The First Duty of the Strong

Today is The March for Life in Washington, when our friends and neighbors will gather in their hundreds of thousands, for the 45th time, to remember the millions of babies legally murdered in the United States since 1973. The President, Donald Trump will address the march via video link from the Rose Garden. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will address the crowd in person. This is a moral fight in which the United States leads the world. One of the reasons our faith grew, in the beginning, was the fact that we did not leave our children to die of exposure.

Our country was founded on the principle that every person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But in truth, without life the others are meaningless.

The article below highlights two stories, one by my dearest friend Jessica which is about the damage caused by abortion to the mother. The other is by another friend, Caroline Farrow, about the damage caused to the father, and the relationship itself. They are harrowing reading, a real-life horror story. This is what abortion does, beyond the infanticide. It harms everybody connected with it.

There are also many local events taking place this weekend, you can find out about them here.


I know, it’s Saturday, and usually we try to keep it a little lighter on Saturday. But I read this yesterday, and it haunted me last night. Not least because it reminded me of a similar story that Jess told us, here and here. In that story as well, the baby was killed, and the structure of the mother’s life was seriously disrupted, including her relationship with the father. Not least because of finding Jesus through Jess and the Vicar, the mother survived, although I have no idea about the father.

But it’s another case where the easy availability of abortion hurt many beyond the baby, and another where her decision had the potential to destroy the mother as well. This is the wider evil of abortion. It has effects, nearly all of them bad, on everybody concerned.

We kind of forget this, as we think about the horrors of the Planned Parenthood marketing plan, but it too is real. Maybe there are men and women so callous that they can walk away unscarred by killing their baby, if so, I have never met them. It doesn’t always disable people, but I think it always leaves a scar on them as well, and that is what the literature tells us, as well.

Here’s a bit of Caroline’s story

A few weeks ago my friend posted a status update on Facebook highlighting a plea for help from a forum mainly populated by men. A poster’s girlfriend had found herself unexpectedly pregnant and the young man simply didn’t know what to do.

Without going too much into the specifics of the situation, he was a mature student, his girlfriend was slightly older than him, had a well-paid secure job and a child from a previous marriage. On discovering she was pregnant, her initial reaction was one of delight she assumed that they would be having the baby and set about telling all her friends and family.

Though the young man shared some of his girlfriend’s excitment, he was at the same time, daunted and understandably so. Although he loved his girlfriend, he took the responsibilities of fatherhood seriously and wasn’t sure whether or not now was the right time to take their relationship to the next level. The news that she was expecting sent the woman into what seems to be a frenzy of nesting. Immediately she made a series of demands upon him which involved him making a series of unnecessary and excessive sacrifices. He would need to abandon his plans for a PhD in a specialist scientific discipline, take up extra shifts on his minimum wage job and move in with her. He’d also not be allowed to take any of his pets into her home and neither would he be allowed any space of his own to study. He’d have to make do with the family’s kitchen table. Furthermore the baby’s arrival date was causing him some concern, it was due to coincide with his finals. He’d therefore had a major panic, feeling trapped, that she was bouncing him into a baby that he wasn’t ready for and while he wasn’t averse to the idea of a baby, he just couldn’t see how things were going to work out.

Source: Just another member of the patriarchy | The Catechesis of Caroline

It also makes me wonder, would have they have had all this trouble, in either of the cases here, if they had been in a serious marriage, not the shallow ones, or none (as in these cases) so many of our compatriots have, but the kind of marriage, with God, that most of us remember from our parent’s time, what Rome calls Sacramental Marriage, although there is nothing particularly Catholic about it, although it is a Christian construct. It has to do with meaning the marriage vows, and the commitment they identify. What good is a relationship in which we run away from each other in a time of trouble, that’s when we need each other the most.

A few things for us all to think about this weekend.

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Freedom, Bought and Sold

It always interests me to see what our readers are reading here. Yesterday, close to 20% of you were reading a fairly old article of Jessica’s, entitled The Exhausted West?.  In it, she spoke about Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard Commencement address. It is, I think quite appropriate to today’s subject, especially one of the paragraphs she quoted from the speech.

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counterbalanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil. 

Indeed, we have lost here, and even more in Europe, the key fact that freedom imposes responsibility, and that there is much more to life than material possessions.

Today, we are going to speak of the late/current demonstrations in Iran, and even more the reaction to them in the west. The source of today’s is Douglass Murray in The Spectator (UK) article entitled The Iranian revolution the world wants to ignore.

