Quotes Suitable for Framing: Henry Adams

Friday, February 17, AD 2017




Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts, and all Roosevelt’s friends know that his restless and combative energy was more than abnormal. Roosevelt, more than any other man living within the range of notoriety, showed the singular primitive quality that belongs to ultimate matter,—the quality that mediæval theology assigned to God,—he was pure act.

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1918)

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Theodore Roosevelt and The Curse of Meroz

Monday, January 23, AD 2017



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

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

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

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

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

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7 Responses to Theodore Roosevelt and The Curse of Meroz

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

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

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


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

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

  • The purposes of the War varied among the belligerents:

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

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

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


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

    Austria Hungary-Destroy Serbia. Dominate the Balkans.

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

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

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

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

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

One Response to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2016

A reminder from the late, great Johnny Cash that we all have so much to thank God for when we sit down with our families this Thursday.  Perhaps we should also recall these words from Theodore Roosevelt in his final Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1908:


For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfil its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

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One Response to Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving

  • I’m thankful for a load: Number Two son to be wed 3 December; Number Three son to be wed 29 July 2017; Number One son has another child coming April 2017; we have our health; most importantly we have our Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for the God-given grace to be not afflicted by whomever occupies the White House. “Put not your trust in princes.”
    “Who’s got it better than us? Nobody!”
    When (now rarely) I hear a Johnny Cash sing what comes to mind is Sunday mornings strolling in pain through a hot southern town after a long drinking bout. Ouch.

Theodore Roosevelt Official Portrait

Thursday, October 27, AD 2016

The official portrait in the White House by John Singer Sargent is actually the second official portrait.  The first portrait was done by French painter Theobald Chartran.  Roosevelt despised it and hid it in a dark recess of the White House.  When his kids began to call the portrait “Mewing Cat” because their father appeared so harmless in it, he had the portrait destroyed.  John Singer Sargent had difficulty in getting Roosevelt to stay still long enough to pose.  Sargent discussed the portrait when Roosevelt was going up a staircase.  Irritated Roosevelt immediately struck a pose.  Sargent saw the potential immediately, and was able to get the peripatetic president to stand still for half an hour a day in the same pose, although the half hour was often interrupted by aides and secretaries.

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, October 20, AD 2016


Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

Theodore Roosevelt, January 10, 1917

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3 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

  • Hillary

    Honor…………………… fail
    Sincerity……………….. below average
    Justice and Truth…… missing
    Any two faced liar who has mislead the public and “boldly” stand in front of that same public to paint a self portrait of integrity has crawled to a level of hardihood.

    What is sickening is that Trump scores slightly higher… slightly.

    In trying to do my due diligence as a citizen of these United States I tremble at the thought of voting for Trump. Hillary never of course, but to vote for Donald is a version of the Hail Mary pass in football.

    If he follows up on his Supreme Court appointments and de-funding PP, then the pass was received in the end zone.

    For that possibility I will cast my vote.
    I still feel that not casting a vote is a vote for madame baby slayer.

    God help us.

  • Philip: You mean Madame Ben Ghazi , betrayer of the American people, sovereign citizen of a godless world government and Judas herself.

  • Yes Mary De Voe…. that’s the one.

    Her nervous faux smile can only mask the underbelly of a woman which is corruption itself. Her hubris is as offensive as her statement that she was left horrified by the image of the toddler on the sidewalk, blood running down into his face. Yet she is baffled by the Deplorables who stand in defense of the unborn who are ripped apart in the wombs of frightened mother’s. That blood is just as red. That blood is just as real….but no sympathy for the “not protected by the Constitution” unborn.

    Hell will rejoice when Hillary makes it home.
    She is an ambassador, par excellence, for the inhabitants of the Lake of Fire.

    Pray for her conversion?
    Yes……I will.

2 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

  • Racist!
    Keep deplorable my friends.

  • Milius mentions a second person “the Bear”….
    If you want to know who this guy is rent “Big Wednesday”. This is the only acceptable Hollywood Surfing movie, from a surfers perspective.
    Yes, Milius directed that movie, and now you know why Charlie don’t surf in “Apocalypse Now”.

