Theodore Roosevelt and The Curse of Meroz

Monday, January 23, AD 2017



Theodore Roosevelt had long been a harsh critic of the neutrality policy of the Wilson administration.  On January 29, 1917 he gave a memorable response to the January 22, 1917 speech to the Senate of President Wilson in which Wilson called for Peace Without Victory:

“President Wilson has announced himself in favor of peace without victory, and now he has declared himself against universal service-that is against all efficient preparedness by the United States.

Peace without victory is the natural ideal of the man too proud to fight.

When fear of the German submarine next moves President Wilson to declare for “peace without victory” between the tortured Belgians and their cruel oppressors and task masters;  when such fear next moves him to utter the shameful untruth that each side is fighting for the same things, and to declare for neutrality between wrong and right;  let him think of the prophetess Deborah who, when Sisera mightily oppressed the children of Israel with his chariots of iron, and when the people of Meroz stood neutral between the oppressed and their oppressors, sang of them:

“Curse ye Meroz, sang the angel of the  Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord against the wrongdoings of the mighty.”” 

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7 Responses to Theodore Roosevelt and The Curse of Meroz

  • Were not the alleged atrocities the Germans perpetuated on the Belgians in WWI part of a propaganda campaign. Were they ficticious, or at least exaggerated? And what was the object of WW I, anyway? WW II I can understand; Hitler wanted to take over the world. But WW I, I can see what happened, but not why. It seems everyone involved used it as an excuse for some strategic advantage of their own.

  • “Were they ficticious, or at least exaggerated?”

    They were real enough, as the corpses of some six thousand Belgian civilians, men, women and children, slaughtered in reprisals by the German Army at the beginning of the War could attest.

  • Thanks for the clarification. What about the purpose of the war, or goal? never could figure it out.

  • Much ink and cyberspace has been spent on WWI.
    Granted that the Germans did not assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, I still blame Germany. The German nation was ruled by Lutheran Prussians and wanted an empire. Kulturkampf and their treatment of Poles were both rotten.

  • The purposes of the War varied among the belligerents:

    Great Britain-Free Belgium. Prevent Germany from dominating Europe.

    France-Get back Alsace-Lorraine. Prevent Germany from dominating Europe.

    Italy-Prevent Germany from dominating Europe. Get Tyrolia from Austria-Hungary.


    Russia-Protect Serbia. Stop Germany and Austria Hungary from dominating Europe.

    Austria Hungary-Destroy Serbia. Dominate the Balkans.

    Germany-Hold onto territorial conquests. Become dominant power in Europe.

    USA-Defeat Germany. Build new international order to make another World War impossible.

  • To mr. McClary. The best way for Serbia to survive was NOT to provoke Austria-Hungary to go to war. But Serbia was a very aggressive state, with a large and active irredentist faction that wanted just that and who expected Russia too come to their aid. Their war aim was the establishment of a south slave state dominated by Serbia. In other words, they wanted to become in the Balkans what Prussia had become in the German-speaking lands.

  • “The best way for Serbia to survive was NOT to provoke Austria-Hungary to go to war. But Serbia was a very aggressive state, with a large and active irredentist faction that wanted just that and who expected Russia too come to their aid.”

    Correct, and elements in Austria had long pined for the destruction of Serbia and the domination of the Balkans by Austria. The Chief of Staff of the Austrian Army had recommended a pre-emptive war against Serbia some 13 times prior to 1914. The first lesson of history in the Balkans is that no one has clean hands.

Judicial Pushback to Obama Begins

Tuesday, April 3, AD 2012

26 Responses to Judicial Pushback to Obama Begins

  • They said Obama was a constitutional scholar, but were mute on whether he was a good, smart, or honest one.

  • It seems a shame that the Federal Jury Tampering Statute does not apply. I wonder how closely the DOJ, FBI….. or their proxies are monitoring blogdom? Darkness approaches. I miss my youth in the 50’s and 60’s.

