PopeWatch: Something to Keep in Mind

Friday, August 11, AD 2017

 

During the current Pontificate, PopeWatch has found comfort in this passage on the entry under Alexander VI at New Advent:

 

An impartial appreciation of the career of this extraordinary person must at once distinguish between the man and the office. “An imperfect setting”, says Dr. Pastor (op. cit., III, 475), “does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.” There have been at all times wicked men in the ecclesiastical ranks. Our Lord foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and “those who are without”. Similarly, He compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation.

 

Go here to read the entire entry.

5 Responses to PopeWatch: Something to Keep in Mind

  • Excellent point. But in the case of Pope Francis truckloads of faith and patience are required.

  • Keeping at prayer for him has been a worth while exercise. Unseen and hidden are the workings I trust will take place. Realized effects are the increased peace I behold from praying hard for him. Him being Pope Francis.

    Again…take what is good and leave the rest.

  • In God’s mercy he was given the opportunity, which he took, to confess sacramentally before he died. We should all pray that we be able to die in a state of grace. And be glad for those people who live horrible lives but repent and trust God’s love at the end. Maybe this poor pope can pray for us, the whole range of Catholics and Christians who are here and now in moral jeopardy.
    As he relates to our current pope, I didn’t get any indication in the article that Alexander VI threatened the understanding of Catholic teaching??

  • My analogy on this is to never judge the quality of a Rolls Royce by an erratic driver.

  • Good stuff!

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Vacation 2017

Friday, August 11, AD 2017

family-on-vacation

I am on vacation with my family until August 21.  My internet connection in the coming week will range from intermittent to non-existent. That is now by choice.  In the past it was not, but now with ubiquitous wi-fi, portable ipads and kindles, that is no longer the case, and truth to tell, it hasn’t been for the last several years.  I will have posts for each day I am away on the blog, but if something momentous occurs, for example:  Elvis is discovered working at a Big Boy’s in Tulsa, the Pope issues a Bull against blogging as a complete waste of time, Trump admits that some orange furred critter has died on his head or Robert Mueller admitting that he is a Russian spy, I trust that this post will explain why I am not discussing it.

We will begin  at the library school that my daughter is attending, the baby of the family having decided to follow my bride’s footsteps.  She was too bright to follow in mine!

Then on to Kenosha, Wisconsin with a visit to my bride’s mother.  We have been doing this since the birth of the twins and it has always been a fun family gathering.  I heartily recommend both the Kenosha Civil War Museum and the Milwaukee Zoo  Then it is back home for some Illinois activities including next Wednesday hosting the local Rotary District Governor, since, for my sins no doubt, I am serving as President of the local Rotary Club in Dwight for the eighth occasion.

Then on to GenCon 50 over in Indianapolis.

 

 

2 Responses to Vacation 2017

  • “If any of you are close to Indianapolis and you have never attended, it is worth a drive to see tens of thousands of role players, board gamers and computer gamers in Congress assembled. If nothing else you will go home reassured as to how comparatively normal you are. Last year’s attendance was in excess of 60,819 and there are multitudes of gaming related events.”

    Just so everyone is aware, I wouldn’t go this year if you are trying to actually get into the convention. The convention has been sold out for weeks. I think this is the first time they have sold out GenCon.

  • Uh, my recollection is that your bride was a language major (French?), Don?

    As someone who was cognitively (congenitally?) unable to learn a second language in a reasonable time, I applaud and envy all language majors. God bless!

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August Bomb Follies 2017

Thursday, August 10, AD 2017

In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home in the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.

And Winston Churchill, with an irony perhaps too broad and easy, noted in Parliament that the people who preferred invasion to A-bombing seemed to have “no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves.”

Paul Fussel, Thank God for the Atomic Bomb

 

 

 

It has been rather quiet this year on the annual breast beating over the Atomic bombings around Saint Blogs.  Here are a few posts I have seen:

  1.  Deacon Jim Russel at Crisis looks at the principle of Double Effect and the bombings.  It is a rather good piece.  Go here to read it.
  2.  Ah, what would the August Bomb Follies be without Patheos.  Mary Pezullo at Steel Magnificat puts us on notice that she is not like those terrible Catholics who defend the bombings.  Go here to read it.
  3. Matthew Walther at The Week I think would like to dig up Harry Truman and put him on trial if he could.  Go here to read his post.
  4. Mark Shea contributes the latest droppings from his mind here.

45 Responses to August Bomb Follies 2017

  • This seems a corollary of Einstein’s definition of insanity. It happened.

    Millions of US servicemen (RIP) that daily were being killed in the Pacific would offer to fight them for their virtue signaling.

    Judge not lest . . .

    The Hiroshima/Nagasaki canard makes them feel superior and diverts attention from their tacit support of abortion, class hate, sodomy privileges, socialism, etc.

    Seen at Instapundit. For them, there is no “right” answer or “wrong” answer There only are evil and good. And, everyone that disagrees is evil.

    “Droppings” indeed.

  • Having to use nuclear weapons against Japan in WW II, and the concommitant loss of civilian life, was regrettable but we all know it would have been far worse for both side with full scale invasion of the Japanese islands.

    On a side not, I will say again what I have always said: the best nuclear weapon is one whose U-235 or Pu-239 has been recycled for use in fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. Generating electricity from heavy metal atoms once intended to destroy an enemy is in the best tradition of turning swords into plowshares. And the former US-Russian program of Megatons into Megawatts did much to reduce the stockpile of weapons grade uranium. Would Mark “I am the Pope’s gift to the Catholic blogosphere” Shea support ANY of that? Being one of the left coast inhabitants who general have ZERO military experience and NO Godly patriotism, likely NOT.

    In the meantime, we need an overwhelming, modernized, safe and effective nuclear deterrent. The United States, United Kingdom and Israel are the good guys. Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are the bad guys. It is really that simple. The jury however is still out on France (very confused country ever since Robespierre in the 1790s), and the Pakistan-Indian situation never did make much sense, but at least their mutual nuclear deterrents have kept both countries at bay.

    As an American, I think we should have an overwhelmingly powerful nuclear deterrent and an extremely effective missile shield. We should be able to strike with impunity and immunity, and we should be able to prevent any nuclear aggression from reaching us. After all, I am an American and I want us to be victoriously on top. That’s called being patriotic. If someone (like Mark Shea) doesn’t want America on top, then that person needs to leave this country (and perhaps emigrate to the DPRK).

  • If you look at the title of the link to Shea’s dropping at New Advent it says, “Just think of the Enola Gay as a big abortion clinic with wings.”

    Mark gets more than a few facts wrong. Surprising I know.

    First of all, he trots out the false claim that Pius XII condemned the bomb drops. Pius XII said nothing about them publicly.

    Secondly, the Urakami Church (it didn’t become the archdiocesan cathedral until 1981 when it was designated as such by St. John Paul II during his Apostolic Journey to Japan) was not the target of the bomb drop. The target was the Mitsubishi Torpedo Factory. The placards at ground zero at Nagasaki point that out. The church is almost a mile away from ground zero.

    Prominent Catholics (and Shea is not the only one by any means) who condemn the bombings without honestly interacting with the historical facts of the situation Truman faced need to shut the hell up because they do nothing but bring shame on the Church with their calumny!