2 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: William Shakespeare

  • I am re-reading the new, Mark Lee Gardner, Rough Rides book because (I am a retired, useless drain on society) I wanted info to “judge” whether TR did his heroics (and he was very heroic in Cuba – he led from the front and was on horseback, “Little Texas,” or moving along the lines upright at all times in heavy small arms/arty fire while ordering his troops to not take unnecessary risks) because of political ambition or his drive to be a “man” as he saw it.
    He and a great soldier, Leonard Wood (an MD who was awarded the MoH for actions in the Geronimo Campaign) recruited, organized, trained and equipped the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. His “volunteers” (cowboys, miners, lumberjacks, Ivy League football players, lawyers, et al) were at the forefront of the victorious fights around Santiago with the Army regulars.
    I am convinced TR did it out of his life-long drive to be a “man.” I think his political ambition was a derivative of his drive to be a “man” as he defined the term.
    IMO TR earned an MoH for Cuba, but was denied – political and Army jealousy(?). He finally, posthumously received it late in the 20th century.
    TR chapter heading quote: “I put myself in the way of things happening, and they happened.”
    “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again. … ” Hamlet, I, ii. Not to worry. America is in process of banning manhood from the public sphere.

  • You are now what I hope to be some day T.Shaw! My motto will them be: “I’m retired. Don’t ask me to do anything! And get off my lawn!”

Weasel Words and Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 24, AD 2016





The more I study Theodore Roosevelt, the more I appreciate the impact he had on this nation, both in large and small ways.  He brought several phrases, for example, into common usage in this country.  One of these is “weasel words”.  Roosevelt did not invent the phrase, he noted that he first heard it used in conversation in 1879, but when he used it the phrase quickly entered American popular usage.  Roosevelt’s most famous use of the phrase was on May 31, 1916 in a speech entitled Mr. Wilson’s Weasel Words in which he attacked Wilson’s call for “voluntary universal military training”, Roosevelt viewing such a plan as inadequate and calling for a draft.

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4 Responses to Weasel Words and Theodore Roosevelt

  • I like weasel words. Not euphemisms like “voluntary universal military training”, but words that temper the impact of a statement. On the internet we’re supposed to say “you’re wrong”. I’d rather say “I think you’re wrong”, or “you could be right, but I think you’re overlooking something…”. It’s about not being a jerk.

    I just had a chat with my brother-in-law about “The Democrat Party”. I was saying to him that there’s no point in antagonizing the listener before you even get to your point. Anyway, the virtue is in the middle, somewhere between cowardice and obnoxiousness.

  • Fair point, Pinky. The Internet could use more weasel words in your sense of the term.

    Don, have you read Morris’s trilogy? While I would take issue with a fair number of TR’s policies, there is no denying that he was an admirable “man in full.”

  • I have listened to the first two volumes as audio books Mike and I have the third volume in my library although I haven’t gotten around to it yet. The trilogy is a fine effort, but as we near the centennial of TR’s death he still lacks the magisterial bio his career demands.

    The various positions Roosevelt adopted during his life give something to inspire, or outrage, every part of the American political spectrum of today. One must keep in mind that his positions were often far more nuanced than the truncated versions floating around the internet.

    Roosevelt led life at the charge and I will always be an admirer of his. This quote by Democrat Thomas Marshall at the time of his death is a good summing up of the bold spirit and force of nature that was Roosevelt.

    “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”
    —Vice President Thomas Marshall

  • Teddy Roosevelt is inspiration personified a manly man and a presidential paradigm. It will be noted that he was considered a “progressive” but I think only in an incipient manner that never developed into the distorted view of reality that currently goes by that appellation. If asked for my favorite quote of his, I will offer his rather humble assertion that “It is not having been in the dark house that matters but having come out”.

