Poetry Friday

Well, this has been quite the week, hasn’t it? It has left me feeling completely drained, and more than a bit despondent.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but my mind goes to poetry at these times, and Wiliam Butler Yeats describes it well:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I noted from reports that Joe Biden called loudly for unity the other day, as he did more work than he has in a decade to undo the work of his predecessor. In fact, he wasn’t calling for ‘unity’ he was calling for ‘submission’ which he’ll get neither from the conservatives who have come to respect President Trump because he lived the words he said in the campaign against Hilary Clinton when we would have voted for pond scum instead of her. What we blindly voted for was a patriot and a man of his word, Not a perfect man, by any means but only the third President in my lifetime that I willingly would vote for again. The other two are Eisenhower (yes, I was too young by quite a bit, but looking back would) and Ronald Reagan. In truth, I think Trump surpassed both and was the best president since Calvin Coolidge, a full century ago.
So, no, Slow Joe, there’s not going to be any unity to be had, and in four years we will have a new president if you last that long, if you’re unlucky, you might be remembered like Buchanon, the man whose administration brought us to the brink of civil war.
But it’s also possible that he will suffer the fate of Benjamin Harrison, who arguably stole the election of 1892 against Grover Cleveland and was subsequently defeated by him in 1896. History has a habit of rhyming like that.
Have you seen this?
Somehow, I don’t think either American conservatism or Donald J Trump are quite to the end of the road yet. I have no idea what the names of the teams will be going forward, but there are many innings left to play. Made me think of another poem, in fact, From an American, writing in England, of the English. T.S Elliot’s Little Gidding

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Inauguration Week; or Something

So we are apparently going to try something new – the House has decided to impeach a former president. It’s almost certainly unconstitutional, and probably since there is no there penalty, imposes an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, because it only penalty is imposing a restriction on a supposed action in the future, even if the Senate, in its folly, did convict which is almost unimaginable, idiots like Romney and Sasse notwithstanding. In short, it’s Pelosi’s supposed revenge against Trump, but it reminds me of that old cartoon gun that shoots the person firing it. Why?

Because the real loser in the affair is none other than Joe Biden. Half the populace already considers him an illegitimate president, who gained the office by fraud. It no longer matters whether that is true or not. He also follows a president who did more to restore respect and well being to more Americans than any other, and he does so with a program that promises to return to the abysmal Obama record, or maybe worse. His greatest day in the presidency will no doubt be inauguration day or would have been. This is what Nancy Pelosi stole from him. The (very) liberal Chicago Tribune says this.

[…] But rushing to impeach a president who has only seven days remaining in his term is itself an affront to our democracy. Impeachment is meant to be a last resort means of expelling a president, not a political weapon. There has not been a serious probe of what happened that terrible day, how the rioting was organized and by whom. Timelines and social media accounts show that the breaching of the Capitol took place even as Trump was still speaking to the large crowd of followers, and that the organizers may have plotted out the event in advance, mainly on Twitter and Facebook.

Democrats have no patience for a sober assessment of what went wrong; they want to humiliate a president who provoked and embarrassed them for four years, and who has accomplished much despite their incessant resistance.

Had they voted to censure Trump, they might have brought Republicans on board. As it is, only 10 Republicans in the House voted to impeach; 197 sided with the president. Democrats risk creating a martyr who will continue to have significant influence and who will bedevil them for the foreseeable future.

That’s true, they’ve thrown away whatever goodwill the right might have shown him as was done with Obama, he enters office as an enemy and he will leave the same way.

And something else, Toni Williams over at Victory Girls has been looking at something else about this inauguration, specifically the security. She also reminds us that

The Inauguration of Joe Biden has been scaled down, mostly due to Covid-19 fears, not to mention the fact that he can’t draw flies. The House and Senate and guests will be there and probably quite of few of the permanent class of D.C. will attend. That’s about it.

She also links to The Intrepid Reporter who did the digging and says it’s up to 30,000 National Guard troops. Wow, but he tells us who, and I’m going to steal his list.

The entire Washington, DC national guard (Camp Guards when I was at Gitmo in 06)
56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (Pennsylvania Bloody Buckets… lots of combat tours… ‘heavy armor’ if you consider Stryker trucks to be ‘heavy’)
Troop B of the 102nd Cavalry Regiment (negative info on them… wiki sez they’re a No-Go at any real deployments.)

