Neocons and Leftists Really Want War with Russia

This article by Michael Rozeff at LRC blog is so spot-on I post it here in full, because it needs to be read:

Media have generally been enemies of peace and liberty, supporting the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and lauding U.S. intervention in places like Ukraine and Syria. Their pro-war stance continues with their attacks on the pro-peace moves of Donald Trump. They did their best to torpedo and question every move Trump made to make peace with North Korea. This morning’s headlines on Google News are more of the same concerning the Putin-Trump meeting at Helsinki: Trump Caved Spectacularly to Putin (CNN); Stephen Colbert Wants To Know What Putin Has on Trump (HuffPost); Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly (The Washington Post); Trump Sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit (BBC News).

Let’s understand. Helsinki was a meeting to establish a basis for cooperation on common interests of the Russian and American governments and to remove unnecessary frictions that impede such cooperation. No big deals or compromises or concessions occurred. The removal of needless antagonism is not a concession. Emphasizing steps to peace doesn’t abandon or endanger American values or democracy. Recognizing Putin as the leader of a major nuclear power and huge country with its interests and place in the world moves us away from a unipolar mentality. This recognizes the reality of other peoples and powers, and reality has to be faced if it is to be reshaped to mutual advantage. Neither side made concessions. Putin and Trump chopped away at clearing a path; a great deal more work is required. Trump didn’t cave, much less spectacularly. Putin didn’t cave either. Neither man won while the other lost. Both succeeded by the meeting itself in creating something beneficial to both Americans and Russians, which is mitigating antagonisms.

Major media are opening a huge chasm between their rhetoric and reality. No wonder Trump keeps attacking their fake news and slanderous accusations. Putin has nothing “on” Trump. Trump is not a Russian agent. Trump is not “colluding” with Russia to bring down our form of government or hand America over to Russia.

These wild stories are attempts to forestall the Trump revolution, which in its own way seeks to undo decades of bipartisan laws and regulations that are choking America’s arteries.

The country cannot survive and prosper by embracing destructive philosophies from any source, including the current administration, by erecting privileges, by destroying liberties, creating a police state, effacing history, generating hatreds, devising false rights, and undermining understanding of essential truths.

The country limits its progress without reason if it publicizes, heeds and accords respect and leadership roles to people proposing inane ideas and making wild charges, as is the case with the headlines characterizing the Helsinki summit as a defeat for Trump and victory for Putin.

Reading the delusional vitriol in the press and from politicians of both parties makes me shudder. The pure rage, and contempt for peace, and especially the contempt for the truth, shock me. What outcome would have satisfied as “not treasonous” for these fools except for Trump to order a launch of nukes at Russia during the press conference?

This man needs our prayers, for his enemies are numerous and vicious.

My wife and I were discussing Fatima last night, and it is just SO OBVIOUS that the current drama of Russia is part of this. It just slaps you in the face. Mary has tried to warn us– Russia will be our chastisement or our deliverance. Which will it be? Both? And the apostasy in the Church of which she warned is also obviously upon us. Are we on our own?

Pray the rosary daily.

Our Lord’s words at Matthew 24:12 come often to my mind:

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.

Boy, that sure is true. Where is there charity today? Let us try to revive that charity, hope in Our Lady and endure. God bless you. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Reading Tea Leaves, Reading Resumes, Reading Opinions

I thought I would add my initial thoughts on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, joining the often amusing carousel of speculation about the future that none of us can really see.  But since I have started to read some hand-wringing from certain sectors of the pro-life community, and being that I have some amount of training in Constitutional law and am actually Catholic, I am now motivated to weigh in.

In the first place, I make the obvious point that none of us know until he is confirmed, casts votes, and writes opinions, whether he is Scalia or Souter– or that worst of jurists, Roberts or Kennedy or any other number of lukewarm, finger-wetting, can-be-gotten-to seekers of popularity inside and outside of the Court.  Everything I write below should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

So, because we are by nature political animals and because we have the deep desire for justice for the unborn and for the beleaguered faithful Christians of our land, how do we analyze this choice by President Trump for the highest court in the land? And why does it matter?

The second question is the easy one, because ever since the Supreme Court’s very first unconstitutional power grab in 1803 (Marbury v. Madison, wherein Justice Marshall held that the Supreme Court had the power to declare Congressional acts unconstitutional and thus void at law) the Court sits as a super-legislature over our laws.  At best, it excercises this power in the negative sense, striking down laws with which it does not agree. At worst, it “finds” constitutional rights that do not exist in the Constitutional text or any historical interpretation of state or federal power.  Rights to contraception, abortion, and sodomy spring to mind.  There are others.  This position is well-settled, so it is pointless to dwell on it, but remember that the Constitution did not grant the Supreme Court this power and that things could have been different.  But here we are.

