“… of the people, by the people, for the people…”

jeff_davis_union_constitution

Notwithstanding Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” did not “perish from the earth” when the Southern States withdrew from a Union they had voluntarily entered into. It perished when they were driven back into it at the point of the bayonet.

— H.V. “Bo” Traywick, Jr.

 

Just sayin’…….

 

 

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“The West is abandoning God,” Patriarch Kirill tells new U.S. ambassador to Russia / OrthoChristian.Com

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with newly-appointed American ambassador to Russia John Huntsman at the patriarchal residence yesterday to discuss matters of relations between the two countries and of the fate of suffering Christians around the world, reports patriarchia.ru. Photo: RIA-Novosti

The patriarch [noted] that the relationship between believers is one of the human heart, between diplomats—of the mind, and between businessmen—of the stomach. “I don’t think we should exclude the heart from international relations,” His Holiness emphasized.

Source: “The West is abandoning God,” Pat. Kirill tells new U.S. ambassador to Russia / OrthoChristian.Com

“In the patriarch’s view, as he told Ambassador Huntsman, today’s difficulties go beyond the mere relations between states, but involve the differences of values and the different understanding of values. He explained to the diplomat that during Soviet times, the persecuted Christians of Russia had more in common in terms of values with the sincere Christians in America than with the atheists among their fellow Russians. ‘Despite the atheistic propaganda in our country, the religiosity was always very high, and it was, I think, a wonderful basis for the development of relations between the new Russia and USA,’ the primate stated.

“However, what happened in the Soviet Union is now happening in America, as His Holiness observed. ‘The West is abandoning God, but Russia is not abandoning God, like the majority of people in the world. That means the distance between our values is increasing,’ Pat. Kirill said… ‘We would very much like if we could look and find the right answers to the challenges of modern civilization along with the religious American people,’ His Holiness assured the ambassador.”

Once again, this  an outcome devoutly to be wished!

Leaked recording: Berlin police instructor calls Muslim recruits ‘enemy in our ranks’

polizei

Source: Leaked recording: Berlin police instructor calls Muslim recruits ‘enemy in our ranks’

Sadly, this does not come as a surprise!

On the tape, the unidentified police instructor complains that many officers who come from migrant backgrounds, particularly those of Turkish and Arabic origins, refuse to pay attention in the academy classrooms and many have trouble speaking or writing German, Die Welt reported…

These Muslim recruits have put the future of the Berlin police force in jeopardy according to the instructor who said the migrant police officers would be “a second-class of police that will only be corrupt”.

“These are not colleagues, that’s the enemy. This is the enemy in our ranks and I have never felt such hostility in this class,” he added.

An English friend of mine on Facebook comments, “My son attended an Uniformed Services course at College prior to joining the Paras, and he said the same thing about the Middle Eastern [students] on his course. He said 50% of the class were made up of them, they were lazy, cheeky, stupid, bereft of discipline and he thought they were there for inside information to help them fight against us.”

Unfortunately I would not be a bit surprised. I am reminded of the fact that the 9/11 terrorists here in the U.S. learned to fly the airliners they used as weapons at American flight schools. The idea of Muslims in Germany and Britain learning information, tactics, etc., from the police and military of those countries seems all too credible, to me.

Kindness, openness, and willingness to share information has been a hallmark of Western society for centuries, and especially following the end of the Second World War – and heretofore, it has been a source of strength. But in the present environment, it seems to be more a source of vulnerability.

“How RUSSIA Saved The Union’s Ass In The Civil War” | The Burning Platform

The arrival of the Russian fleet to New York and San Francisco “unleashed an immense wave of euphoria in the North.” “The Russian visit… ended the last chance of European intervention.”

Source: How RUSSIA Saved The Union’s Ass In The Civil War – The Burning Platform

Very interesting indeed! And timely, in light of all the attention Russia is getting these days.

