fact, I suspect that God would end the pontificate before that would occur.  Pope Logan would get to the words “…it must be firmly and immutably held by the faithful that…” and he would more than likely clutch his chest and fall over with a long, “eehhhehhehe” sound.  There is also another less obvious way God could do it, which I’ll touch hereunder.

Theologians have debated about this point.  Most notable among them is the mighty St. Robert Bellarmine.  Bellarmine thought it impossible for a Pope to be a heretic, but he speculated that by holding a heretical view even privately as a material but not a formal heretic, he would cease to be Pope because he placed himself outside the Church, and no one outside the Church can be Pope.  That, however, can’t be entirely right because we would constantly be in doubt about the status of the Pope, if all it takes is private, material heresy.

A Pope might wind up on some point or other being a material heretic, in that it could happen that he doesn’t realize that he has erred.   A whole other pot of caponata would result were the Pope be a formal heretic, openly teaching heresy, fully culpable for both the sin of heresy and the crime of heresy.

I trust that God will not permit the Pope to be a formal heretic who attempts to promulgate something contrary to the faith.

But say that he does, for the sake of the intellectual exercise.

One problem that rises in this hypothetical discussion is that the Pope cannot be judged formally, as if in a trial.  Not even an ecumenical council could do so.  Only God can do that.

However, it is possible that – while not judging the person of Pope Logan- a council or perhaps the College of Cardinals could make a declaration that a certain thing that a Pope attempted to teach was a formal heresy and, ergo, God Himself as the Pope’s judge, would have caused that Pope’s office to cease, end the pontificate such that the See of Peter was empty from the moment before the Pope taught heresy.

Think about this. A marriage tribunal cannot break a marriage.  A tribunal can only issue a declaration that there never was a marriage.  Tribunals can’t nullify, they can only identify nullity.  Councils can’t take the Pope’s office away, they can identify that God took it away.

A council could declare that Pope Logan had lost his office because of what he had intended and attempted to do.

 

Go here to read the rest.

1

Fortnight For Freedom: Read the Declaration on the Fourth

In my family for many years we have a group reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth.  Our now adult kids enjoy it, as they did when they were children, and so do Mom and Dad.  Each year I am struck by a timeless quality of the words.

“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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

 

 

Continue Reading

3

An Alliance of the Dangerous and the Dim-Witted

One of the more bizarre developments in recent years is the alliance between militant Islam and the Left.  Bizarre, because if the Jihadists come to power in a nation, the Leftists can expect, at best. to be treated with the same contempt that Islamic regimes tend to accord all non-Muslims.  At worst, the Leftists would be viewed as a regime threat and would be exterminated.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at this political alliance of the deranged and the delusional:

 

 

The other big news from the SCOTUS world is that the court ignored political wrangling and ruled that the president can, in fact, protect the country using such things as a travel ban.  America’s number one and most referenced Islamic rights group CAIR joined in the outcry

Here’s my thing.  I don’t give a flip what CAIR thinks.  When Bernie Sanders launched a stunning assault on Christianity by suggesting a religious litmus test that would disqualify Christians who believe Jesus is necessary for salvation, that was CAIR’s chance.  That was their chance to protest Sanders and say they want a nation where all religions are equal and respected.

But as if to lit its slip show too soon, it joined with Sanders and gleefully aided the chorus of Leftist rage against the traditional Christian Faith.  And why not?  Look at religious minorities throughout the Muslim world.   Not just those in the Middle East or in areas impacted by this or that US policy.  If you look only at those, you can do what the Left does and insist it’s all America’s fault.

Hmmm, there’s some trends there, but I’m having a hard time pinpointing …

But look across the Muslim world.  Look at how religious (and other) minority groups are treated.  At best, they’re made sure they know they’re not part of the mainstream minority, with occasional harassment and intimidation trickling from on high.  At worst, it’s outright oppression, persecution and sometimes violence.  Very few are the societies where this is not the case, and even in those nations, there is a strong Islamic presence trying to undo the tolerance.

A friend from Africa once said, years ago in the early 90s, that those who don’t fear Islam don’t live in the shadow of Islam.  The Left, whether honestly or not, has convinced itself and our society (including Europe) that the only thing we have to fear is white, Anglo-American, heterosexual, Christian men.  They have taught that the only true evils of the world came out of the Western Christian tradition and its bastard child America.  Likewise, they have also taught that the rest of the world was always a bastion of tolerance, diversity, women’s rights, gay rights, religious pluralism and enlightened peace, love and John Lennon songs. 

Therefore, the Left sees Islam as useful allies of a like mind in the quest to destroy the one religious tradition it truly hates.  Whether Islam sees the Left as useful fools, or tools, or whatever, remains to be seen. For now, CAIR made it clear that its preference is an America in which Christian who profess the traditional faith in salvation through Christ should not be at the same political table as others.  And that’s while being a sliver minority barely .001% of the population.  Imagine when those numbers increase. Well, you don’t have to.  Just look across the oceans.  Only the fact that we’ve taught Americans to not care about others, including our posterity, could any sane person not be concerned enough to at least rethinking the Leftist narrative.

Go here to comment.  Contemporary Leftism, I suspect, is a hot house plant, beholden to an unusual moment in Western culture, and with all the historical staying power of the old Soviet Union.  Islam is different and has demonstrated a historical durability second only to Christianity.  Leftist myopia and hate for Western civilization ignores this, as it does virtually every important fact about their current allies.  I must confess that I will find grim satisfaction in witnessing what happens in the first western society to fall to Islam, as the aghast Leftists either convert to Islam, are imprisoned or murdered, or escape to a still free Western society to undermine.

5

Two Big Ones From the Supremes

The Lunch Whistle has blown at the law mines.  Two big wins from the Supreme Court for the Administration and the pro-life movement.

 

First, for the Administration, the Court upheld Trump’s travel ban 5-4.  Go here to read the 92 page ruling.  (Judicial bloat is really getting out of hand.)

For Pro-lifers, the Court signaled the death knell for the attempt by California to compel pro-abort messages from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.  Go here to read the text  of the decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas.

These decisions would have gone the opposite way without Gorsuch on the Court.  Elections do matter.  More later in the week after I have had an opportunity to read the decsions.

8

PopeWatch: Adam and Eve

Pope Francis states the obvious and receives anger for doing so:

 

Pope Francis on Saturday denounced the use of the word “family” to refer to unions that do not consist of a man and a woman, sparking condemnation from homosexual activists, who noted the mixed signals that Francis has sent regarding LGBT issues during his pontificate.

In extemporaneous remarks to a delegation of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations, Francis said that it “hurts” to speak of the fact that the word “family” is being used apart from the definition of traditional marriage.

“Then today – it hurts to say this – we talk about ‘diversified’ families: different types of families,” said Francis.

“Yes, it is true that the word ‘family’ is an analogical word, because we speak of the ‘family’ of the stars, the ‘families’ of the trees, the ‘families’ of the animals … it is an analogical word. But the human family as an image of God, man and woman, is only one. It is only one,” the pontiff said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  What insane times in which we live when it is controversial for a Pope to say that the building blocks of a human family are a man and a woman.

