December 20, 2014 10 Comments
A friend of mine tweeted this yesterday, it is incredibly powerful.
The view from the Prairie, with an emphasis on Energy
October 27, 2014 15 Comments
Back many years ago before the real beginning of the modern world, back in the heady days not long after Henry VIII had turned England from being an adjunct of Europe to looking out on the world, not long after the Battle of the Solent where Henry beat of Francis I’s French fleet, and lost the Mary Rose. Not long after the smaller although more famous Armada attacked Elizabeth and she beat off the last attempt to re-catholicize England by force. Not long after all these earth-shaking events, Sir Walter Raleigh said.
“Whoever commands the sea, commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.”
Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz reminded us of those words on the day of his retirement as Chief of Naval Operations of the United States Navy.They were true when Raleigh said them, indeed they were true when Athens defeated Sparta, when Rome defeated Carthage, when Nelson triumphed at Trafalgar, when Nimitz triumphed at Tokyo Bay. They are true today.
When you look at HMS Victory in Portsmouth, or when you look at USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, or USS Constellation in New York you are looking at an artefact of world-wide power, and the reason that the world is mostly free.
The best definition of a superpower is this: A superpower is a country which is able to exert great force far from home. By that standard, there have been two, and only two in modern history, the British Empire, and the United States, and in many ways they have become indistinguishable, to the world’s benefit.
All the others have been able to exert great force, but only regionally. Spain, France, Germany, and now Russia in Europe, and Japan and now China in Asia. They are all regional powers.
For instance, Britain has fought four wars in Afghanistan, Germany and Russia have never fought a war outside of Europe. Britain fought a war in China, America fought Japan all across the Pacific both victoriously
Since that day in 1588 when Medina-Sidonia passed beyond the chance of success, some would say the day when the Golden Hind returned from its circumnavigation, the seas have been ruled by the English Speaking peoples. The modern world has been created by the singular fact that anywhere in the world, at any moment, the situation could be controlled by the militaries of first England and then the United States, and increasingly by both, joined by Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
This is why the world speaks English, this is why the common law is enshrined in so many countries. Indeed this is why the world is as modern as it is.
If you were an Islamic Imam striving to keep your seventh century world intact, would you hate people like these?
Americans energetically pursue commerce, science, medicine, technology and the arts. When these designs are halted by conflict, they energetically pursue absolute, decisive, and ruthless destruction of their enemies. After visiting violence and securing victory they energetically return to the pursuit of commerce, science, medicine, technology and the arts. (from Great Satan’s Girlfriend)
Great Satan, indeed, if your mission is to enslave your followers in the seventh century, because deep in your bones you know your slaves all want to go there, especially all those women and girls you’ve been enslaving and mutilating for millennia. And how uncouth is it when your wonderful warriors are scattered all over the landscape–by a girl. Sometimes, it is good to be hated. Many Nigerian blacks in the nineteenth century hated both the British and American Navies for taking away their living, by ending the slave trade.
Mahan famously said that Napoleon was defeated by “Those distant, storm-tossed ships, never seen by the Grande Armeé, were all that stood between it and world domination.” He was right. And as it was for Napoleon, so it was for Hitler and Tojo, separated by the beleaguered Empire forces in the Levant and the Burma-India theater, and so it was for the Soviet Union, which received its death notice from a young American president in October 1962, when its ships turned back from Cuba.
And so it is today, as the révanchist forces of Islam and Imperial Russia attempt to confront the free world. It is simply a matter of time and will before they, like all enemies of freedom are first contained and then destroyed by free people. The only way for us to lose, is to give up. They will kill many and cause much damage but history says that they cannot win.
Unless we let them.
The Honorable Daniel Hannan had some questions for us last weekend at CPAC
First published on 10 March 2014
October 19, 2014 3 Comments
Apparently in 2007 the EU Parliament passed a law that made 18 October ‘Anti Human trafficking day’ and in 2010 the british Parliament made the same day ‘Anti-slavery day’. My take on that is: whoopee, maybe we could have a hashtag next–they’re all about as effective.