  • I notice at Shea’s posting on the bomb that he’d not allowing any comments. I guess his ever thinning skin can’t handle differing opinions like he used to do!

  • Maybe someone could organize a crowd-funding campaign to raise enough money to convince Shea to convert back to whatever misbegotten sect he was in before he allegedly became Catholic. It would be a public service.

  • ” Mark “I am the Pope’s gift to the Catholic blogosphere” Shea”

    With this pope, that might be more a literal than a rhetorical statement. And with gifts like this, who needs…? Oh, never mind.

  • I don’t know if Catholic Weekly ever allows comments, none of Shea’s other pieces have there – could be site policy, could be him just not wanting to be called out on his lies.

    In reply to the invasion question, there’s been 3 major counters I’ve seen from the anti-bombers.

    1) Japan was trying to surrender already.
    2) It was unjust to require unconditional surrender.
    3) We could have blockaded them.

    I’ll leave the others to the board to disprove. I’ll merely note with #1 that America had signed a peace treaty with Japan right before the attack on Pearl Harbor. So with what reason would America have to believe future treaties?

  • Also there is this:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/08/haggling-about-the-price.html

    Where Shea adds:

    This was written before Trump’s threats of nuclear annihilation against North Korea began, but there is something chillingly poet that he should choose August 6-9 to give Catholic apologists for nuclear mass murder a chance to repent the lies they have told all these years.

    Of course how could they repent to Pope Shea when he doesn’t allow any of them to come by and talk? It’s a cold religion indeed that demands repentance, then locks the doors on the confession booth.

  • 1) The guys who tried to overthrow the god-king AFTER the bombs were “trying” to surrender?
    2) Baloney
    3) And starved to death the entire population. Brilliant.

    *****
    I got through to a lady I know when we were dancing around the subject– it was from the angle of WWII itself– and I pointed out that boys her son’s age were to be handed bombs and told to roll under tanks. And about the teenage girls who charged Marines, armed only with pointy sticks… the Japanese leadership of the time was seriously sick.

  • If one American life was saved by the bomb, it is justified since this war belongs to Japan.

  • 1) Japan was trying to surrender already.
    2) It was unjust to require unconditional surrender.
    3) We could have blockaded them.

    What the Japanese viewed as an acceptable resolution of the War was no occupation and their retaining some of their foreign conquests. The Japanese government, as opposed to factions within the government which wished to see the War concluded on acceptable terms to Japan, never prior to the bombs agreed to surrender. Of course this argument is laughable since even with the two atomic bombings, the Japanese did not surrender until eight days after Hiroshima.

    In regard to unconditional surrender, since Japan was the aggressor in a War in which they killed tens of millions of civilians, unconditional surrender to the US would have been a completely moral result. However, we did not demand unconditional surrender. We gave them conditions in the Potsdam Declaration and Truman lived up to each of the conditions:

    Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
    Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945
    1.We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.
    2.The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.
    3.The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.
    4.The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.
    5.Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
    6.There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.
    7.Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan’s war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.
    8.The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.
    9.The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.
    10.We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
    11.Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.
    12.The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.
    13.We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.

    Yes we could have blockaded them and caused a famine that would have killed tens of millions of Japanese. As it was, MacArthur barely averted famine with massive shipments of food for the US. MacArthur threatened to resign if the food was not forthcoming, flatly stating that famine was not going to happen in Japan on his watch.

  • The problem with debating this is that those who are against it from a traditionally liberal perspective rest on the idea that Japan was finished, it was all about peace, it wanted to end the hostilities, we had them beat, there was no reason to invade, Russia had ended the war in the Pacific already, or anything that makes it wrong. I don’t support the decision personally, but I don’t see it as some unique fluke from an evil United States just itching to nuke Japanese babies in order to take over the world.

  • For those intellectually honest, Richard B. Frank in his Downfall put paid to the notion that Japan was ready to surrender:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/why-truman-dropped-the-bomb/article/7093

  • If one uses Catholic non-consequentialist moral reasoning partly based on Double Effect, then whether or not Japan was going to surrender anyway or how many lives might have been lost in an invasion is irrelevant.

    I tend to think they shouldn’t have done it (though I’m still not completely sure). But whatever the answer, I would never condemn or blame anyone involved. And of course the bombings came after years of conventional terror bombing by both sides.

  • If one uses Catholic non-consequentialist moral reasoning…

    It seems to me (especially when these a-bomb discussions come up) that in trying to run from consequentialism, many Catholics has ended up in the opposite error of moral equivalency. If not the sheer insanity that results never matter with actions.

  • I’m with Oakes. Consequentialism cannot save the decision, only Double Effect can. I am not convinced by Deacon Russell’s explication (or other similar efforts), but I acknowledge that the analysis is very tricky and very smart folks can disagree. In any case, I would no more condemn Truman et al than I would blame a soldier who intentionally kills his dying comrade in order to stop his suffering. Acts can be wrong but understandable and forgivable. Good people do bad things for good reasons all the time, and the actors remain good and the actions remain bad.

  • Nate, you are right that it is erroneous to suggest that results never matter. But when it comes to acts that are intrinsically evil (such as the deliberate targeting of non-combatants in war) the relevance of results is limited chiefly to evaluating an actor’s level of subjective culpability.

  • Well, around and around we go, but nothing alters the fundamental division of opinion: one side believes avoiding the predicted consequences of ground invasion justified the bombings (consequentialism) and the other view is that the deliberate targeting of non-combatants is never moral and not subject to any kind of moral “trade-offs,” being intrinsically evil. I suspect neither side will convince the other. But I *am* certain the ad hominems will continue to fly.

  • The use of atomic weapons in general violates the teachings of Just War and must be condemned no matter what. America committed a war crime when it dropped those terror bombs. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

  • One perhaps “good” effect of the bombings was to demonstrate the bomb’s devastation. And they are much more devastating now. However, quite effective devastation can be and has been wrought by non-nuclear, conventional weaponry, like firebombs and guns. Shoulda, coulda, woulda? Only answer to that is, “Was ya dere?”

  • Tom, it must be pointed out that the intrinsically evil nature of the intentional targeting of non-combatants is an undisputed Catholic teaching. What is disputed is whether Nagasaki and Hiroshima fall within that category as a matter of fact. The debates centers both on the facts surrounding the bombings as well as the proper technical application of Double Effect. There is plenty to study and presumably debate here, but Catholics who believe that an action that has net positive results cannot be wrong is not thinking with the Church.
    Finally, yes all too many folks resort to name-calling and ad hominems, but I don’t think I see any such behavior on this thread, at least yet.

  • An interesting take from a Japanese doctor in 1983. Not dispositive, but worth a read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/06/us/japanese-doctor-says-bomb-averted-famine.html

  • But I *am* certain the ad hominems will continue to fly.

    Well… yes. Starting a debate by calling the other side evil will usually mean ad hominems fly. 😉

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: While Cardinal Burke is Being Serene, Non-Aggressive, and ‘Charitable’; Someone Needs to Stand for Christ’s Church – The Stumbling Block
  • As a side note, Japan embraced nuclear energy for electricity after the atomic bombing because the country has no oil, no gas, no coal. Then Fukushima happened and unlike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fukushima neither hurt nor killed any member of the public (though 12 recovery workers did die in industrial non-nuclear accidents after the event). Now the country opposes nuclear power.

