Raymond Massey For Barry Goldwater

 

The first presidential contest I can recall was that of 1964 when I was seven years old.  The tradition of Democrats attempting to paint Republicans as Fascists is an old one and Senator Barry Goldwater got the full treatment.  Almost all of the media was on the side of Lyndon Johnson, along with Hollywood.  An exception was actor Raymond Massey.  Massey was a true star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, often playing figures from history like Abraham Lincoln, John Brown and Nathan the Prophet.  A naturalized American citizen, Massey saw combat service in the Canadian Army in both World Wars.

Perhaps it was this combat service that added passion to the above television endorsement of Goldwater which still attracts attention fifty-six years later.  Massey is alarmed about the no win American policy in Vietnam.  Ironically the Johnson administration was secretly planning a mammoth build up of American troops in Vietnam after the election.  Alas this build up did not come with any semblance of a strategy to win the war.  Goldwater supporters would note wryly in the coming years that they were warned that if they voted for Goldwater that the US would be involved in a full scale war in Vietnam, and, son of a gun, that is precisely what happened!

Published in: on August 31, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Translation

Something for the weekend. Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.  I don’t speak a word of Japanese, but this poignant story is as clear as glass.

Published in: on August 29, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Translation  
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August 28, 1917: Ten Suffragettes Arrested Outside White House

 

The suffragette movement in the US cut across party lines and was regional in nation.  The Western States were strongly in favor of votes for women, and by 1917 almost all states West of the Mississippi granted some form of the franchise to women, with most states in the area granting suffrage to women on the same basis with men.  Illinois became the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women full voting rights in 1913.

Activist groups of women had for decades agitated for votes for women.  In 1917 the two main groups were the National American Women Suffrage Association dedicated to working within the system for female enfranchisement and the break away National Women’s Party dedicated to militant action.  Both parties were on record in favor of votes for women, but calling for it to be done state by state rather than by a federal amendment.  Women were by no means of one mind on the issue, with numerous female anti-suffrage groups existing around the country, especially in the East. (more…)

Published in: on August 28, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on August 28, 1917: Ten Suffragettes Arrested Outside White House  
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August 27, 1917: President Wilson Responds to the Peace Plea of Pope Benedict

Eventually President Wilson would incorporate parts of the peace plan, go here to read about it, Pope Benedict proposed on August 1, 1917 in his Fourteen Points Peace Plan, but on August 27, 1917 Wilson formally rejected the Pope’s Plan:

AUGUST 27, 1917

To His Holiness Benedictus XV, Pope:

In acknowledgment of the communication of Your Holiness to the belligerent peoples, dated August 1, 1917, the President of the United States requests me to transmit the following reply:

Every heart that has not been blinded and hardened by this terrible war must be touched by this moving appeal of His Holiness the Pope, must feel the dignity and force of the humane and generous motives which prompted it, and must fervently wish that we might take the path of peace he so persuasively points out. But it would be folly to take it if it does not in fact lead to the goal he proposes. Our response must be based upon the stern facts and upon nothing else. It is not a mere cessation of arms he desires; it is a stable and enduring peace. This agony must not be gone through with again, and it must be a matter of very sober judgment that will insure us against it.

His Holiness in substance proposes that we return to the status quo ante bellum, and that then there be a general condonation, disarmament, and a concert of nations based upon an acceptance of the principle of arbitration; that by a similar concert freedom of the seas be established; and that the territorial claims of France and Italy, the perplexing problems of the Balkan States, and the restitution of Poland be left to such conciliatory adjustments as may be possible in the new temper of such a peace, due regard being paid to the aspirations of the peoples whose political fortunes and affiliations will be involved.

It is manifest that no part of this program can be successfully carried out unless the restitution of the status quo ante furnishes a firm and satisfactory basis for it. The object of this war is to deliver the free peoples of the world from the menace and the actual power of a vast military establishment controlled by an irresponsible government which, having secretly planned to dominate the world, proceeded to carry the plan out without regard either to the sacred obligations of treaty or the long-established practices and long-cherished principles of international action and honor; which chose its own time for the war; delivered its blow fiercely and suddenly; stopped at no barrier either of law or of mercy; swept a whole continent within the tide of bloodпїЅnot the blood of soldiers only, but the blood of innocent women and children also and of the helpless poor; and now stands balked but not defeated, the enemy of four-fifths of the world. This power is not the German people. It is the ruthless master of the German people. It is no business of ours how that great people came under its control or submitted with temporary zest to the domination of its purpose; but it is our business to see to it that the history of the rest of the world is no longer left to its handling. (more…)