1

Fortnight For Freedom: John Carroll, Bishop and Patriot

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church.

Pope Leo XIII on John Carroll, first Bishop in the United States

 

From the beginning of our Republic, American Catholics were at the forefront of the battle to free America from British rule and to enshrine a commitment to liberty in our founding documents.  The remarkable Carroll family of Maryland was at the head of this effort by American Catholics.  Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed the Declaration of Independence.  His cousin Daniel Carroll signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.  Daniel Carroll’s younger brother John Carroll, was the first bishop in the United States of America.

Born on January 8, 1735 in Maryland, he went abroad to study in Flanders and France, joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1769.  With the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, he returned to his native Maryland as a missionary priest.  A patriot, he served on a diplomatic mission to Canada for the Continental Congress in 1776.  During the War he continued his efforts as a missionary priest, along with efforts to persuade the new states to remove disabilities from Catholics in their new state constitutions.  He was ever an advocate for religious freedom:

When men comprehend not, or refuse to admit the luminous principles on which the rights of conscience and liberty of religion depend, they are industrious to find out pretences for intolerance. If they cannot discover them in the actions, they strain to cull them out of the tenets of the religion which they wish to exclude from a free participation of equal rights. Thus this author attributes to his religion the merit of being the most favorable to freedom, and affirms that not only morality but liberty likewise must expire, if his clergy should ever be contemned or neglected: all which conveys a refined insinuation, that liberty cannot consist with, or be cherished by any other religious institution; and which therefore he would give us to understand, it is not safe to countenance in a free government.

I am anxious to guard against the impression intended by such insinuations; not merely for the sake of any one profession, but from an earnest regard to preserve inviolate for ever, in our new empire, the great principle of religious freedom. The constitutions of some of the States continue still to intrench on the sacred rights of conscience; and men who have bled, and opened their purses as freely in the cause of liberty and independence, as any other citizens, are most unjustly excluded from the advantages which they contributed to establish. But if bigotry and narrow prejudice have prevented hitherto the cure of these evils, be it the duty of every lover of peace and justice to extend them no further. Let the author who has opened this field for discussion, be aware of slyly imputing to any set of men, principles or consequences, which they disavow. He perhaps may meet with retaliation. He may be told and referred to Lord Lyttleton, as zealous a Protestant as any man of his days, for information, that the principles of non-reistence seemed the principles of that religion which we are not told is most favorable to freedom; and that its opponents had gone too far in the other extreme!

 

On June 6, 1784 he was appointed by the Pope as superior of the missions in the United States.  On November 6, 1789, he was appointed by the Pope as Bishop, after being elected to the post by American priests, a procedure previously approved by the Pope. Continue Reading

4

California Commissars

All one party states have a strong tendency to tyranny.  Case in point:

 

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

 

Go here to read the rest.  I was going to comment, but James Madison long ago said it far better than I can:

 

Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of every thing, and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press. It has accordingly been decided by the practice of the States, that it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigour of those yielding the proper fruits. And can the wisdom of this policy be doubted by any who reflect that to the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression; who reflect that to the same beneficent source the United States owe much of the lights which conducted them to the ranks of a free and independent nation, and which have improved their political system into a shape so auspicious to their happiness?

 

James Madison, Report of 1800

9

Modern Journalism

(Churchill did not actually say the above, but the quote has become firmly attached to him.)

 

The New York Times is reporting that its reporter Ali Watkins, who was dating James Wolfe, a “former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with journalists,” had “multiple” relationships with sources she covered:

Go here to read the rest.  There are several terms for a woman who trades sex for money or something else of value.  We can add to these words now “reporter”.

9

Trading Christ for Caesar

How many faithful Catholics have been alienated from the Church due to the embrace by some of the clergy of left-wing politics?  Science Fiction author Sarah Hoyt writes on the topic:

 

The Catholic Church in America appears to be a schizophrenic entity, possessed of a deep-seated death wish — exactly like all the other mainstream churches and most institutions in our western culture. This week, the Church is celebrating Freedom of Religion week.  You’ll see the little flags if you walk past one of the churches.

I have absolutely clue zero — and in fact am a little afraid to consider — of what other parishes and sermons might make of this, but our priest segued incoherently from telling us that like St. John the Baptist confronted Herod we are supposed to confront and oppose a president who “has had more than one wife” and who “mistreats the least powerful and smallest of our people” to enjoining us to come to church a great deal and have daily mass for the week, to celebrate Freedom of Religion Week.

I didn’t actually facepalm too hard, because I might have knocked myself out and people might stare.

*********************************************

 

Mostly what the church should stop doing is stop running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to grow its congregation in all the wrong ways, while at the same time it runs off its more devout members.

As I said, this is a lunacy it shares with other main stream churches, and it’s part of the same lunacy that infects publishing.  It’s a “we’re not here to serve the people but to change them.”  And while the churches have a little more claim to being entitled to preaching than the publishers, say, it’s still a piece of crazy to think they can preach to us on things that are political and in which they have no jurisdiction, besides being naïve and ill-informed as churchmen tend to be. (With exceptions, of course. I’m casting no aspersions on John Paul II.) Or of course, outright political and insane as the American Council of Bishops tends to be.

I beg you with tears in my eyes, stop driving away the devout by pushing a philosophy of state absolutism and open borders which cannot but end in massacres and mass graves. Give to Rome that which is Rome’s and leave it outside the church.

I walked away from the church once already, over a priest spending an hour talking about how Sarah Palin’s use of target graphics had totally caused the Gifford shooting.  I know a devout – and really devout — Catholic who has walked out and can’t force himself to go back over his parish’s continuous pounding of “gun control.”

And not only is none of this germane to the mission of the church, but I can prove with very little effort that the church’s stand is counterproductive and causes objective evil.  For instance, encouraging illegal immigrants to come to the US and stay not only makes it so that entire families live outside the law and in precarious conditions but — because of that and the ripping apart of the traditional structure of their cultures — makes the children more susceptible to fall into criminal behavior and drug use.  We have statistics on this.

It also economically injures the land to which they migrate (yes, we have data on how it hurts wages for the least skilled) and throws any number of people on welfare, which unlike private charity is inherently corrupting of morals and work ethic.

And encouraging Catholics to “confront” and “oppose” a many-times married president only results in Catholics voting for… whom?  Would you prefer abettor of adulterous husband Clinton?  Or Atheist Bernie Sanders? Or Nancy Pelosi whose Catholicism stops at Planned Parenthood doors? Or any number of other people who would remove that religious freedom you just praised?

I do understand the church is a little lost under Pope Che whose friends are heretics and who is a perfect South American Political Idiot.  Theology is after all supposed to come from the Bible and Tradition, and all of a sudden, in the pronouncements coming out of Rome, the Little Red Book has precedence over both.

I walked away from the church once and returned because I needed the sacraments.

But how long can one take sacraments when everything – everything – that comes from the pulpit is, if not the exact opposite of what is supposed to be preached, at least not far from it?

Are there not passages in the Bible about salt that loses its flavor and light that doesn’t illuminate?  You’re corrupting, destroying and losing souls.  All for the sake of what you imagine will be temporal power. This will not end well.