    The atomic bombing motivated the Japanese to embrace nuclear energy because a small amount of uranium contains a huge amount of energy.

    The Fukushima accident motivated the Japanese to shut all their nuclear power plants down even though NO member of the public was either hurt or killed.

    This is so unlike the natural gas tank explosions in the Chiba Prefecture which killed hundreds, releasing chemical toxins that never ever decay away, and so unlike the hydro damn failures that killed thousands by drowning – all caused by the Tohoku earthquake that led to the tsunami).

    I have never understood such stupidity. The hydro and fossil fuel accidents after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 killed tens of thousands and nuclear killed ZERO in the public. I thought the Japanese were at least above that sort of thing.

    BTW, corollary: all those chemical explosives rained on Tokyo and other cities during WW II killed far more that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    But the Roman Catholic Church has NOTHING to say about that and how that would have continued on indeterminately without the nuking.

    I am disgusted.

  • For two weeks prior to the bombing, American planes dropped leaflets warning the inhabitants to evacuate. A truth that seems to have been eradicated by the liberal, not so patriotic individuals.

  • Lucius, many Catholic prelates and theologians have pointed out that the so-called carpet bombings of Germany and Japan were morally indistinguishable from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and therefore intrinsically evil. Of course, this assertion rests on the conclusion that these bombings were, in fact, the deliberate targeting of non-combatants. Not all historians agree with that assessment.

    Mary, yes that is true and is this fact is often cited as evidence that the bombing therefore cannot fairly be regarded as the deliberate targeting of civilians. This argument is vulnerable to serious rebuttals, however, and I encourage you to research them.

    I have read quite a bit over the years regarding the moral legitimacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and on balance have concluded that they were intrinsically evil acts, even if certainly understandable and forgivable under the circumstances. But my conclusion is not shared by all well-informed Catholic thinkers, and I certainly don’t regard it as free from doubt. Like many moral analyses of historical events, the analysis benefits from high dosages of humility.

  • “I have read quite a bit over the years regarding the moral legitimacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and on balance have concluded that they were intrinsically evil acts, even if certainly understandable and forgivable under the circumstances.”

    Mike, that is where I fall on it. Unfortunately, too many use condemnation of the events as mushroom cloud shaped cudgels with which to bludgeon America, ideological opponents, or anything else. And, as some have charged, Japan is not innocent of having used the clouds as shields to downplay the millions who suffered and died under its administration of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    Like always, it’s not what we do and don’t remember, it’s what we do with it.

  • I haven’t called anyone evil. I used to be just as vociferous in defense of the bombings as I now am against them, so I understand the indignation that people dare to question the morality of an action that may have in fact saved many of *our side’s* military lives. It’s just that at the end of the day, I could not rationalize away the clear traditional teaching (which also appeals to my sense of natural justice) that it’s wrong intentionally to target innocent women and children, a calculus that is changed not one whit by the attempt to “recategorize” the inhabitants of these towns as “combatants,” twisting normal language beyond breaking point. Read the post linked by Don which tells of the priests and penitents incinerated by Fat Boy. They were not combatants. Nor were the small children, and in fact, to my knowledge, while the terror effect of the bombings was extolled as a reason for their use, the flimsy claim that the entire populace of these towns were “combatants” was never advanced.

  • Agreed on all counts, Dave.

  • I see a lot of pontification, especially this time of year, about nuclear weapons by people who know little if anything about military strategy and nothing of any matters relating to nuclear. Such people wouldn’t know the difference between a neutron and an alpha, or what critical means, or how fusion and fission differ, but they perversely believe that they are entitled to an opinion. Really?!

    I therefore highly recommend reading and studing The Strategy of Technology by Dr. Jerry Pournelle (one of President Reagan’s science advisors on the Stategic Defense Initiative), Dr. Stefan Possony and Dr. Francis Kane (Colonel, Retired, USAF):

    https://www.jerrypournelle.com/slowchange/Strat.html

    I served aboard a nuclear armed, nuclear propelled submarine back in the Cold War, maintaining the peace by the doctrine of Mutual Assurred Destruction – a doctrine that demonstrably worked. Every sailor on my sub prayed we would never have to launch our nukes. But if we were given the order, then by God Russians were going to die. The Old Testament has plenty of precedence for God ordering the Children of Israel to wipe out every man, woman and child in the cities of the Promised Land during the initial invasion. Failure to comply with God’s direction led to continued strife and conflict with unsubdued pagan neighbors. Sadly and regrettably war kills women and children instead of just combatants. God’s wrath rains out on the just and unjust alike. But we get all Pharisitically self-righteous as arm-chair philosopher and theologians filled with useless, worthless sentimentality. War is freaking hell and it is NEVER a good thing and is to be avoided if at all possible, but when it comes, may God see fit to let America win. I don’t want war. None of us guys on the USS Jacksonville SSN-699 wanted war. But when it comes, you got to be able to rain hell on whoever is on the enemy’s line. Yes, avoid non-combatants. But there’s Biblical precedence here. Let’s not forget that.

  • The Bomb Follies are IMO an exercise in “imaginary” virtue at the expense of real virtue — for the sake of being on the “right” side of a moral dilemma that none of of have ever or will ever face (unless we have a time machine that can take us back to 1945 and turn us into Harry Truman), we indulge in rash judgment and contempt toward real, live persons in the here and now. I suppose that debating whether or not Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified is supposed to help us make a sound moral decision in the future if/when nukes have to be used again (North Korea?) but even then, most of us pontificating on these blogs aren’t going to have any say in that matter. A morally messed up world in which there are, sometimes, no options except “evil” and “less evil” is the price we pay for original sin, I guess.

  • “A morally messed up world in which there are, sometimes, no options except “evil” and “less evil” is the price we pay for original sin, I guess.”

    Comment of the week Elaine! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Someone pick up the phone because I called it!

    Over at Dave’s the ever cliche CC (Don knows who I’m talking about) says:

    The bomb was not needed to win the war. Japan was about to surrender anyway. This is according to Churchill, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Admiral King, Admiral Leahy, and others.

  • And Elaine Krewer wins the thread for nailing the issue exactly.

  • Churchill defended the use of the bomb at the time on the floor of the House of Commons. Big Mac was told about the bomb just prior to it being dropped. He was furious. He was looking forward to commanding the invasion of Japan, the biggest amphibious invasion in History. He argued after Hiroshima that an invasion would still be necessary. Ike, contra his memoirs, made no comment on the atomic bombings at the time. Even in his memoirs he noted that he had no responsibility for, and little knowledge of, conditions in the Pacific Theater. King and Leahy wanted to let the blockade lead to a famine that would have starved the Japanese into capitulation. Leahy’s pride also was stung when his prediction that the bomb would be a dud proved to be a dud.

  • “an exercise in “imaginary” virtue”

    “As regards his more general attitude to the war, you must not rely too much on those feelings of hatred which the humans are so fond of discussing in Christian, or anti-Christian, periodicals. In his anguish, the patient can, of course, be encouraged to revenge himself by some vindictive feelings directed towards the German leaders, and that is good so far as it goes. But it is usually a sort of melodramatic or mythical hatred directed against imaginary scapegoats. He has never met these people in real life—they are lay figures modelled on what he gets from newspapers. The results of such fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.”
    CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.