To address the first question, we analyze this choice like we analyze other political questions of the day.  Not knowing everything there is to know, we look to those in the arena in whose opinions we have learned to trust; we use our common sense; we look at the resume and qualifiations of the candidate and the man who nominated him.

There are two lawyers whose opinions I respect highly on matters of law and public policy, one from the Catholic perspective, and one from the secular political perspective: Christopher Ferrara and Ann Coulter, respectively.  Neither is infallible, but both have very able minds, and experience and judgment in those areas.  They both have made me feel as good as I can feel about this nomination.

Christopher Ferrara’s comments are here.  His points about his record, temprament and the realities of the confirmation process are all spot on.  Ann Coulter has been one of Kavanaugh’s most vocal advocates in the run up to the nomination, and points to his strong record on Second Amendment, immigration and nationality law, and religious rights.  Her twitter feed, if you have any sense of humor at all, is almost must-reading.  And she never pulls a punch.

But what makes some pro-lifers nervous, and hovering like Banquo’s ghost over this nomination, are three figures: George Bush, Donald Trump, and Amy Coney Barrett.  As a prelude to discussion of these, I should point out that PRO-LIFERS SHOULD AWAYS BE NERVOUS.  There is no money, no power, no respect and no personal gain for any judge or politician to stand for the unborn.  The only pay-off is long-term: a healthier society in the long run, and more importantly, a heavenly reward.  So we always stand in danger of traitors, quislings, Souters, Robertses, Romneys and the like.  So yes, until Roe is overturned, we are on edge.  All we can do is move the ball forward using the lights and tools we have.

George Bush gave us Alito, but also Roberts.  The Roberts decision on Obamacare may be the single least excusable decision issued by any judge in the history of guilty man.  Now, it is plausible that he was “gotten to” and under duress changed his vote at the last minute. He has young children, and there are indicia in the decision and the reaction of his colleagues when it was read that he changed his vote after the decisions were being written.  So, he may not be a bad jurist, but in either event that decision was a blow to the rule of law.  His father gave us Thomas, but also the execrable beta-male Souter.  And Kavanaugh was appointed by W to the Court of Appeals.

Yet I don’t see Trump as another Bush.  He is certainly not afraid of sticking it to his adversaries, and is not afraid to actually win.  I soured on voting Republican a long time back because it seems that the GOP establishment had a vested interest in always being “just about to win”– but never wanted the pressure of knowing what to do afterwards.  Trump isn’t that.  Pro-lifers doubt if he is, deep down, pro-life.  I don’t care. He acts on his pro-life promises.  I’ve had enough of really pro-life politicians chickening out.  I am fine with one who acts like he’s pro-life, because he said he would do so to get my vote.  Trump has yet to let the unborn down.  He gets all of the benefit of my doubts.

Kavanugh’s long record of opinions is a very good one.  He is an originalist, he has decided important cases standing strong on the First and Second Amendments, and other issues.  On abortion, yes, he followed the Roe precedent. That is what lower court judges are supposed to do.  Should he have struck a blow and rule that Roe was wrongly decided? Yes. But I only submit that his statements about Roe say nothing, either good or bad, about his position on Roe as a Justice.

Which brings us to Amy Coney Barrett, already appointed by Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and in whom “the dogma lives loudly”.  I think she would be a terrific Justice, and I was hoping it would be her.  I trust her far more on abortion (THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF OUR DAY BY FAR), but she is an unknown on many other issues.  Like I said, until we stop slaughtering babies everything else can hang.  But there is some truth that the razor thin margin in the Senate, combined with pro-abort GOP losers like Collins and Murkowski, makes Barrett a dicier choice to actually survive confirmation.  And I agree that when Ruth Buzzie Ginsburg earns her reward, our unfortunate identity politics makes selecting a woman a decent idea.

If Trump appoints three Justices, does it matter if Kavanaugh were number 2 or 3?  And in the end, I have confidence in Trump playing the long game here that I wouldn’t have in most anyone else.  You may recall I predicted a Trump electoral landslide in 2016.  And though I have never bought the “blue wave” narrative in the midterms, the unhinged lunacy and evil of the left leave me convinced of GOP gains this Fall.  Then nominate Barrett and watch them howl.  There will be nothing in they can do.