Dear Catholic Church, we already have a DNC. Your mission is not to propagate the message of socialism but the message of Christ.

Otherwise, what good are you?

Go here to read the rest.  It has always been my position that the Church should stay out of politics.  The exceptions are where the Church is coming under attack from a government or where an evil universally condemned by the Church throughout its history is being embraced by a government:  abortion and the mass genocides embraced by the totalitarian governments of the last century come to mind.  Going much beyond this tends to alienate some Catholics in the pews, and for a universal Church that embraces all of humanity, that is a disaster.  The mainline Protestant churches in this country amply demonstrate what happens when a church morphs into a political pressure group:  membership plummets and churches die.  The type of Leftist agenda embraced by Pope Francis puts the Church firmly on that path to extinction.  This is directly contrary to the Gospel and comes close to being the sin against the Holy Spirit as it trades human politics for the Faith.

7

PopeWatch: McCarrick

As Joan Desmond at National Catholic Register points out, one of the key issues in regard to the Cardinal McCarrick scandal is what did the Vatican know, and when did the Vatican know it:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., was suspended from public ministry on Wednesday, after an allegation that he had sexually abused a minor was found to be credible. 

According to a statement released by the Archdiocese of New York, McCarrick was accused of abusing a teenage altar boy almost 50 years ago, while serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York. The Vatican had directed Cardinal Timothy Dolan to investigate the claim and it was found to be “credible and substantiated.”

But that was not the only disturbing news to be disclosed about McCarrick’s record. 

In a statement issued by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, the public learned that McCarrick had faced three accusations of sexual misconduct involving adults.

“In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults,” read Cardinal Tobin’s statement, which referenced McCarrick’s previous posts as archbishop of Newark (1986–2000) and bishop of Metuchen (1981–1986).

“This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements.”

The shocking statement raised additional questions about whether the Vatican learned of the three allegations of sexual misconduct before or after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2001, serving until 2006.

The Register contacted the Archdiocese of Newark and was told that neither the settlement dates, nor details about identity of the victims—whether they might have been seminarians or young priests—would be provided.

“We don’t release that kind of information because of confidentiality issues,” Jim Goodness, the spokesman or the Archdiocese of Newark, told the Register.

Without the dates of the three allegations and two settlements, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to know if the Vatican knew about the allegations in time to stop the appointment. 

 

1

Fortnight For Freedom: Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

burke

So wrote Edmund Burke, brilliant writer and member of Parliament, of the Catholic penal laws in the Eighteenth Century.  Son of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother, suspected in his lifetime, probably incorrectly, of being a secret Catholic, Burke was a man who fought during his life for many causes:  reform in Parliament, support for Americans in their fight against oppression by the English government, prosecution of Warren Hastings for his misrule in India, his crusade against the French Revolution, all these and more engaged his formidable intellect and his luminous pen.  However, one cause he championed from the beginning of his career to the end of it:  relief for Catholics in Ireland and England from the Penal Laws.

What were the Penal Laws?  A series of statutes dating from the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and codified and harshened after the so-called Glorious Revolution in England in 1688, to transform Irish Catholics into helots in their own land and to keep English Catholics a despised and helpless minority.  Burke summarized the penal laws nicely in a speech to his Bristol constituents on September 6, 1780:

“A statute was fabricated in the year 1699, by which the saying mass (a church service in the Latin tongue, not exactly the same as our liturgy, but very near it, and containing no offence whatsoever against the laws, or against good morals) was forged into a crime, punishable with perpetual imprisonment. The teaching school, an useful and virtuous occupation, even the teaching in a private family, was in every Catholic subjected to the same unproportioned punishment. Your industry, and the bread of your children, was taxed for a pecuniary reward to stimulate avarice to do what Nature refused, to inform and prosecute on this law. Every Roman Catholic was, under the same act, to forfeit his estate to his nearest Protestant relation, until, through a profession of what he did not believe, he redeemed by his hypocrisy what the law had transferred to the kinsman as the recompense of his profligacy. When thus turned out of doors from his paternal estate, he was disabled from acquiring any other by any industry, donation, or charity; but was rendered a foreigner in his native land, only because he retained the religion, along with the property, handed down to him from those who had been the old inhabitants of that land before him.

Does any one who hears me approve this scheme of things, or think there is common justice, common sense, or common honesty in any part of it? If any does, let him say it, and I am ready to discuss the point with temper and candor. But instead of approving, I perceive a virtuous indignation beginning to rise in your minds on the mere cold stating of the statute.” Continue Reading

The Preparer of The Way

[5] There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.

[6] And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. [7] And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. [8] And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, [9] According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. [10] And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.

11] And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [12] And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. [13] But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: [14] And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. [15] For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

[16] And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.

Luke 1: 5-16

 

 

 

 

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:1

 

3

Fortnight For Freedom: Saint John Fisher

Where are now the kings and princes that once reigned over all the world, whose glory and triumph were lifted up above the earth? Where are now the innumerable company and power of Xerxes and Caesar? Where are the great victories of Alexander and Pompey? Where are now the great riches of Croesus and Crassus? But what shall we say of those who once were kings and governors of this realm?  Where are they now whom we have known and seen in our days in such great wealth and glory that it was thought by many they would never have died, never have been forgotten? They had all their pleasures at the full, both of delicious and good fare, of hawking, hunting, also of excellent horses and stallions, greyhounds and hounds for their entertainment, their palaces well and richly furnished, strongholds and towns without number. They had a great plenty of gold and silver, many servants, fine apparel for themselves and their lodgings. They had the power of the law to proscribe, to punish, to exalt and set forward their friends and loved ones, to put down and make low their enemies, and also to punish by temporal death rebels and traitors. Every man held with them, all were at their command. Every man was obedient to them, feared them, also honored and praised them, everywhere now? Are they not gone and wasted like smoke? Of them it is written in another place, mox ut honorificati fuerint et exaltati, dificientes quemadmodum fumus deficient (when they were in their utmost prosperity and fame, they soon failed and came to nothing, even as smoke does) (Ps. 36:2). St. James compares the vanity of this life to a vapor, and he says it shall perish and wither away as a flower in the hay season. (James 4:15).

Saint John Fisher

When he ascended to the throne of England, Henry VIII was popularly known as the Golden Hope of England.  His father, Henry VII, had never been loved by the people of England:  a miser and a distinctly unheroic figure, no matter what lies Shakespeare would write about him in Richard III.  He had brought the end of the War of the Roses and peace to England, but that was about as much credit his subjects would give the grasping, unlovable Henry Tudor.  His son, by contrast, looked like an Adonis when young, strong and athletic.  He had a sharp mind and had been well-educated, intended, ironically, for a career in the Church before the death of his elder brother Arthur.  He was reputed, correctly, to be pious.  He had considerable charisma in his youth and knew how to make himself loved with a well timed laugh or smile, and loved he was, by the nobles, commons, his wife Katherine and the Church.  Few reigns started more auspiciously than that of Henry, eighth of that name.

