What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
One advantage of studying history is that you learn the truth of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun. That is why when I was reading this morning the latest antics of the deranged campus Left it seemed so familiar:
Out in Washington State, some students at Western Washington University have come up with interesting new techniques in the field of debate. For example, one of their state senators, Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) was found by the upset underclassmen to be a heretical non-believer when it comes to the issue of global warming. Ericksen, as it turns out, is an alumnus of WWU, so rather than debating him on the hot topic, they have issued demands to have his diploma revoked.
This isn’t an election year for state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, but challengers do seek to wrest something from him — not his elected office but rather one of his college degrees.
A group of students with ties to Huxley College held a meeting at 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday, May 7, on campus, to start what promises to be an uphill — if not Quixotic — battle to convince university administration to strip Ericksen of his diploma.
“We’re framing it in a more radical way,” D’Angelo said. “We’re not just trying to have a conversation with him or hold him accountable. We’re trying to revoke his degree and get people to pay attention.”
The Republican senator has been at odds with Democrats over how to craft policy on climate change and carbon reduction. He butted heads with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, on the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup. Ericksen removed language in the bill creating the workgroup that mentioned “climate change” and the threat it posed to the state.
While Ericksen may have stripped the phrase “climate change” out of a bill, upsetting the young Democrats, he had primarily worked to prevent any tax increases which were supposed to pay for carbon capping. But but does that make him a “climate change denier” in the full sense of the word? Not exactly.
The students refer to Ericksen as a “climate denier” on their Facebook page. He told this blogger a couple years back he was a “climate agnostic,” which may be more accurate. While he stripped the words “climate change” from the 2013 Climate Legislative and Executive workgroup bill, he at least conceded the possibility of human-caused climate change in 2015 legislation that would give utilities more flexibility in meeting state-mandated alternative energy goals. (Ericksen’s bill, SB 5735, passed the Senate on March 9 but has not yet made it through the House.)
In an amendment Ericksen introduced, the bill’s intent section reads, “The Legislature finds that climate change is real and that human activity may contribute to climate change.”
This is apparently the bar which must be met when dealing with college campus activists. Publishing legislation which says that climate change is real and human activity may contribute to it isn’t going to cut the mustard, folks. You’re going to have to do better than that. And if you don’t, your opponents will work with the university to strip you of your credentials.
Go here to Hot Air to read the rest. The idiots behind this lunacy worked in the campaign of the defeated Democrat opponent of Ericksen. While I was reading this, I knew I recalled similar measures taken against political adversaries before. It took me a moment, and then it came to me: Nazi Germany! Continue reading
Pope Francis returned yet again to something he says frequently: that evil arms merchants are behind wars:
“This is serious. Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country,” the Pope was cited by AGI news agency as saying.
Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings up an interesting point. This may be whistling past the graveyard, but Magister is one of the more acute observers of the Vatican:
ROME, May 11, 2015 – The second and last session of the synod on the family is approaching, and the temperature of the discussion keeps going up.
The latest uproar is over an onslaught of the German bishops, who now take as a given, in the “cultural context” of their local Church, substantial changes of doctrine and pastoral practice in matters of divorce and homosexuality:
Nothing new, in this. Most of the bishops of Germany have for some time been entrenched in positions of this kind, even before Cardinal Walter Kasper opened fire with the memorable introductory talk at the February 2014 consistory of cardinals, in support of communion for the divorced and remarried:
The new development is another. And it has as its protagonist Pope Francis.
Until the synod of October 2014, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had repeatedly and in various ways shown encouragement for “openness” in matters of homosexuality and second marriages, each time with great fanfare in the media. Cardinal Kasper explicitly said that he had “agreed” with the pope on his explosive talk at the consistory.
But during that synod the resistance to the new paradigms showed itself to be much more strong and widespread than expected, and determined the defeat of the innovators. The reckless “relatio post disceptationem” halfway through the assembly was demolished by the criticism and gave way to a much more traditional final report.
In accompanying this unfolding of the synod Pope Francis also contributed to the turning point himself, among other ways by rounding out the commission charged with writing the final report – until then under the brazen dominion of the innovators – by adding personalities of opposing viewpoints.
But it is above all from the end of the synod on that Francis has taken a new course with respect to the one that he initially traveled.
From the end of 2014 until today, there has not been even one more occasion on which he has given the slightest support to the paradigms of the innovators.