Theodore Roosevelt and Civilization VI

Monday, August 22, AD 2016

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

As faithful readers of this blog know, I like to play computer strategy games, almost always historical simulations.  I have written before, here and here, about the game Civilization VI which is being release on October 21 and  which I eagerly anticipate.    As in past incarnations of Civilization, each of the nations will have a leader.  Past leaders of the US in Civilization games have been George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  This time it is Theodore Roosevelt.  As a fan of Colonel Roosevelt I like the choice, but what have they done to Teddy! His girth is more reminiscent of his successor Taft instead of Roosevelt! 

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3 Responses to Bear Growls: Fighting Back

TR and Spelling Reform

Saturday, February 6, AD 2016


I suppose that few people would disagree that the spelling of words in the English language is a mess.  Trying to impose rules, with myriads of exceptions, on a language that grew with no consensus as to spelling, has bedeviled generations of school children and foreigners attempting to learn the language alike.

Whenever a problem existed, Teddy Roosevelt optimistically assumed that a solution could be found.  Thus in 1906 as President he became a champion of what he called spelling reform, backing the efforts of the organization called The Simplified Spelling Board, founded early in 1906, which was funded by Andrew Carnegie.

On August 27, 1906 Roosevelt wrote to the head of the US Printing Office:

Oyster Bay, August 27, 1906

To Charles Arthur Stillings

My dear Mr. Stillings:

I enclose herewith copies of certain circulars of the Simplified Spelling Board, which can be obtained free from the Board at No. 1 Madison Avenue, New York City. Please hereafter direct that in all Government publications of the executive departments the three hundred words enumerated in Circular No. 5 shall be spelled as therein set forth. If anyone asks the reason for the action, refer him to Circulars 3, 4 and 6 as issued by the Spelling Board. Most of the critcism of the proposed step is evidently made in entire ignorance of what the step is, no less than in entire ignorance of the very moderate and common-sense views as to the purposes to be cahieved, which views as so excellently set forth in the circulars to which I have referred. There is not the slightest intention to do anything revolutionary or initiate any far-reaching policy. The purpose simply is for the Government, instead of lagging behind popular sentiment, to advance abreast of it and at the same time abreast of the views of the ablest and most practical educators of our time as well as the most profound scholars—men of the stamp of Professor Lounsbury. If the slighest changes in the spelling of the three hundred words proposed wholly or partially meet popular approval, then the changes will become permanent without any reference to what officials or individual private citizens may feel; if they do not ultimately meet with popular approval they will be dropt, and that is all there is about it. They represent nothing in the world but a very slight extension of the unconscious movement which has made agricultural implement makers write “plow” instead of “plough”; which has made most Americans write “honor” without the somewhat absurd, superfluous “u”; and which is even now making people write “program” without the “me”—just as all people who speak English now write “bat,” “set,” “dim,” “sum,” and “fish” instead of the Elizabethan “batte,” “sette,” “dimme,” “summe,” and “fysshe”; which makes us write “public,” “almanac,” “era,” “fantasy,” and “wagon,” instead of the “publick,” “almanack,” “aera,” “phantasy,” and “waggon” of our great-grandfathers. It is not an attack of the language of Shakespeare and Milton, because it is in some instances a going back to the forms they used, and in others merely the extension of changes which, as regards other words, have taken place since their time. It is not an attempt to do anything far-reaching or sudden or violent; or indeed anything very great at all. It is merely an attempt to cast what sleight weight can properly be cast on the side of the popular forces which are endeavoring to make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt

Go here for a list of words whose spelling he wished to simplify.

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5 Responses to TR and Spelling Reform

  • Well, TR didn’t get his wish on ever word he wanted changed, but I am grateful that the useless “u” hs been dropped from “labor” and “honor”, as they are spelled in American English as they are spelled in Latin.

    English is the most bizarre of Western languages. Granted, I am speaking as an amateur here, but….a language that began as an offshoot of German (as did Swedish and Dutch), then having countless thousands of Latin words grafted on due to the Norman invasion of England in 1066 (how else does “machine” have a long “e” sound for the “i” and a silent “e” at the end?) along with efforts by Noah Webster and Andrew Carnegie to simplify spelling of English words (these attempts annoy Mother England, but who cares)….how can it be anything else but crazy? Then throw in slang, which differs from region to region just in the USA….