  • I don’t think it’s a worthless pursuit to figure out if certain actions are morally justified or not, and we don’t need to be nuclear scientists to do it. The rhetoric of “well, it’s a messy world, sometimes you hafta choose evil to avoid evil” is not a Catholic viewpoint. Our martyrs would reject that line of reasoning, having rejected doing some “small” evil to avoid some “great” evil. I suspect Thomas More probably heard this argument when he was being urged to accept the Act of Supremacy. It’s curious to me that among otherwise orthodox Catholics, this mushy “morality is not black and white, but gray” line is lifted from the religious Left, who use the exact same language to justify why definitive judgments can’t be made about sexual morality, their pet cause. Vindicating anything the US military has ever done seems to be the cause on “our” side that brings out the “morality is a fuzzy, gray thing” line. It doesn’t diminish our patriotism or national greatness to admit certain of our leaders made a really bad decision. Or don’t we get to criticize our leaders in this country without being accused of being unpatriotic or simpletons?

  • As to the Annual Bomb Argument, my thought is that I’m glad I didn’t have to be in Harry Truman’s shoes.

  • One thing that gets left out of a lot of these discussions Mark Shea is that 20,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Hiroshima bombing. Calling it a terror attack, specifically targeting civilians misses some important facts.
    It’s ironic that people who say supporting welfare payments makes one more pro-life than outlawing abortion would suggest starving the Japanese through a blockade would be better than the bomb.
    I also appreciate Don’s explanations of backgrounds of MacArthur, Eisenhower, etc perspectives above.

  • There was supposed to be “cough” around Shea’s name.

  • I guess our option is not the relative magnitude of evil- but our option is prayer. We can do nothing about the past, it is fixed. The future is not fixed and prayer and repentance can change things, according to B16.

  • This is only peripherally related to the topic of this post. I just got some sad news today. After 40 years of service on nuclear power, my old submarine the USS Jacksonville SSN-699 is returning from her last voyage. She will be decommissioned in 2018 or 2019. She was refueled only once in 4 decades – a heck of a lot of energy in a uranium atom – ain’t God great?

    http://m.navaltoday.com/#newsitem-142063

    I was a reactor operator aboard her in the late 70s and early 80s. I got to sleep next to a subroc nuclear missile in the Torpedo Room because I was a junior petty officer and there wasn’t enough berthing space. Basically, we were a nuclear propelled weapons launching platform and people space was a second thought. Oh, I hated it at the time, but every young man ought to have the opportunity of cleaning the bilges beneath the reactor coolant charging pumps while in the North Atlantic in November.

    I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world. Sadly nit wit idiots like Mark Shea have no idea what responsibility and integrity and patriotism really are.

  • Mary, yes that is true and is this fact is often cited as evidence that the bombing therefore cannot fairly be regarded as the deliberate targeting of civilians. This argument is vulnerable to serious rebuttals, however, and I encourage you to research them.
    After the warning the non-combatants were to be absent. So, there cannot be any charge of targeting non-combatants. Nobody knew what the atomic bomb could do. Initially, the scientists believed that the atmosphere would catch fire and a chain reaction would burn our air and kill all of us. Now we know a little more of how to handle nuclear fission. Applying today’s standards to yesterday is not fair. Today’s atomic bombs are more sophisticated as are our scientists.
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the War. The devil is in the details and you and I are dealing with the devil. War is bad. The devil is worse.

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PopeWatch: Letter to the Pope

Thursday, August 10, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Evangelical minister who specializes in helping Christians facing persecution writes to the Pope:

 

August 3, 2017

Your Holiness,

I am writing to request a meeting between Catholic and Evangelical leaders from the United States at a place and time of your choosing. Though, I’m hoping we can meet quickly.

I speak for many Evangelicals when I say that we have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church. Your commitment to the poor and to pastoral ministry and your efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.

As you know more than most, all of this has also come at a time of historic Christian persecution in more places than perhaps at any time in Christian history. Together, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Christians throughout the entire world have shared – as you’ve said – “an ecumenism of blood.”

It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement.

I have to confess what prompted this request were articles published in the La Cattolica Civilitas recently and in the New York Times.  

We feel like this conversation is an urgent one, and I will bring a half dozen or so of our denominational heads and significantly influential Evangelicals for our time together.

We would also like to use the time to meet with various other high level officials throughout the Vatican to find ways in which we can cooperate on matters of great concern to us all, especially as it relates to refugees, the poor and the persecuted.  

I might add that when God put it on my heart to write you directly, I immediately reached out to a mutual friend of ours. He has recounted to me the warm experiences that he’s had with you, and they are what prompted me to write you, knowing that you would receive this letter in kindred spirits. 

With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.

Sincerely,

Rev. Johnnie Moore

7 Responses to PopeWatch: Letter to the Pope

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Reblog: Moral and Informed Choices

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

Warning: I talk about abortion, morals, and loss here, so if you think you can’t handle that, for whatever reason (whether it is triggering to your own loss; you feel it might be judgemental of choice – and it will be, because this is an opinion column – or simply because you don’t want to read about abortion) that’s fine; don’t click the read more as I have put this behind a blog cut. If you do, however, you don’t get to be offended about my opinions.

This is, however, from the perspective of a woman who has lost two babies of her own, through stillbirth and SIDs. This is not a religious opinion either, but a purely factually scientific one which is admittedly against abortion.

Read it HERE.

Short version? Biologically, human offspring is human before birth. Failure to recognize and deal with that is irrational.
Sub-note, lady isn’t Catholic, although she’s from that tradition and sympathetic to it.

3 Responses to Reblog: Moral and Informed Choices

  • She lost two kids— one still-born just a bit off of age from my eldest son, and one born before my youngest daughter who passed away shortly after she was born.

    She has a definite connection to the issue.

  • must go to Mass now. Will blog later. PRAYERS

  • 384 years before Jesus Christ, founder of the Catholic Church, the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle said that the rational soul is the form of the human body. The transcendent, metaphysical, immortal human soul directs the life of the newly begotten sovereign person after fertilization, sovereign personhood being a faculty of the soul. The soul is the spiritual, non material attribute of the human being infused at fertilization of the egg by the sperm by “their Creator.”
    Death is defined as the soul leaving the body. (The rational, immortal, human soul is the breath of life for the body)
    With death defining the issue, who can argue that religion, man’s relationship with his “Creator” is the culprit?
    With death defining the human being, who can argue that man has control over life and death without recourse to “their Creator”?
    That a person is cheated out of his or her informed consent is criminal, illegal and unconstitutional.

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Requiescat In Pace: Glen Campbell

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

Glen Cambell has passed away at age 81.  I will let Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts do the honors:

 

Glen Campbell died today. One of the earliest memories I have is watching him perform on some variety show. It was on our old console television set that was about as big as our sofa. We lived out in the country then, and moved in town shortly after I turned five. That must mean I was around four, and it would have been c. 1971 give or take.

Campbell was one of those individuals who formed the backdrop of my life. He was always there. His name rolled off as easy as The Beatles or Star Wars. His signature song, Rhinestone Cowboy, was released when I was around eight or nine. It was one of those songs everyone sang, whether correctly or not.

