Ronald Reagan: The Happy Warrior

Monday, February 6, AD 2017

“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”

GK Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse

Today is my sixtieth birthday.  As faithful readers of this blog know, I share a birthday with Ronald Wilson Reagan.  I have long admired Reagan, the greatest President of my lifetime.  Of Irish ancestry, Reagan had the Irish habit of smiling in a fight.  A man of strong convictions, Reagan never forgot that his domestic adversaries were political opponents and  not enemies.  His humor was never mean spirited, and much of it was directed against himself.  Completely comfortable in his own skin, he never took himself seriously while taking very seriously what he believed in and fought for.  Happy birthday Mr. President, and may there be plenty of good humor in the life to come for you to add to.


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January 11, 1989: Reagan Farewell Address

Tuesday, January 17, AD 2017


My fellow Americans, this is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office, and the last. We’ve been together eight 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 have 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.

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2 Responses to January 11, 1989: Reagan Farewell Address

  • And now, the President Elect has chosen this man for one of his assistants:
    Chris Liddell, the Kiwi joining Donald Trump’s administration as an assistant to the President and director of Strategic Initiatives, is one of New Zealand’s leading businessmen.

    The 58-year-old’s impressive C.V. includes stints as the chief financial officer of Microsoft and General Motors.

    While at GM, he helped engineer its US$23 billion float in 2010 – at the time one of the biggest sharemarket listings in history.

    The chairman of accounting software maker Xero, the father-of-two has held positions as the CFO of International Paper, a chief executive of Carter Holt Harvey and co-CEO of investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston.

    A companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit, Liddell also chairs Next Foundation – an environmental and education fund.

    Liddell told the Herald in late 2015 that he sees philanthropy as a natural extension of his business career. “I don’t see them as two separate things – just a natural part of life’s journey.” Liddell said at the time that he came from a “relatively poor” background.

    “My father died when I was young and left my mother with five kids at school,” he said.

    “If it hadn’t been for the New Zealand education system and all the other things that we benefit from in New Zealand, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve had.”
    As I’ve told you before, those damned Kiwis are everywhere, infiltrating places of power, and changing the world to the “Kiwi Way”. 😉

  • During my lifetime, I would regard Ronald Reagan as my favorite U.S. President. We the People should have at least a basic understanding of the Constitution and American history. He left office nearly 30 years ago. But his farewell speech has a valuable lesson for us today. Thank you Mr. Reagan.

June 6, 1984: Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Monday, June 6, AD 2016


We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

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2 Responses to June 6, 1984: Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Reagan and Trump

Thursday, June 2, AD 2016

3 Responses to Reagan and Trump

  • Hillary Clinton “stands for all good things”? I just got nauseous.

  • Every so often Frank Rich gets it right. Wherever she goes Hillary creates an enthusiasm vacuum in contrast to Trump. Boring Hillary is no match for bombastic Donald. Given that most folks seem to live for entertainment of one kind or another Trump should be able to win since even his handicaps feed the public’s need for novelty and excitement. Generally the public has lost it’s ability to perceive reality live in a kind of virtual world where wishes are horses, e.g., Bernie, Obama, Hillary, Trump.

  • Check out Scott Adams’s blog (the author of Dilbert. He has a lot of good analysis of Trump vs Hillary as ‘persuaders’ and of course HRC is left in the dust. Here’s his take on their respective campaign slogans:

Remember Them

Saturday, May 28, AD 2016

“I never moved into combat without having the feeling of a cold hand reaching into my guts and twisting them both into knots.”

Audie Murphy, most decorated American soldier of World War II

Something for the weekend.  A section of a speech of Ronald Reagan from 1964, known in Reagan lore as The Speech, set to the song Arrival to Earth.  The weather is quite nice around where I live this Memorial Day weekend and it is easy to forget why we have this three day weekend, and, indeed, to forget why we have our freedom.  The video is a nice reminder.

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Trump, the Anti-Reagan

Tuesday, May 17, AD 2016



In all my voting life there is only one candidate I have voted for, rather than as the lesser of two evils:  Ronald Wilson Reagan.  Reagan biographer Paul Kengor explains why Trump is the anti-Reagan:

I have published six major books on Reagan, several of them bestsellers, ranging from (the first) God and Ronald Reagan (HarperCollins, 2004) to Reagan’s Legacy in a World Transformed (Harvard University Press, 2015). Some of those in between include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (2006) and 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative (2014). Two of these books are the basis for the Reagan/film bio-pic, Reagan: The Movie. That film, like my books, are positive affirmations of Reagan. I am and have long been a Reagan conservative. I am hardly an “establishment RINO.” In fact, I literally wrote the book on Reagan conservatism. And my next book, scheduled for release next spring, is a 1,000-page-plus Cold War work on Reagan.

