Ban Gone With the Wind?

 

The film critic for The New York Post wants to relegate Gone With the Wind to the museum:

Warner Bros. just stopped licensing another of pop culture’s most visible uses of the Confederate flag — toy replicas of the General Lee, an orange Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard’’ — as retailers like Amazon and Walmart have finally backed away from selling merchandise with that racist symbol.

That studio sent “Gone with the Wind’’ back into theaters for its 75th anniversary in partnership with its sister company Turner Classic Movies in 2014, but I have a feeling the movie’s days as a cash cow are numbered. It’s showing on July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of the museum’s salute to the 100th anniversary of Technicolor — and maybe that’s where this much-loved but undeniably racist artifact really belongs. (more…)

Published in: on June 29, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Ban Gone With the Wind?  
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Abraham Lincoln on Supreme Court Decisions

 

Some quotes from Abraham Lincoln in how to react to illegitimate Supreme Court decisions.  An illegitimate decision is one in which the Court arrogates to itself the power of a legislature under the mendacious guise of merely interpreting the Constitution:

 

 

1.  I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit; as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government.

2.  Judicial decisions have two uses-first, to absolutely determine the case decided, and secondly, to indicate to the public how other similar cases will be decided when they arise. For the latter use, they are called “precedents” and “authorities.”

3.  We think its (the Supreme Court) decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled, should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the general policy of the country, subject to be disturbed only by amendments of the Constitution as provided in that instrument itself. More than this would be revolution.

4.  At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

5.  Judicial decisions are of greater or less authority as precedents, according to circumstances. That this should be so, accords both with common sense, and the customary understanding of the legal profession. (more…)

Published in: on June 28, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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The Conquered Banner

Something for the weekend:  The Conquered Banner based upon the poem of the same name written in 1865 by Father Abram J. Ryan, the Poet-Priest of the Confederacy.

Furling the Flag 2
Furl that Banner, for ’tis weary;
Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it, it is best;
For there’s not a man to wave it,
And there’s not a sword to save it,
And there’s no one left to lave it
In the blood that heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it;
Furl it, hide it–let it rest!

Take that banner down! ’tis tattered;
Broken is its shaft and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered
Over whom it floated high.
Oh! ’tis hard for us to fold it;
Hard to think there’s none to hold it;
Hard that those who once unrolled it
Now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner! furl it sadly!
Once ten thousands hailed it gladly.
And ten thousands wildly, madly,
Swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman’s sword should never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
Till that flag should float forever
O’er their freedom or their grave!

Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
And that Banner–it is trailing!
While around it sounds the wailing
Of its people in their woe.

For, though conquered, they adore it!
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it!
Weep for those who fell before it!
Pardon those who trailed and tore it!
But, oh! wildly they deplored it!
Now who furl and fold it so.

Furl that Banner! True, ’tis gory,
Yet ’tis wreathed around with glory,
And ’twill live in song and story,
Though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages–
Furl its folds though now we must.

Furl that banner, softly, slowly!
Treat it gently–it is holy–
For it droops above the dead.
Touch it not–unfold it never,
Let it droop there, furled forever,
For its people’s hopes are dead!

Father Abram J. Ryan, Poet-Priest of the Confederacy

 

Published in: on June 27, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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June 26, 1945: UN Charter Signed

The UN, one of the great disappointments over the past seventy years, was born today, with the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco. The column below by Eleanor Roosevelt demonstrates the hope, and soft-headedness, with which most Americans looked at the UN at its birth: (more…)

Published in: on June 26, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on June 26, 1945: UN Charter Signed  
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Another Scalp for the Grievance Industry

(I originally posted this on The American Catholic and I thought the Civil War mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it of interest.)

The ginned up hysteria this week over the Confederate flag, after the dreadful murder of nine blacks in a Charleston church by a deranged white racist, marks a fitting coda to the one hundred and fiftieth commemoration of the War, as a symbol that few Americans know much at all about their own history these days.  Amazon, along with other retailers including Walmart, has banned Confederate flag products, on the grounds that they do not want to offend customers.  Katie McHugh at Brieitbart notes that Amazon has a long way to go if Amazon wishes to accomplish that:

 

 

Amazon sells a huge variety of shirts, posters, you-name-it featuring the hammer and sickle, Joseph Stalin’s mustache, all things Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin and other colorful revolutionaries who fought to make the world a better place, man. Guevara’s book Guerilla Warfare is on sale in four different formats. In one of the worst genocides in modern times, Stalin forcibly starved Ukrainian peasants in what’s known as the Holodomor, a “terror-famine” that left anywhere from 2.4 million to 7.5 million Ukrainian peasants dead in 1933.

Communism is chic: Amazon’s senior vice president Jay Carney proudly features Soviet Union war propaganda in his lavish home, after all. “Have you enlisted in the army?” a poster featured by The Washingtonian Magazine photo splash asks.