1-114th Infantry Regiment (Joisey Guard, No-Go no deployments)
508th Military Police Company (Another No-Go Joisey Unit)
229th Military Police Company (Kuwait Defense 1990, doubt if any of them are still there… a No-Go Virginia unit)
153rd Military Police Company (Delaware NG, A single tour in 07-08 in Iraq)
102nd Military Police Battalion (NY NG…a No-Go unit w/zero deployments)
104th Military Police Battalion (NY Guard, No-Go NY no deployments)
229th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Virginia Guard, lots of deployments, in a non-combat role)
160th Engineer Company (Delaware Guard, construction, couldn’t find intel on deployments… thin k these are the guys doing the fencing/blockades)
261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade (Command and Control unit, one tour at my old base Victory in Iraq in 08-09)
198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (Delaware NG, VSAT and comms unit…one company in South Carolina which DID deploy once in 13-14 to Kandahar)
1049th Transportation Company (Aviation trans… couple here’n there… ass and trash)
262nd Component Repair Company (you break it, they fix it, No-Go on deployments… to me, this means they expect to need to repair shit right then and there as opposed to waiting til they get home)
108th Wing (Refueling and Air-Recon Unit, multiple deployments)
177th Fighter Wing. (Air to Air F-16 Air defense… what the fuck do they need them for?)
105th Airlift Wing (Air Trans)
174th Attack Wing (Drones… lots and lots of drones… Predators, intel-gatherers… BAD juju)
166th Security Forces Squadron. (Security for the planes, lots of deployments)
That’s 20,000  plus troops, not counting DC and federal cops. It’s also more troops than we have had in Afghanistan in a long time, maybe ever.
But the real kicker here even beyond the number is that these guys are almost all newbies, very few have seen the elephant if any. Newbies always screw up, you know that, I know that and the military is no different in that.
What happens when soldiers screw up? Yeah, people die.
Can you say Kent State, I knew that you could.
If you’re in the east, Keep your ass down your head up, and check six. And stay the hell away from DC this week!

Random Observations

Feeling a little bit better about things – momentarily, I’m sure, sigh – but I loved this and want to share it. For those of you with a memory like mine, the song is Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox. You can’t imagine how long it took me to remember the name! I think my hard drive needs a re-boot. Enjoy this…

Just to make peace with Nancy Pelosi, I will tell you this story. For Christmas, I sent my child who has a penis two big food packages of meat, cheese, and a selection of sweets and breads. Also, for my person-in-law, who is married to my child who has a vagina, I purchased a food processor. All the children were pleased.

Every once in a while, you strike gold. I did this morning. I have to share this with you because – well – just because I HAVE to! You need to walk around in my shoes to fully appreciate the things I do to inform you (I know, you never asked me to but hey – it’s my job) of all that is happening in the world. There’s this:

but there’s also this, Feral pigs flummox Puerto Rico, infiltrate communities | Honolulu Star-Advertiser. And finally, just so we don’t get tickled by these stories, here’s a real wake-up call Biggest Wild Hogs Ever Killed – The Outdoor Trip.

Audre’s articles are nearly perfect, so I rarely have anything to add but this reminded me that the phrase ‘Root hog, or die’ goes back in American history at least to the early 1800s. Pigs were commonly left to roam the first growth forests in the Old Northwest and Old Southwest. The result was Cincinnati’s early nickname ‘Porkopolis’. We may not be Pepperidge Farm but we remember in our folklore, like this [Neo]

In the final analysis, we all know he pissed off too many people – there was no coming back from that. But more than that, even if nothing happened on January 6th, the size of the crowd was frighteningly huge. It was the culmination of the campaign rally season and it scared the hell out of people on both sides of the divide. It’s one thing to think a person has power, it’s quite another thing entirely to see digits converted to human beings. Our job now is to figure out what comes next and how to deal with it. We’ve lost a battle – not the war.

Here’s a question – I don’t have an answer and maybe you’d like to make some suggestions (just remember, it’s physically impossible for me to do that! [wink]) … am I the only one that has noticed that suddenly there’s no talk at all about “voting irregularities” (just in case Big Brother is watching) since Jan. 6th? Hmmm …

http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dunning-kruger-effect

Governing a Free people

We often say, rightly, that our states are laboratories for governance. That means that states can try things and programs that if they work other states can copy. It also means that states can do things that don’t work and a sensible state will do different, smarter things. In the last year, we have seen much of that,

We have watch states like New York, California, Oregon, Illinois, and others as they legislated from fear, and for the pseudo glory of politicians, leading to entire cities being burned in riots that mayors and governors did absolutely nothing to stop if they didn’t actually support them. At the same time. these states almost all wasted vast amounts of borrowed money while crushing small and medium businesses causing what always happens in such cases. The productive members of society from executive to police officers vote with their feet for something better. And too often these people forget they are refugees, not missionaries. We have watched Colorado turn from one of the strongest states to an incipient blue sh^thole state in the last 20 years. One that I personally will not go to without serious reason, where it used to be one of my favorite places. We’ve also watched New York State claim the title as the hardest hit by Covid in the world, made far worse by its governor and government.