If there is one lesson the world should have learned from Iran’s ‘Green Revolution’ of 2009 and the so-called Arab Spring that followed, it is this: the worst regimes stay. Rulers who are only averagely appalling (Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak) can be toppled by uprisings. Those who are willing to kill every one of their countrymen stay. So it is that after almost half a million dead we enter 2018 with Bashar al-Assad still President of Syria and with Iran’s mullahs approaching the 40th anniversary of their seizure of power in 1979. […]

Yep, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and quite a few more died peacefully in bed, few of their opponents did.

Yet anyone who expects these demonstrations to lead to swift change in the nature of the Iranian government remembers no history. Shortly after the latest protests began, the country’s security forces, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, were seen photographing the events. In Iran, a regime camera is as deadly as a sniper’s sights. Only more delayed. As in 2009, the photographs will be used by the police to arrest demonstrators and also family members unconnected with the protests. This will be followed by the torture and rape of men and women in prison by the theocratic regime’s frontmen. As after the Green Revolution, there will in due course be show trials, forced recantations and executions. This is how a police state with four decades of experience goes about its business. In 1979, the behaviour of the Shah’s dreaded Savak secret police was one of the spurs for revolution. The Ayatollahs have superseded the Savak, fine-tuned their brutality and learned from their mistakes.

Anyone in doubt about the capacity of the Supreme Leader to hang on to power need only watch the footage of crowds in the city of Rasht advancing down the street on one of the first nights of protest. You can see the exact moment when the regime’s Revolutionary Guard starts attacking the protesters. The crowd that is marching one way down the street suddenly finds an organised army running towards them. These are trained killers being unleashed on angry but peaceful civilians. Six hundred people have already been arrested and dozens already killed. The civilians don’t stand a chance. […]

None whatsoever, the Supreme Leaders people are not fully trained troops, probably, although they are inured to killing, which is all it really takes, plus a modicum of organization to easily defeat a mob in the street. Not much different than murder on an industrial scale, but it is effective.

Unless, that is, the outside world takes any interest in their plight. In the early hours of the demonstrations, the US President took to Twitter to warn the Iranian authorities that ‘The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!’ But such is the obsession with Donald Trump and the parochialism of all our politics that Trump’s critics immediately took to the media to condemn his condemnation of human rights abuses. Again on Twitter, the most powerful man on the planet — determined not to replay the actions of his predecessor in office, who was highly reluctant to speak out during the crushing of the Green Revolution — warned that ‘The world is watching.’ He may be right. But the world may watch in silence.

This is one of those occasions where, whatever you think of Donald Trump, he is correct, the west invented human rights, and are the only guarantor. And yet, many, maybe most around the world for whatever reason decided to side with the Ayatollah against the west, personified by Donald Trump. Speaking for myself, I found it sickening.

Some international caution is justified. People have their reasons. Our own Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has expressed ‘concern’ over events, but has been careful not to go further. Fresh back from a visit to Tehran, the Foreign Secretary has been working to obtain the release of the British–Iranian dual citizen, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Iran for the last 18 months. Thanks to a campaign by Labour MPs, the issue of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release has been turned into an issue of the Foreign Secretary’s personal competence (at times as though it is Boris Johnson, and not the mullahs, who imprisoned the woman). Johnson’s Iranian counterparts know that he has a lot riding on his efforts to release her and have used this advantage well. So a campaign for one woman’s freedom has hindered a Foreign Secretary from campaigning for a nation’s freedom.

Other silences have been less defensible. The leader of the opposition is not normally silent when there is an opportunity to talk about unfairness or injustice. Yet after days of protests in Iran, Jeremy Corbyn said nothing.

One reason may be that the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition was until recently in the pay of the Iranian regime. For presenting programmes on its propaganda wing, Press TV (before becoming Labour party leader), Corbyn received up to £20,000. Damningly — or it would be damning if more people cared — he appeared on Press TV even after the channel lost its broadcasting licence. It lost that licence not because of its always clear political support for a sectarian, gay-hanging, women-oppressing dictatorship. It lost it because during the channel’s campaign to delegitimise the 2009 protests, Press TV broadcast a forced confession from a journalist who had been abducted by the regime and was being held in prison. Ofcom thought this crossed a line. Jeremy Corbyn did not and was happy to continue to take his apple-juice money from Tehran.

Elsewhere the silence indicates the dream-puncturing of an entire political class. In 2015 the UN security council agreed a deal with Iran to limit elements of its nuclear programme for a period. Iran’s incentives included a freeing up of trade and a delivery of billions of dollars in cash. For their part, companies and governments across Europe hoped to get their own cash bonanzas in the wake of that deal. Such deals always compromise the people who make them. One of the chief defenders of the 2015 deal, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, has spent recent days being studiously silent on the uprisings in Iran. When President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital she couldn’t tweet enough condemnations of his action. Yet five days into the protests in Iran, she hadn’t even said that she is watching events closely. Europe’s leading foreign affairs ideologue needs Iran’s governing status quo to stay in place so that nothing about her own deal, future cash prize or putative Nobel award is in any way disturbed.

