Pope Benedict on D-Day

Tuesday, June 3, AD 2014

On the 6th of June, 1944, when the landing of the allied troops in German-occupied France commenced, a signal of hope was given to people throughout the world, and also to many in Germany itself, of imminent peace and freedom in Europe.  What had happened?  A criminal and his party faithful had succeeded in usurping the power of the German state. In consequence of such party rule, law and injustice became intertwined, and often indistinguishable. The legal system itself, which continued, in some respects, still to function in an everyday context, had, at the same time, become a force destructive of law and right. This rule of lies served a system of fear, in which no one could trust another, since each person had somehow to shield himself behind a mask of lies, which, on the one hand, functioned as self defense, while, in equal measure, it served to consolidate the power of evil.  And so it was that the whole world had to intervene to force open this ring of crime, so that freedom, law and justice might be restored.

We give thanks at this hour that this deliverance, in fact, took place. And not just those nations that suffered occupation by German troops, and were thus delivered over to Nazi terror, give thanks. We Germans, too, give thanks that by this action, freedom, law and justice would be restored to us.  If nowhere else in history, here clearly is a case where, in the form of the Allied invasion, a justum bellum worked, ultimately, for the benefit of the very country against which it was waged.

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11 Responses to Pope Benedict on D-Day

  • What an awesome insight. Benedict speaks the truth with such clarity. This statement carries real power because it is imbued with real virtues of faith hope and love backed by reason and truth (humility). I love this man!

  • What Anzlyne says about Pope Benedict is so true. “A criminal and his party faithful had succeeded in usurping the power of the German state. In consequence of such party rule, law and injustice became intertwined, and often indistinguishable”
    .
    Only our Constitution has prevented some people from being killed for speaking out against government’s position on abortion, euthanasia, pornography and the state takeover of public lands and waterways. Some of us have been killed in the womb and euthanized. The rest of us are being forced by taxation to pay for it. But none of us are acknowledged as having an immortal soul in this atheistic mire.

  • “We,”First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution

  • “We Germans…”?

  • Yep, the Pope Emeritus is German.

  • The Second World War was not fought to liberate Germany from Nazi tyranny. It was fought for the same reason that the previous war was fought; to prevent an aggressive and militaristic Germany from imposing her will on other nations by force of arms. The rationale behind the long struggle against Bonaparte was basically the same. The nature of the regime was a factor in German aggression, but had Hitler been content with a revision of Germany’s eastern borders to mitigate the worst aspects of the Versailles Treaty (this was what Stresemann wanted at Locarno in 1925, and arguably got it in principle) then there would not have been a war.

    The main actor in the defeat of Nazi tyranny was another tyranny even more genocidal than Hitler’s, so to see the war in terms of a moral crusade is ludicrous. The plotters of July 1944 could claim moral justification for tyrannicide but their main motive was patriotic; they wanted to save Germany from total defeat and subjugation. In this they were naïve, since the Allies would not have agreed to a negotiated peace at this stage of the war, even with the Nazis out of the way. Churchill, with his visceral hatred of Bolshevism, might have been tempted, but Stalin would never have agreed and Roosevelt would have sided with Stalin.

    I suppose if you’re going to be invaded it’s better to be invaded by the British and Americans rather than by the Soviets; many of the occupied countries, not to mention a sizeable chunk of Germany, merely exchanged one tyranny for another.

  • “so to see the war in terms of a moral crusade is ludicrous.”

    Complete and utter rubbish.

  • …On stilts!

  • “We,” First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution.
    Justice is predicated on intent. Capital one homicide is predicated on the intent and murder of another person. The innocent, newly begotten child in the womb has been invited to live in the womb by the parents, mother and father, without whom there would be no invitation. The word invite INVITE means to offer life.
    .
    Immediate death must be the only reason or situation here a child in utero may be removed, to save the life of the mother and/or of the child.
    .
    “We, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Men are CREATED EQUAL… not born equal. The sovereign person in the womb has been identified by his existence as Homo-Sapiens, “an individual substance of a rational nature” the person: “I AM”, created and endowed by our Creator with an immortal human soul.
    .
    ““We Germans…”?”
    .
    When a person renounces his citizenship by an act of the will or commits treason he loses his citizenship. When a person commits a heinous sin he is excommunicated and so on. When an individual behaves like a demon, his sovereign personhood is placed in suspended animation and he functions, possessed by his particular demon. The Nazis behaved like Nazis and therefore, having created a culture of Nazism, they suspended their own sovereignty and became hated by God, hated by themselves and hated by others as genocidal maniacs.
    .
    It is important to note that Nazis through a free will act chose to be Nazis.

  • “”We,” First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution.” from the Preamble, the unchangeable purpose of the Constitution. “We” and our constitutional posterity, all future generations are human persons because the state does not create or endow sovereign personhood to an individual. The state merely certifies sovereign personhood. The state certifies sovereign personhood as citizenship.
    .
    Atheism, as you can see, is the cause of the state’s rejection of all unalienable human and civil rights. Acknowledgement of the human being in existence as a person is denied by the state. The state cannot remove or deny sovereign personhood. Yet, the state has denied the acknowledgement of sovereign personhood to the one celled fertilized human egg who has been endowed by our Creator with life and growth, the proof of an immortal human soul.
    .
    The atheist as a sovereign person in suspended animation must be tolerated until he chooses to adhere to the truth of the Constitution. Atheism is unconstitutional.

  • “I suppose if you’re going to be invaded it’s better to be invaded by the British and Americans rather than by the Soviets; many of the occupied countries, not to mention a sizeable chunk of Germany, merely exchanged one tyranny for another.”
    .
    You have confused the Allies with Stalin.

Victims of Communism Day

Thursday, May 1, AD 2014

 

 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker and Victims of Communism Day.

Today we recall the two champions who led the charge that led to the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union:  President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.  It is either an odd coincidence or the Hand of God, that these two men came to power at precisely the time when the edifice of Communism began to crack.  Most people viewed Communism as a permanent geopolitical feature in the world.  Neither Reagan nor the Pope shared that view.  Reagan assumed that the spirit of freedom would ultimately triumph and that Communism, sooner rather than later, would end up on the ash heap of History.  John Paul II was certain that Christianity would triumph over Communism.  John Paul II’s election as Pope, proof that God had not forgotten Poland was the inspiration for Solidarity, which Reagan vigorously supported.  Reagan embarked on an arms build up that the Soviet Union could not match, pushing their tottering economy over the brink.  John Paul II spoke out against Liberation Theology in the Third World, reminding Catholics that Marxism and Christianity were antithetical.  Together, Pope and President gave hope to all those who struggled, ultimately successfully, to overthrow their Communist regimes, which happened one after another in the Year of Miracles of 1989.

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6 Responses to Victims of Communism Day

  • “It’s the first of May again and … Obama, Holder, Kerry, the IRS et al are commemorating … somewhere … something.
    20 Million Kulaks starved to death by Stalin.
    A million Russians killed in the “Great Purge”.
    50,000 Mongolians killed by Stalin in 1937.
    21,000 massacred by the Soviets at Katyn Forrest.
    A million killed in Mao’s land reform.
    45 Million killed during the “Great Leap Forward”.
    15 Million murdered during the Cultural Revolution.
    20,000 Tortured to death at Tuol Sleng by the Khmer Rouge.
    2 Million killed by the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea/Cambodia
    100,000 killed during forced collectivization in Bulgaria.
    100,000 murdered by the East German regime.
    100,000 killed during forced collectivization in Romania.
    800,000 tortured and murdered during “land reforms” in Vietnam.
    500,000 killed during the Red Terror in Ethiopia.
    250,000 Crimean Tartars forcibly deported during Stalin’s ethnic cleansing (almost half died).
    100,000 Tibetans murdered by China.
    27,000 murdered by the Communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.
    1 million murdered by the Russian Cheka during Lenin’s Red Terror.
    3 million ethnic minorities deported to Siberia by Stalin. About 45% died.
    350,000 Poles died during Stalin’s deportations after invading Poland.
    500,000 Cossacks killed by Lenin in 1919-20
    14 Million Russians who went through the Gulags and millions who died there.
    4 Million killed by the North Koreans.
    10,000 people die every year in North Korean re-education and slave labor camps.
    6,500 Catholic clergy murdered by Communists during the Spanish Red Terror in 1936.
    50,000 murdered during the Spanish Red Terror.
    Over 100 Million people have been intentionally starved to death, tortured and murdered by Communists in the last 100 years.
    Communism kills every time it’s tried.