It is only fairly recently (within the last year) that I had become aware that Russia supported the Union at all, and I had no idea how decisively. The unspoken subtext to this article, though, is that even the American Civil War (War Between the States) was part of the “Great Game” between Great Britain and Russia for world dominance.

Wonder if it was a memory of this history that led the US to basically seek to impoverish Britain and end her Empire in exchange for American assistance during the World Wars!

Following National Anthem Protests, the NFL is No Longer the Most Popular Sport in America | Tribunist

As the controversy surrounding the national anthem protests continues to divide football fans, the NFL now has a new challenge it must come to grips with: not being country’s favorite sport. A recent poll showed that the number of people who view the league positively has dropped significantly and that shift has allowed baseball to claim the top spot.

Source: Following National Anthem Protests, the NFL is No Longer the Most Popular Sport in America | Tribunist

I have avoided dwelling on the “taking a knee” protests at American football games, with the exception of this post on October the 1st, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that these protests are indeed having an effect – just not the one intended!

As reported by the Daily Mail, a Winston Group survey [shows] that the favorable ratings for the NFL have fallen from 57 percent at the end of August to 44 percent at the end of September, marking a 13 percent shift in just one month.

The unfavorable rating for the NFL is now the highest among all of the mainstream professional leagues, coming in at 40 percent. At the end of September, baseball’s favorable rating was 65 percent.

The survey also showed that the NFL’s core fans, typically considered to be men aged 34 to 54, have started to turn on the sport, with favorable ratings dropping from 73 to 42 [a drop of nearly 30%] and unfavorable ratings rising from 19 to 47 between August and September.

This turn may reflect a number of factors, ranging from a (well-founded) distrust of the premises of these protests, to a feeling that athletes being paid millions to play a game don’t have any standing to be complaining about discrimination, to the belief that professional sports were a place to get away from politics for a while, and now that refuge has been eliminated, to the point – underscored by the picture, above – that NFL players are protesting “on the clock,” while they’re supposed to be doing their jobs.

There is, in my opinion, justification for all of these; and I suspect that for most former National Football League fans (of whose ranks I was never a member, so I can hardly be said to be “boycotting” a sport I rarely watched anyway), there are elements of all of the above playing into the dynamic.

Whatever the source, however, the effect is clear: (former) NFL fans are “voting with their feet” – and their wallets. Some teams are beginning to realize that their actions have backfired, and are beginning to backpedal. It remains to be seen if others will follow suit… and even if they do, whether NFL fans will be quick to forgive or forget.

What Does Sir Walter Scott Say About Love of Country?  | Crisis Magazine

There is part of a poem by Sir Walter Scott often titled “My Native Land.” Back when poetry was appreciated and even memorized, its first lines were well known. It went:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

‘This is my own, my native land!’

Source: What Does Sir Walter Scott Say About Love of Country?  – Crisis Magazine

While written from a Roman Catholic perspective, one need certainly not be of the Roman observance to find much in this article by John Horvat II, blogging for Crisis magazine, to be of value. He notes, inter alia, that

Love of country is not imposed. It comes naturally as a projection of the love of parents and family. According to the Catholic Church’s teachings, love of country rests on the demands of nature and religion. Both require the proper behavior of children toward parents to whom they owe their existence.

Indeed it is true that love of country, like love for one’s own ethno-cultural heritage, is neither more nor less than love for family writ large. Horvat continues,

Similarly, both impose obligations on citizens toward their nation…

The most fundamental requirement is that the citizen exhibit reasonable esteem and love of country. Back when civics was taught in schools, people learned to display this appreciation by showing interest in the nation’s history and institutions, and respect for its symbols. People learned how to participate in civic activities such as the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing and singing of the national anthem, and the proper lowering and folding of the flag.