Why this is here is a reminder that it was the British, led mostly by Wilberforce, that ended the transatlantic slave trade, by putting the Royal Navy, and their money where their mouth was.
Still, I like Ann Jolis’ article here, she says some good things, and that’s her job. And she did a good job.
But we need to heed what the Spectator editors of an earlier age said.
We could not have believed for a moment, a year ago, that the Times and Saturday Review would both in the same week devote their ablest pens to an apology, not merely for Slavery itself, but for the Christian character of that institution. Yet so it is. . . .
The Times follows its bolder contemporary on the same track, modestly suggesting that it would be much more Scriptural and Christian in the abolitionists to preach the ‘amelioration of the negro’ (we suppose the writer means, of his lot), than his emancipation. . . .
For ourselves we do not hesitate to say that no religious scepticism of the present day seems to us so monstrous and so atheistic as this; nay, that if the Gospel were weighted with such a condition, it would be one that neither sign nor miracle could prove. It is, speaking relatively, of infinitely little importance whether we live under an aristocracy or a democracy, compared with whether we live under a God who loves freedom, or a Devil who loves Slavery. But, we confess, nothing seems to us more astounding than the assertion that the Divine revelation is indifferent on the matter. No doubt, the Divine education of the Hebrew people never attempted to ignore the actual historical condition of the nation. It recognized, under the strictest possible limitations, the fact of Slavery, at an era when no other people had learned to impose any limitation on the power of the master at all.
Those are words we would be well advised to heed, and with more than our mouths.
There is still much work to do.
October 12, 2014 11 Comments
Daniel Hannan has an outstanding article up on the Telegraph yesterday. He is talking about how to defeat the young Brits that wish to be jihadis. The thing is, you never defeat something with nothing, he’s right.
British history, like its niece American history, is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to individual liberty. In great measure, it is a story that is one of the most attractive in the world. But we have allowed it to be corrupted, by those who use it for political ends, who have convinced many that Britain, and America, are evil incarnate. We, like the Brits, have allowed this to creep in, unnoticed, over the years until this evil nonsense is what is being taught to our children as our history.
There are things in our histories that are cringeworthy, but that is true of everyone’s history. There is also the fact that of all the peoples in the world, the Anglo-Americans have done more for the individual, than anybody else.
And in a related matter, our young people are looking for something when they join the jihad, or even when they convert to Islam. I think they look for certainty, a system that knows right from wrong, good from evil. Islam is a system that is flawed of course, It reflects the flawed nature of its founder, and is easily corrupted to evil, if it is not evil in itself.
But, one knows that there is another system in the world that does the same thing, it offers a choice, and a stark one, between good and evil, but unlike Islam, it while rooted in antiquity, has grown. The wisest men of the last 2000 years have contributed to it, and enriched it.
But it, like Anglo-American history, has been greatly maligned and diluted, both from within and without. But also like our history, the record is still there, and accessible, we merely need to read, learn and share it.
A Polish friend, an MEP of my sort of age, was telling me the other day about how his life changed when Pope John Paul II toured his home country. The papal visit set in train the events that led to the Gdansk protests and, in due course, the unravelling of the tyranny. But my friend added a detail that I had never before appreciated. “The Holy Father never directly condemned the Communist authorities,” he said. “He didn’t need to. He was offering something better”.
When you put it like that, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Offer something better. It worked during the recent Scottish referendum. For months, Unionists had warned of the horrors that would follow from separation: companies leaving, markets collapsing, Scotland left without a currency. The more frenetically they warned, the further they fell behind in the polls. Only in the closing days did the “No” campaign make the positive argument it should have made all along: the UK was doing pretty darned well, Scots were prospering within it, and it was silly to discard a precious thing. That was when the polls turned.