    English has no official governing body that dictates what is and what is not proper English. There exists a Royal Spanish Academy, which acts as a standard setter for proper “castellano” (the Spanish spoken in Latin America, the US and Castille in Spain, a nation with four main languages). French and Portugese also have such governing bodies. Not English, though. Because there is no “governing authoriity”, English has a built in flexibility to change and to easily absorb words from other langages that do not fit at all with any rule of English pronunciation.

    Teenagers, government, the legal profession and the business world mangle English. Teens invent their own slang, which goes “passe” quickly. Government and law…..ask a lawyer. I have to write Notes to the Financial Statements for our Annual Statement and I get totally off the wall garbage that would cause my Catholic school teachers to bring in a yardstick and smack the daylights out of the people who insist I write what they tell me.
    The business world turns “transition” into a verb…..”We will tansition responsibilities….” “speak to it”….blah, blah, blah…and there is no end in sight.

  • If people were taught proper Orton Gillingham phonics and the applicable spelling rules (and had some familiarity with the history of the language), there would not be a proplem or fuss about how words are spelled.

  • Interesting that some of these took root, like dropping the English “u,” but others did not. Shame he wanted to get rid of Latin traces such as the “oe” from ecumenism and “ae’ from ether, etc.

    But he was a statist, so the whole top-down thing I suppose appealed to his progressivist instinct. He’d probably have loved the whole metric push that happened when I was a kid in the 70s, that fortunately sputtered out.

  • There has been a notable tendency over the last half-century for the spelling of words to influence the pronunciation, rather than vice versa; a sort of spelling reform, if you will.

    For example, when I was growing up, “falcon” was pronounced “fawcon” (with a long “a” as in “saw”) and “golf” was pronounced “gawf” (again, long a) Now, the “l” is usually sounded. Again, “conduit” was pronounced “kundit” (which I find rather more euphonious, as are most of the older pronunciations)

    Even on the BBC, one hears” parl-i-a-ment”; 50 years ago, it was “parlement. “ (parliamentum was a law Latin form of French parelement)

    “Mahem” is another, although English lawyers still use the old pronunciation, “maim.” Scots lawyers use the more sonorous term, “demembration.”

    The English phonetic pronunciation of Scottish surnames and place names is a great source of innocent amusement to the inhabitants of the northern part of the island: “Milngavie” (pronounced “Mul-guy”), “Dalziel” (pronounced “Day-ell”), “Menzies” (“Ming-es”),“Strathaven” (“Straven”) – Even “Edinburgh” (“Edin-borough,” as in “the burgh council”)

  • Of course, there is another problem: the disparity between American and British spelling. If we fix the first we should fix the other as well.
    And how about those Dvorak keyboards?

Santa Roosevelt

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

Santa Roosevelt

Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight.

Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States, on hearing of the death of Theodore Roosevelt

One of his worst enemies once said about Theodore Roosevelt that a man would have to hate him a lot not to like him a little.  It was hard not to admire Roosevelt for his courage, his enthusiasm and his obvious good will.  That last aspect of his character is illustrated by the fact that for many years he would go to Cove School at Oyster Bay dressed as Santa Claus, talk to the kids, and give them presents he had purchased out of his own pocket.  When he did it in 1898, after achieving renown leading his Rough Riders in Cuba, the little boys at the school mobbed their Santa hero! 

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4 Responses to Santa Roosevelt

  • Theodore Roosevelt was a real man and a real President. We have not had that for 7 years now.

  • In Cuba, the brigaded regular army officers advised TR to leave his horse and lead his dismounted Rough Riders on foot up San Juan Hill. He rode.
    He overcame asthma and a sickly childhood who, through will-power, made of himself a heroic figure of a man.
    As my Jewish friends would say, “He was a mensch.”

    I said the following when my father passed and it applies to TR. From Hamlet, “He was a man. Take him for all and all. I shall not look upon his like again.