I have done thousands of articles, speeches, and radio and TV and print interviews on Ronald Reagan. I have personally interviewed hundreds of people who lived with or knew or worked with the man and I’ve spent endless days in the Reagan Library, at the Reagan Ranch, at Reagan’s Eureka College, in his hometown, at the river where he lifeguarded, in nursing homes talking to elderly women who were baptized with Reagan in the summer of 1922, etc., etc., etc. I have read countless letters written by Reagan, and still far more pages of words scribbled by others. It’s quite possible that I’ve read more by or about Ronald Reagan than any living person on the planet. I assure you I’m in the top 10.

This is very much a short list (two paragraphs) of my (embarrassing) amount of life activities dedicated to illuminating the person, life, and mind of Ronald Reagan.

My point in presenting this isn’t to toot my own horn. (Quite the contrary — all of this Reagan focus makes me seem rather strange, I think.) The point is that this is what I study. I have some credibility on the matter of Ronald Reagan. If someone wants to try to compare Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan, my opinion ought to have at least some degree of informed merit.

So, with that said, let me state unequivocally and undeniably that not only is Donald Trump not the “next Reagan,” but he is the anti-Reagan. Really, I find not only that the two men have preciously little in common, from their policies to their person, but I think there may be no two men more glaringly different. Donald Trump is a polar opposite of Ronald Reagan.

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6 Responses to Trump, the Anti-Reagan

  • Like Donald, Reagan is the only candidate for president I actually voted for. Everyone else, I simply held my nose. I am becoming more and more concerned that I will never get to actually vote for someone again. People really do get the leadership they deserve. Our culture has become infinitely more crass in the short time, historically speaking, since Reagan. Culturally, the decline of the last 30 years seems impossible in that short span of time. I can’t even imagine what the left will have accomplished in the next 30.

  • “The federal government is not a business, and the president is not a CEO. The Founders did not want the president to be a CEO.”

    Which is why I am always wary of candidates who promise to “run government like a business”, because that’s something which can’t be done without effectively trashing the Constitution and the separation of powers. Every private business is in essence a (hopefully) benevolent dictatorship. This is not to say that government officials cannot LEARN important things from business people, or “borrow” some of their ideas or techniques for improving efficiency.

    While no one wants, or should want, government to be gratuitously wasteful or unresponsive, it helps to remember that the Founders designed our government to be “inefficient” up to a point. You want a totally “efficient” government that always does exactly what it sets out to do with no delay and no obstacles? Get yourself a king/queen or a dictator.

  • Of course, one of Paul Kengor’s other outstanding books is “The Communist”, the story of Frank Marshall Davis and Barack Obama (and for that, all the Chicago communist tribe, such as David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, et al). Here is Kengor, with great juxtaposed graphics and photos, that should chill a patriotic American:
    “The Communist”, in my opinion a must-read to understand how serious things are, coupled with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Andrew G. Hodge’s work (“The Obama Confession: Secret Fear, Secret Fury”), that Obama is not done with America. He is also not going to stand by and let a Trump, nor a Cruz, nor anyone other than someone he can control like HIllary Clinton, take over in November. Fait-accompli.

  • That’s all well and true, but either The Donald or Hildebeast will be the next president. Pick your poison. We get the leaders our culture creates.

  • I know practically speaking it looks it’s either Trump Trump or Clinton but still think maybe the Lord has some surprise in store.

  • And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
    –Rudyard Kipling

Faith Is Not Dead In Hollywood

Friday, April 29, AD 2016

Faith based films have seen a marked increase in Hollywood in the last several years. Critics were quick to dismiss the success of the Passion of the Christ some 12 years ago claiming its success was only caused by controversy, and the bankrolling of the picture by a celebrity like Mel Gibson. However, a few short years later came Fireproof and Courageous.  Both these films had an estimated budget of 1-2 million dollars and they grossed about $33,000,000. In 2011 a subtle pro-life film October Baby came out and moved the genre along to more success.