Continue reading The way to defeat British jihadis is to offer something better
And that is the thing that I find so frustrating, Anglo-American history is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to freedom, and its sharing all over the world. It is one of the most remarkable and uplifting stories ever writing, and written in blood by the common man.
And the other story that I referred to above is even greater, although the two are intimately entwined. Because the story of Christianity is also a story of free will, and enlightenment. It has justly been called The Greatest Story Ever Told, and it is. It the story of man’s civilization, from a violent past. Only Christianity has developed, and lived by a ‘Just War Theory’ . The rest still live by the rule of the most powerful, while we live by the ‘Rule under and through the law’ and apply y it not only to ourselves but even to those who presume to rule us.
That is what President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Pope (St.) John Paul II used to defeat the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.
It is a wonderful uplifting story. Because something always defeats nothing, and humanism, and Islam, are nothing, Simply the rule of the powerful.
October 10, 2014 Leave a comment
In some ways, I’m cleaning out my files today but, you’ll find these are connected. In each case they involve the author telling the plain unvarnished truth as they see it. I find it very refreshing. You may or you may not agree with everything each author says, as it happens, I mostly agree with them. But then, I make no claim to be completely objective. I think you can learn from each of them.
Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)
His scorn was withering. . .He had described his foes in Parliament as “good, honest men who are ready to die for their opinions, if only they knew what their opinions are.” Of Baldwin’s government, he said: “So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift…all powerful to be impotent.”
– Leo Rosten, on Winston Churchill**
Well, I read that last night and thought, were Churchill around here, he might rerun those sentiments about Obama and the Congress. He might also note with great sadness that upon the world political stage, there is currently no great leader, no one person capable — when the world is crying out for focus, as it is, today — of stirring a people to greatness by exchanging partisan postures for a larger, sharable vision and for decisiveness.
We are pursuing ISIS with the heart of Bartleby-the-Scrivener, who would prefer not to. Even as evidence mounts that they are here, and likely on every continent.
SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop!
As you know, not to long ago Bp. Howard Hubbard was retired from his looooong tenure as Bishop of Albany. He was succeeded by Bp. Edward Scharfenberger.
Recently Bp. Scharfenbeger gave a speech to an interfaith group in Albany. At least one Protestant didn’t like what he had to say.
From the Times Union of Albany, NY.
Rev. Sam Trumbore
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany[Unitarian Universalist… what is that, I wonder.]
Bishop Scharfenberger’s after dinner speech last night at the Capital Region Theological Center Fall fundraising dinner seriously missed his audience and likely ruffled a few feathers in the interfaith, largely Protestant audience of about 230 community leaders.
Many of us in attendance were very interested to hear the recent replacement for long serving Bishop Hubbard, to hear what his message to the interfaith community might be. The Capital Region Theological Center is a wonderful ecumenical organization founded by the collaboration of the founding partners: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Reformed Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. […] Their values welcoming and supporting all faith communities seeking peace, justice and a more sustainable planet and a spirit of collaboration, discussion over judgment, and diversity rather than uniformityline up well with the values of my Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Speaking Truth To Wussies.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
Great Satan’s avuncular Veep spoke truth and really p.o.’d some of our valuable fickle on again off again ‘Allies” and have hurt their feelings LOL
“What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
“Now you think I’m exaggerating? “Take a look! Where did all of this go?”
“All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because [of] this outfit called ISIL [or ISIS], which was Al Qaeda in Iraq,” said Biden. He sketched the organization’s history: it was “essentially thrown out of Iraq” but “found open space in territory in eastern Syria,” then it worked with the al Qaeda subsidiary al Nusra, which the United States “declared a terrorist group early on.” And, still, according to Biden, “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden — I don’t want to be too facetious — but they have seen the Lord, [and] the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.
The following only reflects my position and not necessarily that of my party Liberty GB.
Islam has been distorted by Western politicians and media to such an extreme point that this doctrine is almost completely the opposite of what is being described as.
It is not a “religion of peace”: it is a non-religion of war.
