Weekend Open Comments


Make America Victorious Again

By Angelo M. Codevilla

Since Woodrow Wilson, Progressive Democratic and Republican statesmen have confused America’s interest with mankind’s. In practice, they have taken upon themselves the role of mankind’s stewards (or sheriffs, leaders, pillars of order, or whatever) and acted as if, in Wilson’s words, America has “no reason for being” except to “stand for the right of men,” to be “champions of humanity.” Accordingly, a series of statesmen has forsaken war and diplomacy for strictly American ends and with means adequate to achieve them, and adopted foredoomed schemes pursued halfheartedly—Charles Evans Hughes (commitment to China’s integrity and renunciation of the means to uphold it), Franklin Roosevelt (seeking world co-domination with Stalin and the U.N. to banish “ancient evils, ancient ills”), Harry Truman (pursuing peace through no-win war in Korea), Nixon/Kissinger (scuttling Vietnam to help entice the Soviets into a grand detente), George W. Bush (democratizing the Middle East because America can’t be free unless and until the whole world is free).


The U.S. government and the rest of the foreign policy class was on autopilot. On the basis of its own common sense and agenda, it counted Reagan an interloper and thwarted his proposals at almost every turn. Notably, it prevented his main departure from settled national security policy—Reagan, unlike the presidents who came before him and after him, wanted to defend America against ballistic missiles—from bearing fruit. The Soviets feared this most, and the U.S foreign policy class worked hand in glove with them to thwart Reagan. Moreover, by the end of the Reagan Administration the U.S. government was extending and facilitating untied loans to the Soviet government to keep it alive, a policy accelerated under George H.W. Bush. None should forget that, on August 1, 1991, as the Soviet monster was croaking, Bush read to an incredulous crowd in Kiev a speech drafted by Condoleezza Rice advising Ukrainians to be content as Soviet citizens. The foreign policy class and Ronald Reagan were from different planets.

and recall this,

“It is no coincidence,” as the Soviets used to say, that as America’s no-win policy in Vietnam was becoming undeniable and America’s third world creatures were reverting to type, growing disrespect for America burst into terrorism in the mid-1960s—tentatively at first, but growing in self-assurance and quantity as the U.S. reaction encouraged it. In December 1965 the Soviet Union gathered terrorist groups small and large in Havana for the Tricontinental Conference, whose symbol was a globe resting on crossed submachine guns and whose working groups examined techniques for terrorizing Americans. Terrorists from around the world exchanged best practices through World Marxist Review, published in Prague. Castro was the first to encourage would be revolutionaries to hijack airplanes to Cuba. Our foreign policy class refused to countenance responding forcefully to this act of war. Instead, it persuaded President Nixon to ban guns on commercial aircraft. The FAA also required passengers not to resist hijackers, a regulation that made 9/11 possible.

Read the whole thing.

* classic literary reference in the photo

Saint José Sánchez del Río

jose-sanchez-del-rioYesterday, Pope Francis canonized seven new Saints in the Catholic Church.  One of them was José Sánchez del Río, a Cristero who was martyred at the age of 14:

In 1927, Catholic Mexico was immersed in a violent storm of religious persecution. The President of Mexico at that time was a despot named Plutarco Calles.  His hatred for the Church had no limits. He killed priests and burned churches.

In legitimate self defense, countless Catholics took up arms to defend their Faith.  Whenever they charged into battle, the Cristeros, as they were called, shouted: “Viva Cristo Rey!” “Long live Christ the King!”

Young Jose Joins the Cristeros

Many Catholics shed their blood in this conflict.  Many were martyred. And Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio was among them.  From a young age he had a great love and enthusiasm for the Blessed Sacrament, and encouraged his friends to have more devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Whenever Jose heard of the glorious battles of the Cristeros, which his two brothers were engaged in, his desire to join the holy army only intensified.  Finally, Jose wrote a letter to one of the Cristero Generals, Prudencio Mendoza, pleading to be allowed to fight. The general acquiesced.

Capture and Imprisonment

In a certain battle, Jose was rushing to bring a fellow soldier a new supply of ammo.  Just then, he caught sight of the General whose horse had been shot dead.  On foot, without a horse, the General was extremely vulnerable.

Making a sacrifice that might cost him his life, Jose freely gave the general his own horse.  Moments later, he was caught by the federalists and locked up in a church sacristy that had been turned into a prison.  One of the guards had put a number of expensive fighting roosters inside the church for safekeeping.  This sacrilege troubled young Jose. He said: “This is not a barnyard! This is a place for God!”  He soon caught all the prized roosters and snapped their necks.