We’ve said speaking of the election that Donald Trump has F**k you money. He has enough that he can do what he thinks is right without regard to his next paycheck. It’s a major advantage. It applies here, as well. The US, seemingly alone in the west has F**k you money, too. Not that we do, but we have a historical record of trying to do the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Do we always succeed? Of course not. But maybe that is the reason why we, of all the nations of the west, still will go out into the world to fight evil.

But I suspect the day is coming when we will come to the conclusion that if the people of Europe amongst others value money above all things, especially above their own freedom, well, why should we care. That will be the day that Europe falls. Of its own volition, bribed by its own money. It will be a sad day, but it begins to appear inevitable.

 

Peace through Superior Firepower?

Who knew? Perhaps deterrence works. In any case, the North Koreans are talking to the Southern ones. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Maybe this is why.

CBS has a report (more bloody autoplay videos, sorry!) that:

Last week, the Pacific Air Forces announced three B-2 “Spirit” stealth bombers with approximately 200 personnel have been deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the Pacific island of Guam.

The statement said the deployment is intended to provide leaders with “deterrent options to maintain regional stability.”[…]

Last year, flights by B-1B bombers from Guam to the airspace around Korea were a major flashpoint, prompting a warning from North Korea that it had drawn up a plan to target the waters around the island with a missile strike that it could carry out anytime Kim gave the order. The B-2 is more threatening.

It’s the most advanced bomber in the Air Force and, unlike the B-1B, can carry nuclear weapons. It’s also the only known aircraft that can drop the Air Force’s biggest bomb, the 14,000-kilogram, about 30,000-pound, FGBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

The “MOP,” capable of penetrating deep into the ground to destroy reinforced tunnels and bunkers, was explicitly designed with North Korea in mind.

That adds on to the CVNs Ronald Reagan, Carl Vinson, and perhaps the Carl Stennis, and the USS Wasp as well, an upgraded amphibious assault ship, with its Marines, and either carrying or capable of carrying about 30 F 35Bs.

That’s all in addition to all the stuff already in South Korea, Japan, and the general neighborhood, and the South Koreans who are no slouch themselves.

I recall SECDEF Mattis commenting that nothing keeps him awake, he keeps others awake. His point was that this administration while having due regard for public opinion, is not going to make policy from what will (XXX) do, the will make policy from what does the United States want to happen. A somewhat subtle but very important difference.

And so we see Whoa Fat’s minions at the conference table in South Korea, after less than a year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Likewise, we see serious demonstrations in the streets in Iran. They may not win this time, but win they shall. We see Egypt and Saudi Arabia talking to Israel, and about no less than a military alliance. We may, perhaps, be watching the dawn of a new era. KSA is reportedly negotiating to buy the Iron Dome system from Israel.

And we even see the people of eastern Europe stand up to their would-be masters in western Europe. Why it’s almost like they didn’t throw off their communist masters only to succumb to the fascists in the west.

The only people I see decrying this is the anti-freedom left in America, and the European governments most of whom have sold their soul long ago for material gain. Are they noisy? Yep. Are they important? Nope. Only when the sheriff is on strike. But the sheriff is on patrol again

And just now I see a report that the two Koreas will march together under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics next month. Not a problem solved, but one that is perhaps on its way, something no one foresaw a year ago.

Not “Peace in our time” but perhaps we are back to where we can say that it is better to “Jaw, Jaw than to War War.”

Quite a year it has been!

Land of the Formerly Free

British police stand guard at the entrance to the US Air Force base at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, Britain December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Radburn

A sad one today, that I hope will anger our European readers, it surely would in America. From The Daily Caller via The Daley Gator.

Northumbria Police in Britain warned online users that anyone who posts “offensive” and “potentially criminal” comments about grooming gangs will be tracked down and prosecuted.

The police force launched an investigation on Facebook comments posted to its Facebook page in response to stories about the Operation Shelter scandal. During the scandal, white British girls were groomed and sexually abused by gangs made up of mostly Muslim Pakistani men in Newcastle. 18 men were convicted over the sex crimes.

So that tells us plainly that if you are in Britain and you call a Muslim a Muslim and/or you refer to the government especially the police not doing their jobs and covering up that fact, you will be prosecuted. Not the kind of thing a free country does.