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

  • Can you imagine our current president doing something so big-hearted?
    Maybe once, just for the PR, but I cannot imagine Obama keeping up a
    charitable, generous tradition like this for decades, as TR did.
    The unlikeliness of Obama doing anything so genuine and warm only
    underscores the smallness, the shabbiness of the little man we have for
    president these days.

  • The current White House occupant is doing what he does each December end…playing golf in Hawaii. He is as much an elitist as there has ever been in the White House.

Quotes Suitable For Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, December 6, AD 2015



When home ties are loosened; when men and women cease to regard a worthy family life, with all its duties fully performed, and all its responsibilities lived up to, as the life best worth living; then evil days for the commonwealth are at hand. There are regions in our land, and classes of our population, where the birth rate has sunk below the death rate. Surely it should need no demonstration to show that wilful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement; a sin which is the more dreadful exactly in proportion as the men and women guilty thereof are in other respects, in character, and bodily and mental powers, those whom for the sake of the state it would be well to see the fathers and mothers of many healthy children, well brought up in homes made happy by their presence. No man, no woman, can shirk the primary duties of life, whether for love of ease and pleasure, or for any other cause, and retain his or her self-respect.

Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth State of the Union Address

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2015
Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared. From the hammer of Charles Martel to the sword of Jan Sobieski, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could and would fight as well as the Mohammedan aggressor.
Theodore Roosevelt, Fear God and Take Your Own Part, (1916)
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6 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

  • Truth. It’s happening to the USA. Obama promised fundamental change: translation irreparable damage to our nation and our way of life. Now, only 62% of working age Americans are in the civilian labor force, 51% of Americans earn less than $30,000 a year, annual median disposable income is $8,000 below a decade ago, 50% (up from 25% in 1999) of 25 year-olds live in their parents’ basements, . . .
    How many of Obama’s developmental years was the zero educated/raised to be an Indonesian Muslim? Much later in life, Obama fell in with America-hating Michelle Robinson and Jeremy Wright (a nonviolent, post-modern Nat Turner – an insult against Nat Turner) and deceitfully “converted” to a black identity (hate whitey) cult.

  • The political elites of western Europe and Canada are importing a Muslim underclass
    that is hostile to their society and will never assimilate. Those elites are doing this
    against the expressed wishes of their native populations. There is no way this will
    end well for those democracies, or for western culture in general. I cannot imagine
    what is prompting those societies to commit cultural suicide.

  • Clinton wrote, “I cannot imagine what is prompting those societies to commit cultural suicide.”

    Germany has a Total Fertility Rate of 1.43 (The replacement rate is, of course, 2.1). This decline has been going on for 50 years and the median age of the population is 46.1. A quarter of women aged 45-55 are childless. On present trends (and there are simply not enough women of child-bearing age to reverse them) Germany will lose a fifth of its population by the mid 2060s.

    Germans know that that their nation, with its language and its culture, is doomed to extinction. Why should they care who occupies their former lands? Disgusted by their past and with no future, why should they care about their doomed culture?

    The prospects for Italy and Greece are much the same.

  • “A people without religion will in the end find that it has nothing to live for”. T.S.Elliot

    I recall Theodore Roosevelt saying, “It’s not having been in the dark house that matters but having come out”. How many in the West are sitting in a dark house waiting to die? It is time to come out.

  • How many in the West don’t realize they’re in a dark house waiting to die because they’re not sitting? Instead, they’re living for the moment, living like there’s no tomorrow, dancing in the dark, like no one is watching, partying like it’s 1999?

  • Ernst, a good question for which I haven’t a ready answer. So I’ll just throw out another TR quotation, while I think about it. “The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.”
    It puts one in mind of the current President of our no longer exceptional country.

Hyphenated Americans

Thursday, September 3, AD 2015

NYT headline, Teddy Roosevelt 1915-8x6

On Columbus Day 1915, Theodore Roosevelt addressed the Knights of Columbus in New York City.  I will be running the entire speech in a post on October 12, but I think this section of the speech is very relevant today:

“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.

This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.