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  • T. Shaw: “Communism kills every time it’s tried.” Without God, communism cannot raise the dead or heal the sick or praise God. Murder is all that communism has. Communism denies the individual person and substitutes the state as God…a finite God.

  • Communism is an incoherent cobbling of nonsense written by a man who led a disgusting personal life. Marx treated his wife and kids like garbage and sponged off of others all of his adult life. His theories are the grossest failure in the history of man and only brain dead slugs would look upon them for inspiration.

    Man, without God, is full of himself and falls for garbage like Hitler, Robespierre and Marx.

  • “Reagan assumed that the spirit of freedom would ultimately triumph and that Communism, sooner rather than later, would end up on the ash heap of History. John Paul II was certain that Christianity would triumph over Communism.”
    —–
    Christianity IS Freedom. Everything else is slavery to sin, with death and decay being the consequence. Communism along with its close cousins Nazism and Fascism, is the epitome of that slavery.

  • PS, do not forget about the contribution of Lady Thatcher to the defeat of the USSR. It took the three of them – JPII, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher – to bring the USSR to its knees.

April 2, 1983: Reagan on Passover and Easter

Sunday, April 20, AD 2014

My fellow Americans:

This week as American families draw together in worship, we join with millions upon millions of others around the world also celebrating the traditions of their faiths. During these days, at least, regardless of nationality, religion, or race, we are united by faith in God, and the barriers between us seem less significant.

Observing the rites of Passover and Easter, we’re linked in time to the ancient origins of our values and to the unborn generations who will still celebrate them long after we’re gone. As Paul explained in his Epistle to the Ephesians, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you were no longer strangers and aliens, but you were fellow citizens of God’s household.”

This is a time of hope and peace, when our spirits are filled and lifted. It’s a time when we give thanks for our blessings-chief among them, freedom, peace, and the promise of eternal life.

This week Jewish families and friends have been celebrating Passover, a tradition rich in symbolism and meaning. Its observance reminds all of us that the struggle for freedom and the battle against oppression waged by Jews since ancient times is one shared by people everywhere. And Christians have been commemorating the last momentous days leading to the crucifixion of Jesus 1,950 years ago. Tomorrow, as morning spreads around the planet, we’ll celebrate the triumph of life over death, the Resurrection of Jesus. Both observances tell of sacrifice and pain but also of hope and triumph.

As we look around us today, we still find human pain and suffering, but we also see it answered with individual courage and spirit, strengthened by faith. For example, the brave Polish people, despite the oppression of a godless tyranny, still cling to their faith and their belief in freedom. Shortly after Palm Sunday Mass this week, Lech Walesa faced a cheering crowd of workers outside a Gdansk church. He held his hand up in a sign of victory and predicted, “The time will come when we will win.”

Recently, an East German professor, his wife, and two daughters climbed into a 7-foot rowboat and crossed the freezing, wind-whipped Baltic to escape from tyranny. Arriving in West Germany after a harrowing 7-hour, 31-mile journey past East German border patrols, the man said he and his family had risked everything so that the children would have the chance to grow up in freedom.

In Central America Communist-inspired revolution still spreads terror and instability, but it’s no match for the much greater force of faith that runs so deep among the people. We saw this during Pope John Paul II’s recent visit there. As he conducted a Mass in Nicaragua, state police jeered and led organized heckling by Sandinista supporters. But the Pope lifted a crucifix above his head and waved it at the crowd before him, then turned and symbolically held it up before the massive painting of Sandinista soldiers that loomed behind. The symbol of good prevailed. In contrast, everywhere else the Holy Father went in the region, spreading a message that only love can build, he was met by throngs of enthusiastic believers, eager for Papal guidance and blessing.

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2 Responses to April 2, 1983: Reagan on Passover and Easter

Ronald Reagan, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

Thursday, February 6, AD 2014

There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

Ronald Reagan

Today is my 57th birthday.  I am pleased that I share my natal day with the man I consider the greatest president of my lifetime:  Ronald Wilson Reagan, who was born one hundred and three years ago today in Tampico, Illinois.  I greatly admire Reagan for many reasons:  his wit, eloquence and good humor;  his prime role in bringing about the destruction of Communism as a ruling ideology in the former, how good it is to write that adjective!, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe;  his restoration of American prosperity by wringing inflation from the American economy;  his rebuilding of the nation’s defenses;  his restoration of American pride and optimism.  However, there is one stand of his that, above all others, ensures that he will always have a special place in my heart, his defense of the weakest and the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.

In 1983 Reagan submitted an essay on abortion to the Human Life Review, then and now, the scholarly heart of the pro-life movement.  He entitled it, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.  Go here to the Human Life Review’s website to read it.

Reagan in the article attacked Roe on its tenth anniversary and stated that Roe had not settled the abortion fight:

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.

As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.

Reagan saw that abortion diminished respect for all human life and quoted Mother Teresa as to the simple truth that abortion is the “greatest misery of our time”:

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.

Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”

Reagan, ever a student of American history, tied the fight against Roe with the fight against the Dred Scott decision:

Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scottdecision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to—any more than the public voice arose against slavery—until the issue is clearly framed and presented.

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18 Responses to Ronald Reagan, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

  • Happy birthday, Donald. I am going to Mass today, and will pray for your intentions. God bless America. He has, He has.

  • The state does not own the victims of abortion or capital one homicide. The victims of abortion and homicide , sovereign persons, are dead; denied their civil right to life.
    Would our culture be any different without Roe versus Wade? Roe backed the state out of any responsibility toward the victims of abortion, 56 million victims, civil right to life, in the same way the death penalty ban backs the state out of any responsibility to the victims’ of homicide civil right to life.

  • God bless you, Donald R McClarey. again and again

  • First, Donald, I also wish you a happy birthday! May God bless you and your family through this coming year.

    Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were the two most vocal anti-abortion presidents which we have had.

    I am an Independent, certainly not home in the party presently in dominance, but not fully at ease with the Republican Party as well. I am wondering, waiting for, and hoping for a Party which will raise up a new Lincoln who sees clearly that what is driving our country into fragmentation and a downward spiral is the compromising of the foundational principles of our Country. Yes, I know the country was founded as a ‘secular’ country, but not a secularist one. It was founded on a broad based foundation of Judaeo-Christianity as expressed by the Protestant majority at the time. That Protestant ethos is no longer present, but it does not mean we can just choose to overlook, or worse militate against each and every principle of Judaeo-Christiantity. A new Lincoln will realize that each and every human being has a right to life from the moment of conception until natural death. He will lead the charge to establish a human life amendment just as President Lincoln brought about the amendment ending slavery and seeing Afro-Americans as equal under the law.

    The Democratic Party backed slavery as the Democratic Party backs the culture of death. Is this coincidental? In the meantime I wait, hope and pray, not as a member of the party of the donkey, or of the elephant but of the Lamb.

  • “America can not survive as a free land with abortion.”

    Agreed!
    The innocent blood erodes the foundation that this great Country was build upon. That forty one years of erosion is showing signs. Physical sign..? The Washington monument and our aborted dead.