Over the years, he was always just there. A part of my collective memories. When he announced he had Alzheimer’s, I was sad. My Dad had the same, and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

Nonetheless, the memories for me remain. God grant his family peace and strength through the upcoming years. And eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Go here to read the comments.  Strangely, my memories of Campbell go back 48 years to his performance in True Grit (1969).  I thought he did a fine job and it is a pity he didn’t do more acting.

7 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Glen Campbell

  • Glen Campbell, Requiescat In Pace

  • I agree. He should have acted more. I was just listening to his music last weekend as I drove through the back roads of Kentucky. Good music, good memories. Sad he’s gone, but from what I’ve read, he’s been gone for some time. RIP.

  • Campbell’s Jimmy Webb-penned hits like Witchita Lineman, Galveston, and Where’s the Playground Susie were a part of the soundtrack of my early childhood. I loved those songs then and still do today.

    But his contributions to the music extend beyond his hits. He was a virtuoso guitarist who was part of a group of elite studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. These musicians provided the instrumental tracks on practically all the hit records that came out of L.A. in the 1960s, everything from the Monkees, Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys (in fact Glen toured with the Beach Boys as Brian Wilson’s replacement on bass when Wilson stopped touring and produced the instrumental tracks on later Beach Boys records) to Frank Sinatra (the main rhythm guitar you hear on Strangers in the Night was played by Glen Campbell), Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole, and many more.

    Denny Tedesco, son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco (whose guitar work you hear on the themes for MASH, Bonanza, and Green Acres to few) produced a documentary on that group of musicans. http://www.wreckingcrewfilm.com/about.php

    Like many music icons Glen Campbell struggled with the demons of alcoholism and drug abuse. His inability to stay clean and sober really tortured him because he had deep religious convictions. Yes, John, he was “gone” for sometime. He had Alzheimer’s.

  • Here’s a sample of some of Glen Campbell’s guitar virtuosity:

  • Glenn was an amazing artist. My favorites were “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman”, and many others – always an easy and enjoyable listen. In my twenties when he hit the scene and was part of my early married life, with one of my sons in his infancy wanting “Campbell” to be played – one of the several LP’s that I had of his – to be put on our stereo. Artits of his ilk – of which there were many in the 60’s and 70’s are a disappearing breed. Hope he makes Heaven – they will enjoy him there.

  • God bless Glen Campbell.
    May he be in perpetual peace.

  • Glen Campbell, Requiescat In Pace. Oh God I love that song.
    I work as an engineer in electric power and that song will always bring a tears. “Utility line work is in the top 10 of the most dangerous jobs in America. Around 30 to 50 workers in every 100, 000 are killed on the job every year. Many others suffer non-fatal loss of limbs from electrical burns and mechanical trauma. That’s more than twice the fatality rate of police officers and firemen…. ” No bagpipers showed up at his funeral. No television cameras, no official speeches. His young widow and three children, along with neighbors, grieved his loss in the little country church in the town where he had lived all of his life. He was just a lineman with the local electric utility…”
    http://www.tdworld.com/transmission/utility-line-workers-one-top-10-most-dangerous-professions

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Things to Do to Observe Obama Day

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

The State of Illinois now celebrates each August 4 as Obama Day, a state holiday.  It is a curious holiday in that state workers will remain on the job.  President Reagan has a similar non-holiday, holiday in Illinois.  So what do you do to observe this day?  A few suggestions:

  1. Play golf.
  2. Try to stop the tides from rising.
  3. Sign your kids up for a very expensive private school.
  4. Double your household debt.
  5. Send out drones to deal with your enemies.
  6. Make a speech in favor of Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc.
  7. Snack on some dog.
  8. Mispronounce corpsman.
  9. Look in the mirror and gaze admiringly at yourself for a few hours.
  10. Schedule an important meeting and be at least fifteen minutes late.

17 Responses to Things to Do to Observe Obama Day

  • Do nothing. The man was a fine example of Spam-in-a-can. He brought nothing to the table, so what you saw was the resultant of the vectors operating in the Democratic Party. (i.e. constant PR exercises, lawfare, puke money at clients, and fold-spindle-mutilitate the military and other institutions to please sexual deviants of various sorts.

  • art, Excellent analysis as usual.

    In commemoration of Obama’s human rights victories (the most successful gun salesman in the Universe), I will buy a big, black assault rifle with several massive magazines, and 600 rounds of ammunition. Bonus: I will use my credit card wherein the NRA gets 1% of all purchases.

  • Because “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

  • Buy a dart board, and throw darts at a picture of him posted on the same.

  • Call police “stupid”. Study the Austrian language. Name all 57 state capitals. Have David Axelrod write two books about your meaningless life. I could go on but I want to take my kids for a bike ride.

  • Miss him, because the ‘progressives’ that follow him are bound to be worse.

  • Obama was Saul Alinsky’s protege. Obama taught THE RULES FOR RADICALS in Alinsky’s school. That was before as senator from Chicage Obama ordered that babies not be given medical treatment if they survived their own murder by abortion. When Obama met Melissa Oden who survived a saline abortion he said to her: “You should be dead” The president of the United States of America to one of his constituents, a citizen.
    Who in hell cares about Obama day. Let Obama join his victims.

  • Maybe I’m nitpicking here but this is NOT a “holiday” per se; it is merely a “commemorative day” along the same lines as Ronald Reagan Day, Arbor Day, Coal Miners’ Day (Nov. 13, the anniversary of the Cherry Mine Disaster, the worst coal mining disaster in IL history) and other days that are not “holidays.” See the State Commemorative Dates Act, 5 ILCS 490, which distinguishes between actual holidays and merely commemorative dates.

  • Make Islam the state religion in the USA.
    Make a speech without a teleprompter.
    Toke up on a good MJ joint made with Hawaiian weed and recall the ‘Choom gang’.
    Selfie with all the pretty female foreign dignitaries and not the scowl from Michelle.
    When do we stop…………;-)

  • Those coments should be by Don the Kiwi – but I’m happy with my Diaconate 🙂

  • Make yourself interesting and celebrate by telling everyone how glad you are that Trump was elected.

  • I’m lining up six blood parasites, turtle, and setting them on a bobble head Hillary Clinton doll.

    Oh the joy!

  • Go to church and thank God that that awful, awful man is no longer President of my country! Next, while on my knees, I give thanksgiving that the only person who would have been a worse president, is not. Bye, bye Hillary! Thank you, Jesus!!!!

  • Don’t forget the Demonic glare, if you displeased him. Britain had Tony Blair , and we had Barry Glare.

    Just like an angry petulant child whom has never been told no. Truly it was demonic.

    They particularly amazing thing about this declaration, is that it contains in its commemorative language the statement to the effect of how Obama ” brought people together.” 🤤 Really.

    It is the most amazing doublethink and doublespeak of the modern left.

  • Just like an angry petulant child whom has never been told no. Truly it was demonic.

    I hadn’t thought of that. Obama as Charlie X from Star Trek.

  • Call in sick.

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Niall Ferguson

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

 

Freedom is rarely killed off by people chanting “Down with Freedom!” It is killed off by people claiming that the greater good/the general will/the community/the proletariat requires “examination of the parameters” (or some such cant phrase) of individual liberty. If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society.

Where such arguments lead is just a long-haul flight away.

