Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass’s lengthy 1852 speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” is blistering in its critique of American immorality and hypocrisy on the issue of slavery:

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? . . .

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Happy Feast of St. Stephen!

December 26, 2019

As Seen In the classic Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”:

The children’s cartoon Phineas and Ferb is surprisingly traditional (and educational!) on the subject:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2018

I turned on the radio to find that today even NPR was singing about Jesus—even during Terry Gross’s Fresh Air!

How appropriate, for this week of Thanksgiving, that even NPR should sing praise to God.  We may not always remember it, but Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about God, about giving Him our thanks and even our service:

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NPR this morning, on yesterday’s primary elections in Texas:

Driven by anti-President Trump fervor, there were plenty of positive signs for a once-latent Democratic Party in Texas. . . . Democrats fielded a record number of candidates in all 36 congressional districts, and there’s the potential to flip maybe three or more seats come November.

By the early hours of Wednesday, Democratic vote totals neared 1 million, nearly doubling totals from 2014 and reaching a level not seen in a midterm primary for the party since 2002.

2002, you say?  I can’t seem to recallhow did that one turn out for Democrats?

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NPR reviews some of the history of American immigration law, and reaches some admirably honest conclusions:

illegal immigration history, NPRThe Simpson-Mazzoli Act was introduced as a way to end illegal border crossings once and for all. It had three parts: Give amnesty to those who had been in the country for at least five years, crack down on employers who hire people who can’t legally work here, and pump up border security to prevent future illegal crossings.

President Reagan supported the bill and signed it into law in 1986. Three million people were granted amnesty under the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, but by 1990 the number of unauthorized immigrants was back up to 3.5 million.

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Arch of Triumph

This is beautiful.  Daesh/ISIS thugs destroyed another priceless ancient monument; so London has erected a new one.

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Merry Christmas!

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Wells portraitHappy 153rd birthday of teacher, journalist, civil-rights activist, Republican, and gun advocate Ida B. Wells!

Google has a “Doodle” today (see below) in honor of this remarkable and courageous woman.  You may know she was born a slave before the Civil War and helped found the NAACP in 1909, but here are five interesting things you may not have heard:

1.  Ida Wells was the original Rosa Parks.

She refused to move to the back of the train, “71 years before the activist Rosa Parks showed similar resistance on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus.”

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Current events provide a reminder that however ugly our disagreements, there’s a lot of value in preserving a pluralistic, (classically) liberal society, where we leave each other free to make our own choices and live our own lives, to the extent possible.

If Germany makes it illegal to buy or sell Mein Kampf, how do they know people weren’t going to buy it in order to study history and make sure it isn’t repeated?

If we pressure Walmart etc. to stop selling Confederate battle flags, how do we know people weren’t going to buy them in order to burn them?

Mark Steyn has some interesting thoughts on recent parliamentary maneuverings in Congress.

Andrew C. McCarthy, after discussing the relevant history forcefully and at length, concludes,

The American people do not want Obamacare, and the representatives closest to them have voted not to spend the people’s money on it. According to the Constitution, that should be the end of the matter.

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National Review Online has an interesting piece about the legal history of abortion in America.  Apparently there’s a certain liberal narrative that “the true purpose of 19th-century abortion laws was to protect women, not unborn children,” and that there was a “right” to abortion in Anglo-American common law “from 1607 to 1830.”

Apparently this narrative is far from historically accurate, and the liberal lawyers who crafted it were sometimes surprisingly explicit (among themselves) about what they were doing:

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Via Wintery Knight, in “The Myth of the Flat Earth”, Jeffrey Burton Russell talks about one argument which those who scoff at Christianity (or at the past generally) don’t have available to them:

. . . an error that the Historical Society of Britain some years back listed as number one in its short compendium of the ten most common historical illusions. It is the notion that people used to believe that the earth was flat—especially medieval Christians.

It must first be reiterated that with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat.

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Celebrate Good Times

January 20, 2010

Red Massachusetts

Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley yesterday in the race for the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, 52% to 47%.  If you haven’t been following it, here’s the skinny:

This probably means that Democrats no longer have enough votes (60) to overcome Republicans’ filibuster of the health-care bill in the Senate.  That means that the Democrats’ version of health-care “reform”—already getting less and less likely as time went on, given that they hadn’t passed it before this year, an election year—is probably now dead.  We won.  Thank You, God, and a big thank-you to the people of Massachusetts. Read the rest of this entry »