Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why Does the Republican Party Exist?

 Is it just an arbitrary entity seeking a universal negative, designed to push back against Democratic policies and demand they be more something (efficient) or less something else (expensive)? Or does it have actual principles and priorities it seeks to make a reality? 
The Republican Party’s voters and supporters certainly seem to have such beliefs. But they rarely seem to make it through the process of synthesis that turns such beliefs into actual policy priorities. Being a negative force is not nothing, and blocking bad policy is worthwhile. But when given the opportunity to put good policy into place, or to take steps to make such policy more feasible in the future, where is the Republican Party to be found?

So why does the Republican Party exist?  This article does give an answer or two.  They're not good answers.  But they look pretty accurate to me.


It's just an ad for a book. . . .

. . . . but, under the circumstances, it's rather . . . consoling.  It's pleasing to see it in print again.   The text from Raphael Cardinal Merry del Val can be found here.


Monday, July 20, 2015


But if I be asked what sign we may look for to show that the advance of the Faith is at hand, I would answer by a word the modern world has forgotten: Persecution.  When that shall once more be at work it will be morning.
-- Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953) Survivals and New Arrivals

Friday, July 17, 2015

17 July -- The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne

On this day in 1794 all the nuns of the Carmelite monastery of Compiegne were guillotined by the revolutionary French republicans. They offered their lives for France and her liberation from the terror. They were the last executed under that regime and the terror soon ended. 

More here.

And even more here.

William Bush's  "To Quell the Terror" is probably the most complete treatment available.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

14 July

For those who enjoy terror, murder, rape, and general slaughter of the innocent, this is your holiday:  Bastille Day.

Jerry Pournelle reprints this little memorial every July 14 and when I remember in time, I have followed his lead.  I remembered today.  Just.

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court). 
On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.

The link is here.  It's at the top of the page if you're clicking on July 14.  Any later and you'll have to scroll down.

Sort of an appropriate day for this story to come to light again, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


In the event you were wondering, we did survive the Glorious 4th intact and the ancestral manse remained unscathed by the bombs bursting in air.  The rockets and their red glare seem to have landed elsewhere also.  We spent the evening at the house of a friend who lives in a city which thankfully forbids even safe-and-sane explosive and incendiary devices.  We could see a professional show, or most of it, from his garden area.  A nearby golf course put it on,  so I'm told.

The ancestral manse itself did not go anywhere and survived by pure luck.

And holy water.

In the event you were also curious as to why in the post below I put  my own words in the quote feature and the quoted text outside the quote feature, the answer is I didn't.  Blogspot did that all by itself.  I have no explanation. Mysterious are the ways of Blogspot, its wonders to perform.

On Not Living in Fantasyland . . . unless you're a Disney character

I was reading The Remnant on-line this morning, and in particular, this article explaining what ought to be obvious but obviously isn't:  acknowledging reality is a good thing; ignoring it is not.  And someone else reminded me of Kipling, who also thought that one ignored reality at one's peril.  Although, here a somewhat different aspect of reality, to be sure.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


I wonder if anyone still knows what copybook headings are?  Or were.  Or copybooks, if it comes to that.  iPads probably don't have headings.

And where did I see that reference to Kipling?   Was it your blog?  If it was let me know,  and I'll link to it.  The memory isn't what it used to be.  (In fact, it may never have been.)  The text of the poem came from the Kipling Society page, which is here.  But I looked that one up (and found it here).


Friday, July 03, 2015

It's Only the 3d of July . . .

. . . and already the local cretinhood is making its presence felt detonating illegal explosive devices, rattling windows, setting off car alarms, and terrifying the Alpo out of assorted neighborhood dogs.  And a few cats, too.  There's at least one right now hiding out in the foliage in the back garden, all wide-eyed and apparently convinced that all the demons of hell are after him.

Conquered Again

The Conquered Banner

By Fr Abram Joseph Ryan
      (1838 - 1886)
   Poet-Priest of the South

FURL that Banner, for ’t is weary;
Round its staff ’t is 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,        5
And there ’s not one left to lave it
In the blood which heroes gave it,
And its foes now scorn and brave it:
    Furl it, hide it,—let it rest!

Take that Banner down! ’t is tattered;        10
Broken is its staff and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered,
    Over whom it floated high.
Oh, ’t is hard for us to fold it,
Hard to think there ’s none to hold it,        15
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,        20
    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!        25

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        30
    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;        35
And oh, wildly they deplore it,
    Now to furl and fold it so!

Furl that Banner! True, ’t is gory,
Yet ’t is wreathed around with glory,
And ’t will live in song and story        40
    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.        45

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,—        50
    For its people’s hopes are fled!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

July 2 -- The Visitation of Our Lady to her Cousin Elizabeth

John Mason Neale's translation of O Gloriosa Virginum, the Lauds hymn for today's feast:

O GLORIOUS Virgin, throned in rest
Amidst the starry host above,
Who gavest nurture from thy breast
To God with pure maternal love: 
What we had lost through sinful Eve
The Blossom sprung from thee restores.
And granting bliss to souls that grieve.
Unbars the everlasting doors. 
O gate, through which hath passed the King:
O hall, whence light shone through the gloom;
The ransomed nations praise and sing,
Life given from the virgin womb. 
All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.