    Thank you Donald and Happy Birthday.
    Thanks for shoring up whats slipping away, and helping us to do the same in our quest to love neighbor & God.
    Have a blessed day and 57th year on Earth.

  • Happy Birthday!

    I’ve been reading a little about Charles Martel and Charlemagne recently. There aren’t many politicians who have been canonized as saints, but in reading about history you do find the occasional leader who, whatever his own beliefs, cooperated with the saints of his time and genuinely sought the good. He will often be fondly remembered, growing larger over time in a secular process that parallels the vox populi recognition of a saint. They are rare, the countries that produced them have a justifiable spring in their step at the mention of their name.

  • Thank you Pinky. The hallmark of a great leader is often that they resolve some great issue of their day. Reagan did this with the Cold War. Charlemagne cemented the alliance between the Franks and the Papacy that did so much to shape Christendom. Great leaders make mistakes as we all do, but they served their people well on some great issue that causes them to be remembered while most of their contemporaries are forgotten by all but historians.

  • Happy birthday Don.
    In addition to sharing this day with Ronald Reagan, you also share the day that what has become recognised as the birthday of New Zealand – that day, February 6th. 1840, in which the Treaty of Watangi was signed, where the “tangata whenua” – the people of the land – the maori chiefs of New Zealand ceded sovereignty of the country to the British crown, thus bringing British law and order to an otherwise lawless and chaotic mingling of races and nationalities.
    The day is now known as Waitangi Day, and is a public holiday, with the re-enactment of the signing of the treaty at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, Northland. Unfortunately today it has become a day of protest by radical maori, claiming all sorts of additional rights and compensation from the government – which most kiwis, including the majority of maori consider a disgraceful disruption to an otherwise festive occasion.
    Today is also the fourth anniversary of my mother’s call into the arms of the God whom she loved and worshipped all her life – I’m sure her joy is complete.
    Have a great day Don – hope its not too cold 😉

  • It is a balmy -17 Don! I am honored to have my birthday on Waitangi Day! I am sure your Mom is enjoying the Beatific Vision even now Don. I was thinking of my own Mom just before I read your comment and how she was 20 when she had me. Seems mighty young compared to the 57 I am now. How much I owe to that young lady and to my father who was an ancient 24 when I was born. They seemed old and ripe with wisdom when I was growing up, and they managed to raise me and my brother up properly while they were in their 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s. Of course my grandmother McClarey had her first son when she was an aged 16. People simply accepted awesome responsibilities back then at very young ages and usually did well for the kids they brought into the world.

  • Kiwi – As Donald and I were saying, not all great people have been canonized, but we’re grateful for their lives and we can hope to meet them in Heaven.

  • Happy Birthday, Mr. McClarey! My McLuckie (Mom’s maiden name) Scot heritage salutes you.

    I saw a bumper sticker last week. There was a picture of Ronald Reagan, and the caption was “I miss Ronnie.”

    Me, too.

  • Donald – Here’s a thought (actually, two thoughts). I was pondering this hypothetical: if you could travel back in time and replace any one world leader in order to play out history differently, who would it be? I thought about this for a while and it occurred to me, there’s no chance in the world that Churchill wasn’t a time-traveler.

  • Thank you PF! Reagan is one of a handful of politicians I have voted for, rather than merely because they were a lesser evil.

  • “if you could travel back in time and replace any one world leader in order to play out history differently, who would it be?”

    The Kaiser circa 1900. The World paid a very high price that the man at the helm of Germany was a fool who did not realize that he was a fool.

    In regard to Churchill, I have often suspected that he was a man both a century behind his time and also a century ahead of it.

  • “In the meantime I wait, hope and pray, not as a member of the party of the donkey, or of the elephant but of the Lamb.” Poetry

  • I know I’m being simplistic and biased, but it seems like Prussia was the embodiment of everything Protestant and evil in German nature, and Austria was nothing but purity and Catholic virtue. Once Prussia came to dominate Germany, everything that followed takes on an air of inevitability. I know that individuals, not historical trends, make history, but wow, there really wasn’t much good to come out of unified Germany.

One Response to Ronald Reagan: The Price of Freedom

January 11, 1989: Reagan’s Farewell Address

Sunday, January 12, AD 2014

If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.

Ronald Reagan, Farewell Speech, January 11, 1989

 

A quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan was completing his second term as President and addressed the nation one last time.  As we look to the future after the Obama administration, we might do far worse than paying close attention to this speech which conveyed a far different vision for America than that which has been promoted by the current administration:

My fellow Americans:

 

This is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office and the last. We’ve been together 8 years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I’ve been saving for a long time.

 

It’s been the honor of my life to be your President. So many of you have written the past few weeks to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. Nancy and I are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve.

 

One of the things about the Presidency is that you’re always somewhat apart. You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving, and seeing the people through tinted glass — the parents holding up a child, and the wave you saw too late and couldn’t return. And so many times I wanted to stop and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.

 

People ask how I feel about leaving. And the fact is, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” The sweet part is California and the ranch and freedom. The sorrow — the goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

 

You know, down the hall and up the stairs from this office is the part of the White House where the President and his family live. There are a few favorite windows I have up there that I like to stand and look out of early in the morning. The view is over the grounds here to the WashingtonMonument, and then the Mall and the Jefferson Memorial. But on mornings when the humidity is low, you can see past the Jefferson to the river, the Potomac, and the Virginia shore. Someone said that’s the view Lincoln had when he saw the smoke rising from the Battle of Bull Run. I see more prosaic things: the grass on the banks, the morning traffic as people make their way to work, now and then a sailboat on the river.

 

I’ve been thinking a bit at that window. I’ve been reflecting on what the past 8 years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one — a small story about a big ship, and a refugee, and a sailor. It was back in the early eighties, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up, and called out to him. He yelled, “Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.”

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21 Responses to January 11, 1989: Reagan’s Farewell Address

  • Thank you so much…Donald and Ronald. What a great read. What a great American.

    “..so we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important.”

    There’s much in this address, however this one statement is Loud and clear.
    Possibly because we see the downfall of doing the complete opposite. We must pray for a return of Morality and Patriotism. Something this current administration is trying its hardest to destroy.

    On this Baptism of Our Lord, let’s pray for a strong America..a renewed America that is not eager to be fashionable, but eager to be Free.

  • That warning about diminishing patriotism was dead-on.

  • What a nice guy.
    .
    The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I’m proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created — and filled — 19 million new jobs. The other is the recovery of our morale. America is respected again in the world and looked to for leadership.
    .
    Can you imagine Obama ever saying it that way? If the private economy ever recovers from him? No; he would formulate it with the royal we.

  • tasmin.
    So true.
    The American people created vs. we in relationship to creating new jobs.
    Please God help send a true patriot to turn this Ship around.

  • Obama’s Admin has done things that lead to a continued net rise in private sector employment since mid-2009 (after he had to nationalized the Big Three Automakers, including even giving some unions a few haircuts. Not a popular move for any Democrat. ) But it paid off. True, he got us some form of national health care, but he should’ve gone for the TD of single payer health insurance, he settled for the field goal of federalized version of MassCare, the son of Romneycare, and grandson of Heritagecare. Over the long haul, I believe it will create even more jobs and of course, the birth control matter will be solved to some degree that’ll leave the Vatican, our Protestant and other non-Catholics pleased and of course, the government.
    I believe he could’ve done a lot more in terms of creating infrastructure repairs, (big job creators) and accomplished so many more positive things had he not been saddled with the least “loyal opposition” any president has ever faced on domestic issues since Abraham Lincoln. Remember the infamous “Caucus Room” restaurant caucus on Capitol Hill during the night Obama was celebrating his first inauguration? Beaucoup big name GOP Hill boyos were plotting right then and there to make nothing but trouble, no compromises, but trouble. Obama, for his part, made their goal infamously too easy every since the House went Republican with the help of the Tea Party who were created for the GOP by the Brothers Koch, David and Charles; bona fide Daddy Warbucks for our time who can outspend Geo. Soros in a heartbeat.
    What are they buying, influence and tons of it. They’ve practically bought a gerrymandered House, nearly unassailable, and for a long time, a filibustered Senate, thus nearly achieving their goal to make it impossible for the popularly elected President to carry out his duties without having to crawl up Penn Avenue. During our pre-Obama/pre-Boehner, pre-TP, past(s) it was always expected there’d be the usual president proposes, congress disposes, but eventually everybody composes and settles on a budget, etc.; No longer.