By the end of his reign, he was widely despised by most of his subjects.  Called a crowned monster behind his back, his reign had brought religious turmoil to England and domestic strife.  The best known symbols of his reign were the headman’s axe, the stake and the boiling pot, the three instruments by which he had many luckless individuals who roused his fury done to death.

It of course is small wonder for a Catholic to have little love for Henry VIII and his reign, but the distaste for Henry extends well beyond members of the Church.  Winston Churchill, the great English statesman and historian, in his magisterial History of the English Speaking Peoples, has this to say about the executions of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher:

“The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand.  They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom.  They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter.  More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook.  He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness.  Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”

Churchill himself was not noted for being a churchgoer.  When asked if he was a pillar of the Church of England, he quipped that perhaps he could be considered to be a flying butress of the Church, supporting it from outside.  Perhaps this helped give him a certain objectivity regarding Henry VIII.  Here is part of his summing up of Henry’s reign:

“Henry’s rule saw many advances in the growth and the character of the English state, but it is a hideous blot upon his record that the reign should be widely remembered for its executions.  Two Queens, two of the King’s chief Ministers, a saintly bishop, numerous abbots, monks and many ordinary folk who dared to resist the royal will were put to death.  Almost every member of the nobility in whom royal blood ran perished on the scaffold at Henry’s command.  Roman Catholic and Calvinist alike were burnt for heresy and religious treason.  These persecutions, inflicted in solemn manner by officers of the law, perhaps in the presence of the Council or even the King himself, form a brutal seqeul to the bright promise of the Renaissance.  The sufferings of devout men and women among the faggots, the use of torture, and the savage penalties imposed for even paltry crimes, stand in repellant contrast to the enlightened principles of humanism.” 

 

Born in 1469, John Fisher was noted for his great learning, the austerity of his life and his piety.  He was made Bishop of Rochester, the poorest diocese in England, at the personal insistence of Henry VIII in 1504.  Usually this was a stepping stone to ecclesiastical preferment, but Fisher stayed there for 31 years, doubtless because he had the courage to oppose the King whenever he was wrong, and so he did when Henry attempted to divorce Queen Katherine and when he broke with Rome.  Fisher made a strange champion to stand against a King.  He was noted as a scholar throughout Europe, a man of exceeding mildness and friendliness and someone clearly made for peace and contemplation and not for turmoil and strife in public life.  However, for Truth and the Faith Fisher was willing to stand virtually alone with a handful of others, including Saint Thomas More, against his terrifying Sovereign.

 

John Cardinal Fisher was made a Cardinal by Pope Paul III in May of 1535, King Henry stopping the cardinal’s hat from being brought into England and bellowing that he would send Fisher’s head to the Pope.  Tried by a kangaroo court and convicted, the only testimony brought against him was by Richard Rich, a specialist in lying men to the headman’s block.  Fisher was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.

A public outcry was brewing among the London populace who  saw a parallel between the judicial murder of Fisher and that of his namesake, Saint John the Baptist, who was executed by King Herod Antipas for challenging the validity of Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife, Herodias. For fear of the mob King Henry commuted the sentence to that of beheading, to be accomplished before 23 June, the Vigil of the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. Fisher’s martyrdom on Tower Hill on 22 June 1535, had the opposite effect from that which King Henry VIII intended as it created yet another parallel with St John the Baptist who was also beheaded; his death also happened on the feast day of Saint Alban, the first martyr of Britain.

Fisher met death with a courage which greatly impressed those present.  His body, on Henry’s orders, was stripped and left on the scaffold until the evening, when it was taken on pikes and thrown naked into a rough grave in the churchyard of All Hallows’ Barking. Two weeks later, his body was laid, fittingly, beside that of Sir Thomas More in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London. Fisher’s head was stuck upon a pole on London Bridge, but its lifelike appearance excited so much notice that, after a fortnight, it was thrown into the Thames, its place being taken by that of Sir Thomas More, whose martyrdom, also at Tower Hill, occurred on 6 July.

Tyrants can create Catholic martyrs, Caesar always being the master of imposing death, but it is beyond the power of the State to suppress truth, or liberty, forever.

1

At Last: The Peter Strzok-Lisa Page Texts Video!

Conservative film maker Phelim McAleer strikes again with a dramatization of the texts between the adulterous, Trump hating, FBI agents who were central to the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and the investigation of the non-existent Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Language advisory as to the video.  A great service Trump has done to the Republic is to reveal just how corrupt and inane so many of our alleged best and brightest are.  These two carry on like lust smitten high schoolers gossiping about how much they hate another class clique.  The Deep State is real, but fortunately the denizens of it are usually farcically incompetent.

 

Groucho Marx Interviewing Rod Serling

The things you find on the internet:

Broadcast on Tell it To Groucho, the short-lived successor to You Bet Your Life, on April 2, 1962.  Marx was a born interviewer.  A seventh grade drop out, not unusual at all in his time and place, Marx made up for it by being a compulsive reader and, aided by his lightning wit, could hold his own with the most brilliant of his guests.

27

Cardinal McCarrick

It has come out that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor fifty years ago.  What has also come out is that he was in the habit of bedding handsome seminarians and calling them his nephews.  Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture gives us the details:

 

 

Now at last the truth about Cardinal McCarrick’s misconduct has become public knowledge. If my email traffic is any indication, many more stories will soon emerge. But Rod Dreher drives right to the central point in his follow-up column, entitled “Cardinal McCarrick: Everybody Knew.

There’s a bit of exaggeration in that headline, because not “everybody” knew about the cardinal’s homosexual approaches to seminarians. The ordinary people in the pews didn’t know. But those seminarians knew, and the word spread across the clerical grapevine.

Now at last we know, too, that complaints had been lodged against the cardinal. These complaints, we are told, did not involve minors—and that’s all we are told about the complaints, apart from the fact that they were settled. But in light of those complaints, and in light of the many stories involving seminarians, it would be naïve to suggest that the cardinal has now been brought to disgrace because of a single, isolated incident. The seminarians may have been of legal age, but they were not a bishop’s equals. His position gave McCarrick the opportunity to recruit young men and to silence those who rejected his advances, and he abused a sacred trust.

Earlier this week I asked rhetorically why reporters did not follow up on this story years ago, since many journalists were numbered among the “everybody” who knew about Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual activities. Julia Duin, the longtime religion writer for the Washington Times, has answered my question in a column of her own, recalling that she could not find sources willing to speak on the record, or editors willing to give her the latitude to probe further into the reports. Moreover, she writes, she ran into a wall of silence among Catholics: an unwillingness to discuss a prelate’s misdeeds. “There were priests and laity alike for whom McCarrick’s predilections were an open secret,” she writes, “but no one wanted to go after him.”

Go here to read the rest.  A few questions come to mind.  Why didn’t any of the seminarians who rejected McCarrick’s advances not break one or both of the pervert’s arms?  Why didn’t they go to law enforcement or the media?  For too long the Church, too often, has not been ordaining men but rather craven careerists who will do anything, anything, to protect their phony baloney jobs.  They are not only unworthy of being priests, they are unworthy to be called men.   Clergy tend to be the biggest pack of gossips in the world.  How many knew that McCarrick was a homosexual predator as he steadily went rung by rung up the ladder of ecclesiastical preferment?  This period in Church history was summed up long ago in 2 Peter 2:

17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

 

14

USCCB Jettisons Fortnight for Freedom

A game among journalists is a headline that would always be true.  I would suggest “USCCB Never Fails to Disappoint”:

 

With the words “religious freedom” becoming ammunition in the ongoing culture wars, Catholic leaders hope a weeklong campaign titled “Serving Others in God’s Love” will shift the focus more toward essential human rights and dignity.