Next week we will witness our federal government make that same turn and no doubt it will hurt our nation’s people seriously, caused, like in our blue states at least partially by fraud, avarice, and personal ambition run amuck.

But there is another story in America, as well. You have heard me call Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota the best governor in America several times and I mean it. There is some competition such as Governor DeSantis in Audre’s Florida, and a few others. But sadly, not very much.

I could talk about Governor Noem at length, she is one of America’s new breed of conservative women, who lead effectively and well and make our states something almost unheard of: well-governed, fiscally responsible governments. Most of them come from out here in the heartland. I think that is not coincidental, we are still, even in our cities, still close to the land and the lessons it teaches about what works, what doesn’t, and reality.

If we are lucky, these women will play a bigger and bigger role in American governance, and America will thrive because of them.

Recently Governor Noem gave her State of the State speech, so we will let her tell the story of the state that has done it right in the last year by following the old American saying, as put by Ronald Reagan, the best government is the one that governs least. Here’s the state of the state of South Dakota:

I think and hope we will hear much more of this farmer’s daughter in the years to come.

Yes; it is.

This has been here since shortly before Christmas, it didn’t get published – not because it not a really good article – but because we simply ran out of slots. Anyway, it’s just as valid today as it was then so enjoy. Neo.

As there are twelve days of Christmas, I’m going to push your patience a bit and have a little discussion of the old movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I saw that! – you just rolled your eyes, didn’t you? Don’t deny it – I caught you dead to rights. Anyway …

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying the yearly series “A Carol A Day”, written by Margaret Ashworth, a staff writer for The Conservative Woman UK. Along with the ‘backstory’ of the carol writer, and often times the words of the carols, she selects the most delightful samples of YouTube videos that relate to the carols. I highly recommend you go to that site – you can go back to December 1st and catch up or just enjoy the carol of the day. One of the carols she posted caused some interesting comments (below the line, as they say) and some of those comments got me going. Not in a good way.

Some of the TCW commenters hate It’s a Wonderful Life and proceed to share their mean-spirited appraisal of the movie. While some make valid – though obvious – points about the unrealistic portrayal of the characters and insist that if it were honest, the way the movie should go is ‘insert your objections here’. I just sort of bristled a minute or two and then moved on – as you do (a delightful English expression I may have to adopt).

Then, my very dear English friend, my Alys, sent me the link to an article in The Critic https://thecritic.co.uk/its-a-wonderful-life-the-perfect-christmas-film/

It’s meant to be supportive but it doesn’t quite reach its goal. To me, anyway. There’s just something missing from the article. It may warmth; it may be heart. I suspect what’s missing is heart.

First of all – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – IAWL is a work of fiction. Fiction means it is not true. But because something is not true, we are not prevented from taking a lesson from it. There is a great message in this film and especially important – I would think – in this time of me-ism. It is, after all, all about me, isn’t it? Hmmm – one wonders. In any event, we learn what we do has an effect in the world – like the thrown stone causes concentric ripples on the water. Truly no man is an island unto himself. Cast your bread upon the water and it will come back a hundred fold*

The big part of the movie that the Critic’s writer misses is the biggest part of what makes the movie. In his article, the writer says that the angel, Clarence, gives George Bailey the ability to see what life would be like without him; that’s wrong. The scene that matters is the one that shows the night sky with twinkling stars and the audience hears a discussion between God and St. Peter. God hears the prayers of the family and friends of George Bailey and sets about making things right. God and St. Peter choose Clarence, a not very effectual angel who needs help to get his wings, to accompany George on the journey he’s about to take. Clarence is there as a sort of haphazard “Behold, I bring you great tidings”. It is Clarence’s job to help George see what is most important in his life. Unless people understand that it is God ordained for this to happen to George, it’s very easy to pick apart the rest of the film’s premise.

