Tuesday, October 31, 2023

                                      October 31, 2023



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


Standing Against the Totalitarian Horde at Home and Abroad


A few weeks ago a close acquaintance of mine wrote an impassioned letter intended for publication in a South Carolina newspaper. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his letter was not printed by any media source in the state….Not because it was crude or appeared to incite violence; not because he employed foul language or insulting attacks against opponents. Indeed, the letter was well-written, well-argued, and based on widely-available facts.

But in the contemporary USA, intelligent, well-expressed presentations, even those factually based are no longer guaranteed a hearing if they come from someone who is not suitably “woke” or who does not buy into the constantly-advancing and society-altering Leftist tsunami. In fact, what we see and have experienced here in America in the last several decades has been a dedicated, largely successful effort to shut down, neutralize, or buy off any dissent from or disagreement with the actions and goals of the DC elites, the entrenched Managerial State and its engorged tentacles which now extend inexorably into the lives of nearly every American. The First Amendment be damned, if it doesn’t support those ideological aims.

Richard Hines, the author of the letter, is a long-time political player, not only in the Sandlapper State, but also on the national level. Over the years he has served in the South Carolina legislature, co-chaired a Ronald Reagan for president campaign, and was then appointed to various White House administrative posts in the Transportation Department and General Services Administration. After Reagan’s tenure, Richard formed a consulting firm to represent a diversity of clients in Washington.

But it is his role as a steadfast and outspoken defender of the old South, its history, its culture, and its symbols and monuments which has strongly characterized his subsequent years. As a fearless champion of Southern heritage he has expended tremendous energy and his own fortune in support of those ideals. He and I were both contributing editors to the old, and much-lamented, Southern Partisan Magazine. That is where we first met forty years ago, and our friendship since then has been based on our shared commitment to the traditions and culture of our native region.

Indeed, he has been bitterly attacked precisely for his positions and effective activity. In 2005 The Nation, perhaps the country’s pre-eminent far left journal, launched a vicious attack on my friend, terming him “Lobbyist for the Lost Cause,” parading its shoddy attempt at opposition research before its fanatical readers. But such assaults have not deterred him or his efforts.

Most recently Richard co-authored with Dr. Paul Gottfried in Chronicles Magazine an eloquent piece on the historic and artistically impressive Confederate monument in the Arlington National Cemetery (“The Fate of Moses Ezekiel and His Memorial to the Confederate Dead,” Chronicles, November 2022). The monument is surrounded by the graves of hundreds of Confederate veterans, buried with honor on the grounds of what once was the home of Robert E. Lee. No matter that the sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, was an internationally famed sculptor and that the monument is intended as a symbol of national reunification. The Feds, with bi-partisan support, decided that symbol of reunion and honor to the dead was a symbol of racism and “white nationalism” and had to go.

But Richard is also keenly aware that issues such as the survival of a Southern culture and heritage are inextricably bound up with the direction the American nation seems to be taking globally. Not only in the United States with its grassroots MAGA movement, but also in most European and other countries, there is a rising tide of popular opposition to this increasing control by unseen, unaccountable elites and bureaucrats, whether in the myriad of offices and agencies in Washington, DC, or in faceless buildings in Bruxelles and Geneva.

One uniting position for the various popular opposition movements is the return of power and authority to the people and, as well, to the historic regions which compose those countries—the application of the old principle of subsidiarity—that what can be done on a lower level of society should not be the responsibility of a higher level of governance. The modern state has become a Behemoth, unanswerable to the populace, incapable of being dislodged, as if an unapproachable cocoon of wealth and privilege. This “new aristocracy”—or better said, oligarchy—is far more venal, far more vicious, far less visible, and far more effective in forcing its iron will on society than any older form of aristocracy based on inheritance and family and rooted in service to the commonwealth.

Not just the various attempts to remove the leading Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, from the ballot in several states—all in the name of “our democracy”(!)—but recent calls by members of this elite that perhaps we have too many elections, illustrate that the intentions of the ensconced Managerial Class have far more to do with a globalist “great reset” and the retention power than with their hollow paeans to “democracy.”