This set up the wildly successful 2014 which included films like God’s not Dead, Heaven is for Real, Mom’s Night Out etc.  The success continued in 2015 and 2016. Word is the big studios are now reaching out to small faith based companies to see if they forge partnerships, which while helpful also presents some serious concerns for faith based companies.

In full disclosure, the writers and producers of God’s not Dead are friends of mine who a few years ago came to a talk I gave at Family Theater in Hollywood, and then took my wife and me to dinner after reading one of screenplays. In a faith based world filled with Evangelicals, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, as well as the crew at Family Theater in Hollywood are Catholic.  For those interested in Family Theater, you might want to read my past article on the late Father Patrick Peyton , the Rosary priest who is on the road to canonization.

In secular 2016, it is hard to believe how well received Father Peyton was in Hollywood.  Family Theater is where James Dean and William Shatner got their starts. A trip inside Family Theater affords one an array of pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Era when Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and Grace Kelly all starred in Family Theater production films. A side note, tucked away in closet at Family Theater is an old film splicer. Rumor has it a young film student from USC named George Lucas used it to edit a Family Theater production film featuring a recently arrived young Canadian actor named William Shatner.

Everyone has their own story on how they ended up in the faith based realm. Chuck and Cary worked with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and other action oriented films for years until they could no longer resist the call to do faith based films. While they like Stallone, too few other people had the heart or character of Rocky Balboa in Hollywood. The initial years were tough, especially when hardly anyone was doing faith based films, they literally went into the valley before they could get back up to see the Promised Land. Needless to say, many thought they had lost their minds saying goodbye to the mainstream and taking the road less traveled.

Some readers might recall my initial 2014 review of God’s not Dead. The film made on a budget of $1,000,000 that initially generated a US box office figure of $60,000,000 and when all the worldwide receipts were accounted including foreign box office, DVD, movie subscription services etc totaled over$100,000,000. Generally writers and producers don’t see the kind of big money on an out of the blue success story like God’s not Dead. It comes later. If one thinks politics can be dirty, one needs to understand how the movie and music industry works.

Some film critics, even those in the faith based community complain that some of the scripts can be predictable, and perhaps the faith based angle needs to be more subtle, grittier and more provocative. Most faith based writers have no qualms with this argument. They are often put in a Catch 22, they either write a film that would be approved by faith based film companies like Pure Flix or risk the big studios saying a more subtle faith based approach is still too “faithful” for them.

Some secular critics showed nothing but venom for God’s not Dead, ( a Variety review actually used the words “Nazi propaganda film” to describe a scene) and the just released God’s not Dead 2 claiming Christians aren’t persecuted by the secular world. Then stories emerged that literally came right out of the plot lines of both films. Yet, these militant secularists give no apology.

While the critics of faith based films will always be sharpening their pens and swords, there is reason to believe that some of the Big Studios are seeing the light–or at least the financial possibilities. As mentioned above, some of the big time Hollywood studios are beginning to reach out to smaller faith based studios. Also, more faith based film companies are emerging. In addition up and comers like Nathan Leon, a talented writer, producer  and director received some notice for his film/documentary Sidewalk Chronicles on Unplanned Pregnancies which led to adoptions that positively changed the lives of so many. He and many others like him are generating some buzz in Tinseltown.

Indeed I met Leon and many other young talented men and women, while I was out in Hollywood a few weeks ago. I had been invited invited by Chuck and Cary for their premier party for God’s not Dead 2, over dinner they shared with me their big plans. They are literally this week putting the fishing touches on God’s not Dead 3 which should start to film in a month or so and be out in theaters next March or April. Also, they have an ambitious blueprint for the future and are seeking investors for their own studio and several projects are already in the works. Who knows where there this will all lead, but there are shoots and blossoms being seen in Hollywood. In a town known for fully embracing the dark side, shoots and blossoms of faith are a very good thing.

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8 Responses to Faith Is Not Dead In Hollywood

  • It’s so typical that the true fascist call foul and use discriptions like; “Nazi,” when they feel threatened, yet the freewheeling extermination of babies is freedom.

    “Work is Freedom,” the sign above the entrance to Auschwitz.

    Freedom to Kill. The new sign put up by our soul-less liberal neighbors. Poor lot.

