New Year Open Thread

  The usual open thread rules apply.  Be concise, be charitable and, above all, be amusing!

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How the West Was Won

Western Wagons They went with axe and rifle, when the trail was still to blaze, They went with wife and children, in the prairie-schooner days, With banjo and with frying pan—Susanna, don’t you cry! For I’m off to California to

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Silence, Faith and Courage

“Like my Master, I shall die upon the cross. Like him, a lance will pierce my heart so that my blood and my love can flow out upon the land and sanctify it to his name.” Saint Paul Miki, statement

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Installation Scene From Becket

  If we who are called bishops desire to understand the meaning of our calling and to be worthy of it, we must strive to keep our eyes on him whom God appointed high priest for ever, and to follow

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Predictions 2017

    Well, here I stroll once again in where angels fear to tread and make my predictions for 2017: 1. President Trump will issue a pardon to Hillary Clinton. 2. Isis will be eliminated from Iraq. 3. There will be

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Debbie Reynolds: Requiescat In Pace

  Legendary actress Debbie Reynolds has died of a stroke one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher.  It is said that she wished to be with her daughter, and I can deeply empathize with that sorrowful sentiment

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Exeunt Thomas Sowell

Intellectuals may like to think of themselves as people who “speak truth to power” but too often they are people who speak lies to gain power. Thomas Sowell     Economist Thomas Sowell has decided to call it a day

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Predictions of Times Past

  Time for me to look at my predictions for this year and to dine on a bit of crow: 1. The GOP national ticket will consist of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but I am uncertain as to which of

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Cold Winter of Unbelief

Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so

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Carrie Fisher: Resquiescat in Pace

  Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, Nor the furious winter’s rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done, Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages; Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. William Shakespeare,

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Feast Day of Saint John the Apostle

  [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him: and without him was made

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Good King Wenceslas, Saint Stephen and Martyrdom

But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his Passion, no one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went

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December 26, 1776: Washington Saves the American Revolution

    Washington crossing the Delaware is ingrained in the American psyche, and well it should be.  Without Washington’s brilliant attack at Trenton against the Hessian garrison stationed there on December 26, 1776, his subsequent maneuver around the reacting British force

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A Proclamation

  The twenty-fifth day of December. In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth; the two thousand nine hundred

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Norad Tracking Santa

    When I was a kid, perhaps because I was the son of an Air Force veteran, I always thrilled to the tracking of Santa by Norad (North American Air Defense).  I am happy to see that Norad is

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Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Something for a Christmas Weekend.  Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, the hymn we enjoy today developed and changed over a century with input from many hands.  No hymn I think better exemplifies the sheer joy

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Change of Heart

    I think the antics of the crazed left since the election of Trump are costing them supporters.  Case in point, Rod Dreher publishes a letter from a young mother: I’m a secular/agnostic Californian and longtime reader of your

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Thirty Five Years Ago: Reagan Christmas Address

On December 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation.  The video above is an excerpt from that speech.  The portion of the address dealing with the attempt by the then Polish Communist regime to crush Solidarity, the Polish labor

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The Bishop’s Wife

  A fine Christmas movie is The Bishop’s Wife from 1947.    David Niven is an Episcopalian bishop of a struggling diocese;  Loretta Young (ironically one of the more devout Catholics in the Hollywood of her time) is his wife;  and Cary Grant is

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Virgil

Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh, Dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove! See how it totters- the world’s orbed might, Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault profound, All, see, enraptured of the coming time! Ah!

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Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

    Seventy-two years ago at Christmas the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War.   Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans

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December 21, 1866: Fetterman Fight

 “They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one–They promised to take our land…and they took it.” Red Cloud, Lakota Chief Next to the battle of the Little Big Horn, the worst defeat of

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Debate in the Age of Francis

  Law professor Stephen Bainbridge brings to our attention the one sided nature of debate within the Catholic Church in this pontificate:   There’s going to be a third meeting at Catholic University on “the relationship of Catholicism to libertarianism.”

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Of Course A Pope May Be Heretical

    Edward Feser is a philosopher not a historian, but he reminds us of a piece of Catholic history that the powers that currently be within the Church seek to ignore:   The Church has for centuries allowed among

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Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

  First broadcast in 1956, Bishop Sheen puts his own unique spin on the eternal mystery of Christmas, God becoming Man, Creator becoming Created.  It is interesting how philosophical and complicated Sheen’s presentation is.  Recall that his show was broadcast on commercial

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Messianic Prophecies: 2 Samuel 7: 12-16

  Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here,

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Yawn, Trump Wins Electoral College

  The attempt, predictably, to generate an Electoral College revolt against Donald Trump failed miserably yesterday.  The College met around the nation on Monday and Clinton suffered the defection of five faithless electors to two for Trump.  Here is the

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Sarajevo II?

Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur,

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Obama: Founder of the Modern Republican Party

  Michael Goodwin sums up the Obama years:   So this is how it ends — in a whimper wrapped in self-pity and recriminations. With President Obama on the defensive at his final press conference and Hillary Clinton’s last campaign

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