In the United States the enablers of this Leftist march towards totalitarian globalism are the “neoconservatives” and a coterie of Republican “insiders” who have traditionally controlled the party and dominated GOP politics out of Washington. Their blinkered internationalism and desire to impose a Pax Americana on the rest of the world fit comfortably with the zealous Leftist goal of bringing “our democracy” (by force if necessary) to the most remote desert and the furthest jungle in the world.

Richard Hines understands this. He understands that if this country shall survive we must return to the wisdom of the Fathers of our country and to the constitutional, America First principles that once made this country great: decentralization, respect for our inherited rights, non-intervention globally, and the defense of our borders and not those of some faraway land that no one can find on a map.

Here is his letter:

To the Editor:

Our neo-conservative elites [who are not really conservative at all], as epitomized by Nikki Haley and Lindsey Graham, obviously think our election every four years is for a “President of the World” instead of a Chief Magistrate of the American Republic. Lindsey’s presidential ambitions ended in complete failure and are now happily forgotten. Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, you name it – Lindsey never met a war he didn’t like. In calling for an attack on Iran last week, Nikki Haley breathlessly repeated the mantra “Finish them! Finish them!” as if the annihilation of 92 million Iranians was the final round of a boxing match.

Sadly, much of the current chaos we find ourselves in is of our own making. Clearly we have learned nothing from Afghanistan, which was an unprepared and ignorant “lunge to defeat” in the words of one diplomat. The Washington-manufactured conflict in Ukraine, which helped create our current proxy war with Russia, is much the same. We turned a blind eye to the pre-existing ethnic conflicts which were fired by fictitious borders created in the years of the Soviet Union. The result, which should have been obvious even in the 1990’s, is that millions of ethnic Russians were trapped in a country whose regime outlaws their language and their religion.

Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump told the unvarnished truth when he said he could stop that war in twenty-four hours by turning off the dollar spigot in Washington which fuels the conflict. Not only would it end the war there, but this would have a beneficial effect in the Middle East. Former intelligence officer Scott Ritter has argued persuasively that Hamas terrorists are armed in part with American weapons obtained on the black market which we originally supplied to the Ukrainians.

The leaders of our young Republic, especially George Washington and John Quincy Adams, were prophetic when they warned Americans to beware of foreign entanglements. As Secretary of State, Adams said that “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy… She is the champion and vindicator ONLY OF HER OWN… She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom…. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

This statement is not a mere anachronism. Should we not return to a rational America First foreign policy, coupled by a return to Christian morality in our society, America as we have known it will certainly cease to exist.

Wise counsel, indeed.


Friday, October 13, 2023


October 13, 2023



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


The Passing of Zippy: Who Was He, You Ask?

When I first met Zippy he was a mature, chestnut-colored and very friendly male equine who had come to live with my neighbors. They had created an ample fenced-in, grassy pasture next to my property, plus a neat horse-shed where Zippy could both sleep or take safe refuge should the weather turn bad.

Earlier this year Zippy reached the admirable old age (for a horse) of thirty, and he had begun to show his years. But neither I nor any of my neighbors were prepared to see him leave us, for him to die. Yet, in recent weeks he had been beset by several severe conditions. Perhaps we should have suspected, perhaps we should have known.

A couple of weeks ago, the vets’ diagnosis of cancer seemed serious. But Zippy had survived earlier infections and illnesses, and somehow he had come through them okay.

But not this time; the cancer was far too advanced, the vets said. And Zippy was too old and too infirm, and in pain.

Thus it was that a couple of weeks ago my next door neighbor contacted veterinarians whose specialty is equine care and medicine. Their role was to inject Zippy with a serum which would stop his heart and end his life.

That afternoon was sunny; it was a temperate late September day. A number of neighbors, including several children who had known and loved Zippy gathered to comfort him and…say good-bye.

I had ventured over earlier in the day to say my farewells; I did not wish to be there when the vet had to put him down. Several other neighbors were there, too. I embraced his beautiful head and patted him, then planted a light kiss on his forehead. I looked into his eyes; he seemed to know that something was going on—so many human beings attending him. What indeed was happening, he must have thought.