But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”

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18 Responses to Hyphenated Americans

  • I await FDR’s take on Americans of Japanese heritage…..

  • Another good post.

  • I suspect we could very well rename this site’s historic musings–“Things you were never taught in History Class.”

  • The date – 1915 – is not without significance.

  • Here’s one of the most fundamental aspects of the Obama reign: all the class and racial hatred he’s inflicted on us. It’s divide and conquer. Fundamental change translates into irreparable harm.

  • As for me and my family, the tallest peak in America will always be known as Mt. McKinley. God bless our 25th President. A Republican. A Man that earned the respect to have a mountain of significance named after him.

    I know a sink hole in Louisiana befitting the name of our next lame duck.

  • As for me and my family, the tallest peak in America will always be known as Mt. McKinley.

    The notion that he has the authority to re-christen a geographic feature with an executive order just boggles. And you and I both know that neither his successor nor the useless Republican caucuses in Congress will ever reverse this insult.

  • Clinton pulled a similar stunt in making the clean burning coal in Utah off-limits to mining.

    I despise the GOP establishment but I really detest the Democrats.

  • A combat veteran of the Civil War, rising from Private to Major, McKinley was the epitome of a gentleman. After he was shot by his assassin he told the crowd that swarmed the man not to hurt him. His last words:

    “Good-bye — good-bye, all. We are all going. It’s God’s way. His will be done, not ours. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee. We are all going, we are all going, we are all going. Oh, dear.”

  • Donald thank you. I’m not embellishing, the hairs stood on end as I read his very last words. Incredible man.

    Art. I don’t get it either. President sink hole!

  • There is a public school in the city of Pittsburgh that was named for Obumbler after he was first elected. I want to name the landfill in Imperial, Pennsylvania after Obumbler. Imagine – the Barack Hussein Obama Garbage Dump and Presidential Library. The underground coal fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania can be named for his wife.

  • Art Deco wrote, “neither his successor nor the useless Republican caucuses in Congress will ever reverse this insult.”
    Indeed. Had not a servile Roman Senate decided to rename his birth-month of Quintilis July in honour of Julius Caesar, we should have had a simple system of alternate 30 and 31 day months. Of course, it would never do for Augustus to have a shorter month than his great-uncle’s. Then October had to be shortened to avoid three 31 day months in succession and November and December were changed to correspond.
    Thus, an emperor’s vanity has left us with an illogical calendar and a piece of doggerel – “Thirty days hath September…”

  • Penguins Fan wrote, “I want to name the landfill in Imperial, Pennsylvania after Obumble…”
    Prince William Augustus, Dukeof Cumberland (affectionately known as “Butcher Cumberland”) has the rare distinction of having two plants named after him: in England, the flower “Sweet William” (Dianthus barbatus) ; in Scotland, the weed “Stinkin’ Billy.” (Senecio jacobaea)

  • We have a few dual citizens in leadership positions in America today. Rohm Emanuel has dual passports. So does Michael Chertoff. I believe Teddy was a free mason. Why was he always picking on the Irish, German and Italian immigrants? See the pattern here?

  • “See the pattern here?”

    No, especially since Roosevelt studied in Germany as a young man and spoke and read the language fluently. He was ever a friend of Catholic immigrants as his good relations with the Catholic hierarchy would indicate, and as typified by his giving the speech before an appreciative group of the Knights of Columbus in New York City. Roosevelt was ever a foe to anti-Catholicism in the US, and you are barking up a very wrong tree if you are implying otherwise.

  • ” Imagine – the Barack Hussein Obama Garbage Dump and Presidential Library.” Brent Bosel said in reference to the bust of Margaret Sanger: “bury it in a pit and apologize to the dirt. ”
    “the Barack Hussein Obama Garbage Dump and Presidential Library” and apologize to the garbage.

