Posted by: Democratic Thinker | May 25, 2015

Just A Common Soldier

Just A Common Soldier


Just A Common Soldier—A. Lawrence Vaincourt
Read by Tony Lo Bianco

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | May 14, 2015

Judge No Man

Considerations by the Way

An Fourteenth Century philosopher comments on good and evil.

We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.


River of Life.



That a man should bidingly travail in this world, and suffer the pain thereof, and judge no man.


AND therefore, whoso coveteth to come to cleanness that he lost for sin, and to win to that well-being where all woe wanteth, him behoveth bidingly to travail in this work, and suffer the pain thereof, whatsoever that he be: whether he have been an accustomed sinner or none.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | May 13, 2015

At Port Royal


At Port Royal.

At Port Royal.


THE tent-lights glimmer on the land,
The ship-lights on the sea;
The night-wind smooths with drifting sand
Our track on lone Tybee.

At last our grating keels outslide,
Our good boats forward swing;
And while we ride the land-locked tide,
Our negroes row and sing.

For dear the bondman holds his gifts
Of music and of song:
The gold that kindly Nature sifts
Among his sands of wrong;

The power to make his toiling days
And poor home-comforts please;
The quaint relief of mirth that plays
With sorrow’s minor keys.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 30, 2015

Run the Race to Win

Considerations by the Way

An ancient philosopher illustrates a fundamental principle.

We shall not presume to anticipate the judgment of our fellow-citizens throughout the Union on these important letters, by interposing any comments of our own.—Four Letters on the Important Subject of Government, 1802.


Boxers during the Isthmian Games.


Life is Like Unto a Race.


KNOW ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 29, 2015

Weekly Story: The Story Behind ‘It Is No Secret’ 

Weekly Story

BreakPoint commentator, Eric Metaxas, reports on the background of Stuart Hamblen’s hymn “It Is No Secret.”

As the site tells, “It Is No Secret” was written by Stuart Hamblen, who is regarded as one of radio’s first “singing cowboys.” Hamblen, the son of a Methodist minister from Texas, didn’t handle his fame very well. As Wikipedia tells us, his drinking, and the brawling and “destructive behavior” it produced, landed him in jail “many times.”


BreakPoint Commentaries.

The Story behind ‘It Is No Secret’


By: Eric MetaxasPublished: April 14, 2015 8:00 AM


I never thought I’d get to talk about Billy Graham, Elvis Presley, and John Wayne all in one BreakPoint commentary. Stay tuned for the amazing story behind a famous gospel song.

Listen Now | Download


BreakPoint Commentator Eric Metaxas.

We’ve all had the experience of getting a song stuck in our head for an extended period of time. If you’re really unfortunate, that song may be one by Christopher Cross or Air Supply.

But sometimes, these “earworms,” as they are dubbed, can lead to good things.

That recently happened to one of us right here at BreakPoint. While reading a biography of the early 20th century evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, my colleague and friend Roberto Rivera found himself humming and singing the gospel song “It Is No Secret (What God Can Do).”

He’s not sure why the song popped into his head; he couldn’t recall ever singing it before. But once it entered his consciousness, it didn’t leave. While driving the next day, he searched for the song on Spotify and listened to two very different versions: the first by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and the second by Elvis Presley.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 27, 2015

Thomas à Kempis: On Religious Exercises

Considerations by the Way

A medieval philosopher illustrates a fundamental principle.

For man proposes, but God disposes; for man’s way is not in himself.


CHAPTER XIX.—On Religious Exercises.


Thomas à Kempis Canonicus Regularis.—Click for Larger View.

THE life of a good religious person ought to be enriched with all virtues, so that his inner life might accord with his outward profession.

Indeed his inner life ought to be in advance of his outer; for God beholds the heart, and before all others we are bound to reverence Him wherever we may be, and-like the angels-to keep ourselves pure in His Sight.