At that time my neighbors were expecting the vets soon. But it was much later when they came, and at the very moment I opened my front door to walk my cocker spaniel Jasper after his supper, I cast a glance towards the adjoining pasture just in time to see the fatal injection and Zippy fall that one last time, his heart stilled, to the ground. It is and was a vision which remains with me as I close my eyes—it was a vision I wished to avoid, but could not.

My cocker Jasper somehow noticed it, also. You see, Jasper and Zippy had one of those special animal friendships that is unique in the animal kingdom. Ever since Zippy came to live with my neighbors, my cockers, both Robert before Jasper, and Jasper alone since 2018, have befriended him. Each morning and evening when I would walk Jasper, he would urgently pull my leash in the direction of Zippy’s corral. Then, he would scoot under the fence as Zippy galloped over excitedly, and the two would touch noses. It was one of those regular events which convinces you that God’s Creation is good and that animals do sense goodness in other creatures.

Seeing Zippy brought down by the injection I walked Jasper towards my neighbor’s fence. Jasper was whining as we went and pulling hard on his leash. I think he knew something was amiss.

One of my neighbors had dug a grave for Zippy in his familiar pasture, where his human companions plan to plant flowers and perhaps erect some type of memorial. That afternoon I couldn’t stop Jasper’s whining; he desperately wanted to approach the body of his dead friend, but I would not let him get that close.

Every morning since then, when I first take Jasper out for his accustomed jaunt, he heads directly for that pasture. Now, there is a small mound of freshly-turned dirt over the plot where Zippy is buried, but that doesn’t seem to deter Jasper. It’s as if he is looking for his friend in the last place where he saw him. And he accompanies his search usually with a muted whine: “Where is my friend? What has happened to him?”

I will admit that witnessing Jasper’s response has only heightened my own sadness. Zippy was part of my little rural neighborhood and had become a dear friend of my cocker spaniel. Certainly, horses usually only live between twenty-five and thirty years. And Zippy had lived a good, long life, appreciated and loved by us humans, as well as by at least one canine denizen.

Many years ago, when I was in my teens, my sister begged my parents for a horse. It seemed back then that many children desired horses as pets. After all we were raised when equine companions were prominent both in film and on television. I still remember Trigger (Roy Rogers’ stallion) and Champion (the graceful stead of Gene Autry), and who can forget “My Friend Flicka” or Silver, the extremely intelligent solid-white beauty who accompanied the “Lone Ranger” everywhere?

Those horses were almost human, or so it seemed to us. They knew what we were thinking and were always there if the human hero needed assistance that only his trusted mount might offer.

So, my father acquired a handsome pinto, named Patches. Like my neighbor, Dad built a small horse shed for him. And I can remember that one thing Patches would do is let one of our small cocker spaniels ride on his back (well, maybe with a little help from one of us children!). My sister has photographs, all taken about sixty years ago, which capture those memories.

As I bade farewell to Zippy and observed Jasper’s own special reaction, those thoughts of long-ago came back to me as in a reverie.

Back in 2019 I conducted a round-table discussion with two well-versed academics from England, and one from the United States (plus myself), on what happens to animals after death. It was a topic addressed by writer Dr. John Warwick Montgomery thirty years ago in 1993, and published in the New Oxford Review as “Fido in Heaven?” Our more recent symposium, titled “Do Dogs Go to Heaven?,” was later aired in the New English Review in April 2020. After ample back-and-forth and various objections addressed, we came to the conclusion that animal souls as they are not human do not enjoy the Beatific Vision promised to those who die in God’s graces. But as they are His creatures and are called by Him “good,” and they act according to their created natures (and are incapable of sin), that neither do their animal souls disappear into nothingness. Rather, even not experiencing the blindingly joyous vision of Beatitude, yet their animal souls are somehow present on some level glorifying the God who created them and surrounding the human companions for whom they provided such delight and comfort when on earth.

I like to think that is Zippy’s happy fate, just as it is for the several cocker spaniels who have allowed me to keep them company during their short lives and who have provided immeasurable and invaluable comfort, devotion and love to me over the years. They are and were, as I call them, God’s barking angels, just as Zippy was that elegant and handsome equine companion for my neighbors.

We shall, I believe, feel their presence once again.

(The photograph above is of Zippy in happier days)

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...