The enemies of Christ the King soon decided to kill him.

Holy Boldness in Defense of the Faith

On the way to execution, soldiers struck him savagely with sharp machetes.  With every blow, the young boy cried out, “Viva Cristo Rey!”  When he got to the cemetery, he was bleeding heavily.  His torturers had also cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk on salt.  The boy screamed with pain but would not give in.  As the road was nothing but rocks and dirt, the stones where he had walked were soaked in his blood.  The soldiers said:  “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King’, we will spare your life.”  He only answered: “Long live Christ the King! Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!”

The commander ordered the soldiers to bayonet Jose.  They pierced his body.   But with every stab he only shouted louder and louder: “Viva Cristo Rey!”  The commander was so enraged that he pulled out his pistol and on February 10, 1928 killed Blessed Jose on the spot.  There was no trial.

As our own government becomes increasingly hostile towards Christians it is worth remembering all the martyrs who have fought and died for our faith.  ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

(Note: this post, and others to come, are not meant to be our normal “Open Comments” posts.  You are welcome to comment, but they are topical.  I ask that everyone stay on topic.)

Monday Open Comments

What I did this weekend.

What I did this weekend.

Hubby had the crew trim branches and clear our back yard for two days last week.  He had them pile it in one huge pile that filled most of our front yard.  It was at least six feet high.

Those of you who have been to my house know that my yard is not one of those tract homes with postage size yards.

He was planning on bringing the backhoe over early Monday morning to move it into the ditch so that heavy waste would pick it up. (They aren’t really picky about limits and such, at least not in our neighborhood. We’ll see if they take it all.  I’ve seen them take loads like this, even if it violates their rules.)  After looking at the pile, and how close it was to our old home (which is edging towards its eventual removal), I didn’t see how the backhoe would really be able to do it.  Not enough room to maneuver well, and the brush and trees wouldn’t “push” like a load of sand would.

I got tired of sitting on my rear end Saturday, and began moving the pile into the ditch.  Our ditch is intersected by two driveway, so it’s in three parts, the largest being the section in the middle. I began piling up in the middle, and realized….there’s no way it would all fit.  So I began getting more strategic.  Certain lengths or weights would be toted to the side ditches.  The lighter ones would be toted further away, and the heavier ones the shorter distance.  The full trees (yes, I said “trees,” not “tree branches”) took some doing; I thought they’d be left for Hubby and the guys Monday morning.  However, I was able to drag them to an edge near a driveway and then angle the pull over.  That brought the trunks into the ditch.  Some of them I took the edge of the ditch (roadway or yard side) and not be able to push them into the ditch.  Then I learned I could roll them.  I rolled quite a few out of the road.  It was a LOT easier, though a little awkward at times.

Others had to be tipped.  Those were the smaller trees and larger tree limbs, especially as the height of the piles in the ditches began to get high.  I couldn’t lift ’em, because I was getting tired and they were already heavy.  So I would drag them to the edge, walk back to start lifting at the top of the item, and then hand-over-hand down the limb until it was standing up – then I’d tip it onto the top of the pile.

What surprised me about the difficulty wasn’t the size, weight, or awkwardness in moving, it was how much like a jigsaw puzzle it was.  You’d think that the branches would be layered somewhat, as they were thrown on top as they were collected, right?  NOOOooooo!  They were intertwined, and some branches could not be moved until all of the top brush had been taken off.  What I thought was a “top branch” actually was part of a larger piece that was under other stuff. And even a little bit of excess made moving some of the pieces dang near impossible, because of the resistance they added from how they were entwined, or from the friction they provided.  I had to be careful I didn’t pull my back as I attempted to pull them loose!

It took about 7 hours over two days to move it all, but I managed to even get the two biggest ones where they should be picked up.  It was hot work, as I was wearing longs pants and sleeves along with my gloves to protect myself from the poison oak and poison ivy.  I’d move a piece, sit and rest, move some small branches, sit and rest.  Take off the gloves, and wet myself down with water, then wait for a breeze.

Hubby was appropriately impressed.  He’s going to show the picture to our lazy employee (whom we’re about to get rid of) and tell him he doesn’t want to hear any more excuses.  If a woman can move all of those branches, he’s got nothing to complain about.

It’s good when I can impress Hubby.  I feel good about the work I did, and I got some exercise to boot.  I’m feeling muscles I haven’t felt in a long time!