  • Government surveys and forms are offensive when comes to race or ethnicity. Though I am a Caucasian, in the future I will check Other and write in American. For my children I shall suggest to them they check Other and fill in English-German-Austrian-Swiss-Polish-Bermudian-Scottish-Alsatian- Italian-American. If the ancestors were from city states or principalities hypenate those. Sick of the divisiveness of it all. But it’s going to be a moot point because soon the federal government will have the DNA of us all. They already have it from those of us who served in the military from the ’90s on.

  • CAM wrote, “Government surveys and forms are offensive when comes to race or ethnicity.“
    Indeed they are, which is why, in France they are prohibited as a violation [atteinte] of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic (cf Décret du 25 septembre 1792)
    Similarly, questions about religion.

Is Abortion Moral?

Sunday, August 23, AD 2015



You’re going from dealing with people to dealing with what most people here at the Center consider a real hurdle, to do sterile room, because you have to deal with the actual abortion tissue. And for some people that’s really hard. They can be abstractly in favor of abortion rights, but they sure don’t want to see what an eighteen-week abortion looks like.

  • Anonymous clinic worker Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic Wendy Simonds (Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick) 1996 p 69.


Dennis Prager zooms in on the essential question regarding abortion:  Is it moral?  Legal protection of the unborn is our goal, but winning the moral debate is all important, and the pro-life cause has been slowly winning that debate.

Today I will be driving by Galesburg, on my way to take my daughter back to college.  In the Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Galesburg on October 7, 1858, Lincoln got to the heart of the difference between him and Stephen Douglas regarding slavery:

But there still is a difference, I think, between Judge Douglas and the Republicans in this. I suppose that the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends, and the Republicans on the contrary, is, that the Judge is not in favor of making any difference between slavery and liberty-that he is in favor of eradicating, of pressing out of view, the questions of preference in this country for free or slave institutions; and consequently every sentiment he utters discards the idea that there is any wrong in slavery. Every thing that emanates from him or his coadjutors in their course of policy, carefully excludes the thought that there is any thing wrong in slavery. All their arguments, if you will consider them, will be seen to exclude the thought that there is any thing whatever wrong in slavery. If you will take the Judge’s speeches, and select the short and pointed sentences expressed by him-as his declaration that he “don’t care whether slavery is voted up or down”- you will see at once that this is perfectly logical, if you do not admit that slavery is wrong. If you do admit that it is wrong, Judge Douglas cannot logically say he don’t care whether a wrong is voted up or voted down. Judge Douglas declares that if any community want slavery they have a right to have it. He can say that logically, if he says that there is no wrong in slavery; but if you admit that there is a wrong in it, he cannot logically say that any body has a right to do wrong. He insists that, upon the score of equality, the owners of slaves and owners of property-of horses and every other sort of property-should be alike and hold them alike in a new Territory. That is perfectly logical, if the two species of property are alike and are equally founded in right. But if you admit that one of them is wrong, you cannot institute any equality between right and wrong. And from this difference of sentiment-the belief on the part of one that the institution is wrong, and a policy springing from that belief which looks to the arrest of the enlargement of that wrong; and this other sentiment, that it is no wrong, and a policy sprung from that sentiment which will tolerate no idea of preventing that wrong from growing larger, and looks to there never being an end of it through all the existence of things,-arises the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends on the one hand, and the Republicans on the other. Now, I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political evil, having due regard for its actual existence amongst us and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, and to all the Constitutional obligations which have been thrown about it; but, nevertheless, desire a policy that looks to the prevention of it as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the time when as a wrong it may come to an end.

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4 Responses to Is Abortion Moral?

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  • Now let us praise great men. And thank you much for two in one post. TR is held up by some on the Left as a progressive. I suspect perhaps thinking they rub our nose in the observation. But TR was no kind of progressive that inhabits the body politic today. He was a hero to my lately departed best friend, and I cannot but admire the man. Bring back the Bully Pulpit and fill it with such a person.

  • If a nation’s people cannot recognize sodomy as inherently evil, then how can it recognize infanticide as inherently evil?

  • By the good guys not giving into despair and by continuing to fight. Sheesh, if the history of the pro-life movement has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that. As Saint Francis said, let gloom and despair be among the Devil and his disciples.