  • Hollywood….TV, movies, popular music, I would argue has not embraced the Dark Side, but is an agent of the Dark Side.
    Seth McFarlane is at the same trims a talented and disgusting man. His adult cartoons are wildly popular and sickening to anyone of faith. He mocks his Catholic upbringing and he is worth over $100 million.
    I rarely see movies. I wish the best for the Christian filmmakers.

  • … claiming Christians aren’t persecuted by the secular world. Then stories emerged that literally came right out of the plot lines of both films.

    Oh, but that doesn’t count, because it’s not persecution if the target is double plus ungood.

  • Faith based films have always been an excellent way to evangelize. Hollywood is finally waking up to the financial possibilities which bodes well for those of us who long for the high quality production values of a well financed film project. Hurrah for Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman as they tap into what is undoubtedly a deep well of spiritual story telling and a wealth of great subject matter. Truth sells, especially when it is done right. Let’s support these films and other projects like them by promulgating their use in our parish PSR, CCD, and social halls, as well as in our family homes!

  • It’s instructive that great Hollywood actors can portray all different characters in any scenario, but they stay away from portraying the true character of people involved in the abortion holocaust. Hollywood loves sex, violence and death, along with a good scandal and coverup story but they can’t muster up the means to put the truth about abortion on the silver screen even though abortion is all about sex, violence and death and the biggest scandal and coverup of all time.

  • It is clear that fanboys will dole out huge wads of cash to see their favorite franchise even when they know ahead of time it will be just pure garbage, which is why the built in target audience has been so successful.

    The biggest builtin target audience would be the Abrahamic Faiths, of course. I think the general God awfulness of the movies and their critical success proves that people are so starved for faithbased cinema, they will put up with anything.

    Imagine the profit margins if Hollywood really invested in faith based films and made something faithful and not crap. The huge crossover hit that would be.

    The Coen Brothers made films like O, Brother Where Art Thou, and A Serious Man to critical and commerical success, and then of course, Jackson made millions and ade Oscar records with LOTR, so subtlety does well too.

    But i think the success a well done Biblical epic would have today.

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  • I find it very interesting that most of Hollywood will continue to produce trash in large amounts with the hope that, like spaghetti, some will hit the wall and make a profit when all evidence indicates that a relatively inexpensively made film with a traditional theme will almost always do quite well at the box office. Of course they will be ignored at the Oscars as not PC enough. Does anyone seriously think that any of today’s directors will be compared to John Ford or Alfred Hitchcock? Or that today’s actresses can stand up to Betty Davis or Olivia de Havilland? Today’s self absorbed entertainment industry turns out product geared precisely to its idea of itself, creating an endless circle in the process.

Reagan Radio Addresses

Monday, November 9, AD 2015

Back during the 1970s I was in college as an undergraduate.  I was unable to hear him consistently, but I always enjoyed Ronald Reagan’s daily three minute radio broadcasts whenever I head them.  From 1975-1979 he gave over a 1000 of them and he personally wrote around 700 of them.  This was an unusually effective mode of campaigning for President.  He became a familiar figure to younger Americans who did not recall his Hollywood days, and honed his thoughts on the issues of the day.  Derided as an “amiable dunce” by some of his opponents, Reagan came to the White House as a man with a well developed political philosophy who had thought and written about virtually all the issues he would confront as President.  Reagan was far closer to being the mastermind portrayed in the hilarious Saturday Night Live skit linked below than he was to the idiotic actor of the fantasies of most of his political adversaries who stood by helplessly, shocked as he won the Presidency twice and became the most consequential president since Harry Truman.

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2 Responses to Reagan Radio Addresses

  • The book “Reagan In His Own Hand” his transcripts of most, if not all, of those radio addresses. After reading these addresses, I was amazed at how much information he could pack into a three or four minute sound byte.

  • Reagan had a brilliance that did outshine his most ferocious critics and make them look like fools.

October 5, 1945: Battle of Burbank

Monday, October 5, AD 2015

One of the major factors in transforming Ronald Reagan from a New Deal Democrat into a conservative Republican was his confrontation with Herb Sorrell in 1946-47 Hollywood.  Head of the Conference of Studio Unions, Sorrell was a veteran union organizer.  He was also a secret member of the Communist Party and a frequent contact for Soviet intelligence agents.