  • I note that the 5th Circuit includes Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Don’t mess with Texas (or their judges) indeed!

  • Exactly what Obama deserves. And one day the Supreme Justice will give him exactly that – “Depart from me, ye worker of iniquity; I never knew you.”

  • The arrogance and condescending attitude of this man is breathtaking. I am continually amazed by his alleged approval ratings. I have no data to back this up, but I believe, and hope and pray, there is a large anti Obama sentiment in the country that does not necessarily show up in polls. Perhaps reminiscent of Nixon’s “silent majority”.

  • May the lawyers here forgive me if this is a dumb question, but is it possible the DOJ simply ignores the order? I wouldn’t put it past such a bunch of scofflaws because I don’t see how the DOJ (and of course, by extension, the adminstration) can avoid looking like complete fools when they answer this.

    When I heard Obama attack SCOTUS, my first thought was “This isn’t exactly sending Justice Kennedy roses and chocolates, is it?” And now, whatever the reply is, or isn’t, it’s going to dig the hole the administration is in a bit deeper.

  • “but is it possible the DOJ simply ignores the order?”

    No. They will simply reassert that Marbury v. Madison is rock solid law and that the DOJ does not dispute it.

  • I’d love it if the Supreme Court were to issue the Obama Administration a contempt citation.

    It’s what would happen to any of us if were were arguing a case before a court, and before a final decision was issued, went before the media and vented our spleens that, unless the judge ruled in our favor, the result would be an “unprecedented” miscarriage of justice.

  • ….would this be a variation on the saying about not picking fights with those who buy ink by the barrel?

  • Jerry, I’m amazed by the polls too, as well as by the oft-repeated assertion that Obama is “likable.” I didn’t vote for Clinton, and didn’t like him, but I understood why many Americans did. I chalked it up to the soft spot many Americans have always had for charming flim-flam men and snake oil peddlers. (The robust ’90’s economy didn’t hurt him either.)

    But Obama? Thin-skinned, petty, egotistical, vindictive and humorless (Clinton is also an egotist, but had the ability to poke fun at himself. Obama doesn’t.) I know people want badly to like their president, but I haven’t seen one so unlikable since Nixon. (Carter has become a bitter and mean man, but he wasn’t perceived as such when he was president. No, people thought he was a nice, but incompetent man in way over his head.)

  • here’s a question- coming from my ignorance of judges and law and lawyers–

    Is not the Obama ‘s DOJ ignoring the marriage law the same as striking it ?

  • in effect I mean

  • OK, I think the fellow who wrote this comment on the WSJ website nailed it:

    “I have always wondered how Mr. Obama could have been a Constitutional Professor when he seemed so ignorant of the Constitution. then it hit me. He did indeed teach about the Constitution, of the USSR. Not to worry. It is just a small mistake.”

  • Obama’s ineptitude is only exceeded by MSM enablers’ corruption.

  • Tonight I hear him warning of Social Darwinism from the GOP … ?
    Fearful for us all, I guess. Or something. The isms are coming faster from the microphones.

  • Donna,

    We shall see. This upcoming election is going to say an awful lot about who we are as a country in the year 2012. Catholics in the pews need to give serious thought to what this election means to their kids and their future. As Cardinal Dolan says, “prepare for tough times”.

  • The frightening thing to me, Jerry, is how the media carries water for him. They no longer even pretend to be objective. With the exception of a few outlets ( namely, Fox and the WSJ), the media is operating as a wing of the Democrat Party. Then there’s the fact that so many Americans are willing to trade freedom and faith in God for a desire to be coddled by a massive nanny state. Yes, I fear Cardinal Dolan is correct.