The regime of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, used to be the toast of such darlings of the American Left as Naomi Klein, whose 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” praised Venezuela as “a zone of relative economic calm” in a world dominated by marauding free market economists. Today (as was eminently foreseeable 10 years back), Venezuela is in a state of economic collapse, its opposition leaders are in jail, and its constitution is about to be rewritten yet again to keep the Chavista dictatorship in power. Another regime where those who speak freely land in jail is Saudi Arabia, a regime lauded by Women’s March leader and sharia law enthusiast Linda Sarsour.

Mark my words, while I can still publish them with impunity: The real tyrants, when they come, will be for diversity (except of opinion) and against hate speech (except their own).

Niall Ferguson, British Historian

Go here to read the rest.

 

9 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Niall Ferguson

  • Some of us might think that whispering, “You can be like God,” in Eden was the most vile hate speech ever…and how nice it was that not one person on Earth had their feelings hurt when it was spoken..

  • Many well-educated people with whom I work say they would rather be identified as liberal progressives against Trump and the uneducated lower white class that voted him into power. They look down on anyone not sharing their paradigm, marginalizing by sophist ridicule those whom they cosider their intellectual inferiors.

    Now I share their frustration over Trump – he knows nothing about the Constitution or how government really works, and other than personal loyalty and personal kindess, he has no principle. Nevertheless, the disrespect shown his supporters – some of whom are actually very well educated – is nothing but outright contempt and disdain. That fuels this whole movement of diversity except in opinion and opposition to hate speech except their own.

    I have had real serious conversations with my co-workers who are anti-Trump. They have a lot of valid points, particularly when it comes to my area of nuclear power, the Department of Energy, etc. I can’t go into all the details here because that’s not relevant to the subject of Donald McClarey’s post. But with all due respect to the President, the man is ignorant when it comes to technical, engineering and scientific fields (of course, what politician isn’t?). And the younger people in my industry pick up on that ignorance and project it onto all his supporters without distinction, unfairly stereotyping everyone disagreeing with them.

    This isn’t going to end well, especially when the people opposite of me politically do have some valid points that I cannot simply ignore out of hand.

    For the record, I voted for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party in November of 2016. My hands are clean at least in this [ though certainly not in anything else 😉 ] and I proudly state that.

  • His words are chillingly sobering.
    What will it take to preserve freedom from perverse and distorted pagans?

    A civil war?

    The Church Mush isn’t helping.
    Relativism has infected many.
    Truth? What is Truth? Our Lord is hearing this again..but now it’s from his closest friends. His consecrated ones.

    A clandestine holy church in America?
    A possibility.
    A certainty if we let it by doing nothing more than remaining silent.

  • The right to speak is the right to prevail. The disputes over ‘free speech’ are derived ultimately from the self-concept of certain professional-managerial occupations: the educational apparat, the legal profession, the media, the mental-health trade, and now the tech industry. They conceive of themselves as the school administrators while the rest of us are unruly adolescents.

  • I don’t think “freedom” is an absolute good– in part because it can’t be, with free will*, and in part because as Fulton Sheen said, freedom to do what— but I notice the shutting down of free speech is very high cost (damaged communication) for very low return (possibly some people do not feel bad because of what they hear; definitely other people are hurt by being actively told that they are unacceptable without even a trial, and definitely people are hurt by not being able to trust the communications they get, and possibly people are hurt by what they don’t hear.)

    * explaining:
    if you have free will, then two people can want two contradictory things; if they are both absolutely free, then they must both be able to get what they want– which is impossible.

  • The Church isn’t so mushy. Here is Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, who spoke recently on the results of the Constituent Assembly election that is intended by the government to impose a new constitution and the general situation:

    “On Sunday, [July] 30 we could see with our eyes the small amount of participation of the people in the elections. In this way a direct, informal, but experiential audit was made. Before six o’clock in the afternoon, which was the official time of the closing of the tables, they sent to speak to one of the observers of the National Electoral Council to announce that there was an immense number of people remaining still in lines to vote, and the vote was extended for another hour. I looked at the school that is close to the diocesan see where there were several polling stations and it looked like a desert. They tried to make people believe that there were voters at that time. There’s nothing more false. It was like the official announcement of fraud…before and during the electoral process for the Constituent Assembly, many people were coerced and threatened to attend to vote…

    “There is large number of murders that, according to the national prosecution, number 121 deaths. Of these, 25 percent have been murdered by state security agencies and 40 percent by groups of armed civilians sympathetic to the regime. There are more than 1,500 wounded, with more than thousands of detainees, in little more than three months, give us a hellish picture that would make any person or institution worried about the lives of citizens at stake…

    “[The economic collapse] is the result of dire governmental policies, of improvisation, of wanting to establish a socialism without humanist support, and in its place generating a permanent conflict plagued by corruption and violence…

    “Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue, but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination”

  • MY APOLOGIES! I didn’t see this was posted below! I do think the language is tougher than shown below.

  • “Facts do not care about your feelings”…Ben Shapiro

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The Cure of Ars

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

 

Today is the traditional feast day of Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  He was born into a world in 1786 where the Church was soon under attack by the first of the totalitarian regimes, Revolutionary France.  His family remained loyal to the Faith, and helped priests on the run from the State.  Young John saw these brave men as heroes as well as priests, and soon wished to join their ranks.  He was hampered by his ill education and the fact that he simply wasn’t a very good student, no matter how hard he tried.  He was ordained more as an act of Christian charity, and a recognition that he had a good heart and would try his best to be a good priest, than because of any success in his studies.

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PopeWatch: Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

 

Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, vice president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, speaks on the dire situation in Venezuela:

 

 

The representative of the bishops’ conference also addressed the Vatican-facilitated dialogue process that took place in Venezuela between the government and the opposition in 2016.

The bishop denounced the result, which, in his view, was “a feigned dialogue on the part of the government without any result.”

“Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue; but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination,” Bishop Azuaje stated.

“The Holy See has always been aware of what is happening in the country. Both Pope Francis and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, are well informed of the country’s problems. They have always been willing to mediate, and we thank them for that. But experiences teach. The failed dialogue from October to December has taught that governments like this should have something more than goodwill,” he said categorically.

 

He also explained that the Vatican “has reminded the government that to return to the table, they must meet what was agreed in October of last year, and recorded by Cardinal Parolin in the letter addressed to President Maduro on December 1, 2016.”

This agreement states that the government must commit to “setting an electoral calendar, the release of political prisoners, the opening of a humanitarian channel to let food and medicines enter the country, and return power to the National Assembly.”

 

In the bishop’s view, the real solution involves a “total change of government through general elections,” perhaps beginning with a “possible transitional national government.”

However, he noted that “we can not forget justice” because “there has been a lot of corruption and violence” and “those responsible for this can not be left uninvestigated.”

Regardless of how the political situation in Venezuela ends, however, Catholics must live and react to the crisis facing the country.

“A Catholic in the circumstances in which we live must be a permanent promoter of the common good, solidarity, and justice,” the bishop advised. “It is not a time of adornment, but of going to the essential, to what gives meaning to life.”

“We know that nothing will be easy when working for the good of the community, but Christians have a fundamental belief that the power of the Holy Spirit not only animates us, but enlightens us in walking the narrow way. It offers us challenges, but it gives us its strength, ” Bishop Azuaje said.