Sorrell in 1945 launched a strike to ensure that his union dominated Hollywood labor.  Sorrell had no problem using physical intimidation  to reach his goals.  This was demonstrated at what has been called the Battle of Burbank on October 5, 1945 when 800 members of the Conference of Studio Unions battle with police of the Los Angeles Police Department, using knives, bats, chains and pipes to shut Warner Brothers down.  The violence shocked Hollywood and attracted nationwide attention and led to a negotiated settlement of the strike.

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One Response to October 5, 1945: Battle of Burbank

  • I highly recommend the Paul Kengor book The Last Crusader. Reagan was an amazing man. He outlived the USSR and always believed in freedom and that Communism would fall. He wasn’t perfect – none of us are, but I do miss him.

Jack Reagan

Sunday, June 21, AD 2015



On Fathers’ Day it is easy to recall and honor all the good fathers.  However, even a very flawed father can have a positive impact on a child.  Case in point Jack Reagan, the father of Ronald Reagan.

To be blunt, Jack Reagan was a drunk.  At eleven years old Ronald Reagan came home from school to find his father passed out on the porch,  dead drunk to the world.  In a small town the shame of that moment for a boy would be clear.  An alcoholic, one would think that the only impact that Jack could have on the life of his son was to be a negative example, but such was not the case.

Jack was gregarious and a born story teller, traits he passed on to his son.

He and his wife were always deeply in love, and his wife Nellie made sure that their sons knew that Jack was a good man in spite of his addiction to drink.

An Irish Catholic, he hated racial and religious bigotry.  He refused to allow his kids to see the film Birth of a Nation, because of its racist theme.  One cold winter night when he was on the road selling shoes, he slept in his car, rather than taking a room in a hotel that discriminated against Jews.

Reagan said of his father:

Among the things he passed on to me were the belief that all men and women, regardless of their color or religion, are created equal and that individuals determine their own destiny; that is, it’s largely their own ambition and hard work that determine their fate in life.

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3 Responses to Jack Reagan

  • and Ronald redeemed his father.

  • Good post. Thanks.

  • Well-told, and a mordant reminder.

    My maternal grandfather was a most intelligent man, like Jack Reagan: Dan M., an ardent Irish-Catholic, an up-and-comer in the San Francisco law profession in the 30’s and 40’s—and yet regrettably, a furiously incorrigible drunk. My paternal grandfather, also an accomplished lawyer, had met him at a family event, and after my parents’ engagement, saw the unraveling of his personality: he commented to my father (some very extreme words from my always-circumspect father’s father), “He’s coming unglued.”

    Nonetheless, my mother, her sister and her mother put things together after the divorce (which even the Irish pastor at St Brigid’s recommended to them, laoconically: “You two need to get divorced”,—a shocker for its day). Dan went on to a sporadically successful practice in Los Angeles, but died pretty much impoverished in his 50’s. My mother only got the phone call after his death.

    I have always found that the unrealized potential in others, where, like Jack Reagan, there can be seen so much flawed capacity for goodness and greatness, can be a profound lesson for us. But for the grace of God, there go I. Pay heed, Phoenix.

The Stilwell Road and Merrill’s Mauraders

Tuesday, January 13, AD 2015

Released in 1945, The Stilwell Road, narrated by Ronald Reagan while he was a Captain in the Army Air Corps, tells the story of the forgotten theater of the War, the China-Burma-India theater where the Allies, fighting over some of the most rugged terrain on Earth, wrested victory from the Japanese.  The Stilwell Road refers to a section of the Burma Road by which Nationalist China was supplied by the United States and Great Britain during the War.

The unit known as Merrill’s Marauders is mentioned in the film.  Officially designated by the uninspiring title of 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), the press tagged them as Merrill’s Marauders and thus they have come down through history. 3000 volunteers, most of them veterans of the fighting in the Pacific, including some veterans who volunteered from military stockades and who were known as The Dead End Kids, the Marauders were organized to fight behind Japanese lines.  Led by Brigadier General Frank Merrill, the Marauders were trained in the deep penetration tactics supported by air drops pioneered by British General Orde Wingate, with Merrill throwing in some American touches, for example the importance of marksmanship, as old as Roger’s Rangers, wilderness fighters of the French and Indian War, famed for their long distance raids.