We ought every day to renew our resolutions, and to kindle our fervour, as though it were the very beginning of our conversion, and to say—“Assist me, O God, in this my good purpose, and in Thy Holy Service; and grant that this dayI may begin perfectly, for that which I have hitherto been able to carry out is as nothing.”

2. Our success depends upon the strength of our purpose ; and, if we would make much progress we must use much diligence.

But, if one often fails after making a strong resolution, how will it fare with those who seldom make any good purpose, or who purpose without firmness?

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 26, 2015

Grant’s Tomb—Dedicated April 27, 1897

Grant’s Tomb—Dedicated April 27, 1897.

Grant’s Tomb—Dedicated April 27, 1897.


Schofield, on Grant.


Ulysses S. Grant.

T HE subject of this volume being limited to events of which I have had personal knowledge, and it never having been my good fortune to serve in the field with General Grant, it would be inappropriate to make herein any general comments upon his military operations. But I cannot close this account of events so closely connected with my own official life without making acknowledgment of my obligations to that great-hearted man for the justice, kindness, and generosity which he invariably manifested toward me whenever occasion offered.

It was General Grant whose voluntary application, in the winter of 1863-4, relieved me from the disagreeable controversy with partizan politicians in Missouri, and gave me command of an army in the field. It was upon his recommendation that my services in that command were recognized by promotion from the grade of captain to that of brigadier-general in the regular army and brevet major-general for services in the battle of Franklin. It was Grant who, upon my suggestion, ordered me, with the Twenty-third Corps, from Tennessee to North Carolina, to take part in the closing operations of the war, instead of leaving me where nothing important remained to be done. It was he who paid me the high compliment of selecting me to conduct the operations which might be necessary to enforce the Monroe doctrine against the French army which had invaded Mexico. It was he who firmly sustained me in saving the people of Virginia from the worst effects of the congressional reconstruction laws. It was he who greeted me most cordially as Secretary of War in 1868, and expressed a desire that I might hold that office under his own administration. And, finally, it was he who promoted me to the rank of major-general in the regular army, the next day after his inauguration as President.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 23, 2015

Poor Pat MacDonough’s Song


The A.B.C, that semi-elected, semi-nominated body of a few score persons, controls the Planet. ‘Transportation is Civilisation,’ our motto runs. Theoretically we do what we please, so long as we do not interfere with the traffic and all it implies. Practically, the A.B.C. confirms or annuls all international arrangements, and, to judge from its last report, finds our tolerant, humorous, lazy little Planet only too ready to shift the whole burden of public administration on its shoulders.—‘With the Night Mail: A Story of 2000 A.D.’


MacDonough’s Song


WHETHER the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth—
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 22, 2015

American Life: Military Laboratory, Arms and Supplies

American Life

Military Laboratory, of Philadelphia, lists military arms and supplies available to the public in the new republic. Clayton Cramer notes that all these arms and supplies were protected by the just written Second Amendment.

The above articles are prepared by a person who followed the business, and had full experience during the whole of the American revolution.

Military Laboratory,
At No. 34, Dock Street, near the Drawbridge,

Where Owners and Commanders of Armed Vessels may be supplied, for either the use of Small Arms or Cannon, at the shortest notice, with every species of

V I Z.

Rammers, sponges, worms and ladles, with or without spring worms, ready covered, of all sizes, of superior quality

Copper gun ladles and double worms for every bore

Gunner’s handspikes, plain or shod, and crowbars

Windlass and capstern handspikes

Best saltpetre and common match rope

Cannon priming horns, with screw bottoms

Cannon priming wires, bitts and augers

Lint-stocks, port-fire and false-fire stocks

Boarding pikes ready fitted, cutlasses and poll-axes

Musket’s and pistol’s

Musket and pistol balls and cartridges, with or without buck shot, either empty or filled

Musket cartridges in blank, for the exercise of the militia

Round, grape, canister, partridge, star, sliding gunter and langridge shot, either loose or quilted