Thus, I am happy with the Kavanaugh pick, though there is no guarantee with him or anyone else.  God strengthen him and his family for good.

3 in 11 makes 10

Three weeks from Thursday, August 2, 2018, at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will ordain four new priests for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Also being ordained to the subdeaconate is Abbé Alex Barga, an Institute Oblate and longtime Oratory sacristan. These ordinations will of course be celebrated according to the traditional rite and ritual.

This will make the third traditional rite ordination ceremony in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in the last eleven years. The first was celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica and marked the first such traditional ordination in nearly forty years. The second occurred at the Oratory in 2014 (four years already?). All of the priests ordained at the hands of Cardinal Burke, one of the few remaining stalwarts in hierarchy. God bless His Eminence, and also His Grace Archbishop Carlson who allows these ordinations in the archdiocese.

Thus, the math above. 11 years. 3 traditional rite ordinations. 10 new priests. Deo Gratias!

Though the macro-picture in the Church sure looks different today from that heady but naïve optimism of 2007, the situation is really the same: we are at war with the powers and principalities of this present darkness. We have confidence in our victory, which is nothing more or less than the victory of Christ. Priests– and with them the Sacraments– are our necessary means of fighting this war. We are the Church Militant, whatever the sad state of the troops, and there must always be a faithful band of brothers, however ragged. We will win if we are true to Him who is our Savior.

And in no way is it less true today that the traditional Mass will endure. The novus ordo is built to go away. It’s just a matter of time. The demographics are against it, of course, but more likely a severe persecution will accelerate the process.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The Faith. The Mass. The other Sacraments. Priests are instruments Christ gives us. Pray for these men, and for all priests.

If you have never assisted at a traditional ordination, you really should do so. It is worth taking time off work and making the effort. So, as the first of several announcements and encouragements to you, here are the details:

Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 10 a.m.

(Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, commemoration of Pope St. Stephen I)

St. Francis de Sales Oratory

The Oratory has made it known that– the summers of Saint Louis being what they are and the HVAC system of the oratory being what it is and the length of the Mass being what it will be– that arrangements have been made and THE CHURCH WILL BE FULLY AIR CONDITIONED FOR THIS EVENT. They brought in this supplemental climate control for the 2014 ordinations, and I can attest it was extremely comfortable. So don’t let any fears of heat dissuade you from attending.

The Cathedral was packed in 2007. And the Oratory was packed in 2014. Let’s do it again. These signs of faith and renewal are more important than ever.

Socialists’ Weapon of Choice: the Big Lie

SPAIN GENERAL FRANCOThe unelected socialist (read: communist) government in Spain, which always tries to destroy Church, family and country when it obtains power– especially in Spain– is hellbent on exhuming the body of Francisco Franco from el Valle de los Caidos.  Meaning “Valley of the Fallen”, the site, north of Madrid, is a monument to those who died freeing Spain from communist rule in the Civil War of the last century.  Franco saved Spain, saved Church, family and country, and delivered the biggest spanking to communism it has ever received.  It was, in fact, the last victory Catholics-in-arms have had.

So of course they hate Franco.

Now, the big lie is that the left wants to turn the Valley of the Fallen into a national “remembrance” center.  How? By removing the remains of Franco.  So nobody will remember him.  See, this is the murder of language and meaning that Orwell painted so well in 1984.  “Remembrance” means “forced forgetting”.

We see this in lots of contexts. In South Africa, now home to widespread violence against the opponents of the socialist ANC, they have “truth and reconciliation” programs.  In the socialist program of Francischurch, we have the “mercy” of confirming persons to wallow in  mortal sin, while cracking down mercilessly on anyone who actually believes the Catholic faith. “Tolerance” equals punishing those who follow the God Who is Love by calling their love “hate”.

The last time the socialists gained power in Spain, the government successfully engaged in a systematic destruction of any sign, plaque, statue,  or public marker of Franco or other Nationalist leaders throughout Spain.  We must always remember– as long as we remember only the communists and forget those who oppose them.

Of course, the goal of communists is really always the same: to encourage people, and if necessary to force people, to forget Christ and His Church.

If you think I’m off base, here is a brief article on what happened in 1936-39 from Catholicism.org.

The Fateful Decision: Gettysburg and Vicksburg

Today marks the 155th Anniversary of the Northern victory at Gettysburg, and tomorrow the same anniversary of the Fall of Vicksburg, these twin defeats marking, for all intents and purposes, the end of the experiment of self-government in America. Though the relative skill of its generals, and the desperation and valor of its people, led the Confederacy to hold out for two more years, whatever chance of victory the South ever had was long gone. In some respects, it would have been better not to bleed out so painfully for so long after.