Religious Freedom Week is being led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and begins on Friday (June 22), the feast day for Thomas More and John Fisher, the 16th-century Catholics martyred for their opposition to King Henry VIII’s split from Rome. The effort was previously a 14-day campaign known as “Fortnight for Freedom” but was shortened, a spokeswoman said, to “provide a more focused period to concentrate attention on this issue.”

The campaign includes support for the federal Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 1881/S. 811), which the church said “would protect the religious liberty of child welfare service providers, including adoption and foster care agencies.” Opponents say it would allow discrimination, particularly against prospective adoptive and foster parents who are LGBT. Both versions of the bill have languished in subcommittees since 2017.

Catholic leaders will also draw attention to religious freedom crises around the world, officials said, as well as to their ability to provide services to undocumented immigrants.

 

Go here to read the rest.  At The American Catholic we will go on with The Fortnight For Freedom.  I am actually relieved that it will no longer be sponsored by the USCCB which often seems to understand freedom about as well as a pig understands penance.

 

 

1

PopeWatch: Separation Anxiety

From the most intentionally humorous Catholic site on the net, A Catholic Misfit:

FT LAUDERDALE, FL – An unidentified US bishop suggested that penalties be put in place for Catholics who help carry out any parish’s Worship Committee policy of separating families during Mass, when children are removed from the congregation for the Liturgy of the Word. He presented the recommendation while speaking Wednesday at the annual spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal, not punish,” he said, according to ACMPress. “And therefore, for the good and well-being of these people’s souls, it’s time we take a look at canonical penalties.”

A canonical penalty is defined as a punishment imposed by the church, which could include excommunication. Catholic church laws are outlined in its Code of Canon law.

Others joined the bishop in denouncement of Children’s Liturgy policies, which have been popular since the Second Vatican Council. The unnamed bishop read a statement at the event. “The Church has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma that the Spirit of Vatican II inflicts. Families are the foundational element of our society, and they must be allowed to pray together throughout the entirety of the Mass,” he said. “Separating babies from their mothers during the Liturgy of the Word is not the answer and is immoral.”

The USCCB is not expected to issue a similar statement recommending ‘canonical penalties’ for Catholic pro-abortion politicians.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch was about to call the Vatican when the Pope called him.

“Gringo, I told you I would be calling you again.”

Yes, your holiness.

“What do you think of Mark Shea?”

I’d rather not say your holiness.

“Would he be loyal to me?”

I am sure holiness if you told him to engage in self cannibalism he would immediately reach for a carving knife.

” Good gringo, good, I will be calling you again.”

Seizing my opportunity I asked the Pope about the above story.

“You gringos.  If Christ came tomorrow you would be calling me to ask about how to properly address Him!  I don’t care if you have your brats play in the streets during Mass!”  And with a loud slamming sound the phone audience came to a conclusion.

Fortnight For Freedom: Yankee Doodle

Something for the weekend:  Yankee Doodle.

 Originally sung by British officers to disparage American troops who fought beside them in the French and Indian War, it was seized upon by Patriots, given endless lyrics, and cheered the patriot troops and civilians during the eight long years of the Revolution.  After Lexington and Concord it was reported by Massachusetts newspapers that the British were suddenly not as fond of the song:

“Upon their return to Boston [pursued by the Minutemen], one [Briton] asked his brother officer how he liked the tune now, — ‘Dang them,’ returned he, ‘they made us dance it till we were tired’ — since which Yankee Doodle sounds less sweet to their ears.”

James Cagney did an immortal riff on Yankee Doodle in the musical biopic of composer and actor George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942):

Yankee Doodle plays in the background as Cagney at the end of the film, entirely impromptu, dances down the White House staircase:

Continue Reading

3

“Maverick” Strikes Again

As I said in 2008, I was voting for Palin:

 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”  Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.

Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting.  Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.”   The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.

Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups.  In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.

On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

 

Go here to read the rest.  McCain was always a member in good standing of the bi-partisan Swamp Party.  His run for President in 2008 was always Kabuki Theater as he spent much of his campaign trying to call off campaigning for “the good of the country” and chiding his supporters for harsh things said about Obama.  His entire career has been spent in sabotaging policies embraced by rank and file Republicans while, in election years, mendaciously embracing those policies.  The completely dishonest “Maverick” is the living, currently, embodiment of why Donald Trump is President.

 

4

Saruman and Leftist Catholics

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has conjectured that some Catholics are signing up with the Left because they view it as the winning side and they wish to be looking into the eventual Christian internment camps rather than looking out from them as prisoners.  There is probably some of that, although I think most Catholic Leftists are simply Leftists first and Catholics fifth or tenth.  However,  raw power is always attractive to fools and knaves and the Church, the human part of it, since it is made up of humans has never lacked plenty in both categories.  That is why it is so important that the Left eventually comes to this Saruman moment:

 

 

Yes we will have peace, when you and all your works have perished — and the works of your dark master to whom you would deliver us. You are a liar, Saruman, and a corrupter of men’s hearts. You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Cruel and cold! Even if your war on me was just — as it was not, for were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit, as you desired — even so, what will you say of your torches in Westfold and the children that lie dead there? And they hewed Hàma’s body before the gates of the Hornburg, after he was dead. When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows, I will have peace with you and Orthanc. So much for the house of Eorl. A lesser son of great sires am I, but I do not need to lick your fingers. Turn elsewhither. But I fear your voice has lost its charm.’

No truck or truce with the contemporary Left.

 

 

2

How Science Works–Some Case Studies*

“Man is not born to solve the problem of the universe, but to find out where the problem begins and then restrain himself within the limits of the comprehensible.”
—J.W. von Goethe, as quoted in The Homiletic Review”

Many leftists complain that conservatives/Republicans/Trump followers are “anti-science.”  I am puzzled by this, since most of the complainants are scientific illiterates and innumerates (e.g. Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and-alas-some in the Catholic hierarchy).   In a spirit of “educate your enemies,” I thought to proffer an article on how science does work, so that these advocates might then give more constructive criticisms.

The Lakatos “Research Programme” for Science

If you were to do a man-in-the-street survey, asking “How does science work?” you’ll get many different answers.  Here are some from an adult education class I taught on “Science and the Church” (actually, I supplied the last two answers):

  • Finding theories to explain everything;
  • Formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis by experiment;
  • Finding an unusual experimental result, formulating a theory to explain the result;
  • Finding a theory that will explain a body of experimental knowledge;
  • Finding theories that could be proved false by suitable experiments;
  • Finding which theories are the most elegant and are also consistent with experimental results;
  • Depends on a scientist’s presuppositions and assumptions;
  • Is “reductionist”, i.e. attempts to reduce phenomena and the objects comprising these phenomena to the smallest components and the scientific laws governing the action of these components: for example, intelligence can be reduced to biochemical and electrical events on the molecular level;
  • Establishes a research program consisting of a network of hypotheses and experimental data: core theory, based on inner core principles, linked to secondary theories and results (Lakatos’ scientific research programme—see below).