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One Response to The Stilwell Road and Merrill’s Mauraders

October 27, 1964: A Time For Choosing

Monday, October 27, AD 2014

I became a conservative by watching this speech on television a half century ago in 1964 at the age of seven.  Barry Goldwater’s campaign was doomed ab initio, but this speech of Reagan on behalf of Goldwater launched Reagan’s meteoric political career that would see him elected President sixteen years later.  What he said in that speech still defines American conservatism for me, and, I think, the vast majority of conservatives in this country.  As the intellectual godfather of the modern conservative movement in America, Russell Kirk said:

Ronald Reagan will be remembered as the President who gave hope to the American people — even great expectations. Old sureties that the ritualistic liberal had mocked were unshaken in Ronald Reagan’s mind; and President Reagan’s reaffirmation of those ancient convictions began to arouse the nation from the discouragement of twenty years or more.

Contrary to some truly misguided individuals, conservatives do not “worship” Reagan.  Reagan was simply a man, who made mistakes and had his share of human foibles and flaws.  However, he has never been surpassed for his ability to articulate conservatism to the American people and to convince vast swathes of the American people to embrace conservatism.  Reagan was the greatest conservative statesman in American history, and I pray that I will see a leader as great as him again in my lifetime, although I do not expect that I, or the country, will be that fortunate.  Here is the text of what has become known as The Speech:

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7 Responses to October 27, 1964: A Time For Choosing

  • Sending this one forward!

    Great timely piece of American Value System vs. Fascism. By God and his holy ordinance WE NEED ANOTHER REAGAN and we’re running out of time.

    “If we loose freedom here (USA), there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” Cuban refuges-

    Thank you for this fantastic gem Mr. McClarey.

  • I have always thought that the case for Conservatism was best articulated by two men, who had lived through the Revolution.
    One was the great mathematician and astronomer, the Marquis de Laplace: “Let us apply to the political and moral sciences the method founded upon observation and calculation, which has served us so well in the natural sciences. Let us not offer fruitless and often injurious resistance to the inevitable benefits derived from the progress of enlightenment; but let us change our institutions and the usages that we have for a long time adopted only with extreme caution. We know from past experience the drawbacks they can cause, but we are unaware of the extent of ills that change may produce. In the face of this ignorance, the theory of probability instructs us to avoid all change, especially to avoid sudden changes which in the moral as well as the physical world never occur without a considerable loss of vital force”
    The other was the eminent jurist, Portalis, the draftsman of the Code Napoléon: “One ought to be chary of innovation in matters of legislation, for if it is possible, in a new institution, to calculate the merits that theory may promise us, it is not possible to know all the disadvantages, which only experience will reveal; that the good ought to be kept if the better is dubious; that in correcting abuses, one must also foresee the dangers of the correction itself…”

  • Thank you. We remember “The Speech” and the casting of our first Presidential vote for Barry M. Goldwater and William E. Miller, Après Goldwater, le déluge.

  • That is quite a speech. Will we ever learn? Reagan, his advisors, and the Federal Reserve were responsible for the unprecedented economy we saw in 1982-1998 (unprecedented in the sense that it did not happen thanks to the recovery from massive wars elsewhere on the globe, unlike the other major economic growth spurts of the 20th century). We could easily do it again, provided we put aside our fear that someone might profit more than someone else.

  • MPS, are you writing about European Conservatism, or about the Classical Liberalism that Reagan espoused and which today is called conservative in the U.S. and elsewhere? Your choice of quotes seems to not match classical liberalism.

  • TomD wrote, “Your choice of quotes seems to not match classical liberalism.”

    Both had experienced the Revolution, of course, which is why Portalis also wrote, “We have too much indulged, in recent times, in changes and reforms, if in matters of institutions and laws the periods of ignorance witness abuses, the periods of philosophy and enlightenment too often witness excesses.”

    Their stress was on order, tradition, discipline, hierarchy, authority, continuity, unity, work, family, corporation (trade and merchant guilds, colleges, religious orders) decentralization (free cities and provinces). Thus, the Marquis de Laplace, although a Free-Thinker, said of the Church, “she alone has known how to preserve for societies the elements, and for intelligence the ideas, that found their life.” (Portalis was a devout Catholic, who had suffered for his faith during the Revolution)

    They represented the sort of cautious, moderate conservatism, rather than the Throne and Altar variety, that, in France, is sometimes dubbed “the party of Order.”