However that may be, in reading Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the Civil War, I came across this passage describing a Confederate cabinet meeting to which Robert E. Lee was called in mid-May, 1863, to discuss the best way to relieve Vicksburg, already invested and under siege by Grant. Vicksburg was a strong natural position, and the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi river. Without it, supplies of men and materiel could not effectively come from the trans-Mississippi, and the South would be cut in two. The excerpt is a bit long, but an interesting look at one of the fascinating might-have-beens of history:

Lee based his present advice on what was good or bad for his department and the soldiers in his charge. “I considered the problem in every possible phase,” he subsequently explained, “and to my mind, it resolved itself into a choice of one of two things: either to retire to Richmond and stand a siege, which must ultimately have ended in surrender, or to invade Pennsylvania.” Placed in that light, the alternatives were much the same as if the cabinet members were being asked to choose between certain defeat and possible victory. In fact, “possible” became probable with Robert E. Lee in charge of an invasion launched as the aftermath of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, triumphs scored against the same adversary and against longer odds than he would be likely to encounter when he crossed the Potomac with the reunited Army of Northern Virginia. Seddon and Benjamin, Secretary of the Treasury Christopher G. Memminger, Attorney General Thomas H. Watts, and Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory all agreed with the gray-bearded general “whose fame,” as one of them said, “now filled the world.” They were not only persuaded by his logic; they were awed by his presence, his aura of invincibility. And this included Davis, who had seldom experienced that reaction to any man.

It did not include Postmaster General John H. Reagan. He was by no means persuaded by Lee, and such awe as he felt for any living man was reserved for Jefferson Davis, whom he considered self-made and practical-minded like himself. Born in poverty forty-five years ago in Tennessee, Reagan had been a schoolteacher and a Mississippi plantation overseer before he was eighteen, when he moved to Texas with all he owned tied up in a kerchief. Passing the bar, he had gone into Lone Star politics and in time won election to Congress, where service on the postal committee prepared him for his present assignment. In this he already had scored a singular triumph, unequaled by any American postmaster in the past seventy-five years or indeed in the next one hundred. Under Reagan’s watchful eye, the Confederate postal department did not suffer an annual deficit, but yielded a clear profit. He accomplished this mainly by forcefulness and vigor, and now he employed these qualities in an attempt to persuade Davis and his fellow cabinet members that no victory anywhere, even in Washington itself, could offset the disaster that would result from the loss of the Mississippi. The only man present whose home lay beyond that river, he said plainly that he thought Lee was so absorbed in his masterful defense of Virginia that he did not realize the importance of the Transmississippi, which would be cut off from the rest of the country with the fall of Vicksburg. It had been claimed that Lee’s advance might result in Grant’s withdrawal to meet the challenge, but Reagan did not believe this for an instant. Grant was committed, he declared. The only way to stop him from accomplishing his object was to destroy him, and the only way to destroy him was to move against him with all possible reinforcements, including Longstreet’s two divisions from Lee’s army. As for the talk of co-operation expected from those with antiwar sentiments in the North—this too had been advanced as an argument for invasion; the peace movement had been growing beyond the Potomac—Reagan agreed with Beauregard as to “the probability that the threatened danger to Washington would arouse again the whole Yankee nation to renewed efforts for the protection of their capital.” In short, he saw everything wrong with Lee’s plan and everything right about the plan it had superseded. Grant was the main threat to the survival of the Confederacy, and it was Grant at whom the main blow must be aimed and struck.

Davis and the others heard both men out, and when the two had had their say a vote was taken. In theory, the cabinet could reject Lee’s proposal as readily as that of any other department commander, Bragg or Pemberton or Beauregard, for example, each of whom was zealous to protect the interests of the region for which he was responsible. But that was only in theory. This was Lee, the first soldier of the Confederacy—the first soldier of the world, some would assert—and this was, after all, a military decision. The vote was five to one, in the general’s favor. Davis concurring, it was agreed that the invasion would begin at the earliest possible date.

Pleased with the outcome and the confidence expressed, Lee went that evening to pay his respects to a Richmond matron who had done much to comfort the wounded of his army. As he took his leave, it seemed to a young lady of the house—much as it had seemed earlier to five of the six cabinet members—that he was clothed in glory. “It was broad moonlight,” she was to write years later, “and I recall the superb figure of our hero standing in the little porch without, saying a last few words, as he swung his military cape around his shoulders. It did not need my fervid imagination to think him the most noble looking mortal I had ever seen. We felt, as he left us and walked off up the quiet leafy street in the moonlight, that we had been honored by more than royalty.”