However, it continues, genuine patriotism “calls upon citizens to disregard their self-interest and sacrifice for the common good in times of disaster and war,” up to and including “that sacred duty to sacrifice one’s life for the nation so that others might freely live in peace.” In return, it “requires from the living that they remember and respect those who made that ultimate sacrifice.” But there is more:

“Patriotism’s second aspect is less structured. It involves a great sensitivity to a particular place inside the nation. Sir Walter Scott understood well how people normally come to develop natural preferences for the setting where they were born or raised. They savor its panorama, land, climate, or foods. Even rugged, bleak or inhospitable places can take on special meaning for people. They prefer their own nation in general and their own region in particular, even when other places are better endowed by God.

Thus, true patriotism grows out of, evokes, and requires attachment both to the people of a country, and to its land – what some have referred to as “blood and soil.” It is these things which make love of country tangible and personal, not merely theoretical and abstract. Without them, it is merely an intellectual allegiance, which can be changed, like one’s style of dress, if one has a change of heart, dislikes the current political leadership, or simply on a whim.

It is, as the old saying goes, “a mile wide (although it may actually be a good deal narrower) and an inch deep”:

“This intimate connection with one’s native land is weakened by a culture that belittles nations, regions, and their God-embedded treasures. Postmodern individuals are told to pursue their own happiness wherever and whenever it appears. In a globalized world, the perception of place is reduced to a mere portal from which one might access goods and services.”

“Ask not,” the secular corporate globalist exhorts the jaded postmodernist hipster – brought up since birth to the drumbeat of a twisted form of “multiculturalism” that refuses to respect cultures as distinct and unique to the historic and geographic context that shaped them, and valuable precisely because of that distinctiveness, but rather insists upon lumping them together in a mish-mash of supposed “diversity” that is really all about sameness, and thus dishonours the integrity of each of them – “ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you!” John F. Kennedy would not, I think, approve.

Horvat then applies his premise to a situation that is very much in the news today:

“The erosion of what undergirds patriotism is the tragedy of the present controversy over the national anthem. So many of the natural influences that foster a love of one’s native land—religion, community and family—are no longer strong. Few unifying rituals, like the national anthem, remain to bind individuals together as a people.”

I have long said – and indeed, have commented in this blog – that there are only so many common, binding factors that, like the structural pillars of a building, support and hold a society together.

Besides the obvious unified government and legal structure, these include common ethnicity (until 1965 and its changes in immigration law, people of non-European heritage never – even during the height of slavery – made up more than 10% of the population of the United States, and the real demographic changes did not kick in until the dawn of the 21st century), common language, common religious understanding (which need not mean a single Established Church, but does require a common basic adherence to, for instance, the Judeo-Christian moral and religious tradition), and respect for common institutions, history, and cultural traditions.

A society can survive without each and every one of these being strong, but like the aforementioned pillars, with every one that is weakened or kicked over, the stability and integrity of the overall structure is weakened, as well. And each and every one of these is under varying forms of attack in today’s America, and indeed throughout the Western world. This should be a matter of grave concern to anyone who believes that there is anything of value in Western civilization in general, or the United States of America in particular.

But perhaps the kneeling controversy in professional football – in which many NFL players have chosen to “take a knee” during the National Anthem, as referenced above – has had a positive and salutary effect in the larger cultural struggle, unlikely as that may seem: perhaps, just perhaps, it has given ordinary Americans, who have long been vaguely troubled at the direction our country seems to have taken in recent years and decades, something to sink their teeth into… a place to take a stand. As Horvat notes,

“That is what is so surprising about the healthy backlash against the football theatrics. Despite the weakening of patriotism everywhere, those reacting have taken its vestiges and rekindled in their hearts a fiery defense of the nation.

“They have taken as their focus patriotism’s most sublime aspect: the sacrifice of those who died for the country [by reminding us that disrespect for the flag also disrespects those who have died for it, and for us]. They have made it a point of honor that the country and its symbols be respected.

“These are Americans who… see that no other place can offer what America has given them. This is not a stupid nationalism, which despises other nations and peoples. Rather, it is patriotism. It is that deep and natural love for ‘my own, my native land!’