Helpful reminder — Communism led to the deaths of 94 million people world-wide within a hundred years. That’s approximately 93,999,991 more murders than a drug-addled, fatherless loser committed in Charleston. (more…)

Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Death of General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.

 

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The final remnants of resistance on Okinawa were crushed on June 21, and the United States was stunned by the American casualties of approximately 80,000.  For a nation that was becoming weary of war, this was a bitter victory.  One casualty stood out:  Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr, the commander of the Tenth Army, the invasion force.

The product of a May-November marriage, Buckner’s mother was 29 and his father, Simon Bolivar Buckner, a former Confederate Lieutenant General, was 63 when he was born in 1883, like his father he was a West Point graduate, class of 1908.  Much of his career was spent either attending or teaching at Army schools, including a stint as Commandant at West Point.  Prior to being tabbed to command the Tenth Army, Buckner spent most of the War in the Pacific sideshow of Alaska.

On June 18, 1945 Buckner was inspecting an observation post when a Japanese artillery shell exploded in nearby coral driving fragments into his chest.  He died on the operating table.   The General was warned just prior to the artillery barrage to remove his helmet with three stars that might attract enemy fire.  He did so, but by that time the Japanese, ever on the alert, had probably targeted him. (more…)

Published in: on June 24, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Death of General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.  
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Jack Reagan

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

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

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

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

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

Reagan said of his father:

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

(more…)

Published in: on June 21, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Jack Reagan  
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Johnny Has Gone

Something for the weekend:  Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier.  Popular in all our wars, with its bitter lament for the parting of lovers, the song was especially poignant after the Civil War.  A vast number of women, North and South, were left as widows.  Just as many were young women whose beaus never returned from the War.  It is easy to mark the beginning and ending dates of Wars, but often the date is illusory for the loved ones left behind.  For them the sorrow of the War does not end until their lives ended.  Every soldier who died in the War usually left behind him parents and siblings, friends, and often a wife or sweetheart, and too frequently, children.  For them the pain of memory would remain too fresh, tinged perhaps with pride for the courage their soldier had displayed in life.  Something to recall this Fourth of July this year.  Our freedom has been purchased at a high price, and it has not been paid only by those who served. (more…)

Published in: on June 20, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Johnny Has Gone  
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June 18, 1815: Waterloo

  • The cannibal has left his lair.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 9, 1815.
  • The Corsican ogre has just landed at the Juan Gulf.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 10, 1815.
  • The tiger has arrived at Gap.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 11, 1815.
  • The monster slept at Grenoble.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 12, 1815.
  • The tyrant has crossed Lyons.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 13, 1815.
  • The usurper was seen sixty leagues from the capital.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 18, 1815.
  • Bonaparte has advanced with great strides, but he will never enter Paris.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 19, 1815.
  • Tomorrow, Napoleon will be under our ramparts.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 20, 1815.
  • The Emperor has arrived at Fontainbleau.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 21, 1815.
  • His Imperial and Royal Majesty entered his palace at the Tuileries last night in the midst of his faithful subjects.
    • Le Moniteur Universel, March 22, 1815.

 

 

 

Napoleon was such a world spanning figure that it was fitting that he return for one last bow before he departed the stage of history.  As Wellington said, the battle was a “damn close run” thing, and it is quite conceivable that Napoleon could have won, but for blunders by him and his subordinates.  Would it have made any difference if he had prevailed?  Likely not.  Massive Allied armies were on their way, and a victory by Napoleon in 1815 in the Waterloo campaign would likely have meant as little as the many victories he won in 1814 prior to his forced abdication.  By his return from exile Napoleon had demonstrated that he still posed a danger to the status quo in Europe, and after more than two decades of war Europe was not going to tolerate that.

However, let’s play pretend for a moment.  Let us assume that Napoleon had stayed on his self-made throne, what then?  He was prematurely old and he believed his time for war was past.  If he kept France, I think he would have been content.  France would doubtless have benefited from the good government that he could have bestowed on it, especially when he was no longer distracted by wars and rumors of war.  The Austrians, ever the political realists, probably would have been willing to have allowed the return of his son and heir.

What would Napoleon have done with the time remaining to him, especially if that time were greater than what he achieved on Saint Helena?  Assuredly he would have written his memoirs, and what books those would have been, especially if he chose to be honest!  Perhaps he would have played schoolmaster of Europe, and conducted classes on the art of war.  Such classes would have drawn officers from around the globe, eager to sit at the feat of the master.

Perhaps he would have put his spiritual affairs in order, as perhaps he did historically during his last years.

Alas for Napoleon he had none of these opportunities.  In the immortal phrase of Victor Hugo, God was bored by him, and 200 years ago Napoleon’s stunning career came to an end.  Let us give the last word on his career to the Emperor: (more…)

Published in: on June 18, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Vacation Book Haul

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As faithful readers of his blog know, I am a biblioholic.  Last week my bride and I were on vacation from the law mines, well for three of the days of last week, and we went to a fantastic book sale put on each year by the local chapter of the American Association of University Women in Naperville.  This is a big sale with approximately 40,000 books.  We purchased 45, well actually 46 because I accidentally picked up two copies of the same book, for $100.00.  Here is a list of the books with commentary.  Fortunately my bride shares to the full my biblioholism!  She will be doing the commentary for 4-12 on the list.