The correct answer is “all the above,” depending on the scientist and his/her research focus.  However, I believe the last answer, the Lakatos Scientific Research Program,, illustrated in the feature image, gives the best, the most complete description of how science is carried out.  This  “Scientific Research Programme” can be thought of as a sphere:

  •  An inner core of fundamental principles--not theories, but principles to which theories have to adhere; these principles are assumed, because they seem obvious and confirmed generally by our experience:  for example, The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. But, as we’ll see below, there are  occasions when these fundamental principles are modified or violated.
  • A shell of primary or fundamental theoriessurrounds this core of fundamental principles (e.g. thermodynamics, general relativity, quantum mechanics).
  • Other shells representing auxiliary theoriessurround this shell of fundamental theories; such auxiliary theories are derived from the primary theories and other auxiliary theories; MRI, chemical bonding, heat transfer are examples of  such auxiliary theories.
  • Finally  there is an outermost shell of experimental facts or data.   The interplay between the shells and core that shows how science works is described in the diagram below and illustrated  below by several examples.

In this diagram the inner core principles are linked to fundamental and auxiliary theories, as shown by the black arrows.   There is feedback from data to theories,  as shown by the red arrows.   There is even feedback from data and fundamental theories to inner core principles, as shown by the red arrows.

Examples of how the Lakatos scheme works are given below.

HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK?  CASE STUDIES

History of  Thermodynamics: Count Rumford: Cannon Boring —> Heat Not Conserved.

Count Rumford’s Cannon-Boring Experiment–Making Water Boil

In 1798 Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, submitted a  paper to the Royal Society about his experiments in which boring a cannon could make water boil, and boring with a blunt instrument produced more heat than with a sharp one (more friction with the blunt).     The experiments showed that  repeated boring on the same cannon continued to produce heat, so clearly heat was not conserved and therefore could not be a material substance.

This experiment disproved the then prevalent theory of heat, that it was a fluid transmitted from one thing to another, “the caloric.”  The results validated another theory of heat, the kinetic theory,in which heat was due to the motion of atoms and molecules. However the kinetic theory, despite Rumford’s groundbreaking experiment, still did not hold sway until years later, after James Joule showed in 1845 that work could be quantitatively converted into heat.

History of Thermodynamics: James Joule: Work—>Heat

Diagram of Joule’s Apparatus for Measuring the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat
from Wikimedia Commons

As the weight falls, the potential energy of the weight is converted into work done (a paddle stirs the water in the container against a frictional force due to water viscosity).   The temperature rise corresponding to a given fall of weights (work done) yields the amount of heat rise (in calories) of the known mass of water.   Since the temperature rise is very small, the measurements have to be very accurate.

It took 30 to 50 years after Joule’s definitive experiment (and subsequent refinements and repetitions) for the kinetic theory of heat—heat caused by random, irregular motion of atoms and molecules–to be fully accepted by the scientific community.   James Clerk Maxwell published in 1871 a paper,  “Theory of Heat”. This comprehensive treatise and advances in thermodynamics convinced scientists  finally to accept that heat was a form of energy related to the kinetic energy (the energy of motion) of the atoms and molecules in a substance.

Contemporary Science: Experimental Tests of Fundamental Theories

Links are given below to examples of modern experimental tests of  ground-breaking primary and secondary theories in various fields of science.  (Some are discussed below in more detail and in other Essays.)

HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK? APPLYING THE LAKATOS SCHEME

Rumford and Joule’s  Experiments on Heat and Work

The core principle involved in the caloric theory of heat was the conservation of caloric (since it was a substance).  Count Rumford’s cannon-boring experiments showed that the more the cannon was bored, the more heat was produced;  therefore the supply of heat in the cannon was inexhaustible and clearly not conserved. A core principle involved in Joule’s experiment is the First Law of Thermodynamics:  conservation of energy, with heat and work as forms of energy.   Note that this conservation principle is linked to the fundamental theory of thermodynamics developed in the middle of the 19th century  and earlier, theories of classical mechanics developed in the 18th century and early 19th century.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and General Theory of Relativity

Einstein’s two theories of relativity are  striking examples of how theory influences  fundamental principle (the red arrow), or perhaps more accurately, how fundamental principles are proposed as a basis for general theories.  His theory, special relativity, introduced the following new general principles:

  • the laws of physics are the same for systems (“frames of reference”) moving at constant velocity (i.e. “inertial systems”);
  • the speed of light (in vacuum) is constant, regardless of the speed of source or receiver;
  • neither energy nor mass is conserved but only mass + energy (from E= mc²)

His general relativity theory introduced the “equivalence principle“, that inertial and gravitational mass are the same.   In every-day terms, this principle says that a person (mass m) in an elevator accelerating upward experiences a force holding him to the floor due to earth’s gravitation, mg, plus a force due to the acceleration of the elevator, ma. This is the same force that the person would experience on a planet where the gravitational acceleration would correspond  to g+a, or in a spaceship accelerating at a rate g+a.  (See Science Background—Physics of Motion,for more about force and acceleration.)

Recently Einstein’s Theory of general relativity has been confirmed again from LIGO measurements of gravity waves.  See “Peeling Back the Onion Layers—Gravitational Waves Detected”for a more detailed account.

Is Parity Conserved?  Right- and Left-handedness

Left- and right-handed molecules (chiral molecules). These amino acids are mirror images of each other. from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Parity refers to mirror symmetry.  For example,  many organic molecules are either right- or left-handed  (see the illustration above of two amino acids, constituents of proteins:  COOH is the organic acid group, NH2 is an amino group, C is the central carbon, R represents a general group attached to the carbon). Now biological molecules can be chiral either as a whole, or with respect to the constituent parts.  For example, amino acids found in nature are left-handed;  sugars found in nature are right-handed;  DNA as a whole has a right-handed spiral (helix).    The question of why only one kind of handedness for biological molecules came about has fascinated chemists and biologists since the time of Pasteur 150 years ago.  There arerecent theoriesto explain this, but they are to some extent conjectural

Conservation of parity (handedness) had been a fundamental principle of physics  until the late 1950’s, when a proposal to test it for nuclear weak force interactions–e,g, beta decay of Co-60 nuclei–showed that it was violated.  (See here for an expanded story.)   Since that time a conservation principle, CPT symmetry, linking parity (P) with charge (C) and time reversal (T) has been found to hold.

3

PopeWatch: Lying

Hmmm.  Is lying still a sin under the current pontificate?

 

 

ROME, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking with Reuters in an interview which appeared yesterday, Pope Francis criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals who joined him in begging the Pope for clarification on key issues of faith. The cardinals used the long-standing ecclesial practice of issuing dubia, or questions to the Pope. There were five such questions altogether. But, according to Reuters the Pope said that “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him ‘from the newspapers.’” The Pope knocked the cardinals, saying that it was “a way of doing things that is, let’s say, not ecclesial, but we all make mistakes.”