    C’mon guys, how on earth could any president, regardless of party, be able to carry out his duties. Its one thing for the usual game of one-up-manship of normal give n’ take of bipartisan bicameral politics, etc. but what the GOP has been pulling and darn near getting away with is nothing less than legislative treason through its manipulation of the economy. Hope they can live with it. On nearly $200,000 a year, it’s not that difficult for them or others in much higher economic brackets. But for those of us making far less … it’s quite a different story.
    What would I give to see Pope Francis deliver a homily to the GOP.

  • “Obama’s Admin has done things that lead to a continued net rise in private sector employment since mid-2009 (after he had to nationalized the Big Three Automakers, including even giving some unions a few haircuts.”

    Rubbish. There are fewer people working now than when Obama took office.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-10/people-not-labor-force-soar-record-918-million-participation-rate-plunges-1978-level

    Ford didn’t take a cent of government bail out money. The bailouts of GM and Chrysler were done solely to protect union benefits.

    “True, he got us some form of national health care, but he should’ve gone for the TD of single payer health insurance”

    ObamaCare is a true disaster for the Democrats and will likely cost them the Senate. Single payer is absurd, especially in a nation where Medicare and Medicaid are already bankrupting the country.

    “the birth control matter will be solved to some degree that’ll leave the Vatican, our Protestant and other non-Catholics pleased and of course, the government.”

    You either have not been paying attention or you are completely delusional.

    “and accomplished so many more positive things had he not been saddled with the least “loyal opposition” any president has ever faced on domestic issues since Abraham Lincoln.”

    You do have a short memory don’t you? I believe the meme under Bush was that he was either a Nazi or a smirking chimp. The Democrats in Congress successfully stopped almost all of the major domestic initiatives of Bush and used his attempt to reform social security as a major campaign issue in 2006. The problem for Obama is precisely that the Republicans were unsuccessful in stopping many of his hare-brained schemes, most notably the ongoing disaster known as ObamaCare.

    “who were created for the GOP by the Brothers Koch, David and Charles; bona fide Daddy Warbucks for our time who can outspend Geo. Soros in a heartbeat.”

    Once again delusional. The father of the Tea Party Movement was Obama and the drunken sailor spending he engaged in duirn 2009. Giving the credit to the Leftist bogeymen, the Koch brothers, is both fatuous and inane.

    “They’ve practically bought a gerrymandered House, nearly unassailable, and for a long time, a filibustered Senate, thus nearly achieving their goal to make it impossible for the popularly elected President to carry out his duties without having to crawl up Penn Avenue.”

    Yep that pesky Constitution gets in your way having Congress enact legislation and giving us a President instead of a four year dictator. Reagan by the way had control of only one house of Congress for six years and he was able to pass most of his agenda.

    “is nothing less than legislative treason through its manipulation of the economy.”

    Unfortunately the only one manipulating the economy since 2008 have been Obama and his whiz kids, and the appalling results are clear except to yellow dog Democrats.

    “What would I give to see Pope Francis deliver a homily to the GOP.”

    Before or after he talks to the Democrats about abortion?

  • I think “Steven Barrett” is the issue of a spambot.

  • Mr. Barrett was singing the beautiful Swan Song. We can expect more as the days draw closer to the end for the Messiah in the White House.

  • Tamsin described Ronald Reagan as “nice guy.” I can only agree half-way on that Tamsin. No disrespects to you, but compared to our current crop of self-described “conservatives,” he stands head and broad shoulders over the rabble of selfish plutocrat-wannabes (or apologists) for plutocracy, or just plain outright hypocritical plunditocracy. (Does the name Stephen Fincher, (R-Frog Jump, TN) ring a bell?)
    I was at first a strong opponent of Reagan when he was elected in ’80. But several years later I came to admire him enough, notwithstanding some of his stands I still strongly disagreed with. Why? The man’s simple decency because while he was indeed a fiscal conservative, he sure as hell wasn’t at all like today’s cheap-at-heart fiscal conservatives hiding behind flimsy libertarian lingo for fig leafs. If you want a great idea about the man who closely observed and personally Reagan (respectively) and what a decent man at heart he was, there’s always Chris Matthews “Tip & the Gipper: When politics worked,” … who worked for O’Neill, and of course Ronald Reagan, Jr. The son, for a long list of valid reasons, has no use for today’s self described “Reaganite Conservative” poseurs.

  • ziggy zoggy!
    Ziggy zoggy
    Oy! Oy! Oy!

    Lo, the noble leftist . . .

  • Art & T. Shaw-

    🙂 thanks for the laugh.

  • I was at first a strong opponent of Reagan when he was elected in ’80. But several years later I came to admire him enough, notwithstanding some of his stands I still strongly disagreed with. Why?

    Because he was safely dead?

    From what I can see, the only conservatives leftists “admire” have long since assumed room temperature. That way, they can be safely used as sticks to beat the living variety.

  • I think it was during the late Bush 1 and Clinton years that we started to hear about government “growing” the economy. Before that, “grow” was an intransitive verb in that context.

  • Hey Steven, if today’s current crop of conservatives are so “cheap-at-heart,” then why do they contribute more time and money to charities at every income level (even excluding churches) than their presumably “generous-at-heart” liberal counterparts? There is more to helping people in need than voting to use other people’s money and posting self-righteous combox rants.

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  • Mike, I’ve given more time, hours and sweat than I can count to a local food pickup, not to mention the countless bottles and cans sorted (MA being a bottle return state) sorted so this service would never run short on needed cash if things got really dire in our area. I need not elaborate or defend liberals or even old-fashioned conservatives like myself when it comes to rolling up his sleeves. Nor do I put this kind of cheap test to others. I thought the thread was about Reagan, his final speech and his character. BTW, I’ve often heard that “talking point” about liberals to the point that it’s become a cheap cliche in and of itself.
    I’m still bedeviled as to why today’s so-called “conservatives” seem more willing to stab each other in the back even after they’ve performed their ritualistic whine that the guy they’re ready to stab “didn’t kick more teeth out of the poor man’s mouth”?
    Less Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Ann Coulter, and more of Pope Francis, Victor Hugo, WFB, Jr. and Peter Viereck … then conservatism might recover its moral compass and as today’s “packagers” love to say, “brand,” might, just might, recover.

  • You did not answer my question, Steven. Why? Brooks’ definitive study took place just several years ago, not during the time of Victor Hugo or even WFB, Jr. The fact remains that today’s conservatives are overall a pretty generous lot, and Ayn Rand has few followers (let alone the obscure Mises). Sweeping statements about today’s crop of conservatives being cheap at heart is simply lazy and does not withstand scrutiny.

  • I thought the thread was about Reagan, his final speech and his character.

    Considering how often you have changed the topic on a thread, including this very one, this has to be one the most laughably insincere comments I’ve read in quite some time.

  • OK, ref’s gotta step in. Both sides are in a clinch, and there’s nothing happening but cheap shots. Back to your corners and start again.

  • Couldn’t agree more, Pinky.

