Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stevenson was a mere shadow of Truman


Ol’ Harry pored over Plutarch and the classics, and read and re-read his Bible; Adlai barely took time to crack open a book.

Stevenson was trounced twice by Ike: winning a total of nine states in 1952, and only seven states the next time.

(Bob Dole won 19 states, and McCain and Romney each carried more than twenty.)

What is stunning, however, is to see WHERE Governor Stevenson won.  It was the region so maligned by liberals – the Deep South, the heart of the Bible Belt – that saved the bacon of Adlai the Unitarian, preventing a complete shutout!

Here is the 1956 map:


(Check out the similar ’52 results.)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The summons sent by Muhammad to the Byzantine emperor


Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570.

The Islamic prophet sent a message in 628, four years before his death in Medina, to Heraclius – emperor of the Byzantine Empire (pictured above):
'Aslim Taslam'
(In other words, "submit [convert to Islam], and you will have peace.")

When Heraclius refused the invitation, Constantinople became Islam’s arch-enemy.

Heraclius was emperor from 610 – 641, and was the one who made Greek the official language of the Eastern Empire (which endured for another eight centuries).


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Japan: Saint Francis Xavier

On this date, roughly five centuries ago, Francis Xavier stepped ashore the southern port city of Kagoshima.  The Gospel had arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Francis was enchanted by the people: “It seems to me that we shall never find…another race to equal the Japanese.”

From a letter that the Basque saint wrote to his fellow Jesuits back in Europe:
“The Japanese doctrines teach absolutely nothing concerning the creation of the world, of the sun, the moon, the stars, the heavens, the earth, sea, and the rest, and do not believe that they have any origin but themselves. The people were greatly astonished on hearing it said that there is one sole Author and common Father of souls, by whom they were created. This astonishment was caused by the fact that in their religious traditions there is nowhere any mention of a Creator of the universe. If there existed one single First Cause of all things, surely, they said, the Chinese, from whom they derive their religion, must have known it. For the Japanese give the Chinese the pre-eminence in wisdom and prudence in everything relating either to religion or to political government. They asked us a multitude of questions concerning this First Cause of all things; whether He were good or bad, whether the same First Cause were the origin of good and of evil. We replied that there exists one only First Cause, and He supremely good, without any admixture of evil.”

The Japanese who did come to embrace the fullness of the Faith were remarkable in never flinching at the “cost of discipleship.”


The definitive authority on the sacral nature of Japanese nationalism is Professor Kevin Doak.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

YEMEN: first of 8 nation profiles (via Hugh Hewitt)


Check out this description of Yemen, the southern neighbor of Saudi Arabia that always seems to be in the news.  It’s interesting that the northern part of Yemen is predominantly Shia Muslim.

The capital of Sana’a is, by far, the largest city. Yemen – less than a fourth the size of Saudi Arabia in area – is only 3 million shy of her neighbor’s 29 million people.

The port of Aden (fourth largest Yemeni city) has played a pivotal role in the world’s naval history.  The gulf is now known as “Pirate Alley” for the ongoing depredations of Somali buccaneers.

Yemenis are a sizable portion of the foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia (whose population is one-third foreign!); twenty years ago they expelled 800,000 of them because of Yemen’s support for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.