Published in: on August 27, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Will and Ariel Durant

The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul. Some of these are of uncertain authorship; several, antedating A.D. 64, are almost universally accounted as substantially genuine. No one has questioned the existence of Paul, or his repeated meetings with Peter, James, and John; and Paul enviously admits that these men had known Christ in his flesh. The accepted epistles frequently refer to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion…. The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies, for example Hammurabi, David, Socrates would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed: the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man.

Will Durant, from Caesar and Christ, Volume III, Story of Civilization

 

 

 

 

American historians Will and Ariel Durant wrote over forty years (1935-1975) the eleven volume Story of Civilization.  In limpid prose they told the story of the civilizations of man up through the time of Napoleon.  The volumes have a prized place in my library.  The volumes have fallen out of favor as contemporary history too often is barely literate politicized junk.  As I hope for better times, I enjoy re-reading these volumes.

 

Some kind soul has placed audio selections from this magnificent work on You Tube.  I will post them from time to time.  Here is Why Rome Fell.  Enjoy!

 

Published in: on August 26, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Will and Ariel Durant  
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Why Wasn’t Japan Split Between the Allies?

The simple answer is that the US wanted it that way.  The Pacific War, outside of China and Burma was largely a US show, and thus the US called the tune after the War.  Stalin wanted to occupy Hokkaido, and on August 18, 1945 Truman turned him down flat.  The Soviets lacked the ability to occupy Hokkaido in the teeth of American naval and air power, and that was that.

 

Published in: on August 25, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Why Wasn’t Japan Split Between the Allies?  
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It Was Faith Killed the Beast

 

Saluting a forgotten American hero:

 

Hollywood mogul Merian C. Cooper, creator, producer, and co-director of the original “King Kong,” was an authentic hero of the August 15, 1920 Battle of Warsaw, which in David and Goliath fashion saved Europe from Communism. Remembered today in its centennial year as the “Miracle on the Vistula River,” the battle eternally links Poland and America in a historic fight against totalitarian revolutionaries.

Following World War I, the map of Europe was radically redrawn. Poland, occupied and dismembered by aggressor nations for more than 100 years, was recreated as an independent nation. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party, having seized control of a demoralized and destabilized Russia in a brazen 1917 coup, marched on Poland in 1919, expecting to sweep across its fragile, uncertain borders and export their Communist revolution to Germany and beyond.

A fighter pilot in World War I, Cooper sought to repay America’s debt to the Polish heroes Tadeusz Kościuszko, Casimir Pulaski, and others who risked their lives fighting for America’s freedom in our Revolutionary War. He recruited nine fellow American aviators and veterans of the Great War to fly with him on Poland’s behalf against the oncoming Bolsheviks. 

 

Cooper and his Kościuszko Squadron flew over 400 combat missions in the 20-month-long Polish-Soviet War and had a dramatic impact on the miraculous Polish victory. The mission of the Kościuszko Squadron was to prevent the Bolsheviks’ 16,000-strong Cossack cavalry from linking up at Warsaw with more than 100,000 Soviet infantry. The “magnificent ten” succeeded, relentlessly diving out of the sky and scattering the fierce Cossacks so effectively they were eventually forced to retreat.

With the Bolshevik infantry smashed at the gates of Warsaw, Lenin sued for peace, settling instead to build his fanciful utopia within the boundaries of Russia. Diplomat and author Edgar Vincent, First Viscount D’Abernon, called “The Miracle on the Vistula” the 18th-most decisive battle in world history. Had it gone the other way, all of Europe likely would have fallen under the red flag. 

Three American aviators were killed in the heroic campaign. Cooper himself was shot down, captured by the Bolsheviks, and imprisoned in a Soviet prisoner of war camp in Moscow. 

 

Go here to read the rest.  History, so much more fascinating than any novel.

Published in: on August 24, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on It Was Faith Killed the Beast  
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Trump Pardons Susan B. Anthony

 

 

 

I go for all sharing the privileges of the government, who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage, who pay taxes or bear arms, (by no means excluding females.)”