One Solitary Life

Wednesday, December 25, AD 2013

All the armies that have ever marched

All the navies that have ever sailed

All the parliaments that have ever sat

All the kings that ever reigned put together

  Have not affected the life of mankind on earth

As powerfully as that one solitary life

From One Solitary Life

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.

H. G. Wells

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4 Responses to One Solitary Life

Roosevelt, Reagan and Us

Friday, December 6, AD 2013

 

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.

Mark Twain

 

 

 

Lou Cannon at Real Clear Politics has a fascinating piece comparing FDR and Reagan as orators:

 

 

Naturally I assumed, as children of that era did, that the president wrote all his speeches. In fact, his gifted counsel and speechwriter, Sam Rosenman, wrote some of FDR’s best lines, and playwright Robert Sherwood, a presidential confidant, wrote others. But they didn’t write the Pearl Harbor speech. Sherwood, reliable on such matters, said that Roosevelt wrote every word except for a “platitudinous” sentence near the end suggested by his closest aide, Harry Hopkins.

What Sherwood didn’t bother to say in his lyrical book, “Roosevelt and Hopkins,” was that FDR edited that speech after he wrote it. His best edit produced the most memorable phrase: “a date that will live infamy.” As FDR first wrote it, it was “a date that will live in history.” In 2002 I saw an immense blow-up of the speech draft at an exhibit on American heroes at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Roosevelt had vividly struck through the word “history” and written “infamy” above it.

As a Reagan biographer, I knew that strike-through. My fellow Reagan chronicler, the economist Annelise Anderson, had sent me copies of Reagan speech drafts for use in a table-top book. The drafts were full of such markings and erasures so that one could barely read the words that had been replaced. Like FDR, Reagan also wrote substitute words above the ones he excised.

It’s not surprising that Reagan emulated Roosevelt’s editing. FDR was Reagan’s first political idol. When Roosevelt gave his stirring inaugural address on March 4, 1933, Reagan listened to it on a radio soon after college, a time when he was dreaming of an acting career. Reagan had an excellent memory and passably imitated FDR’s patrician accent. He was soon entertaining friends by reciting passages of the address, using a broomstick as a microphone.

Reagan would in time diverge from FDR ideologically without ever losing his appreciation for Roosevelt as an inspirational leader. Both men were dominant politicians and transformational presidents. Both understood the power of words and the importance of editing.

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One Response to Roosevelt, Reagan and Us

November 9, 1989

Saturday, November 9, AD 2013

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

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

The thirst for freedom that the hand of God places in each human soul can be held down by force for a time, but it never can be killed forever.

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10 Responses to November 9, 1989

  • Twenty-four years…

    The link below is to a July 4 2011 article written in the Spectator Coffee House blog by Colleen Graffy to mark the unveiling of the Grosvenor Square statue of President Reagan.

    I wrote then:

    “Regarding the Wall and with due apologies for any perceived crudity. In company with several German, Dutch and American colleagues I had the very great pleasure of p*****g on the rubble within hours of its fall. I am not ashamed to say that I wept constantly during those blessed days. As I recently mentioned somewhere hereabouts, I have a lump of the accursed thing in my study at home with a wee NATO flag stuck in it.”

    President Ronald Reagan 1911-2004

    Karol Józef Wojtyła, Blessed Pope John Paul Magnus 1920-2005

    Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher of Kesteven 1925-2013

    All gone now.

    God be good to them…

  • I will never forget the sight of the Berlin Wall coming down. I was working on DC at the time and went to my grandmother’s home in Washington, PA for the weekend. I saw the whole thing on TV and it was amazing. Every network was covering the event….but the NBC station in Steubenville, Ohio showed a tape delay broadcast of the Steubenville High School football playoff game.

    I never have forgotten that.

  • And the fight continues in every generation:

  • Amazing point in history, like many I remember clearly watching it all unfold on tv, I was building bookshelves at the family cottage and they came tumbling down (like the Wall)—directly on my head 😀
    Hopefully the architects of the destruction of Communism, mentioned in Kennybhoy’s post, will pray for us. Because the same stupid ideas just keep popping up.

  • I wasn’t old enough to remember it coming down, and it sure wasn’t mentioned in school, but my folks’ general reaction at any mention of it spoke volumes when I was a kid.

  • The next time a liberal friend scoffs at Pres Reagan’s “evil empire” speech refer him to Ta-Neshi Caotes of the Atlantic writing about postwar Europe:

    More than anyone, Stalin is the most fascinating figure in the early chapters of Postwar. I can’t get a handle on him. He bumbles constantly. When Stalin goes to subjugate Poland, he is crippled by the fact that he’s purged an entire generation of Polish communists. He was caught totally by surprise when Hitler invaded. And yet somehow Stalin does not just hold on to power he increases his power.

    The politics at work in this era of Central\Eastern Europe remind me of the politics at work during in the early 17th century. There’s that same sense of chaos and shifting alliances. As history, it is totally gripping. I have argued, repeatedly, that white people have never done anything to black people they haven’t done to themselves. You see this in the Stalin’s empire–right down to the slave ships.

  • At the same time as the Achille Lauro incident, my father and I were on a month-long Battlefield Tour in Europe, which would eventually take us through West Germany (how weird that looks now,) Austria, Czechoslovakia and East Germany.

    Having stood on both sides of the Berlin Wall, I remember kicking myself for not grabbing the first plane over and joining in the party when the Wall was coming down. I kick myself even harder today. The ability to speak of those events in the first person would bear incredible weight these days, when so much of what we see transpiring in this country becomes redolent of those tyrannical systems brought down just a generation ago.

    To this day, I imagine myself deplaning, small overnight case in hand, hailing the first cab I see and simply saying “Die Mauer, bitte, und schnell.”

  • Interestingly, communism or socialism really isn’t dead. It represents the ideals of many still. They imagine it is the way of progress or its goal.

  • Mr. Colli9ns –

    I think nobody ruled through fear the way Stalin did. Stalin could never have been anything in politics except what he was. Stalin needed enemies. He never wanted friends. Of course, FDR thought he could be friends with Uncle Joe after Hitler invaded, but Stalin considered him to be a useful idiot.

    Stalin had a special hatred for Poles, as Stalin was a Red Army officer in the Polish Bolshevik War of 1920-21 (and a lousy one at that).

Pope John Paull II on the US Constitution and Freedom

Tuesday, September 17, AD 2013

 

 

 

Interesting reflections for a Constitution Day courtesy of remarks made by Pope John Paul II to President Reagan on September 10, 1987 during the Pope’s visit to the US:

 

Mr President,

1. I am grateful for the great courtesy that you  extend to me by coming personally to meet me in this city of Miami. Thank you  for this gesture of kindness and respect.

On my part I cordially greet you as the  elected Chief Executive of the United States of America. In addressing you I  express my own deep respect for the constitutional structure of this  democracy, which you are called to “preserve, protect and defend”. In  addressing you, Mr. President, I greet once again all the American people with their history, their achievements and their great possibilities of serving  humanity.

I willingly pay honour to the United  States for what she has accomplished for her own people, for all those whom she  has embraced in a cultural creativity and welcomed into an indivisible national  unity, according to her own motto: E pluribus unum. I thank America and all Americans – those of past generations and those of the present – for their  generosity to millions of their fellow human beings in need throughout the  world. Also today, I wish to extol the blessing and gifts that America has  received from God and cultivated, and which have become the true values of the  whole American experiment in the past two centuries.

2. For all of you this is a special hour in your  history: the celebration of the Bicentennial of your Constitution. It is a time  to recognize the meaning of that document and to reflect on important aspects of  the constitutionalism that produced it. It is a time to recall the original  American political faith with its appeal to the sovereignty of God. To celebrate  the origin of the United States is to stress those moral and spiritual  principles, those ethical concerns that influenced your Founding Fathers and  have been incorporated into the experience of America.