According to Chronicle Live and Breitbart, police reviewed every comment on the page after a member of the public complained that the posts made references to the convicted criminals’ race and religion—two of which were then recorded as racially aggravated public order offenses.

The police decided that there were eight comments that required action and have since tracked down six people responsible for posts “deemed to be offensive and potentially criminal.”

The story goes on to state that they all are remorseful. Well, I suppose I would be as well, if I had a police constable standing on my doorstep. Not that this is new, back in 2013 I wrote about a Baptist preacher in Norwich who dared to hand out Christian tracts at Norwich’s gay pride parade. He too was threatened very seriously with prosecution. You can read about it here, including documents.

While many of the groomers’ sex crimes against young girls were, by their own admissions, racially-motivated, Judge Penny Moreland allowed the convicts to receive lesser sentences because she believed the victims were targeted “not because of their race, but because they were young, impressionable, naïve and vulnerable.

So, even if the judge was correct, and these crimes were not racially motivated, which she is not by the perpetrators own words, because you are young, impressionable, naïve, and vulnerable, not to mention a working-class white, you are no longer equal under the law. Well, that seems to me to be what she explicitly said.

By the way, the grooming in Rotheringham, and elsewhere is still going on, in the very sight of the British police and government. Quite a few elsewheres, in fact, if what I read is true.

Note that I am referring to the government here, which is so corrupt that it is afraid to do its basic job, providing for the common defense, for fear that someone will call it racist. Well, you know what, the way it is selectively enforcing the law is, you got it, racist.

There was an article published yesterday, that said that without the Constitution, the United States would become “a sh*thole”. The author has much right in that assertion, and the proof is Britain.

Things are, of course, even worse in Germany, but that is not any great surprise, is it?

What was it that that old white Brit, Thomas Jefferson wrote one hot and muggy day in Philadelphia? Oh yeah, this.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Too bad that Her Majesty’s Government has forgotten their heritage, for those words stirred, in Britain, no less than in what would become America, fully a third of the population, including Burke, William Pitt the Elder, and Charles James Fox to support the colonies in Parliament. May they once again stir the hearts of freedom-loving Britons.

If I’m honest, if they don’t I foresee a time when Britain will be just another slave state, or in the current cant, a sh*thole, because that is the direction they are going.

Dreaming of Freedom

Today in the United States it is Martin Luther King Day. I have a trivial confession to make, I opposed its establishment as a federal holiday, not so much because of what he symbolized, as a simple prejudice against even more holidays, and the combining of Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays. In some way, I still feel that way.

But as I look out on America fifty-five years later, I’m glad it is a holiday. Why? Because the civil rights movement that he spearheaded, as late as it was, was, and is, important. The sad part is that the left, who attempts to take credit for what was mostly conservatives in the government accomplished then, have betrayed that dream, while conservatives have come to embrace it ever more fully. Have you ever read the I have a Dream speech? There is nothing in it that the most conservative person in the world doesn’t embrace, and absolutely nothing that contradicts anything in Christianity (as, of course, the Rev Dr. King knew).

It is not utopian, nor is it dystopian, it is reality. It recounts where his people had been, and where they dream of going. Sadly his vision is still a dream. Not a dream of endless government largesse extorted from the citizenry, but of respect, and competence earned, as he had earned it, by deeds, not words. That does not denigrate words but signifies that action is required.

So here is your chance to read it, dispassionately, and see what a great American leader saw as necessary for the downtrodden blacks in America. And strangely the south has, well, not really embraced him, but acted on his recommendations. There was a study I saw a bit ago that reported that Boston is now the most racist city in the United States, not Atlanta, or Biloxi, or Selma, or Birmingham, or even New Orleans.

Transcript of speech by
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beckoning light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One hundred years later the Negro is still languishing in the comers of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.

We all have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to change racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice ring out for all of God’s children.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted citizenship rights.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

And the marvelous new militarism which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers have evidenced by their presence here today that they have come to realize that their destiny is part of our destiny.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its Governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the genuine discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, pray together; to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom forever, knowing that we will be free one day.

And I say to you today my friends, let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only there; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

It is time that we remove the tyranny of low expectations from our fellow citizens, and allow them to compete to the best of their ability with all of us. Some will win through, some will not, just as it is for any other group in America. But succeeding because someone gave you the answers is not winning, it is cheating, and living off other is not living, it is a living death.

And American Dream – Let Freedom Ring.

Week in Pictures: Sh*tholes, Oprah, Climate Change, and Tax Cuts

Well, let’s start with some videos this week.

Katie Pavlich? Sure!

A bit of common sense from Bill Whittle

And on to the week in pictures.

Have a good week! From Ace, Bookworm, and PowerLine.

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