Martin Treptow’s Pledge

Monday, May 26, AD 2014

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

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

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2 Responses to Martin Treptow’s Pledge

The Rear Gunner

Wednesday, March 19, AD 2014

An interesting training film made by Warner Brothers for the United States Army Air Corps in 1943.  Burgess Meredith has the feature role as the tail gunner in training.  Ronald Reagan is in a supporting role as the pilot of the B-17.  Both of them were Lieutenants in the Army Air Corps and both would complete their service as Captains.  A cut above the usual training films of the period.

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One Response to The Rear Gunner

Freedom and the Left

Friday, February 28, AD 2014



John C. Wright, Catholic convert and science fiction author, has a brilliant post at his blog, John Wright’s Journal, in which he examines the threat to freedom posed by the contemporary left:


It is darker than you think. Perhaps you have heard about speech codes on campus, about the intolerance of the Left, about their mob tactics, their fetid hypocrisy, and you thought we who complain about it were exaggerating.

You perhaps thought that, at least here in America, certain ideals and values were so much a part of our way of life, so deeply embedded into the hearts of the people, that there was no real threat to our beloved freedoms.

Those ideals and values are not a part of our way of life any longer. They have not been for twenty or thirty years. We are past the tipping point, and it will be a very, very difficult struggle to get back up the pebbly slope to the brink of the cliff down which we fell.

I could list any number of examples from my own field, starting with the expulsion of Theodore Beale from SWFA based on a false accusation by a leftist, going through my editor at Tor books having his child taken from him based on a false accusation, and ending with my agent at Tor books being fired due to a false accusation by a leftist.

I will content myself with a single item of evidence; you can find countless additional items from sources as wide ranging as the monstrous Peter Singer to the absurd Pajama Boy Ethan Krupp.

A creature named Korn writing in the Harvard Crimson calls for an end to Academic freedom.

I am not kidding, I am not exaggerating, and I am not making this up. Here is the link:

Allow me to quote at length, lest I be accused of misrepresenting the true sewer depth of evil being promoted here, the bland banality of the call for chains and gags.

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6 Responses to Freedom and the Left

  • It seems Ms. Korn’s views are being roundly rejected by the commenters in the Crimson. May hap’s hope lingers still.

  • Ms. Korn, if that is her real name, has no sense of humor, nor sense of decorum, nor sense of her destiny. Often Ms. Korn transgresses the principle of separation of church and state. The virtue of modesty is counseled by the church. The law against lewdness or public nakedness is made by the state. (and ought to be enforced by the state, especially in San Francisco) Private nakedness, as in a doctor’s office, is granted.
    The greatest argument against totalitarianism is that Ms. Korn, if that is her real name, has a rational immortal human soul and that her soul is sacred and therefore sanctions against inflicting anything less than the truth are enforced by the church and by the state for she is a sovereign person. Inflicting half-truths is criminal, called heresy in the church, perjury in the state, and lies in the public domain.
    An education is learning how to think, not what to think. Enforcing indoctrination of politically correct ideas is totalitarianism. The questions must be asked:”Why are some people more equal than others? Why is a particular idea more advantageous to some than to others? And WHO wants to know? The people want to know.
    Academic Justice must be equal academic Justice for all.
    There must be a moral principle involved for the state to make law. A moral principle points to God and to the human soul.

  • Sandra Korn at the Harvard Crimson talks about academic justice. One day she and all of us are going to get God’s justice. It will be a terrible awakening. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

  • If we do nothing, we fail, we know whats right, and it’s our job to “sound off” & make our case “loud & clear” that Gods given us rights, true, and absolute, for All mankind…..ask yourself, if not me, who?????????

  • I fear the Left at home more than any enemy abroad. Truth will make you free and Lies will enslave you. I cannot think of any of the Bill of Rights, with the possible exception of the Third Amendment, not routinely transgressed if not trampled by the Left when in power.

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Divini Redemptoris

Tuesday, May 1, AD 2012

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat; ‘Men have forgotten God; That’s why all this happened.'”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955  as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.  Today is also the Victims of Communism Day.  Hattip to Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy who began the campaign to make this day a day to remember the some one hundred million men, women and children murdered by Communist regimes and movements.

On this day we honor the victims of applied Marxism, but we also honor  Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Lech Walesa, Cardinal Mindszenty, Harry Truman, the American fighting man and his gallant allies, and all those other men and women, many known only to God, who led the ultimately successful fight against this abominable tyranny.