Eleven years ago, when your country was  celebrating another great document, the Declaration of Independence, my  predecessor Paul VI spoke to American Congressmen in Rome. His statement is  still pertinent today: “At every turn” he said, “your Bicentennial speaks to you  of moral principles, religious convictions, inalienable rights given by the  Creator”. And he added: “We earnestly hope that… this commemoration of your  Bicentennial will constitute a rededication to those sound moral principles  formulated by your Founding Fathers and enshrined forever in your history” (Pauli VI, Allocutio ad civiles Auctoritates Foederatarum Civitatum Americae  Septemtrionalis, die 26 apr. 1976: Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XIV [1976] 288ss.).

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5 Responses to Pope John Paull II on the US Constitution and Freedom

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  • G K Chesterton described America as “a nation with the soul of a Church,” by which he meant that it was founded on and united by a political principle.

    Contrast that with Mazzini’s language about the Risorgimento, “They speak the same language, they bear about them the impress of consanguinity, they kneel beside the same tombs, they glory in the same tradition.”

    This, I believe, means that Americans have a rather different concept of freedom to Greeks, Bulgarians and Romanians, to Czechs, Bohemians, Poles and Irish. To them freedom meant, primarily, self-government; to the American, it can almost be said to mean freedom from government, at least, government interference. That is a caricature, of course, but caricature works by exaggerating a truth.

  • Who in the Constitution for the United States of America is not included? “We, the people” includes all men for all time. “ourselves and our posterity” include all men for all time. Our duty as citizens and people is to hand our freedom to all men for all time. The purpose and duty of government is inscribed in The Preamble. When government refuses to acknowledge that the sovereign personhood of each and every human being constitutes our nation from the very first moment of existence of human life, then government ceases to be government.

  • The term “self-government” can have parallel connotations that differ only in scope. Those nations listed have a natural connection to “self-government” in the patriotic or nationalist sense of not being ruled by Mohammedans, Godless Cossacks, The Hun or Perfidious Albion.

    An American sense of “Self-government” can be more personal; a commitment by the individual to governing himself or herself, placing the responsibilities of an ordered and productive life over whatever rights – however crucial – may be claimed, in the knowledge that the perpetuation of such rights are dependent upon their responsible exercise.

    This was once taught widely, but has been tragically lost of late. As a child, in such institutions as the Boy Scouts, my church (even though I was Episcopalian in those early days) and YMCA Indian Guides, we were dipped elbow-deep in the conviction that liberty is not throwing oneself at whatever one pleases without prohibition, but rather committing oneself to the responsibility of living correctly without coercion.

    As this idea fades, so with it does the idea of Self-government. Hence the rise of the statist influences whose sole purpose is the subjugation of a previously free people. No happier slaves are there than those who have forgotten how to be free.

  • WK Aitken

    Puts me in mind of Montesquieu (a very popular author in the Founders’ day
    « la servitude commence toujours par le sommeil »- (Servitude always begins with sleep)

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Ronald Reagan

Friday, July 26, AD 2013

 

 

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

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6 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Ronald Reagan

Back When We Had a Real President

Thursday, May 16, AD 2013

The speech in the video is a section of Reagan’s Time For Choosing speech in 1964 that led to the beginning of his political career which culminated 16 years later in him being elected president.  Reagan said of the Marines:

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

This is what we are saddled with today:

Obama Marine

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15 Responses to Back When We Had a Real President

  • That photo is one big dog whistle, let me tell you

  • There is an article about a situation in Dearborn, MI which can be read at Abyssum Blog. (Speaking of appeasement.) The title follows, cannot figure out the way to show a link.

    THE U.S. CONSTITUTION NOW PROTECTS MUSLIMS BUT NOT CHRISTIANS

    May 16, 2013

    !!!!

    Judge Says It’s Ok for Muslim Violence Against Christians

    Posted 12 hours ago by Dave Jolly Filed under Christianity, Crime, Islam, Law, Religion

  • Pat, I’m not sure how the comment relates to the post but, lest TAC get on the wrong train about the incident you describe, I offer this piece from Patheos which goes into more detail about this complicated incident:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandpopculture/2013/05/muslims-stoning-christians-in-michigan-not-quite-updated

  • Thread is going badly off track. Stay on the subject of the post please.

  • I cannot help but think Obama is doing this to deliberately demean and belittle the Marines and all of the US Military. His whole campaign of uninhibited sodomy and lesbianism in the military seems also geared towards that, as well as his elevation of cowardly leaders and his refusal to come to the aid this in peril (Benghazi shows what he would do we’re a military squadron in a similar situation). Mistreating the legions is always a bad thing to do.

  • I hope there might be some liberals that will be outraged by this treatment of the Marines, and they will turn on him. There are all sorts of pictures going on Facebook now showing other presidents holding their own umbrellas. Someone said that the Marines are only allowed to hold umbrellas for ladies…

  • Molly Marines, female Marines, can use umbrellas, but male Marines are forbidden to. The same rule was in force in the Green Machine back in the seventies.

  • I was under the impression that Navy guys could carry umbrellas.

  • Stop living in a dream and how soon we forget. Reagan did some good things but: Guys there hasn’t been a conservative serve as President since Harry Truman.

    Reagan signed the Gun Control Act of 1986 which was worse than anything, short of confiscation, recently debated in the US Senate.

    Reagan supported the Brady Bill/Law.

    Reagan granted amnesty to how many millions of illegal aliens?

  • “Guys there hasn’t been a conservative serve as President since Harry Truman.”

    I admire Truman because of his foreign policy, but economically only Obama has been farther to the left than Harry Truman who used to routinely refer to Republicans as fascists.

    “Reagan signed the Gun Control Act of 1986 which was worse than anything, short of confiscation, recently debated in the US Senate.”
    Rubbish. The legislation was supported by the National Rifle Association.

    “Reagan supported the Brady Bill/Law.”
    This was after his presidency and when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It is more accurate to say that Nancy Reagan supported the legislation.

    “Reagan granted amnesty to how many millions of illegal aliens?”

    Reagan regreted the 1986 immigration deal. He thought he had an agreement to close the border to illegal immigration and Congress reneged.

  • Reagan regreted the 1986 immigration deal. He thought he had an agreement to close the border to illegal immigration and Congress reneged.

    Did Mr. Reagan have plans to restructure the Immigration and Naturalization Service and increase the manpower and equipment it had to do its work? Did Congress scotch the appropriations necessary to implement this plan? Unless the answer to these two questions is ‘yes’, the executive (Mr. Reagan, among others) has to accept the major share of the responsibility for the post-1986 mess.

    Some years ago, I had occasion to read an interview with a dismissed INS agent. Two things he had to say. 1.) the INS had in 1990 seven (7) agents assigned to hunt down people in metropolitan New York who had over-stayed their visas; they were making only the faintest attempt to enforce the law. 2.) the agency’s executives, having received an improved appropriation, allocated the funds to the hiring of naturalization examiners.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_zNR53k5Lg

    After Iran-Contra Art Reagan lacked the political power to do anything about Congress reneging on the agreement. Even before Iran Contra broke, after the 86 election the Democrats had a 258-177 seat majority in the House and a 10 seat majority in the Senate. Reagan was a great President, but no President could do anything with Congress so firmly in the grasp of the opposing party.

  • Kind of evades my questions. Oh well…

    In other news:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/bipartisan-house-group-reaches-preliminary-immigration-deal/?hp

    I tend to think that the Republican congressional caucus is just execrably led.

  • “Kind of evades my questions. Oh well…”

    It did not unless you believe that Reagan had a magic wand he could wave and compel solid Democrat majorities in Congress to do what they had no intention of ever doing.

  • No, I do not believe Mr. Reagan had a magic wand.

    1. Did he appoint the equivalent of Wm. Bratton to run the INS? and

    2. Did they have a plan that needed funding turned down? We can check his messages to Congress over the period running from 1986 to 1989, but I do not think the answer to either question is ‘yes’.