It is not a religion in the sense that we in the West understand, through the experience of our own religion: Christianity. It doesn’t make human beings better, but worse.
Whereas Christianity establishes a separation of powers between church and state, Islam is a political ideology. Men’s laws are imperfect and should be rejected. Only God-given law, Sharia, should rule the state. Notice that “law” here doesn’t mean “moral law”, but the country’s legislation. Sharia has to be enforced with all available means, peaceful or violent, democratic or totalitarian.
Islam’s holy scriptures say – and real Muslims believe – that the world will be a much better place for human beings to live in if Islam and its law govern the whole planet. Under Islam’s domination, there will be justice, equality and all the good things that communists have also promised humanity. And in both cases (Islam and communism), followers are prepared to cause mayhem and slaughter to attain this utopian “paradise on earth”.
So there you are, around the world in about a thousand words, telling the truth, as the authors see it.
October 8, 2014 4 Comments
If you are anything approaching a traditional Christian these days, I’d bet that you are feeling, if not exactly persecuted, put upon may be the nicest way to say it. We have a lot of very noisy evangelical atheists around, don’t we? Well, I have a question for them, why aren’t your atheist buddies out there in the field, as volunteers, doing their best for all those people dying from the Ebola virus? I’d ask the same question of the Muslims, cause I haven’t heard of them doing any relief work either. This is excerpted from The Federalist by Aaron Earls
In his wandering, disjointed article at Slate, Brian Palmer meant to convey his distrust of Christian missionaries who provide medical care, particularly those serving where Ebola is ravaging the population. Instead, he became another in a long line of critics unintentionally complimenting followers of Christ.
Reports are that the Twitterverse wasn’t very kind to him. I can’t say I feel very sorry for him, there entirely too much talk about this epidemic and not nearly enough help for it. Yesterday we wrote about what Firestone is doing on their rubber plantation in Liberia. As always it is American corporations, and (mostly) American Christian missionaries carrying the load.
Yet, if you look closer at Palmer’s piece, it is exactly what we should expect from a secular atheist trying to reconcile a sight of Christians loving others sacrificially. In speaking of a comparison between those seeking to export American consumerism versus missionaries spreading their faith, he writes:
There’s one other big difference between missionaries and Western merchants: The missionaries don’t profit personally from their work. They are compensated very poorly, if at all. Many risk their lives. How many people would risk death to spread the gospel of Western consumer goods gratis?
So? Where are they? These folks aren’t going to by your crap if they’re dead, after all. Get out there.
Such has been the conundrum in which those opposing Christianity have long found themselves. Followers of Christ often go into the hardest places where others frequently flee. When a pandemic swept through the Roman Empire around the year 250, government leaders fled to stay safe. But Christian leaders like Cyprian and Dionysius stayed to serve the poor and sick. In the years after the third-century plague, Christianity exploded across the empire. People saw how followers of Jesus responded, which led to more and more individuals choosing to follow Christ. When the Ebola outbreak has been contained and others finally consider it safe to return to Liberia and Sierra Leone, they may find the same.
I also note that:
[…]Pliny the Younger, a second-century Roman governor, and Julian the Apostate, the fourth-century Roman emperor.
In Palmer’s piece, you can particularly hear the echoes of Julian, who bemoaned the acts of charity displayed by Christians, not just for towards their own, but for all those in need. In a letter to a pagan priest, Julian wrote: “For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilaeans support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us.”
Read the whole article at Is It Fair To Criticize Missionary Doctors?.
I also note that Julian was the last pagan Emperor, which is rather interesting.
And that is an interesting point as well. Christianity spread long before Mohammed was born, from Ireland to China’s Pacific coast, and well into Africa, not by using the sword, as Islam did, but by caring for the least of us, as it still does.
And that’s the thing, I think. Christians and Americans (and a fair number of Europeans, as well) are always willing to take a risk, and try to help others. It’s called the ‘religion of life’ for a reason. The others are simply religions of death and chaos.