This is a good day to reread Divini Redemptoris, the encyclical, issued on the feast day of Saint Joseph in 1937, in which Pope Pius XI set forth that Communism and Christianity were completely antithetical.

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4 Responses to Divini Redemptoris

  • Since The Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations was accepted in 1948, it has supplanted America’s founding principles, causing the Sovereign Person of God, the Holy Name of God and the mention of God to be removed from the public square and the American people. It has caused the abortion of our constitutional posterity, the innocent human life in the womb, the human being who is the standard of Justice. It has brought about the experimentation on embryonic stem cells, IVF, and transhumanism, all without informed consent, the standard of civilization. The U.N. Declaration refuses to recognize and acknowledge the person procreated in the womb as a human being, respect due to the human person in existence from conception. Read more at

  • “Divini Redemptoris” – It’s been 75 years and counting … now claiming educated and programmed young, yet living. There is a difference today: people are not rebelling against God, they don’t even know Him.

    ” 78. Those who act otherwise, and at the same time fondly pretend to attain their objective with purely political or economic means, are in the grip of a dangerous error. When religion is banished from the school, from education and from public life, when the representatives of Christianity and its sacred rites are held up to ridicule, are we not really fostering the materialism which is the fertile soil of Communism.? Neither force, however well organized it be, nor earthly ideals however lofty or noble, can control a movement whose roots lie in the excessive esteem for the goods of this world. ”

    Widely heard voices pointing out every which way, the infernal:

    ” For there are some who, while exteriorly faithful to the practice of their religion, yet in the field of labor and industry, in the professions, trade and business, permit a deplorable cleavage in their conscience, and live a life too little in conformity with the clear principles of justice and Christian charity. Such lives are a scandal to the weak, and to the malicious a pretext to discredit the Church. ”

    St. Joseph had dreams. Divine revelations guided this man’s life. His ‘faithful performance of everyday duties’ is something for which to be ever thankful.
    There is Word of eternal life.

    ” 81. To hasten the advent of that “peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ”[48] so ardently desired by all, We place the vast campaign of the Church against world Communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty Protector. He belongs to the working-class, and he bore the burdens of poverty for himself and the Holy Family, whose tender and vigilant head he was. To him was entrusted the Divine Child when Herod loosed his assassins against Him. In a life of faithful performance of everyday duties, he left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands. ”


  • “75. It must likewise be the special care of the State to create those material conditions of life without which an orderly society cannot exist. The State must take every measure necessary to supply employment, particularly for the heads of families and for the young. To achieve this end demanded by the pressing needs of the common welfare, the wealthy classes must be induced to assume those burdens without which human society cannot be saved nor they themselves remain secure. However, measures taken by the State with this end in view ought to be of such a nature that they will really affect those who actually possess <b<more than their share of capital resources, and who continue to accumulate them to the grievous detriment of others.”

    Hence, confusion. Sounds like Police State redistributionism.

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Ronald Reagan, C.S. Lewis and Abraham Lincoln Comment On Our Times

Friday, March 30, AD 2012

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

                                                                                             C.S. Lewis

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3 Responses to Ronald Reagan, C.S. Lewis and Abraham Lincoln Comment On Our Times

  • The proven cures for poverty are freedom, personal responsibility, and a private property based economy, er, “capitalism.”

    The massive peace and social justice fabrication is nothing more but the alibi for tyrants.

    Case in point the health care reform monstrosity. From Investors Business Daily: “For too long, Democrats have defined the health care issue, depicting the U.S. system as an unfettered market where costs run wild, insurers rip off consumers and deny coverage to tens of millions, and big-government ‘reforms’ are desperately needed. None of it is true.”

    And, Walter Russell Mead: “The Health Care Disaster and the Miseries of the Blue Model”: “This is a horrible piece of legislation — as misbegotten and useless to its friends as it is menacing to its enemies. The question is: why? Why did the blues write such a bad law? Why, given a once in a lifetime chance to pass a program that Dems have longed to achieve ever since the New Deal, did they craft a sloppy mess that nobody understands and few admire, and then leave their law so unnecessarily vulnerable to constitutional challenge? The answers tell us much about why blue progressive thinking is losing its hold on the body politic — and why blue methods generally aren’t working as well as they used to.”

  • Excellent series of posts, Donald – shared at Google blogger and at Facebook. Good work!