Again Reagan had a different reaction. Unable to sleep because of his conviction that a fatal mistake had been made that day at the White House, he rose before dawn—it was Sunday now, May 17; Pemberton would be routed at high noon on the Big Black, and Johnston was advising the immediate evacuation of Vicksburg—to send a message urging Davis to call the cabinet back into session for a reconsideration of yesterday’s decision. Davis did so, having much the same concern for Mississippi as Lee had for Virginia—his brother and sisters were there, along with many lifelong friends who had sent their sons to help defend the Old Dominion and now looked to him for deliverance from the gathering blue host—but the result of today’s vote, taken after another long discussion, was the same as yesterday’s: five to one, against Reagan. Lee returned to the Rappahannock the following day, which was the first of many in the far-off Siege of Vicksburg.

Feast of the Visitation

Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the beautiful feasts of Our Lady, and Mary as usual gives us the example of discipleship.

The Gospel of St. Luke recounts how Mary, who had just learned that she was to be the Mother of Christ, did not merely dwell upon her own blessedness, but instead went with haste to Elizabeth, about whom the angel told informed Mary that she, too, was with child:

Luke 1:39-45

39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. 40 And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. 46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

The Lesson from the Canticle of Canticles describes the beauty of Mary and the Love God has for her:

Canticle 2: 8-14:

8 The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills.  9 My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices.  10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.  11 For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.  12 The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:  13 The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:  14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.

Sharing in the glory of this great feast are Saints Processus and Martinian, whose commemoration is today.  These early Christian Martyrs were guards of Saints Peter and Paul in the Mamertine Prison, and were converted by the Apostles after a miraculous spring appeared in the prison.  They were baptized by the Apostles in this miraculous water. They paid the ultimate price for their love of Christ and His Apostles and are buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.

May our lives, either before or during our imprisonment for the faith, be such a spur for the conversion of our persecutors.

Holy Mother of God, Our Lady of the Visitation, pray for us!

Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us!

We Have Not Yet Resisted unto Blood: The Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

In the Office of the day, St. Paul earnestly invites us to correspond with Christ’s gift. “Jesus… that He might sanctify the people by His own Blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore to meet Him… bearing His reproach.” If we want the Blood of Christ to bear all its fruit in us, we must unite our own blood with it. His alone is most precious, so precious that a single drop is sufficient to save the whole world; nevertheless, Jesus, as always, wants us to add our little share, our contribution of suffering and sacrifice, “bearing His reproach.” If we are sincere we will have to admit that we do all in our power to escape Christ’s shame and disgrace. A lack of consideration, a slight offense, a cutting word, are all that it takes to arouse our passions. How can we say that we know how to share in Christ’s humiliations? Behold our divine Master treated like a malefactor, dragged amidst the coarse insults of the soldiers outside the gate of Jerusalem and there crucified between two thieves! And we? What part do we take in His Passion? How do we share His reproach?

To redeem us, “Jesus… endured the Cross, despising the shame…” and “you,” St. Paul reproaches us, “have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (Heb 12, 2. 4). Can we say that we know how to struggle “unto blood” to overcome our faults, our pride, our self-love? Oh! how weak and cowardly we are in the struggle, how self-indulgent and full of pity for ourselves, especially for our pride! Jesus, Innocence itself, expiated our sins even unto a bloody, ignominious death! We, the guilty ones, far from atoning for our faults unto blood, cannot even sacrifice our self-love. The blood which flows from sincere, total renunciation of self, from humble, generous acceptance of everything that mortifies, breaks and destroys our pride: this is the blood which Jesus asks us to unite with His! The Precious Blood of Jesus will give us the strength to do so, “for the soul which becomes inebriated and inundated by the Blood of Christ, is clothed with true and genuine virtue” (St. Catherine of Siena).

–from Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD

It Begs the Question: Were They Cardinals Going in or Only Coming Out?

The above photo was purportedly taken today, June 28, 2018 during the inevitable “visit”of newly-made Cardinals to see Pope Benedict XVI, firmly ensconced among the living residents of Vatican City, who happens to wear a white cassock proper to popes and who still, unlike every other pontiff in history, continues to wear the Fisherman’s Ring after putatively giving up the papacy.

Yes, that looks like Francis bowing and kissing the ring of Benedict.

So, I ask the question to them, to the dubia Cardinals, and to you, what I asked on Twitter today:

Were They Cardinals Going in or Only Coming Out?