“I want to go to the extreme of saying that a Catholic can not bend to exclusionary policies, much less the voracious corruption that exists in the country, nor raise his hand to strike the dignity of anyone,” he added.

“A committed Catholic should demand justice and work for the people with the sole interest of developing processes that lead to greater human development,” the bishop urged.

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Report of Stonewall Jackson on the Battle of Cedar Mountain

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017

 

 

On August 9, 1862, Stonewall Jackson, spearheading General Lee’s offensive against General John Pope’s hastily assembled Army of Virginia.  At Cedar Mountain in Culpepper County Virginia he attack his old Valley adversary General Nathaniel Banks, known affectionately by Confederates as Commissary Banks due to the fact that forces under his command usually were whipped and Confederates then feasted on the captured supplies of his defeated forces.  Banks commanded 8,000 men and Jackson had 16,000.  Banks and his men, surprisingly, put up a good fight and Jackson’s victory was hard fought.  Here is Jackson’s report which he submitted on April 4, 1863, paperwork tacking a back seat to all the fighting which occurred between Cedar Mountain and April 4, 1863:

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Google Does Evil

Tuesday, August 8, AD 2017

 

It is no secret that Google is a smug left wing outfit dedicated to shaping public opinion in a leftist direction.  The latest example is the firing of a worker who had the temerity to point out that Google lacks intellectual diversity.

 

Google has not publicly named but Bloomberg reported that software engineer James Damore confirmed in an email that he had been let go for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” and was exploring legal action against the company. Internal discussions boards seen by Bloomberg suggest that multiple employees supported the dismissal of the employee and said they would choose not to work with him.

 

The memo also criticized the company’s diversity programs and questioned whether differing views could be said freely within Google.

 

“Many points raised in the memo-such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all-are important topics,” Pichai wrote. “The author had a right to express their views on those topics-we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.”

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Dante’s Tribute to Saint Dominic

Tuesday, August 8, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dame, who was his surety, in her sleep
Beheld the wondrous fruit, that was from him
And from his heirs to issue.  And that such
He might be construed, as indeed he was,
She was inspir’d to name him of his owner,
Whose he was wholly, and so call’d him Dominic.
And I speak of him, as the labourer,
Whom Christ in his own garden chose to be
His help-mate.  Messenger he seem’d, and friend
Fast-knit to Christ; and the first love he show’d,
Was after the first counsel that Christ gave.
Many a time his nurse, at entering found
That he had ris’n in silence, and was prostrate,
As who should say, “My errand was for this.”
O happy father!  Felix rightly nam’d!
O favour’d mother! rightly nam’d Joanna!
If that do mean, as men interpret it.
Not for the world’s sake, for which now they pore
Upon Ostiense and Taddeo’s page,
But for the real manna, soon he grew
Mighty in learning, and did set himself
To go about the vineyard, that soon turns
To wan and wither’d, if not tended well:
And from the see (whose bounty to the just
And needy is gone by, not through its fault,
But his who fills it basely, he besought,
No dispensation for commuted wrong,
Nor the first vacant fortune, nor the tenth),
That to God’s paupers rightly appertain,
But, ‘gainst an erring and degenerate world,
Licence to fight, in favour of that seed,
From which the twice twelve cions gird thee round.
Then, with sage doctrine and good will to help,
Forth on his great apostleship he far’d,
Like torrent bursting from a lofty vein;
And, dashing ‘gainst the stocks of heresy,
Smote fiercest, where resistance was most stout.
Thence many rivulets have since been turn’d,
Over the garden Catholic to lead
Their living waters, and have fed its plants.

Dante, Divine Comedy, Paradiso XII

4 Responses to Dante’s Tribute to Saint Dominic

  • Dante, Aquinas, Giotto. Three people saying the exact same thing in different ways. I was listening to the Joan of Arc song from 100 years ago thinking about how much we’ve lost as a culture, but how much more have we fallen from the peak of the 13th-14th centuries! We’re blessed to have access to their art and wisdom, though. That’s not a small thing. We can read, and can legally praise Christian saints, and can communicate instantly. Incredible gifts.

  • On his death bed St Dominic reassured his brothers in Christ; “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.”

    The Little Flower followed suit as well..

    We have so many beautiful souls in heaven wishing to help us…may we never forget them.
    Including Larry.

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  • We received the rosary thru St. Dominic one of the many blessings he has given us. I believe the Dominicans have a special mission in our times. Please support them.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela Bishops

  • We have a situation developing that reeks of a coming martyrdom…as always, the blood from which is the real mortar that holds the faith together. God and God-loathing tyrants never make beautiful music together since one is always reading the wrong score.

  • Most Holy Virgin, Patroness of America, Our Lady Help of Christians please help our neighbors to the south and protect the United States from agents of destruction who wish to spread the errors of socialism and communism in our nation.

    Bernie Sanders utopia being played out in Venezuela.

    Hillary Clinton’s vision being realized in Venezuela.

    We dodged a bullet last November.

  • We all know regardless of the words that come out of the Vatican what side Jorge Bergoglio stands on – the photo here says it all:

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A702-Maduro.htm

    God save us from these Latin American tin pot dictators, whether in Venezuela or in Rome.

  • I’m a protestant and even I feel the need to echo that prayer.

    May Venezuela be free soon, and their God-given right to live as free men returned to them.

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PopeWatch: Venezuela

Monday, August 7, AD 2017

 

Events are quickly coming to a head in Venezuela, as Father de Souza at Crux tells us:

 

The Holy See declared itself on Friday against the brutal regime of Nicolas Maduro, capping an extraordinary few months of masterful maneuvering by the bishops of Venezuela. They have preserved the integrity of the Church’s witness in the face of a tyrant that has starved his people and refused to permit foreign aid to help them.

The statement of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State calls on Maduro to abandon his plans to hold a “constituent assembly” to rewrite the constitution in his favour. It calls again for human rights to be respected, and refers to earlier calls for political prisoners to be released and new elections to be held – which, presumably and hopefully – would lead to the end of Maduro’s regime.

Venezuela has been plunged into a lethal crisis by a communist government that has doubled down on totalitarian measures to tighten its grip on power. The collapse of petro-communism in Venezuela is now more severe than the Great Depression in the United States, or the economic decline of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

But it’s wrong to blame falling oil prices, which in any case have recently stabilized. There are no other petro-states in which the citizenry is without food or toilet paper, fleeing as refugees without papers because the government no longer has the capacity to print passports.

Venezuela has descended rapidly into starvation poverty because during the boom years the regime of Hugo Chavez ran up record debts to plug the holes in its failed, corrupt economic policies. Now under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, there is nothing left in the exchequer and little new borrowing to be had. The economic catastrophe has undermined the regime’s support, which is why Maduro has resorted to lethal violence, rampant thuggery and totalitarian measures to change the constitution to preserve his hold on power.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s vote for Maduro’s new constituent assembly – boycotted by the opposition – the government seized opposition leaders and continued its killing of protesters in the streets. The Venezuelan bishops stood with the opposition, and with the protesters. Indeed, one extraordinary photo shows Venezuelan priests facing armed government forces in the streets, pleading for them to allow medical care for a young man they had shot. The government forces let him die.

The country’s bishops made clear by name the cause of Venezuela’s agony, tweeting on Sunday a prayer to “free our homeland from the claws of communism and socialism.” It is not a matter of a clumsy bureaucracy, or of squabbling factions, or unfortunate economic shocks; Venezuela has been brought low by a failed ideology.