I know you’ll be grateful that I’m not going to go through the whole movie – I’ve already spoken about what’s most important. But I do want you to consider your own life. Simple things we’ve done for others, without their knowing or without them having to ask. These are the things that make our lives wonderful. We didn’t think long and hard about them, we just did them, sort of spur of the moment or an opportunity presented itself. Or perhaps – just maybe – you answered a prayer. I call them ‘Holy Spirit moments’; seemingly coincidental moments when you did something good for someone without even thinking about it. Answered prayer.

My prayer is that your life is sprinkled with these lovely acts and that you acknowledge that you’ve done good in the world. Not to take pride in them but to be grateful that at that moment, you did a good and wonderful thing. For someone else.

*Ecclesiastes 11:1

Now What?

Last week, the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, outlined, in The Federalist, her ideas of the problems that the election highlighted with the Republican Party and conservatism in America generally. If you believe or hope that there is a road back for the United States this is a very good plan, as I would expect from the best Governor in the US. Here’s what I can share of it, do follow the link and read it all.

Our country has changed. We have failed to educate generations of our children about what makes America unique. Few, if any of them, have been taught the history of our decades-long fight to defeat communism. Meanwhile, the left’s indoctrination takes place every day with kids all across America from the time they walk into a school at age 5 to the time they graduate college at 22.

Republicans have not been disciplined enough to do the hard work. The American people need us to fight for them on a daily basis, not just 30 to 60 days before an election.

Our party has some serious work ahead of us. We are going to have to sit down and collectively answer a very simple question: Why does America need Republicans?

The answer to that is very simple: 2020.

Last year, we saw governments all across the country shut down people’s lives. American citizens could not go to church, run their business, or send their children to school.

COVID didn’t crush the economy. Government crushed the economy. And then, just as quickly, government turned around and held itself out as the savior. Frankly, the Treasury Department can’t print money fast enough to keep up with Congress’ Christmas list.

What is so troubling is that by April, we knew that there was a specific vulnerable population that we needed to protect from COVID-19. But we also knew that the vast majority of people would recover from this virus with no serious difficulty. Despite this, very few changed course.

In 2020, despite the virus, if you wanted to riot, loot, and burn buildings down, the government either stood idly by while you did that, or worse, tacitly encouraged the destruction.

Government didn’t punish the violent criminals. But it did everything it could to punish those Americans who simply tried to defend themselves, their families, their livelihoods, and their property.

What we lived in 2020 is the left’s vision for America. […]

The American Dream is possible because of the principles that we Republicans stand for; the same principles that are under vigorous attack by the other side. We believe in certain ideals and institutions, which have served as an inspiration to people all over the world. Those people hold liberty dear in their hearts. That’s why people all across the globe have uprooted their lives to come to America. And it’s why, today, Americans across the country are flocking to South Dakota.

If you think about it, that’s America’s true diversity. It’s a diversity grounded in the pursuit of truth and the virtuous life, where we will be known by the content of our character and our hard work.

We must go into this battle for freedom with our eyes wide open, educated to the tactics the radical left will use, and yet totally pure in our motives. This isn’t about us. It’s about our children and their future. It’s about the example that we set for them. We have one shot to preserve for our children “the last best hope of man on earth.” If we fail, at least they will know that we did all that we could to hold on to it.

GovernorNoem’s vision of America is very similar to mine and to millions of us across the fruited plain. That vision is unarguably under attack from a competing vision mostly from the coasts and including Washington, that owes much more to Lenin, Marx, Mao, Castro, and Maduro than it does to Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, and Washington. Right now we are losing, that doesn’t mean we’ll lose, but if we keep letting the idiotic cowardly GOP run things we’ll be telling our grandchildren what it was like in the United States where Men (and Women) were free. Kurt Schlichter has some things to say in Townhall as well, and he’s far from wrong.

You know they hate you, right? Really and truly, and they want you silenced, disenfranchised, and dead if necessary. That woman the federal cop shot on video in the Capitol, capped for trespassing, was expendable and so are you. Now, one might be accused of “whataboutism” for this next part, but whataboutism is a moral necessity that highlights the lies that form the foundation of our garbage Establishment, and therefore it must be constantly and loudly practiced. What about all those people killed on video whose deaths sparked riots? Now, the initial read on the shooting seems bad, but being the wacky nonconformist rebel I am, I’ll wait until all the facts are in to make a final judgment and just say at present that the shooting looks questionable. But no one will ask the questions. The cop will be cleared and will never, ever be charged, and even if President Biden’s* U.S. Attorney in the forthcoming State of D.C. were to file charges (LOL, sometimes I even make myself laugh), let’s just say I put the chances of a D.C. jury convicting at about O.J. level.

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