  • One last thing: there is some speculation, by Mickey Kaus, Ace and others, that an informal SCOTUS vote taken last Friday did not go in Obama’s favor and someone, possibly a Kagan clerk, leaked the news to the WH. Kaus thinks this is why the President lashed out at the Court. Why would he do it if he thought the outcome was still in doubt? Why risk angering Kennedy? Kaus theorized that Obama knows the Court will strike down his signature “accomplishment” and made a preemptive strike. He wants to create the meme that the Court is activist and partisan. The media will, of course, run with the WH line and will work to trash the reputation of the SCOTUS before the decision is announced.

    That sounds plausible enough to me, given the low character of the people in the Adminstration and their water carriers in the media, but on the other hand, I’m not sure how much credibility to give to Internet speculation and gossip. I would love to think Obama’s anger stems from the fact that he knows he’s lost this one. But does that sound plausible to an attorney or is it basically idle Internet chatter and wishful thinking?

  • Meh. I wish I could retract that last comment of mine. Anxious insomiacs (i.e. me) should stay away from computers; otherwise they are prone to misread. Forget Kaus; the useless spectulating was done by Ace and Co. – and me. We’ll get our answer in June.

  • but is it possible the DOJ simply ignores the order?

    the order to submit the letter – no, as Donald says, they will just file their letter and move on.

    Or are you thinking about a final order that strikes down Obamacare or a portion of it?

    That is a bit different. Was it Andrew Johnson who basically told the SCOTUS to shove it (“they have issued their order, let them enforce it”)? It would be a little more difficult to ignore an order striking down something as opposed to forcing someone to do something (e.g, an order requiring desegregation – the executive could simply not desegregate). How could they ignore an order striking down Obamacare? They would have to go to the courts to get an order to enforce it, but if it’s struck down, no lower court should enforce it. It would cost the litigants money, it would be seen as a complete usurpation of power by the Executive, and I could see lower courts entering sanctions against the Executive for continuing to bring such cases. even if they ignored it and simply levied fines, people would have redress through the court system, and it would raise such a stink I don’t see how the administration would survive – likely get impeached and removed, if not voted out sooner (political suicide).

    Short of imposing martial rule by the executive and simply imprisoning us all and forcibly taking our money without due process, I don’t see how they would have much choice but to follow it.

  • Andrew Jackson cmatt, who had little love for John Marshal, to say the least, supposedly said: “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” He actually didn’t say that. Here is some background:

    I can’t imagine the Obama administration openly defying a ruling of the Supreme Court, but, then again, this president seems to specialize in doing things that I never thought I would see a president doing.

  • I can’t imagine the Obama administration openly defying a ruling of the Supreme Court, but, then again, this president seems to specialize in doing things that I never thought I would see a president doing.

    Since implementing ObamaCare would not consist of a discrete set of acts (much less a set of omissions), I cannot imagine they could ignore the Court. Every aspect of its implementation would thenceforth get tangled in litigation.

  • Well, we got our answer about the response.

    Basically, “the justice department fully agrees you have a right to not have your leg p***ed on, and that the President’s statement clearly shows it was raining.” (To steal from an old saying.)

Conrad Black’s Messy Attack on Scalia

Friday, October 14, AD 2011

Conrad Black has written one of the most rambling and fairly incoherent things I’ve ever seen in quite some time.  I’m not quite sure what his overall point is, but he ends up attacking Antonin Scalia  of all people.

But some are, including Justice Antonin Scalia, who, as Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times on October 2, has attacked the complainant in a civil suit to stop the banning of co-ed dormitories at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. As Ms. Dowd pointed out, Justice Scalia has not hesitated prior to this to volunteer publicly either his solidarity with his Church militant, or his dissent from it. But in the case of the Roman Catholic Church’s long-held and oft-expressed (by four recent popes) hostility to the death penalty, Justice Scalia recently told Duquesne University in Pittsburgh that if he thought “that Catholic doctrine held the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign.” Since he could not possibly be unaware of the views of the Holy See over the past 50 years (John Paul I was the only pope in that time who did not reign long enough to opine on the subject), nor of the authority of the pope to speak on such matters for the whole Church, it is not clear why he is not delivering his letter of resignation to the president instead of sticking his nose into the dormitory rules in one of the national capital’s universities.