Abraham Lincoln, June 13, 1836

 

 

On August 18, 2020, on the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony who had been convicted of the offense of voting for President before women were granted the right to vote nationally.  The Republican party was broadly supportive of the suffragette movement, with Anthony celebrating her eightieth birthday at the White House in 1900 at the invitation of President McKinley.  She died in 1906, but like Moses as he viewed the Holy Land he would never set foot in, she could see that she had helped start a movement which would ultimately triumph.

 

Anthony had a fighting spirit in regard to the State that today might be considered Trumpian.  From the transcripts of her trial:

Judge Hunt -(Ordering the defendant to stand up), “Has the prisoner anything to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?”

Miss Anthony– Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor’s verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government.

Judge Hunt– The Court cannot listen to a rehearsal of arguments the prisoner’s counsel has already consumed three hours in presenting.

Miss Anthony– May it please your honor, I am not arguing the question, but simply stating the reasons why sentence cannot, in justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial of my citizen’s right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of the taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as an offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to life, liberty, property and-

Judge Hunt– The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.

Miss Anthony– But your honor will not deny me this one and only poor privilege of protest against this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights. May it please the Court to remember that since the day of my arrest last November, this is the first time that either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury-

Judge Hunt– The prisoner must sit down-the Court cannot allow it.

Miss Anthony– All of my prosecutors, from the 8th ward corner grocery politician, who entered the compliant, to the United States Marshal, Commissioner, District Attorney, District Judge, your honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but each and all are my political sovereigns; and had your honor submitted my case to the jury, as was clearly your duty, even then I should have had just cause of protest, for not one of those men was my peer; but, native or foreign born, white or black, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, awake or asleep, sober or drunk, each and every man of them was my political superior; hence, in no sense, my peer. Even, under such circumstances, a commoner of England, tried before a jury of Lords, would have far less cause to complain than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men. Even my counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden, who has argued my cause so ably, so earnestly, so unanswerably before your honor, is my political sovereign. Precisely as no disfranchised person is entitled to sit upon a jury, and no woman is entitled to the franchise, so, none but a regularly admitted lawyer is allowed to practice in the courts, and no woman can gain admission to the bar-hence, jury, judge, counsel, must all be of the superior class.

Judged Hunt– The Court must insist-the prisoner has been tried according to the established forms of law.

Miss Anthony– Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men, and against women; and hence, your honor’s ordered verdict of guilty; against a United States citizen for the exercise of “that citizen’s right to vote,” simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man. But, yesterday, the same man made forms of law, declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment, for you, or me, or you of us, to give a cup of cold water, a crust of bread, or a night’s shelter to a panting fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every man or woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated that wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in so doing. As then, the slaves who got their freedom must take it over, or under, or through the unjust forms of law, precisely so, now, must women, to get their right to a voice in this government, take it; and I have taken mine, and mean to take it at every possible opportunity.

Judge Hunt -The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not allow another word.

Miss Anthony -When I was brought before your honor for trial, I hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation of the Constitution and its recent amendments, that should declare all United States citizens under its protecting gis-that should declare equality of rights the national guarantee to all persons born or naturalized in the United States. But failing to get this justice-failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers-I ask not leniency at your hands-but rather the full rigors of the law:

Judge Hunt -The Court must insist-
(Here the prisoner sat down.)

Judge Hunt -The prisoner will stand up.
(Here Miss Anthony arose again.)
The sentence of the Court is that you pay a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of the prosecution.

Miss Anthony -May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper- The Revolution -four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your manmade, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Judge Hunt -Madam, the Court will not order you committed until the fine is paid.

Published in: on August 23, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Eye of Ye Tiger

Something for the weekend.  A medieval version of Eye of the Tiger (1982).

Bonus:

 

Published in: on August 22, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Eye of Ye Tiger  
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Not Enemies, But Friends

When writing about the Civil War I always marvel that it did not inflict mortal harm on this Republic.  That it did not do so, was because many good men and women, on both sides after the War lived up to the prophetic words of Lincoln, uttered at the end of his First Inaugural Address:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

This was all put nicely in a conversation that Douglas Southall Freeman, the great Civil War historian, had with his father Walker Freeman, a Confederate veteran who had served in the Army of Northern Virginia, while Douglas was writing his magisterial four volume R.E. Lee. (more…)

Published in: on August 21, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Not Enemies, But Friends  
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