Stools and bags for langridge and grape shot, of all sizes

Shot, cartridge and wad, formers & guages

Cannon cartridges, ready made to every bore

Cannon, musket cartridge and log book paper

Gun aprons, either lead or canvass

Cannon and musket cartridge boxes of every size

Tompions and port taugles

Sheep-skins for sponges, ready dressed

Musket, cannon and pistol powder & flints

Cannon provers, tryers, searchers and relievers, to discover any defect in the bore

Magazine, side, battle, poop, tin and other lanthorns, with directions how to fix the magazine lanthorn to prevent accidents

Hand cuffs and leg shackles

Port fire, flow fire, quick match, flambeaux, stink pots, fire balls, carcases, and composition for signals for convoys made up, of every description, & every species of fire work prepared at the shortest notice

Fuzes, tubes and powder chests, with full instructions for fitting them for close quarters to prevent being boarded

Sky rockets and colors of every description for signals; also fire arrows

Military drums and fifes, either plain or ornamented with United States or other arms

Hand grenadoes, filled and fused

Conductors for howitzers and carronades that are chambered

Copper and other powder measures

Musket, pistol, and cannon cartridge formes for every bore

Budge barrels, ready fitted

Flannel cartridges, fixed with either round, grape or cannister shot

Marlin, sewing and whipping twine

Masters of vessels may have their cartridges filled

Gunners’ spiking mallets and spiking irons

Wad, hooks and arm chests, &c. &c.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 21, 2015

News: Constitutional Carry Gives Birth to TrainMeKansas!


At Page Nine, The Uninvited Ombudsman reports that Train Me Kansas is up and running.


We used a lot of material from your Train Me Arizona site and I sincerely appreciate you authorizing us to do that! It saved me from having to write a lot of copy and gave us an excellent model to develop our site and program from. [Nothing would be better than to have any of these ideas that are worthy spread; no need to reinvent the wheel, and gain extra power through built-in recognition and awareness. Alan.]

Page Nine.

Constitutional Carry Gives Birth to TrainMeKansas!

TrainMeArizona Plan Spreads to Kansas!


The lamestream media told you:

A lot of misinformation: “news” reporting on the bill was typically horrendous.

Ms. Stoneking reports: “Some reported we had passed open carry — Kansas has always been an open carry state (statehood was in 1861). Some said now felons could carry guns — uh duh, no. Some were talking how now we could drive around in our cars with a concealed gun with no permit — uh, we already could do that as long as it wasn’t concealed on our person. Basically just the fear mongering, Kansas will turn into the “wild west”, there will be shoot outs, police won’t know who the bad guys are — all the usual BS they say every time we pass a gun bill that expands freedom.”

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

It’s the BITS (blood in the streets) paranoia and she’s right, we encounter it every time. This is a fundamental failing of the journalism profession. My colleagues act out on their obvious fears and spread their own terror where research and reporting should go, grossly misleading their audiences.

They get it wrong, fail to observe evidence in every case, endanger civil rights, public safety and serious legislation. They should be reprimanded or replaced, but never are. The system insulates itself from correction and attacks its critics or goes into denial instead. They deny this. It’s a prime example of hoplophobic behavior — but the medical community argues that our definitions are faulty. OK. You explain it: they get it wrong, irrationally, every time, the same way. A paranoid reaction specific to guns and the right to bear arms by their fellow citizens.

Kansas State Rifle Assn. president and lobbyist Patricia Stoneking reports:

Read More…


Egyptian Streets reports that Pope Tawadros will travel to Armenia to participate in events marking the centennial of the Armenian genocide.


Following Pope Francis’ statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned him not to make similar statements.

Egyptian Streets.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II To Participate In Events Marking 100 Years Since Armenian Genocide

April 17, 2015

Photo: EPA


Coptic Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, Egypt has announced plans to travel to Armenia to participate in events marking the centennial since the Armenian genocide.