On the contrary. He has intensified his remarks on all the most controversial questions connected to the synodal theme of the family: contraception, abortion, divorce, second marriages, homosexual marriage, “gender” ideology. And every time he has spoken of them as a “son of the Church” – as he loves to call himself – with ironclad fidelity to tradition and without swerving by a millimeter from what was said before him by Paul VI, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI. Continue reading
At the beginning of the Civil War what would later have been called skirmishes were called battles, so I guess we can call Palmito Ranch at the end of the War a battle.
At the beginning of 1865 the Union and Confederate troops engaged in an informal truce in south Texas, since the War was manifestly about to come to an end, and both sides could see that nothing that was done in Texas would have any impact on the outcome. Negotiations began in March for the surrender of the Confederate troops in Texas but came to nothing. Why a Union force advanced on Brownsville, Texas in May is something of a mystery since a surrender was obviously in the offing. At any rate in a two day fight the Confederates succeeded in causing the Union force of about 500 men to retreat. The Confederate force of 300 sustained casualties of 5-6 wounded and 3 captured. The Union force had 4 killed, 3 wounded and 101 captured. Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana had the sad distinction of being the last man to be killed in action in the Civil War. Here is the report of the commander of the luckless Union force: Continue reading
– The Republican field is filled with conservative candidates who have a wide-range of executive and legislative experience, and who generally speak eloquently and articulately on the issues.
Then there’s Ben Carson.
Carson, in his first speech in the state as a candidate, was asked by a voter about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their gasoline and diesel supplies.
“I don’t particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market,” Carson said, according to The Des Moines Register.
Not bad. Subsidies in general are detrimental. If he’d only stopped there. But sadly, he didn’t.
“Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.
For a candidate whose main selling point is he made a good speech one time, he sure sticks his foot in his mouth quite often.
– Speaking of bad candidates in a good field, Mike Huckabee doesn’t seem too concerned about his snake oil salesmanship gone awry.
– I am linking to Think Progress, and not to mock them. Why? Because even they thought Mark Halperin’s interview with Ted Cruz was cringe-worthy.
Late last month, Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin conducted a cringe-worthy interview with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). The interview meandered from questions about how Cruz plans to appeal to Latino voters to what appeared to be a series of requests that Cruz, who is Cuban American, prove that he is really, truly, authentically Cuban. By the end of the interview, when Halperin asks Cruz to say a few words “en Español,” one can’t help but think that Cruz had unwittingly wandered into a minstrel show, with Halperin demanding that Cruz perform for an audience.
Though Halperin begins the interview by raising a legitimate topic — a speech Cruz gave to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce — his conversation with Cruz quickly goes off the rails. “Your last name is Cruz and you’re from Texas,” Halperin asks Cruz. “Just based on that, should you have appeal to Hispanic voters?”
Halperin’s suggestion that Hispanic voters may base their vote solely on the ethnicity of a particular candidate is actually a relative high point of the interview. The next question begins with Halperin telling Cruz that “people are really interested in you and your identity,” before Halperin asks whether Cruz listed himself as “Hispanic” when he applied to college and law school. Over the course of the next five minutes, Halperin demands that Cruz identify his “favorite Cuban food” and his “favorite “Cuban singer.”
Looking forward to Halperin’s interview with Bobby Jindal where he dares the Louisiana Governor to prepare “some of that curry stuff” on live television.
– Londonites riot over the UK election results. Someone might take away a barely noticeable portion of their government cheese. Can’t have that.
A trigger warning from first to last.
Saint Corbinian’s Bear is bemused about the hysteria regarding Geller’s Draw Mohammed contest:
See the picture above. Does anything strike you as odd? Muslims attack us, and we are the ones who have to be reminded to be nice? This is a standard tactic: play the victim card. Close down discussion. You don’t want to be a hater, do you?
The condemnation of Pamela Geller’s free speech exercise in Garland, Texas by L’Osservatore Romano was unintentionally hilarious, as were thousands across the globe. They might as well have said that Muslims are mad dogs who can’t control themselves when something (Muhammad drawing, accidental Quran burning, the historical fact of First Crusade, Friday) triggers their irresistible urge to kill. Because in their warnings not to do anything that might offend our delicate Muslim cousins, they not only damn free speech, but could not be more condescending to the very people they’re trying to protect. They’re like Bear Safety Tips.
The Bear would not be the first to draw a comparison to someone blaming rape on the way women dress. “Geller had it coming.” Oh, come to think of it, the last person the Bear remembers doing that was Chief Australian Muslim cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilawi in 2006.