    Some of Mr. Reagan’s appointees had satisfactory reputations for improving agency performance or administering important policy changes (Mark Fowler and Clarence Thomas to name two). I do not recall whoever ran the INS was one. All the public attention at that time was fixed on the enforcement of drug laws, as far as I can recall.

Ash-heap of History Speech

Wednesday, February 6, AD 2013

Today is my 56th birthday.  I share my birthday with the greatest president of my lifetime:  Ronald Reagan.  I thought he was a great president at the time, but as the years roll by my admiration for President Reagan only grows.  The above video is the famous “ash-heap of history” speech to the British parliament on June 8, 1982.  Widely derided by critics at the time, Reagan’s speech was eerily prophetic as the Soviet Union swiftly landed on the ash-head of history.  Here is the text of the speech:

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19 Responses to Ash-heap of History Speech

  • Happy Birthday Donald!

    “…a society where productive forces are hampered by political ones.”
    Enter obamanation.

    It amazes me still, how much hatred the Left have for this great leader.
    The contra dealings is their primary focus on a leader who turned this country around when gas lines we’re commonplace, and American hostages were easy pickings.

    You do share a birthday with a great man.

  • Happy Birthday Donald.

    Ah, to have a President speak with moral clarity again. Does one dare to dream?

  • Thank you Philip and Paul! Charlatans like Obama are with us constantly. A statesman of the calibre of Reagan appears but rarely.

  • Happy Birthday, Don! Hope it’s a great one.

  • Thank you Jay and Foxfier. My bride has the usual birthday festivities planned for tonight and they are usually memorable. I think this one will involve the War of the Spanish Succession in some way. (Yes, both my bride and I probably do read too much history!)

  • Well, Reagan was a pretty good president, but you have to respect other presidents of your lifetime, like Carter. Reagan only built on Carter’s successes. And there was that great Carter speech that everyone quotes, I can’t think of it offhand, but you know the one….

    Just kidding. Yay Ron. Happy Birthday.

  • Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan
    Happy Birthday Donald McClarey.
    Birthday cake is my favorite. Get some with icing roses and lemon filling.

  • Thank you Donald and happy birthday. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were always two of my favorite people. People like them are sorely missed in the political and diplomatic levels we face today. The ash heaps of history are getting closer every day. Our nation has never been more threatened in its history.

  • Thank you. Donald McClarey. I am looking forward to reading about the War of Spanish Succession.
    Ronald Reagan knew what he was struggling against. Unfortunately, tolerance and diversity in universities have come to mean the opposite of the academic freedom that they were intended to bring about. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights too, has devolved into an atheistic refusal to acknowledge our Creator and man’s individual human soul. Written by Eleanor Roosevelt, the U.N. fought her tooth and nail to remove God from the Declaration. The UN won. Without God, human “rights endowed by the state can be altered and removed by the state.” Thomas Jefferson. Unalienable human rights are endowed by God, WHO is infinite and never changing. Exclusively under God are: “the great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, and the rule of law under God.” Ronald Reagan.

  • Thank you Pinky, I think!

    Thank you Robert!

    Mary, the best book on the War of the Spanish Succession is still the massive biography of the Duke of Marlborough written in a grand style by his descendant Sir Winston Churchill.

    Of “Corporal John” as his men fondly called him, it was said that he never fought a battle he did not win and never besieged a fortress he did not take.

  • Reagan was a success because of his faith in God and confidence in himself and his views.

    People like Reagan give and build.

    People like his opponents take and destroy.

  • Happy Birthday Don!

    Agreed on Reagan. We sure could use a decent human being in Washington these days.

  • Happy Birthday.

    Ah, to have a President speak with moral clarity again. Does one dare to dream?

    Reagan had a number of advantages you have not seen much of in Presidential politics in the last fifty-odd years:

    1. He took an interest in political principles.

    2. He was in politics to primarily push his preferred policies; he had had a long and fruitful career before entering politics and might have been happier doing something else all those years.

    3. He did not have any gross personality problems or character defects.

    4. His previous positions had taught him satisfactorily how to manage time, recruit subordinates, delegate authority, and motivate his workforce.

    No one else who has held the office since 1960 fits the bill. As for Vice Presidents and presidential aspirants of note, not many would have been plausible candidates for filling the bill.

  • Mary De Voe

    The principle draughtsmen of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were the French Thomist, Jacques Maritain, the Lebanese Orthodox theologian, Charles Malik and René Cassin, who was Jewish

  • Art- Great point: “He did not have any gross personality problems or character defects”. It’s pitiful that that needs to be stated at all. But we’ve sort of come to expect, or be resigned to, our leaders being messed-up people. There’s a genre of political writing that I don’t remember existing before Clinton, the “who is he really” story. These stories are not simply about policy flip-flops. They’re psychological studies. By implication, they’re abnormal psych studies.

  • Reagan was a a realist who had the guts to be an idealist. As for Obama, while there are many who share his his unwavering devotion to leftist ideology, but those who have been as effective as he has in capitalizing on the cowardice of his opposition are not exactly a dime a dozen.

January 21, 1985: Reagan Second Inaugural Address

Monday, January 21, AD 2013

For some reason on this day I am thinking of a Presidential second inaugural, that of Ronald Reagan!  He summed up the theme of his Presidency well with this observation in his speech that day:

Four years ago, I spoke to you of a new beginning and we have accomplished that. But in another sense, our new beginning is a continuation of that beginning created two centuries ago when, for the first time in history, government, the people said, was not our master, it is our servant; its only power that which we the people allow it to have.

That system has never failed us, but, for a time, we failed the system. We asked things of government that government was not equipped to give. We yielded authority to the National Government that properly belonged to States or to local governments or to the people themselves. 

Here is the text of the speech of President Reagan 28 years ago:

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2 Responses to January 21, 1985: Reagan Second Inaugural Address

  • Awe inspiring, from beyond the grave, immortal words to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and or posterity”. The seeds of Liberty sown the world over are bearing good fruit.

  • That system has never failed us, but, for a time, we failed the system. We asked things of government that government was not equipped to give. We yielded authority to the National Government that properly belonged to States or to local governments or to the people themselves.

    1. Whether or not the system ‘failed’ us, systems can be better or worse adapted to a particular set of circumstances.

    2. Whomever you look to for guidance on principles of justice as manifested in political economy (John Rawls and Robert Nozick being two possibilities), I do not think whatever you describe is going to be severely prescriptive as to whether a function belongs to the central government, the municipal government, or some intermediate authorities, because states vary so in their demographic, social, and geographic characteristics.

The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language

Thursday, December 6, AD 2012

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  President Reagan knew what he was talking about when he said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are:  I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

 

Even after Marie Freyre died alone in a nursing home 250 miles from the family in North Tampa that loved her, Marie’s mother had to fight to bring her home.

In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, claiming Doris’ own disabilities made it almost impossible for her to care for Marie, who suffered from seizures and severe cerebral palsy. But a Tampa judge signed an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with in-home nursing care around the clock.

Florida health care administrators refused to pay for it, although in-home care can be demonstrably cheaper than care in an institution. Child welfare workers ignored the order completely.

Two months later, Marie was strapped into an ambulance for a five-hour trip to a Miami Gardens nursing home, as her mother begged futilely to go with her.

Marie died 12 hours after she arrived.

“Since the state of Florida took custody of my daughter, I would like the state of Florida to bring me back my daughter,” Freyre, 59, said at a May 9 court hearing, 12 days after her daughter died.

“They kidnapped my daughter. She was murdered,” said Freyre. “And I want my daughter back.”