To move the inquiry that Ms. Dowd usefully started to entirely secular matters, there could be searching questions about why the Supreme Court has sat like a great suet pudding for decades while the Bill of Rights has been raped by the prosecution service with the connivance of the legislators, a tri-branch travesty against the civil rights of the whole population, but I will spare readers another dilation on that subject. However, Justice Scalia’s preoccupation with the dormitories of the Catholic University of America (a matter that is now, to the Justice’s chagrin, sub judice), is, in the circumstances and to say the least, bizarre.

Leaving that aside, the report card on the co-equal branches is not uplifting: The legislators and the executive wimped out on abortion and immigration. The beehive of conscientious jurists on the Supreme Court applied a completely amoral test to get to a defensible conclusion on abortion when it was dumped by default on them to determine. And its most vocal current Roman Catholic member, swaddling himself in his faith, upholds the death penalty in contradiction to the popes, holds in pectore his views on abortion (which is not now before the high court, though not for absence of petitions), and thunders fire and brimstone about coeducational university dormitories, which is not, I think, a subject that the See of Peter has addressed.

This is just bizarre.  From relying on Maureen Dowd as a source of criticism of Scalia’s Catholicism, to his complete non sequiter about Scalia’s involvement in the CUA suit, to Black completely misconstruing Church teaching on the death penalty; this turned into an unholy mess of an article that already has no clear thesis.

I was all set to write a response, but Shannen Coffin has already done so masterfully.   I’d be violating fair use to copy and paste the whole thing, but you must read the whole thing.  But here are the key passages:

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4 Responses to Conrad Black’s Messy Attack on Scalia

  • It looks like Coffin’s comment has been deleted.

    I read Black’s article, and there’s no way around it, that’s some bad writing. I even read the Dowd article on the chance that it made sense. It didn’t. I’ve never seen her construct an argument where one point follows another.

    There’s an additional historical inaccuracy in Black’s article that no one’s commented on: the idea that the Supreme Court was forced by the failure of elected officials to step into the abortion debate in 1973. You could make an argument – a valid one, I think – that the elected branches could have been far more aggressive since Roe was decided. But the few efforts they have made have been blocked by a Court that refuses to yield any ground on the issue. Black’s argument simply ignores the facts of then and now.

    They’re right that it’s improper for a Justice to speak out about a court case, though.

  • The post is still there, but I think he deleted one parenthetical aside that he thought was too much of a low blow.

    Some of the commenters on Black’s post (and on his post about the post on the Corner) made the same point you have about legislative attempts to do something about abortion.

    It’s just an all-around sloppy article.

  • The solid gold line has got to be this:
    Since he could not possibly be unaware of the views of the Holy See … nor of the authority of the pope to speak on such matters for the whole Church, it is not clear why he is not delivering his letter of resignation to the president ….

    Accusing someone of ignorance of something that he clearly is ignorant of himself.

    Dude. Meta. (/stoner voice)

  • How on earth Conrad Black could ever be regarded as some kind of expert on Catholicism, I don’t know. I have to admit I’m a bit biased against him because he ran HUNDREDS of newspapers into the ground financially and quality-wise (google “Hollinger International”), looted pension plans for some of the companies he ran, and played a big part in making it difficult if not impossible for people like myself to make a decent living in the profession we trained for (newspaper journalism), in order to finance a lavish lifestyle.

    All that said, a good case can be made that his actions didn’t rise to the level of federal crimes such as wire and mail fraud, and that the feds were overzealous in their prosecution.

    In 2007 Black wrote an 1,100-page exculpatory biography of Richard Nixon. If it’s anywhere near as rambling and incoherent as the column referenced above, I would say that being forced to read it would be my idea of Purgatory 🙂