10 historical facts about Memorial Day


ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 24:Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place American flags at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day May 24, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. ‘Flags-In’ has become an annual ceremony since the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) was designated to be an Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment participates in these events.(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)(Photo: Win McNamee Getty Images)

How Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy De-Stabilized the World

In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister douard Daladier warned Adolf Hitler that if the Third Reich invaded Poland, a European war would follow.

Both leaders insisted that they meant it. But Hitler thought that after getting away with militarizing the Rhineland, annexing Austria, and dismantling Czechoslovakia, the Allied appeasers were once again just bluffing.

England and France declared war two days after Hitler entered Poland.

Once hard-won deterrence is lost, it is almost impossible to restore credibility without terrible costs and danger.

Last week, Russian officials warned the Obama administration about the installation of a new anti-ballistic missile system in Romania and talked of a possible nuclear confrontation that would reduce the host country to smoking ruins and neutralize any American-sponsored missile system.

Such apocalyptic rhetoric follows months of Russian bullying of nearby neutral Sweden, harassment of U.S. ships and planes, warnings to NATO nations in Europe, and constant threats to the Baltic states and former Soviet republics.

China just warned the U.S. to keep its ships and planes away from its new artificial island and military base in the Spratly archipelagoplopped down in the middle of the South China Sea to control international sea lanes.

Iranian leaders routinely threaten to close down the key Strait of Hormuz. North Korea and the Islamic State are upping their usual unhinged bombast to new levelsfrom threatening nuclear strikes on the U.S. homeland to drawing up hit lists of Americans targeted for death.

Alexander Hamilton’s Warning to Fans of Trump and Sanders

Populism is in. Reason is out. That picture seems to characterize contemporary American politics. While Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are campaigning for two different parties’ presidential nomination, the two men share in common an incoherent populism. Whether it’s Trump’s tirades about China or Senator Sanders’ insistence that the government can do just about everything and anything, both follow the classic populist playbook. Among other things, this involves identifying the evil-doers (China, the one percent, etc.) supposedly responsible for all our woes and proposing simplistic solutions that will be accomplished, apparently, because they say so.

This is not our first fight with Populism’s bitter battle.

After returning from the Revolutionary War in 1783, Hamilton began his legal practice in New York by defending Tories threatened with banishment and confiscation of property by populist politicians swept into office by New Yorkers determined to vent their anger on those on the Revolution’s losing side. The British had done terrible things during their occupation of New York. Yet in his First Letter from Phocion (1784), Hamilton noted that “nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions, by letting into the government, principles and precedents which afterwards prove fatal to themselves.” Hamilton then highlighted the dangerous precedent that would be created by evicting and expelling an entire category of people without fair hearings and trials. Should this occur, Hamilton wrote, “no man can be safe, nor know when he may be the innocent victim of a prevailing faction. The name of liberty applied to such a government would be a mockery of common sense.”

Ignoring the Law

The Obama administration’s hilarious commerce-clause argument against Arizona’s immigration law was too much even for U.S. District Judge Susan “Rubber Stamp” Bolton. The Justice Department had maintained that the Arizona statute’s ban on smuggling illegal aliens while committing another crime — a provision targeting drug dealers — violates the Constitution’s assignment of the regulation of interstate commerce to the federal government. The federal interest in the unimpeded transport of drug runners and scouts across state lines, one must infer from the department’s brief, trumps a state’s interest in keeping drug dealing away from its residents.

Displaying a judicial acumen otherwise lacking in her opinion, Judge Bolton noted that the United States had not “provided a satisfactory explanation for how [the anti-smuggling section], which creates parallel state statutory provisions for conduct already prohibited by federal law, has a substantial effect on interstate commerce.” Moreover, noted the judge, one must weigh the burden on “interstate commerce” against the putative local benefits from its regulation.


Living as a Believer in the Nation We Have Now


The following is being delivered at Brigham Young University on March 22, 2016.

I’m here today because I believe the friendship of the LDS and Catholic communities is important. The better we know each other’s stories as religious minorities in this country, the better we can support each other in pursuing some of the vital issues we share. And that serves not just our beliefs and concerns, but the health of our entire nation.

I want to begin by giving you some background on the Catholic experience in this country. I’ll do that through the lens of a particular Catholic bishop—me. I don’t claim to speak for all or even most Americans who describe themselves as Catholic. But my comments do reflect the views of many Catholics who rank their Catholic faith as the most precious thing in their lives—and actually live that way.

So let’s start with a simple fact: Catholics have never entirely “fit” in America. We’ve tried, but the results are mixed. In fact some years ago Stanley Hauerwas, the distinguished Protestant theologian, said that we Catholics not only don’t fit in America, we also know we don’t fit. And because we know, we’re doubly eager to prove that we’re more American than anybody else.