Sheik Hilawi was quoted as saying: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the back yard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it… whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.” Yep, ladies, better keep that cat-meat covered!
Pope Francis, who never saw a religion he didn’t like — except some elements of Catholicism — has said you cannot make fun of another religion.
Drawing a picture of a supposedly historical figure is not making fun of any religion. Giving some group advance veto power over speech is the end of free speech in principle. Continue reading
After Raul Castro paid a call Sunday on Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for Cuban-U.S. detente — the Cuban president said he was so impressed by the pontiff he is considering a return to the Catholic church’s fold.
Judging from the below report from Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa, what was formerly called the Catholic Church in Germany has decided to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation two years early by kicking off Reformation 2.0:
ROME, May 6, 2015 – To judge by the latest product of the German episcopal conference, the synod on the family scheduled for October 4-25 could turn out to be a wasted effort.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx (in the photo), archbishop of Munich and president of the episcopal conference, had made this clear last February 25 with a remark that made its way around the world:
“We are not a subsidiary of Rome. Every episcopal conference is responsible for pastoral care in its own cultural context, and must preach the Gospel in its own original way. We cannot wait for a synod to tell us how we must shape the pastoral care of marriage and the family.”
But now it is Germany’s episcopal conference itself that has set this same concept down in black and white, in its official response – after consulting the “people of God” – to the preparatory questionnaire sent out from Rome in view of the next session of the synod.
When it comes to the question on “how to promote the determination of pastoral guidelines on the level of particular Churches,” the German bishops in fact write:
“Referring to social and cultural differences, some of the responses favour regional agreements on pastoral guidelines at local church level. The basis could also be formed by diocesan discussion processes on the topic of marriage and the family the outcome of which would be discussed with other local churches. This would be conditional on all concerned being willing to engage in a dialogue.”
The formulation is a bit contorted, but the facts speak for themselves. In almost all the dioceses of Germany, sacramental absolution and Eucharistic communion are given to the divorced and remarried, as already made clear by a previous document from the German episcopal conference, approved on June 24, 2014 and proudly exhibited in Rome at last October’s session of the synod on the family:
This document can be read in its entirety on the website of Germany’s episcopal conference, not only in the original German but in Italian, English, French, and Spanish, proof of the intentions of this episcopate to teach a lesson to the whole world.
And the same multilingual treatment has been adopted for the responses to the presynodal questionnaire, made public in recent days:
Below is reproduced the section of the document with the responses to the most controversial points of the questionnaire: the divorced and remarried, mixed marriages, homosexuals.
Not only do the German bishops approve of giving absolution and communion to the divorced and remarried, but they also express the hope that civil second marriages be blessed in church, that Eucharistic communion also be given to non-Catholic spouses, that the goodness of homosexual relationships and same-sex unions be recognized.
They write that they do not intend in the least to bring into question the doctrine of the universal Church relative to marriage and family. But they do not explain how to reconcile this doctrine “cum Petro e sub Petro” with the pastoral practices that they have implemented in Germany. Continue reading
I imagine that there were a few sighs of relief in Washington when this farewell address of General Nathan Bedford Forrest made its way north. If any man were going to lead a guerilla resistance in the South it was Forrest. That he was ready to accept defeat was a good sign that such resistance was not going to occur. Here is the text of his address: Continue reading
From those twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire. Dawkins, and others of his mindset, attempt to erect Science as a substitute religion, even as they absolutely refuse to seriously entertain the truth of Hamlet’s observation: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Attempting to turn the intellectual instrument of Science into a religion underlines this statement from CS Lewis that looks increasingly prophetic as the years roll by:
“Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true. We may be living nearer than we suppose to the end of the Scientific Age.”
If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
(I posted this last year and I think I will be posting it each Mother’s Day.)
My Mom died on Easter Sunday in 1984, age 48. Her second bout with breast cancer took her life, she having survived a first round in 1972. She told me at that time that she asked God to spare her life until her two boys, my brother and I, were settled in life, and so He did.
Mom had fiery red hair and a tempestuous temperament to match. When she was a child one of her colleagues at school made the mistake of chanting at her “Fox in the bread box, eating all the cheese!”, and Mom clocked her. Growing up it was a rare day when I didn’t receive at least one slap, which I had always earned, and one hug, which I rarely earned. Mom always wore her heart on her sleeve and that fact brought excitement to my life while growing up which I greatly enjoyed.