Purported by Turkey’s former Ottoman government, the genocide saw 1.5 million Armenians systematically killed by 1915. The Pope’s statement came amid current tension between Egypt and Turkey that developed after Turkey expressed disapproval of the ousting of Former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

While Armenians do not typically follow the Coptic Church, they comprise a separate branch of Orthodox Christianity that observes a similar calendar and traditions. Pope Tawadros II stated that he will be participating in commemoration events in Armenia, in addition to visiting Coptic communities in Europe in May.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 17, 2015

The Battle of Lexington

The American Revolution

Isiah Thomas, for the Massachusetts Spy, publishes an account of the Battle of Lexington.

We have pleasure to say, that notwithstanding the highest provocations given by the enemy, not one influence of cruelty, that we have heard of, was committed by our Militia; but, listening to the merciful dictates of the Christian religion, they “breathed higher sentiments of humanity.”

The Battle of Lexington.



Massachusetts Spy Headpiece.




Isaiah Thomas.

AMERICANS! forever bear in mind the BATTLE of LEXINGTON! where British Troops, unmolested and unprovoked wantonly, and in a most inhuman manner fired upon and killed a number of our countrymen, then robbed them of their provisions, ransacked, plundered and burnt their houses! nor could the tears of defenseless women, some of whom were in the pains of childbirth, the cries of helpless, babes, nor the prayers of old age, confined to beds of sickness, appease their thirst for blood—or divert them from the DESIGN of MURDER and ROBBERY!

The particulars of this alarming event will, we are credibly informed be soon published by authority, as a Committee of the Provincial Congress have been appointed to make special enquiry, and to take the depositions, on oath, of such as are knowing to the matter. In the mean time, to satisfy the expectations of our readers, we have collected from those whose veracity is unquestioned the following account, vis.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | April 15, 2015

Encounter Between Generals Nelson and Davis

Weekly Story

A dispute between General Jefferson C. Davis and his superior, General William “Bull” Nelson, ends badly.

General Nelson—roughly and angrily—“About twenty-five hundred! About twenty-five hundred! By G—d! you a regular officer, and come here to me and report about the number of men in your command. G—d d—n you, don’t you know sir, you should furnish me the exact number?”


Encounter Between Generals Nelson and Davis.


Encounter Between
Generals Nelson and Davis.


The most striking incident which occurred while the regiment [Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteers] lay at Louisville, was the shooting of General Nelson by Jeff. C. Davis. It is to be hoped that the act was morally and legally justifiable.

GENERAL Jeff. C. Davis was at home on leave of absence, which he obtained a short time before his division left the State of Mississippi, on a plea of ill health. When the alarm was raised in Louisville that the enemy were marching on that city, General Jeff. C. Davis, who could not reach his command under General Buell, then at Bowling Green, went to General Nelson and tendered his services. General Nelson gave him the command of the city militia, so soon as they were organized. General Davis opened an office and went to work in assisting in the organization. On Wednesday, General Davis called upon General Nelson in his room at the Gait House, in Louisville, when the following took place:

General Davis said, “I have the brigade, General, you assigned me, ready for service, and have called to inquire if I can obtain arms for them.”

General Nelson—“How many men have you?”

General Davis—“About twenty-five hundred men, General.”

General Nelson—roughly and angrily—“About twenty-five hundred! About twenty-five hundred! By G—d! you a regular officer, and come here to me and report about the number of men in your command. G—d d—n you, don’t you know sir, you should furnish me the exact number?”

Read More…

Science News

Czech physicist Luboš Motl, at the Reference Frame, reports on a study about gender bias in academia.


All the other columns reveal a 2-to-1 up to 2.5-to-1 preference for female applicants. Senior women in engineering prefer female applicants by more than a 3-to-1 ratio.

The Reference Frame—Our stringy Universe from a conservative viewpoint.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 …

Cornell study in PNAS: women STEM faculty are 2-to-1 overrepresented

The fair fraction of female faculty is 2 times lower than the current one.

Steven Pinker called it a shocker of a study but I am not surprised at all. The results coming from the paper I will discuss pretty much agree with my estimates based on the insider knowledge of similar mechanisms.

Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci (Cornell) just published a paper in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Read More…

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