Cardinal Burke, however, told LifeSiteNews that “The late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra personally delivered the letter containing the dubia to the Papal Residence, and at the same time to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on September 19, 2016, as he also delivered subsequent correspondence of the four Cardinals regarding the dubia.” 

Burke added that, “During the entire time since the presentation of the dubia, there has never been a question about the fact that they were presented to the Holy Father, according to the practice of the Church and with full respect for his office.”

Cardinal Burke suggested that perhaps the Pope misunderstood the reporter’s question. “If the question of the journalist is referring to the formal presentation of the dubia or questions regarding Amoris Laetitia by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the late Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, and myself, then Pope Francis must not have understood him,” he said.

The only other living dubia cardinal also responded to the Pope’s accusation in comments to OnePeterFive. Cardinal Walter Brandmuller told Dr. Maike Hickson “The dubia were first published after – I think it was two months – after the Pope did not even confirm their reception. It is very clear that we wrote directly to the Pope and at the same time to the Congregation for the Faith. What should be left that is unclear here?”

Cardinal Burke insisted that, “The presentation of the dubia to the Holy Father was done according to the long-standing practice of the Church, that is, they were presented to the Holy Father without any publication, in order that he could answer them for the good of the whole Church.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  To be fair, it is possible that the Pope is telling the truth.  He may only read newspapers, since he has given precious little evidence during his papacy of reading much of anything else.

Fortnight For Freedom: A New Nationality

 

 

“We’ve spawned a new race here Mr. Dickenson, rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined. We’re a new nationality. We require a new nation.”

Benjamin Franklin, 1776

 

 

 

 

He started off in a low voice, though you could hear every word. They say he could call on the harps of the blessed when he chose. And this was-just as simple and easy as a man could talk.
But he didn’t start out by condemning or reviling.

He was talking about the things that make a country a country, and a man a man.  And he began with the simple things that everybody’s known and felt-the freshness of a fine morning when you’re young, and the taste of food when you’re hungry, and the new day that’s every day when you’re a child. He took them up and he turned them in his hands. They were good things for any man. But without freedom, they sickened. And when he talked of those en-slaved, and the sorrows of slavery, his voice got like a big bell. He talked of the early days of America and the men who had made those days. It wasn’t a spread-eagle speech, but he made you see it. He admitted all the wrong that had ever been done. But he showed how, out of the wrong and the right, the suffering and the starvations, something new had come. And everybody had played a part in it, even the traitors.

Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster

 

13

Charles Krauthammer: Resquiescat in Pace

I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.

In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications — which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.

However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.

I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.

Charles Krauthammer, June 8, 2018

 

 

Charles Krauthammer has died at age 68.  He met his death from cancer with the courage that one would expect from someone confined to a wheel chair from the age of 22 by a diving accident, and who went on to live a life full enough for ten able bodied men.  A psychiatrist by training, for decades he was a public intellectual in the best sense:  a man of endless intellectual curiosity who came to his opinions based upon a dispassionate analysis of the evidence.  I often disagreed with his opinions, but I recognized that he brought a powerful intellect to the issues of the day and a profound sense of fairness.  He made a slow trajectory from the political left to the political right, but he always retained a sense of humor and a desire to understand the positions of his adversaries.

In a time of ranters and frauds, Krauthammer was a true gentleman and a true scholar, and I will miss him.  He defined himself religiously as a skeptical Jew, but he also had this to say of atheism:

“Atheism is the least plausible of all theologies. I mean, there are a lot of wild ones out there, but the one that clearly runs so contrary to what is possible, is atheism”. 

 

May God have been gentle with him when he came to his particular judgment.  Prayers for him, for his one and only wife, and his son, and for the world which is poorer by his passing.  Although he spent his adult life in a wheel cheer, when the Grim Reaper came for him I am sure that Mr. Krauthammer met him standing on his feet.

 

 

31

Mark Shea: Ever the Voice of Reason

Why in God’s name did I ever worry for one second that I had alienated the sons of bitches who are now smugly justifying the torture of children at the border as the will of God? Why did I ever spend a second of my time trying to show such monsters that I was a Catholic in good standing and up to their discriminating standards? Why in God’s name should I ever care what they think about any moral, theological, or spiritual question ever again?

I’m more Catholic than I’ve ever been in my life. Not a particularly *good* Catholic mind you. But a deeply convinced one. And when I look at the pack of nihilist predators–posing as better Catholics than the pope and bishops and all the saints and martyrs–spitting in the faces of the least of these and whoring after this Mob Boss as he takes children hostage for his God-damned wall I feel ashamed that I ever let this mob of devil worshippers push me around.

#Donewiththesethugs

 

Go here to read the rest.  For Mark Shea it has always been about Mark Shea.

 

Update:  Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.  Just when you think Mark has hit rock bottom, go here to witness him praising NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), the most radical pro-abort group because, although they are all in favor of separating kids in utero from their moms, they are quite happy to also bash Trump over the fake controversy at the southern border.  Any Catholic groups who hire Shea for any purpose other than to serve as a bad example are insane.

6

For the Left it is Politics 24-7

Men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

 

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains that almost all the furor about detaining parents of kids who chose to try to illegally cross over into the US, instead of filing petitions for asylum at a port of entry, was basically caused by Leftists being Leftists:

 

It looks like President Trump has shifted gears. I have no idea what the details mean.  I know that there has been tremendous pressure on this in the last week or so, as it’s been compared to Trump’s Katrina, the Holocaust, Japanese Internment Camps, Slavery and Genocide.  Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, and conservatives, non-liberals as well as those on the Left have declared it a grave evil that cries out to heaven for vengeance and makes America into the new Nazi Germany.

Now, something happened yesterday morning that got me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  The local news interviewed the daughter of an undocumented immigrant (the mom’s name being Edith Espinal) who has been fighting deportation.  I say undocumented because the daughter wore a tee shirt that proudly boasted of the status (Memo: must remind my boys that they are white, traditional, Christian men; if they break the law they cannot wear a tee shirt flaunting the fact).  Anyway, the daughter was interviewed because she had been separated from her father and separately detained when they came into the country (I guess to join her Mom – I don’t know the details).  Apparently her father even came into the country legally.

Anyway, she painted a pretty bleak picture of what the kids were going through down near the border.  She said her heart broke, sort of like Rachel Maddow’s.  She felt their pain and was going to work overtime to make sure immigration reform happened because of this and many other reasons.  After all, she had been there.  Oh, and it’s worth noting that it was 2014 when her detainment went down.

And that’s what caught me.  She had this happen to her, by her own words recorded on our local news station – in 2014.  The focus, of course, was on her sympathies and experiences being detained.  I don’t know if anyone noticed the date.

I’m no great math person, but it seems like that’s not when Trump was president.  The press has spent a week calling Trump a liar, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what he has lied about (with this at least).  The first impression was that he lied when he blamed Democrats, saying it was their bill, when it wasn’t.  But apparently there was a law that the Dems passed.  Then it seemed to be he was lying when he said this had been done before.  But apparently,  unless the girl interviewed is a liar, it has been done before.  Then it seemed they were saying he lied about having to actually do such a thing.  After all, it’s only a law, who says he has to enforce it?