Mom was a talker. My laconic father said on occasion that Mom did the talking for both of them and I think that was true. My brother, who had both Mom’s hair and disposition, also liked to talk and so did I. When the three of us got going it was an interesting melding of three non-stop monologues. Continue reading
Wonder how Jefferson Davis
Feels, down there in Montgomery, about Sumter.
He must be thinking pretty hard and fast,
For he’s an able man, no doubt of that.
We were born less than forty miles apart,
Less than a year apart–he got the start
Of me in age, and raising too, I guess,
In fact, from all you hear about the man,
If you set out to pick one of us two
For President, by birth and folks and schooling,
General raising, training up in office,
I guess you’d pick him, nine times out of ten
And yet, somehow, I’ve got to last him out.
Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body
Jefferson Davis, first and last president of the Confederacy, was captured by Union cavalry near Irwinville, Georgia one hundred and fifty years ago. Secretly he is happy about this turn of events. He expects to be tried for treason and looks forward to defending himself on Constitutional grounds. Instead, he will spend two years incarcerated, and then be released on bail, never to have his day in court. He would have the misfortune to survive the War for almost a quarter of a century, and to become involved in many querulous debates with former Confederates who sought to blame him for the loss of the War. Far better for Davis if he had been killed by the Union troopers and died, the martyr of the Lost Cause. Instead, he was fated to endure the worst fate for a loser of a great historical turning point: a long life in which to play the role of scapegoat.
Robert E. Lee I think had it right when he said that he could think of no one who could have done as well as Davis as President. A great man who almost led his nation to victory, Davis had the misfortune to be opposed by a greater man leading a stronger nation. In response to his critics, he produced a two volume turgid defense entitled The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881), published, ironically, by a New York publishing house. At 1500 pages it is one of the great unread books of American history, the province of only the most obsessive of Civil War scholars, although Oscar Wilde, strangely enough, proclaimed it a literary masterpiece, although even he admitted that he skimmed the military portions. In recent decades Davis, who had his slaves run his plantation along with their own court system, has been often portrayed as a devil stick figure, as if he had invented slavery, a sort of anti-Lincoln. This is ahistoric rubbish. Davis was a fascinating, and often contradictory, man and the scholarship devoted to him has been sadly lacking. The man who came so close to changing the course of the nation deserves better from the servants of Clio.
T. H. Peabody, a member of the Union cavalry unit that captured Davis gave this account: Continue reading
The Russians are celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany this weekend. It is fair to say that in that defeat the Soviet Union did the lion’s share of the fighting, the Soviets suffering more than twenty million war dead. For all their heroism and suffering , the Soviets were still enslaved to a tyranny just as bad as the Third Reich, with that system now extended throughout Eastern Europe. This cold fact is why Churchill entitled the final volume in his World War II history: Triumph and Tragedy.
The clip from the film Alexander Nevsky at the beginning of this post underlines the tragedy for the Russian people of World War II. A true work of genius by Sergei Eisenstein, who somehow pulled off the feat of making a film about an Orthodox Saint, an aristocratic Prince and pillar of the Church, and ladling it with Communist and anti-religious propaganda, and yet having the final result not be laughably absurd. The film was among the first efforts of Stalin to rally traditional Russian patriotism against the looming threat of Nazi Germany. Poor Eisenstein found himself in the doghouse soon after the release of the film due to the Nazi-Soviet pact. After the onset of Operation Barbarossa, the film was once again released and played to packed houses throughout the war. The Russian rallying song in the film was composed by Sergei Prokofiev. The lyrics roughly translated are :
Arise, ye Russian people,
to glorious battle, to a battle to the death:
arise, ye free people,
to defend our beloved country!
All honour to the warriors who live,
and eternal glory to those slain!
For our native home, our Russian land,
arise, ye Russian people!
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Just months after igniting a firestorm for preaching Catholic doctrine from the pulpit, local priest Fr. Keith Crowell was reassigned to the diocese’s smallest parish “out in the sticks,” a source from the diocese is reporting.
It was three months ago when Crowell was caught on video denying that the miracle of the loaves and fishes ought to be attributed to the multitudes after they shared the little food the apostles had to distribute, as opposed to the long held belief that Christ literally multiplied the food. The video quickly went viral, with many protesting outside of his church and calling for his dismissal.