“Thus, an unlikely skirmish on the gridiron has turned into something beyond that of a simple football game. It is now a battle that touches on the core of what America is and should be—a people called to self-sacrifice, ‘sacred duty’ and the practice of the virtue of piety.”

And this – if we are not, as a culture, lulled back to sleep by the next round of “bread and circuses” – may be a very good thing: a sign of the pendulum swinging back toward sanity, the first real stirrings of a national (re)awakening. Or so we may hope and pray!

Pro Deo et Patria.

(“For God and Country.”)

The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement | Imprimis

However inexcusable every act of police brutality is, there is a larger reality behind the issue of policing, crime, and race that remains a taboo topic.

Source: The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement – Imprimis

We are in the midst of a swirling controversy, here in the United States, around the growing trend for professional athletes – particularly, but not exclusively, football players – and others to “take a knee” (kneel) during the National Anthem, as a protest against alleged police violence against “people of color,” particularly African-Americans.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Americans see this as a mark of disrespect, if not flat-out assault, against the the anthem, the flag, and by extension, the “Republic for which it stands” (in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance). I am inclined to agree, although I take a somewhat more nuanced stance than some in that I can see that some of the protesters are well-meaning, and behaving with a reasonable degree of respect despite kneeling.

Nonetheless, I have some real issues with this practice, on at least two levels. First, the flag is or should be a non-political sign of the nation itself, our ideals and values at their best, as well as our history and heritage – which, while not without fault, has been by and large a positive one for our people, and for the world. We do not have a monarch, to serve as a supra-political unifying figure; for us in the United States, our flag – and other forms of iconography related to it, including the Anthem – serves that role.

Protesting the flag, including the National Anthem, is a de facto protest against our nation as a whole, not just political views, leaders, or perspectives on social issues with which one may legitimately disagree. And the very fact that one cannot be arrested and imprisoned, or worse, for disrespecting the flag or other national icons seems, to me, to be a very good reason to treat them with even greater respect!

But secondly, it’s not just that disrespecting our flag, and by extension our nation, is intrinsically wrong-headed – it’s that the premise behind it is wrong, too. This is, perhaps, the real issue, and it is one which is rarely discussed… the 900-lb gorilla in the room, as it were. And the fact is, there is not a war against blacks by the police, as those protesting imply (or sometimes flat-out state); in fact, quite the contrary is true.

As this article points out,

“Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers, compared to four percent of all black homicide victims. If we’re going to have a “Lives Matter” anti-police movement, it would be more appropriately named ‘White and Hispanic Lives Matter.’”

In contrast,

“Every year, approximately 6,000 blacks are murdered. This is a number greater than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the national population. Blacks are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. In Los Angeles, blacks between the ages of 20 and 24 die at a rate 20 to 30 times the national mean.

“Who is killing them? Not the police, and not white civilians, but other blacks. The astronomical black death-by-homicide rate is a function of the black crime rate. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined. Blacks of all ages commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at eleven times the rate of whites alone.

“The police could end all lethal uses of force tomorrow and it would have at most a trivial effect on the black death-by-homicide rate.”

The folks “taking a knee” to protest the killing of blacks by police officers should instead be protesting the astronomically high rate of black-on-black violence, and more broadly, the disproportionately high rate of violent crimes committed by blacks. As this article also points out, police respond aggressively, not out of racism, but to protect law-abiding citizens in high-crime areas:

“The geographic disparities are also huge. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81 times higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn—the first neighborhood predominantly black, the second neighborhood predominantly white and Asian.

“As a result, police presence and use of proactive tactics are much higher in Brownsville than in Bay Ridge. Every time there is a shooting, the police will flood the area looking to make stops in order to avert a retaliatory shooting. They are in Brownsville not because of racism, but because they want to provide protection to its many law-abiding residents who deserve safety.”

The whole article is excellent – well-written, and well-researched. It makes clear that those “taking a knee” – although many may be well-meaning, I will grant them that – are deeply misguided in their assumptions, as well as their approach.