The last days of Marie Freyre, chronicled in hundreds of pages of records reviewed by the Miami Herald, are a story of death by bureaucratic callousness and medical neglect. The episode sheds significant light on an ongoing dispute between Florida health care regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice. Though the state claims that the parents of severely disabled and medically fragile children have “choice” over where their children live and receive care, federal civil rights lawyers say Florida, by dint of a rigged funding system, has “systematically” force-fed sick children into nursing homes meant to care for adults — in violation of federal laws that prohibit discrimination against disabled people.

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4 Responses to The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language

  • Except that they repent, there is a special place in hell for those who perpetrated this dastardly, heinous deed. This is why I despise, loathe, detest and hate with all the fabric of my going being damnable liberal socialism.

  • “They kidnapped my daughter, she was murdered.”

    She is absolutely right!

    Paul.
    Your spot on.

  • Good Luck and do not hold your breath hoping for real accountability.

    You may get a scape goat but you WILL NOT get justice.

  • Oh, no, Karl, there will be both accountability and justice; it simply may be delayed.

    “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15* and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15

    Kyrie Eleison! Christe Eleison! Kyrie Eleison!

There Were Giants in Those Days

Sunday, July 15, AD 2012

 

 

There are millions of heroes and heroines who helped bring about the downfall of Communism in Europe in the Twentieth Century, from those who acted in the full spotlight of History, to those who are known only to God and who were executed for their resistance and tossed into mass graves.  At the very top of the list History will record two names:  Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan.  The people of a free Poland remember them:

GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.

The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.

The bronze statue, erected in the lush seaside President Ronald Reagan Park, is a slightly larger-than-life rendering of the two late leaders. It was inspired by an Associated Press photograph taken in 1987 on John Paul’s second pontifical visit to the U.S.

The photographer who took the picture, Scott Stewart, expressed satisfaction that one of his pictures has helped immortalize “a wonderful moment in time between the two men.”

“In the news business we’re used to having a moment and then that moment being gone a day later. This is one image that should last for a good long time,” Stewart, who now teaches graphic design and photography at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina, said in a phone interview a day before the ceremony. “I’m happy that it’s been chosen as the seminal moment to represent the relationship of these two people to Poland.”

Reagan and John Paul shared a conviction that communism was a moral evil, not just a bad economic system. And Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement that led the anti-communist struggle in Poland, has often paid homage to both men and told the AP in a recent interview that he deeply respected Reagan.

“Reagan should have a monument in every city,” Walesa said.

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3 Responses to There Were Giants in Those Days

  • I am waiting for the opportunity to purchase the miniature version. It will proudly be displayed at my workplace and, since “cultural diversity” is such a strongly-encouraged aspect of our environment, will be truly welcomed, I’m sure.

  • Beautiful work, and surely a God-pleasing leader in Lech Walesa. Good reminder of why to keep faith in Him.
    This post title leads thought from those (not so long ago) days to wondering about these days of changes.

  • I was a teenager when Karol Wojtyla became Pope (15) and when Ronald Reagan was elected President (17). I remember the dark days of martial law in Poland and the deep recession of 1981-82. We came out of the economic doldrums and Poland became a free nation.

    Providence put them in their positions and they were well suited for the goals they accomplished. I attribute the fall of Communism in Poland to the people of Poland who never gave up the struggle against the inhumane system forced on them by Stalin – who murdered countless Poles by his actions and inactions. The help received from the Catholic Church and the Reagan Administration was of critical importance in the Poles’ struggle for freedom.

    It was not the first time the Catholic Church assisted Poland. During the 123 years of partition, towards the end of which my paternal greatgrandparents left the Russian-controlled Warsaw for southwestern Pennsylvania, the Church helped to preserve the language, culture, historical record and the identity of Poland.

    I read some of the comments of the story on Yahoo. Yahoo comments usually make my blood pressure rise and make me lose hope in the future of humanity. When I was a child, I could not fathom that there were so many stupid people. The Internet has certainly created a flood of such stupidity. While there were the typical stupid comments, many were praiseworthy of Reagan and John Paul II.

    Reagan and John Paul II were giants in an age when the world needed such giants. they were not perfect, they were not free from making mistakes and errors, but they did the very best they could. We need giants like these men now.

    I never met either man but I miss them both.

25 years ago: “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”

Tuesday, June 12, AD 2012

Twenty-five years ago, on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan challenged Premier Gorbachev of the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin Wall.  Just a little over two years later, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall did fall, a casualty of the movement for liberation in Eastern Europe, started by Solidarity in Poland, and supported throughout the Eighties by President Reagan and Pope John Paul II.  Those who were not alive during those days, or too young to remember the events, I suspect have a difficult time understanding how truly miraculous those events seemed to those of us who grew up during the Cold War.  The Soviet Union and the Communist regimes it imposed in Eastern Europe seemed like a permanent fixture of the World.  Reagan however, never believed this.

In a speech in the House of Commons on June 8, 1982, President Reagan made this startling prediction:

 

Since 1917 the Soviet Union has given covert political training and assistance to Marxist-Leninists in many countries. Of course, it also has promoted the use of violence and subversion by these same forces. Over the past several decades, West European and other Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, and leaders have offered open assistance to fraternal, political, and social institutions to bring about peaceful and democratic progress. Appropriately, for a vigorous new democracy, the Federal Republic of Germany’s political foundations have become a major force in this effort.

 

We in America now intend to take additional steps, as many of our allies have already done, toward realizing this same goal. The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic Party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American political foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force. They will have the cooperation of congressional leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business, labor, and other major institutions in our society. I look forward to receiving their recommendations and to working with these institutions and the Congress in the common task of strengthening democracy throughout the world.

 

It is time that we committed ourselves as a nation — in both the pubic and private sectors — to assisting democratic development.

 

We plan to consult with leaders of other nations as well. There is a proposal before the Council of Europe to invite parliamentarians from democratic countries to a meeting next year in Strasbourg. That prestigious gathering could consider ways to help democratic political movements.

 

This November in Washington there will take place an international meeting on free elections. And next spring there will be a conference of world authorities on constitutionalism and self-government hosted by the Chief Justice of the United States. Authorities from a number of developing and developed countries — judges, philosophers, and politicians with practical experience — have agreed to explore how to turn principle into practice and further the rule of law.

 

At the same time, we invite the Soviet Union to consider with us how the competition of ideas and values — which it is committed to support — can be conducted on a peaceful and reciprocal basis. For example, I am prepared to offer President Brezhnev an opportunity to speak to the American people on our television if he will allow me the same opportunity with the Soviet people. We also suggest that panels of our newsmen periodically appear on each other’s television to discuss major events.

 

Now, I don’t wish to sound overly optimistic, yet the Soviet Union is not immune from the reality of what is going on in the world. It has happened in the past — a small ruling elite either mistakenly attempts to ease domestic unrest through greater repression and foreign adventure, or it chooses a wiser course. It begins to allow its people a voice in their own destiny. Even if this latter process is not realized soon, I believe the renewed strength of the democratic movement, complemented by a global campaign for freedom, will strengthen the prospects for arms control and a world at peace.

 

I have discussed on other occasions, including my address on May 9, the elements of Western policies toward the Soviet Union to safeguard our interests and protect the peace. What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history, as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.

Run of the mill politicians deal with crises as best they can, usually on an ad hoc basis.  True statesmen have a vision that allows them to shape the future, and to leave the World better than they found it.  Reagan was a statesman.  Here is the text of his Tear Down This Wall speech:

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3 Responses to 25 years ago: “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”

  • The son-in-law of one of my best friends was in Berlin on his OE when the wall came down – he has a piece of it, proudly displayed in his home.

  • I think there’s a lot of those wall pieces. Got one on the wall here, from a friend who was working in Europe at the time. I think my in-laws have one, from one of their exchange students maybe.
    Show and explain it to every kid that will listen.

  • I have a piece of the wall on my desk.