“Yeah, we weren’t exactly shocked to learn that Fr. Crowell was being reassigned to our parish,” said parishioner Jacob Denver from Crowell’s new church. “We get all the orthodox ones. It’s crap. Any time there’s a fundamentally solid priest pissing off the bishop, they send him to us because there’s a lot less of us to indoctrinate. It’s hard being a Catholic in the boonies, I’ll admit that. Sometimes I just wish we could move into a rich suburban area where we won’t have to constantly be nagged about confession and stuff like that. We’ll just be nagged about giving more money and be left alone after that. Not a bad trade off.” Continue reading
In this temple
As in the hearts of the people for
whom he saved the Union
The memory of Abraham
Is enshrined forever
Inscription above the Lincoln Memorial
Something for the weekend. Lincoln and Liberty, Too. The mortal remains of Abraham Lincoln were laid to rest in Springfield, Illinois a century and a half ago this week. This is a good time to look at the impact of his life, a life more consequential for his country and the world than that of any other American except for George Washington.
1. Lincoln ended slavery. That is a simple three word sentence but what an accomplishment it was. Slavery, a world wide institution, had existed in the American colonies since their foundation. By the time of the Civil War the institution was two hundred and fifty years old and had tainted American history from its inception. It tainted everything it touched, and, in the ringing words of Lincoln:
I hate [indifference to slavery] because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world-enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites-causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty-criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.
Slavery was such an entrenched institution in the South that only a mammoth Civil War, with atrocious blood-letting, brought about the conditions that ended it. In four short years Lincoln lanced the boil of slavery, and if that were his only accomplishment that alone should ensure that his name will be honored by endless generations of Americans. Critics of Lincoln often pretend that the South would have abolished slavery. There is no evidence to support that belief, and much evidence to support the contention that slavery was an immensely strong institution and getting a new lease on life by having slaves work in factories. Vast slave empires arose in the twentieth century, and the Confederacy, if it had won the Civil War, might now be regarded as a harbinger of the future on the issue of slavery, rather than as a rear guard defense of the past. There is nothing inevitable about history, which is a human creation, and Lincoln ending slavery had global ramifications, and if he had failed opposite global ramifications might likely have occurred, which would have reverberated to this day.
2. Lincoln preserved the Union. There would be no United States today but for Lincoln. There would be two or more nations where the United States of America now is. Daniel Webster, in his immortal reply to Hayne in 1830 stated: “Union and liberty, now and forever, one and inseparable.” For this country and this world I believe his comment was prophetic. Without a united America I suspect that this nation would not have successfully led the fight against Nazi Germany and then prevailed in the Cold War over the Soviet Union. I think it all too likely that in addition to the United States and the Confederate States, there would have been other successor states to the original United States. Allow secession once, and in times of national stress it would have been a “remedy” trumpeted by ambitious demagogues. The founders of the Confederacy feared this, the drafters of the Confederate Constitution voting down South Carolina’s proposal that a right of secession be set forth in the Confederate Constitution and instead included in the preamble of the Constitution that they were forming a permanent federal government. Continue reading
Faithful readers of this blog know that I have little use for Bill O’Reilly who I view as someone who gives pompous airheads a bad name. Ace of Ace of Spades gives O’Reilly a memorable spanking today:
O’Reilly, who wrote the book on murdering the Savior, claims that Jesus would not have sponsored this cartoon-drawing contest.
First of all, this is as stupid a hypothetical as asking if Memories Pizza would cater a gay wedding. With pizza.
Because gays are all about avoiding campy pomp and circumstance in favor of fratty bro-casual chillaxitude.
Anyway, is is true that Jesus — who is, according to Christians, to which group O’Reilly claims to belong, the actual living Deity and Son of God, would abide by the forbiddances of a false (per this hypothetical) religion, thereby championing that false religion over the true one (to wit, His own)?
This makes no sense. O’Reilly is actually arguing here that the real historical and divine Jesus would bow to the religious claims of a religion which would be, per all this absurd hypothetical, patently false and ergo a seduction towards Mortal Error as regards salvation.
Sometimes, swear to God, when I hear “religious” people talk about their alleged “religion,” it sounds to me like they do not actually believe a blessed word of it, and are chiefly using their “religion” to win arguments.
Oh, and O’Reilly also says we shouldn’t draw Mohammad because we need to Win Wars and Kill Jihadis.
You know, like Jesus was always talking about. Jesus was all about Some People Just Need Some Killin’.
What a horse’s ass.
And the attempt to play the I Love Our Troops Card?
I love the troops too, Billy, but I don’t think our troops are fighting over there so that we can impose shariah law for them for their homecoming. Continue reading