1.   From Savannah to Yorktown, Henry Lumpkin (1981)-Perhaps the best one volume modern study on the campaign waged by the British in the latter half of the Revolution to conquer the South.  Lumpkin does a good job of detailing the savagery of this fighting, with Northern and Southern Tories in the ranks of the British adding an air of civil war to the conflict.

2.   How to Stop a War, James Dunnigan and William Martel (1987)-Dunnigan is the founder of Simulations Publications Illustrated (dear old SPI) and the designer of numerous war games.  After SPI went bankrupt in the early eighties and was sold to TSR, he began a career of writing books about war.  This is one of his early efforts and contains his usual skillful use of historical examples to make his points.

3.   An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, Arundhati Roy, (2005)-The one dud in our purchases.  Roy is a left wing loon and her tome reads like a fairly illiterate sophomore’s take on the world after having dozed through a class on Marxian Analysis of the World Crisis, while her boyfriend took occasional notes.  She is a supporter of the Naxalites, a particularly bloody and futile Maoist insurrectionary movement that has been going on in India since 1967.  This book is soon to be seen on e-bay.

4.   Saint Louis and the Last Crusade, Margaret Ann Hubbard, (1958)-This and the following 4 books are all Vision Books children’s biographies of saints, in the original hardcover editions (not the Ignatius Press paperback reprints).  Similar to Landmark Books, but on Catholic subjects and written from a Catholic perspective.  This one is a biography of King Louis IX of France.

5.   Katharine Drexel, Friend of the Neglected, Ellen Tarry, (1958)-A biography of St. Katharine Drexel (not yet canonized at the time of publication).  Cathy read this to the kids for their afterschool “mommy school” when they were in grade school.

6.  Saint Elizabeth’s Three Crowns, Blanche Jennings Thompson, (1958)-A biography of St. Elizabeth of Hungary; Cathy vaguely remembers reading about her to the kids during “mommy school” (might have been this book, or possibly a shorter account of her life elsewhere).

7.   Saint Isaac and the Indians, Milton Lomask, (1958)-A biography of St. Isaac Jogues, one of the Jesuit “Blackrobes” who worked (and died) among the Indians in North America (mostly Canada).  Cathy definitely remembers reading this one to the kids during “mommy school”!

8.   Saint Thomas More of London, Elizabeth M. Ince, (1957)-A biography of St. Thomas More, of course; Cathy thinks homeschoolers could use this alongside a family viewing of A Man for All Seasons (preferably the 1960s version) as an introduction to the Reformation in England.

9.   The Pattern Library, Crochet, Amy Carrol and Dorothea Hall, (1982)-An inexpensive crochet stitch dictionary for Cathy (if a family member knits or crochets, they’ll know what that is).

10.  Knitting into the Mystery, Susan S. Jorgensen and Susan S. Izard, (2003)-A book on prayer shawl ministries coauthored by a female United Church of Christ minister (Izard) and a Roman Catholic laywoman (Jorgensen); mostly about the spiritual side of such groups, rather than making the shawls themselves (although 2 simple patterns – 1 each knit & crochet – are included); tries hard (maybe a little too hard) to appeal to an interfaith audience.

11.  The Illustrated Afghan, Leslie Linsley, (1990)-A crochet afghan pattern book where the main panel or squares are done in plain Tunisian crochet (what Cathy says earlier generations called “afghan stitch”), and the intricate designs are cross-stitched on top.

12.  Norwegian Rosemaling, Margaret M. Miller and Sigmund Aarseth, (1974)-A book on Norwegian folk art decorative painting on wood, featuring lots of stylized flowers/leaves/scrolls/etc.; looks a lot like tole painting (but don’t let a rosemaaling fan hear you say that!).  We still have a couple of small rosemaalt items (a trinket box & a small decorative plate) Cathy acquired back in college while minoring in Scandinavian studies and connecting with distant cousins in Norway.

13.  Socrates in the City, Eric Metaxas, editor, (2011)-A collection of lectures by such luminaries as Peter Kreeft, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, the late Chuck Colson, et al on the big issues:  God, Good, Evil, etc.  Metaxas is a man to keep your eye on.  He combines profound learning, a deep faith in God and a profound commitment to the pro-life cause.  His biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a grand example of using the past to help illuminate the present.

14.  Drummer Hodge:  The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War, M. Van Wyk Smith, (1978)-Now what list of books purchased by me would be complete without some obscure tomes.  A good look at the poetry, and there was a fair amount of it, unleashed upon the world by the Boer War.  Most of it was forgettable and much of it was bad, but looking at it helps us understand the passions roused by this controversial war. (more…)

Published in: on June 16, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Vacation Book Haul  
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