I admit it’s Trump, so I’m willing to accept that he has said something that is demonstrably false.  The problem is, this is reported by the press that long ago taught me to believe it can be just as willing to stretch, twist and manipulate the truth, sometimes to the point of saying false things, as Trump ever was.  So I’m listening to one agency I don’t trust insist I must doubt a president I seldom believe.  Such is America, c. 2018.

But back to the girl.  So obviously this has been happening for some time.  According to a CBS report, the number of children separated from their parents is skyrocketing, though it admitted this has happened before now.  And yet, I never heard a thing.  Didn’t know it had happened.  I heard a few people fuss about Obama deporting immigrants back in the day, but no real comparisons to Auschwitz or calls to ban CNN for not calling him out.

You know, it almost seems like this outrage, this comparison to the pits of Hell, Himmler, the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the Gulags, and any other horror as commentators, pundits, news anchors and delivery truck drivers all break down in tears over the unprecedented suffering of this is, well, fake. Just thespians playing their parts.

I mean, the young girl interviewed has been interviewed multiple times.  She was quite the local news celebrity last year and earlier this year when it sounded like her mom might be deported.  Her whole family, and the church that granted sanctuary, were quite the celebrities. And yet I heard nothing about her plight four years ago. Just like I heard almost nothing about the plight of many immigrants four years ago.  Or two years ago.  Or a year and a half ago.

But all of a sudden, it’s nothing other than the Great War of Satan.  It’s the death camps all over again.  We can barely mention it without our eyes discharging gallons of lachrymal fluids.  Why now? Why all of a sudden?  I mean, immigrants have had a bad way of it for some time.  They die during the journey.  Their children are harmed, raped and abused.  They starve and perish.  They’ve been separated and detained and deported before now.  Sometimes the press covered it over the last eight years.  Almost never do I remember a news anchor breaking down in tears.  I don’t remember Democrats storming the White House and asking Obama about his family.

I’m sorry, but as I consider the thousands dead from AIDS every year that are never mentioned; when I consider the fact that the biggest killer of black Americans is black Americans, but you’d never know it since it’s never mentioned; when I think of all the murder victims that aren’t killed by guns, or those cases where gun owners prevent murderous rampages and yet are seldom covered; and when I consider the fact that immigration has been a problem for decades, immigrants have suffered for decades, and we’ve been deporting and detaining them for years without nary a news anchor having an emotional breakdown, I can’t help but think it’s all just a big act.

I get creeped out thinking that the Left doesn’t give a rip about anyone, poor, minority or otherwise, unless their suffering is able to benefit the Left.  I know that sounds harsh, and I hope I’m wrong.  But sometimes you have to settle for the simplest explanation.  Trying to explain all of this in other terms just doesn’t seem to cover all the points.  It certainly would explain why, in the midst of the tears over the suffering of women and children, nobody seems to care about a well known celebrity calling for women and children to be beaten and tortured.  Then it all makes sense.

 

Go here to comment.  Always remember that for almost all Leftists it all comes down to a naked struggle for power.  Issues to them, with perhaps an exception for their sacred rite of abortion, are simply for them rungs on the ladder to achieve power.  Trump is a political enemy so they raised a hysteria about the phony issue of kids being separated from parents.  Obama was a political ally, so virtually nothing was heard of this issue during his eight years in office.  Machiavelli in the next world, is, no doubt, taking notes for The Prince, volume II.

10

PopeWatch: Open Borders

No left wing crusade these days is complete without a papal blessing:

In a new interview with Reuters, Pope Francis backed the U.S. bishops’ opposition to the separation of migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border, calling the move “immoral” and “contrary to Catholic values.”

“I am on the side of the bishops’ conference,” the pope said, referring to statements made by U.S. bishops earlier this month.

Francis’ comment was made in reference to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, which was rolled out in May and, among other things, enforces the separation of children from parents who have been detained by border officials.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, issued a statement at during their bi-annual meeting in Houston last week criticizing the enforcement of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying “separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

He said later the bishops would consider the possibility of sending a delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border to see the detention centers for themselves and offer solidarity for incoming migrants and refugees.

“Let it be clear that in these things, I respect [the position of] the bishops conference,” Pope Francis said in the interview with Reuters.

Go here to read the rest.  Now that Trump has signed an executive order requiring that parents seeking asylum reside with their children, we will see the illegal aliens’ lobby combating the administration’s attempt to overturn the Flores Decree to allow holding the kids until the government has ruled on their parents’ petitions for asylum.  This has always been about the attempt by Leftists to cause a renewal of the policy of catch and release and has zip to do with kids.  That our Pope is on the side of the illegal aliens and their advocates, and repeat their mendacious talking points, should come as no surprise to any sentient Catholic.

 

3

Fortnight for Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Sam Adams, August 1, 1776

(This is a repeat from last year.  I can’t improve upon it, except for minor changes that I have made.)

The American Catholic is proud to participate in this year’s Fortnight For Freedom.  The Fortnights were started in 2012 by the bishops of this country in response to the unprecedented assault on religious liberty posed by the Obama administration, to remind Catholics of the preciousness of their inheritance of freedom as Americans and Catholics and the necessity of standing up to threats to it.  All well and good, and a very worthy cause indeed.  However, the leadership of the Church appears to be schizophrenic on this subject.  While Caesar seeks to limit the freedom of the Church, too many ecclesiastics respond by wanting to get into bed with Caesar.

The examples of this are legion.

It was the policy of the Church to aid the Obama administration in flouting the immigration laws of this country, acting as a virtual arm of the State in sheltering illegal aliens.  Thank heavens that administration is now one with Nineveh and Tyre.  However, the eagerness of the Bishops to join in with the ginned up hysteria over children separation among illegal aliens at the border indicates that the Bishops have only contempt for the immigration laws of the United States.

The Church was all in favor of Obamacare, until the Obama administration targeted the Church with the contraceptive mandate.

The Green Encyclical, Laudato Si, released in 2015, is one long demand for Caesar to engage in an immense power grab, and regulate business and citizens to fight a mythical global warming threat.

The Vatican is a cheerleader of UN activities that spell a mortal danger to economic freedom in the West.

The Church through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds hundreds of left wing pressure groups to call for ever bigger government, and, inevitably, further restrictions on freedom.

Welfare States require huge amounts of tax money and huge amounts of government power.  The default position of the Church today when confronting any need traditionally filled by private or Church charity, is to scream for Caesar to come fix things.  This bastardized parody of the social teachings of the Church inevitably comes back to bite the Church as Caesar will always exact a price for his favors and under the Obama administration that price was for the Church to bend the knee to contraception, abortion and gay marriage.  For all too many of our shepherds that was a small price to pay to keep the government largess flowing.  There is a reason why Christ whipped the money changers from the Temple and why He uttered the phrase to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.   These days the Church too often seems willing to bow the knee to Caesar, no matter what Caesar demands, so long as the funds from Caesar keep flowing. Continue Reading