The Venezuelan Church now stands squarely in solidarity with the opposition and the people in the streets against the Maduro regime. In the weeks ahead, we might hope for something like the happy ending of the People Power revolution of 1986 in the Philippines, when the Filipino Church was at the forefront of the protests that brought down the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

However matters play out in Venezuela, the leading bishops of the country have ensured that the Church’s witness will not be ambiguous. Even a few months ago, the role of the Church was confusing in Venezuela, with the astonishing phenomenon of Maduro repeatedly insisting that the bishops drop their opposition to him out of obedience to Pope Francis, who called repeatedly for dialogue but would not clearly criticize the Maduro regime, as he did yesterday.

Defenders of the previous papal strategy considered it an attempt to keep the lines of communication open, preserving the capacity of the Church to act as a mediator. Critics of the strategy thought it foolish to call for dialogue as between the predator and his prey, when the only path ahead for Venezuela was for Maduro and his socialist/communist regime to go.

11 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela

  • The typical leftist knows absolutely nothing.

    The main difference between Nazism and socialism is that nobody ever said, “True Nazism has never been tried.”

  • Will Maduro do to Catholic clerics and laity today in Venezuela what Calles did to Catholic clerics and laity in the early 20th century in Mexico?

    And will Jorge Bergoglio respond with something like this?

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_18111926_iniquis-afflictisque.html

    Latin American strong men, once they have power, are not known for backing down.

  • I sense a coming Broadway musical, “Don’t Cry For Me Venezuela.”

  • Latin American strong men, once they have power, are not known for backing down.

    No. When the going gets too tough, they get out of Dodge before the posse catches them. One recent one (Manuel Noriega) was ejected by the U.S. military. There haven’t been many since 1970 who lasted more than about a half-dozen years. Anastasio Somoza fils (12 years), Omar Torrijos (12 years), Juan Velasco Alvarado (8 years), Hugo Banzar (7 years), Augusto Pinochet (15 years, left voluntarily according to constitutional procedures), and Alfredo Stroessner (35 years). None of these lasted past 1990. Messrs Fujimori, Chavez, Correa, and Morales were electoral politicians, albeit abusive ones.

  • “Venezuela has descended rapidly into starvation poverty because during
    the boom years the regime of Hugo Chavez ran up record debts to plug
    the holes in its failed, corrupt economic policies.”

    Hugo was plugging holes in a failed, corrupt economic policy he forced
    onto his people– and like most socialist leaders, he was taking good care
    of his own pocketbook at the same time. When he finally did Venezuela
    a good turn and died, Chavez had a personal wealth estimated at $2 billion.
    There’s likely even more squirreled away in secret overseas accounts. His
    daughter Maria Gabriela is widely acknowledged to be the wealthiest
    person in Venezuela today, with a fortune of about $4.2 billion. She has
    holed up in the presidential palace, and refuses to move out. A large part
    of her fortune came from cornering the market on importation of rice– a
    staple of the diet of Venezuela’s people– and promptly hiking the price
    80%. In Venezuela, she’s contemptuously referred to as “Reina del Arroz”.

    I very much doubt that today’s ordinary Venezuelans have any more illusions
    about either the true nature of socialism or the left’s supposed concern for
    the poor. Would that this Pope would also look and learn.

  • Art Deco wrote, “No. When the going gets too tough, they get out of Dodge before the posse catches them.”

    Response: where’s the posse for the Latin American strong man occupying the See of St. Peter?

    Sorry, I can’t help myself, Art. Rhetorical question only. But yes, you have a valid point. These Caudillos as T. Shaw describes them are bullies at heart and bullies are usually cowards – they can’t face the music when it comes their way.

  • Gee, the Holy Father and the Holy See finally declared itself against the Venezuelan regime. It only took about 4 years.

    But they were very quick to be against the Trump regime.

    Idiots, everywhere idiots.

  • “The Holy See declared itself on Friday against the brutal regime of Nicolas Maduro, capping an extraordinary few months of masterful maneuvering by the bishops of Venezuela. They have preserved the integrity of the Church’s witness in the face of a tyrant that has starved his people and refused to permit foreign aid to help them.”

    This is what it takes for Pope Francis to change his mind: thousands dead, mass starvation, pleading by his Bishops, murderous dictator. In part the blood of this situation is on Pope Francis hands. The Pope of mercy no less!

  • There’s a whole lot of ruin in the world and ordinarily I wouldn’t expect Francis to comment on much of it explicitly. What a traditionalist priest told me a dozen years ago is, I suspect, true: the Pope shouldn’t say too much. The task of elucidating doctrinal or moral points should be enough to consume his public utterances. What you notice though, is that this Pope yaps about everything and makes ill-judged utterances routinely. You notice when he doesn’t say something.

    One might hope that Venezuela’s decision-making element and it’s populace will productively reflect on the experience of the last five decades and draw salutary conclusions (once the atrocious Maduro is out of the way).

  • These Caudillos as T. Shaw describes them are bullies at heart and bullies are usually cowards – they can’t face the music when it comes their way.

    If you review the list above, you’ll notice that none of the military men appeared on the scene after 1973 (and Pinochet acted only consequent to extreme provocation and engineered a salutary restructuring of Chile’s political economy). As for the electoral politicians on the list, Maduro and Morales are the only one’s remaining. Morales’ background is in commercial agriculture, and that knowledge base seems to constrain him from the worst sort of economic atrocities.

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Divisions

Sunday, August 6, AD 2017

This event I believe occurred at the Fourth Moscow Conference in 1944:

 

In 1944, at a time when the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazi Germany, it was important to convince Stalin that the Western democracies accepted him as an equal. “‘In the world of the future, for which our soldiers have shed their blood on countless fronts”, the British Prime Minister said in his bombastic style, “our three great democracies will demonstrate to all mankind that they, both in wartime and in peacetime, will remain true to the high principles of freedom, dignity, and happiness of the people. That’s why I attach such paramount importance to good neighbourly relations between a restored Poland and the Soviet Union. It was for the freedom and independence of Poland that Britain went into this war. The British feel a sense of moral responsibility to the Polish people, to their spiritual values. It’s also important that Poland is a Catholic country. We can’t allow internal developments there to complicate our relations with the Vatican…”

“How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?” Stalin asked, suddenly interrupting Churchill’s line of reasoning.

Valentin Berezhkov, Stalin’s interpreter, in his memoirs recounted this.

 

The response of Pius XII I have been unable to source as to time and place, but it has become immortal:  “You can tell my son Joseph that he will meet my divisions in heaven.”

The divisions that Stalin put so much faith in are as dead and buried now as he is, as is his Communist State that lasted merely one long life time.  Dictators come and go, Christ remains.

One Response to Divisions

  • Back in 1989, I usually picked up a copy of the Reverend Moon’s Washington Times as I could not stomach the Compost. I saved an editorial cartoon portraying the Polish people erecting a statue of Milton Friedman, while nearby a Stalin statue lay on the ground in pieces. Next to the pieces was an old lady with a babushka who gave the statue pieces an unceremonious salute of “BAH”.

    The little old ladies who came to Mass every Sunday, or every day, and prayed the Rosary had more power than Stalin did in the end.

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