Another Brick in the Wall

Celina Durgan reports at NRO that the Secular Coalition of America is asking folks to knit bricks to show their outrage over the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. The knitwits at the SCA want to send hundreds yarn bricks to the Court to express concern for the “wall of separation” between church and state being breached.

Uh, huh.

If the knitwits had ever read Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists (the source of the phrase), they would know that he intended it to mean that the government should keep its nose out of the business of religion and not the other way around. I doubt that Jefferson would approve of a law or regulation that mandates that one must violate his conscience.


Quote of the Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

—Declaration of Independence

Common Core and the Holocaust

There’s a pencil sketch of a young Army captain hanging among the family pictures in the hall in my house. It’s dated “Dachau ’45.” The artist was a Jewish prisoner. My father was involved in the liberation of Dachau and contributed to the official report on the camp as a military intelligence officer. My father didn’t speak much about that experience, but his letters home from that time painted a picture of inhuman horror.

The Gentle Reader should therefore understand my lack of patience with holocaust deniers and should understand my utter disgust at the recent stories of trying to teach “critical thinking” by arguing that the holocaust was a hoax.

Don’t Know Much About History

The Volokh Conspiracy reports on yesterday’s decision by the 9th Circuit in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholding a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. This shows a lack of historical awareness all around.

The original purpose of Cinco de Mayo is a commemoration of the Battle of Puebla which was fought on 5 May, 1862. The Battle was a Mexican victory over an invading French Army. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day. That’s 16 September. It isn’t even a national holiday in Mexico.

I wonder if the Morgan Hill Unified School District allows French flag t-shirts on 5 May?

Quote of the Day

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

—Abraham Lincoln, 1863

22 November, 1963

My friends and I had been sitting at a table in the school cafeteria talking about politics and how interesting it was going to be to watch Barry Goldwater (who we presumed would be the Republican nominee) run against President Kennedy in 1964. I took a break from the conversation and went over to the desert area to get some ice cream. The girl behind the counter was transfixed by the transistor radio in her hand. When I started to talk to her, she shhhed me and turned up the volume. The announcer was repeating a news flash from UPI about the President being shot in Dallas.

I walked back over to the table and broke the news to my friends. We left and went down to a classroom with a TV set. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Walter Cronkite relay the story from Dallas. There were no more classes that day.

There will be a lot of retrospective stuff published today, and I suspect that much of it will either omit or distort one key fact—Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed President Kennedy, was a leftwing nut job; he was a communist.

A Bit of Perspective

463 days Construction of the Empire State Building 22 January, 1930, to 1 May, 1931

585 days US involvement in WWI 6 April, 1917, to 11 November, 1918

1093 days Manhattan Project time to first bomb test 13 August, 1942, to 16 July, 1945

1244 days US war with Germany (WWII) 11 December, 1941, to 8 May, 1945

1289 days Obamacare Website 21 March, 2010, to 1 October, 2013

Seven Score and Ten Years Ago …

… President Lincoln made some brief remarks at the dedication of a military cemetery in southern Pennsylvania.

On 19 November, there will be a ceremony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. President Obama has blown off his invitation to participate.

I’m not sure what he has on his schedule for the 19th, but I’ll bet that the world will little note nor long remember what he does that day.

Quote of the Day

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire!
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York!
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi!
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Quote of the Day

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge—and pray God we have not lost it—that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.

—Ronald Reagan, 6 June, 1984

Cinco de Mayo

french_googleresultsThe Battle of Puebla took place on 5 May, 1862, near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. The date is observed in the state of Puebla to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces.

Although Mexican citizens feel very proud of the meaning of Cinco de Mayo, it is not a national holiday in Mexico, but it is an official holiday in the State of Puebla where the battle took place and in the neighboring State of Vera Cruz. However, all public schools are closed nation-wide in Mexico on 5 May.

Gun Control and Racism

Not many people know that the oldest civil rights organization in the U. S. is the National Rifle Association. Even fewer know of its informal working alliance with the NAACP in the South during the ’60s.

Here is a some history about how the NRA helped the members of an NAACP chapter in Monroe, NC, defend themselves. The money quote from the post (emphasis mine):

When the Klan arrived, instead of finding the good doctor alone with his family they found the house fortified with sandbags and guarded by armed men who knew how to use their weapons. A firefight ensued.
The Klan and their police support were no match for the local NRA members. The NRA members drove off the attackers inflicting unknown causalities on the raiders.

But, of course, these days we can always trust the government to protect us.