We Don’t Need You Guys Anymore and St Barbera

1-_mzoec5laodpkm-ovxhbeaAt the Reagan National Defense Forum, former Vice-President Dick Cheney did a panel with CNN’s Barbera Starr. Pretty good stuff from one of the deep thinkers about defense. Here’s the bit we all like:

I think he needs to be careful but he’ll learn as he goes along. I think he is putting some brains and good people with him. I am a big fan of Mike Pence. I know Mike well from his 12 years in the House and I think he’s a great choice as Vice President. He’s going to play a major role. I think Mr. Trump is taking very, very seriously the job that he has gotten now. Staffing up the administration.

I think one of the reasons people get so concerned about the tweets is it is sort of a way around the press. He doesn’t have to rely upon, uh, rely upon — this is the modern era, modern technology. He’s at the point where we don’t need you guys anymore. Here’s the video

via Cheney To CNN’s Barbara Starr: Trump Took Us To Point Where We Don’t Need You Guys Anymore | Video | RealClearPolitics

And speaking of Barbera, December fourth was the feast day of St. Barbera, the patron saint of the Field Artillery. Here’s the story from War is Boring

Legend has is that Dioscorus, a wealthy fourth-century pagan living in what is now Turkey, locked his daughter Barbara in a tower to shelter her from the world.

His plan didn’t work. Barbara converted to Christianity and reconstructed a bath house Dioscorus had built for her, modifying it so its windows would form a trinity of light. In a rage, Dioscurus murdered Barbara before “he was struck down and consumed by a blinding flash of lightning,” the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division explained on its website.

Why the 11th Marine Regiment — an artillery unit — is interested in the legend of Saint Barbara, recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, is part of a curious but long-standing tradition among artillery troops in Europe and North America.

“Barbara came to be regarded as the sainted patroness of those in danger from thunderstorms, fire, explosions that is to say, sudden death,” the U.S. Field Artillery Association noted. “Given the questionable reliability of early cannon misfires, muzzle bursts and exploding weapons were not uncommon — it is easy to see why our predecessors sought the protection of Saint Barbara.”

“She has protected us well ever since.”

via: Raise a Toast to the Patron Saint of Field Artillery

In atonement, here is my favorite recipe for Artillery Punch.

Artillery Punch

by Laurie Helmich

 

1 pound sugar                    1 quart champagne

3 lemons                           1 quart Old Jamaica Rum

2 oranges                          1-quart sherry

1-quart strong tea              2-pint brandy

 

Put sugar in the bowl, add grated rind of three lemons, juice of two lemons, juice of two oranges, pour in boiling tea. Cover and cool. When cool, add rum, sherry, and brandy. Chill. When ready to serve, add champagne. Dilute with one or two quarts of soda for other branches of service.

 

The preceding recipe courtesy of the Officers’ Wives’ Cookbook, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

It is also recommended that your Aide is prepared to lead your horse home.

Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

2094I’ve been seeing stuff like this off and on most of the year and I see no reason to believe it isn’t true. After all, America got its big surge of German immigrants when the King of Prussia decided to force a merger of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany. From Gatestone Institute …

  • More than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade. — Die Welt.

  • Germany is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.
  • “We refugees… do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you…. Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!” — Aras Bacho an 18-year-old Syrian migrant, in Der Freitag, October 2016.
  • A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave Germany.
  • “I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens. … I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.” — “Anna,” in a letter to the Mayor of Munich about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible.

A growing number of Germans are abandoning neighborhoods in which they have lived all their lives, and others are leaving Germany for good, as mass immigration transforms parts of the country beyond recognition.

Data from the German statistics agency, Destatis, shows that 138,000 Germans left Germany in 2015. More are expected to emigrate in 2016. In a story on brain drain titled, “German talent is leaving the country in droves,” Die Welt reported that more than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade.

The statistics do not give a reason why Germans are emigrating, but anecdotal evidence indicates that many are waking up to the true cost — financial, social and cultural — of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million mostly Muslim migrants to enter the country in 2015. At least 300,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Germany in 2016, according to Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of the country’s migration office, BAMF.

Mass migration has — among many other problems — contributed to a growing sense of insecurity in Germany, which is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

via Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

Who gains from this? For now, likely Hungary, eventually the US as we are increasing seen to reject Multi-Kulti BS.

Also from Gatestone, there is this, although this is getting overlong.

  • With his initiative for tighter gun laws, to prevent weapons getting into “the wrong hands,” Justice Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

  • As the German newspaper Bild describes the law proposed by Maas, “a 13-year-old child bride would have to testify against her husband, saying that her well-being as a child is under threat. If neither the child nor the Child Welfare Service lodges a complaint, for all practical purposes the marriage would be declared legitimate.” This law clearly does not take into account the possibility of private coercion against a child, let alone the blinding likelihood of outright threats.
  • Justice Minister Maas evidently cares more about “gender image” than he cares about truly oppressed women and vulnerable children. In a recently drafted new law by his ministry, Mass refused to ban child marriage.
  • With both France and Germany going to polls next year, there is the possibility of a democratic, peaceful “European Spring.”

In her first message to President-elect Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lectured him on gender, racial and religious equality. As the New York Times put it, Merkel “named a price” for Germany’s cooperation with the Trump-led administration, namely the “respect for human dignity and for minorities from a man who has mocked both.”

If this was anything more than political posturing, and Chancellor Merkel truly cared about “human dignity” or the rights of those most vulnerable, she might have started closer at home.

After a year-long investigation into the mass-sexual attacks in Cologne, where an estimated 2,000 migrant men — mostly from Arab and Muslim countries — molested at least 1200 women, almost all the men have managed to walk free.

Last week, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jäger, confirmed this outcome when he said that “most of the cases [of rape and sexual assault in Cologne] will remain unsolved.” Similar coordinated sexual assaults by migrants also took place in other German cities, including Hamburg, where over 500 such cases were reported. They are expected to remain “unsolved” too.

Merkel, who lectured Trump on gender, did not even bother to visit the women who were raped and assaulted in Cologne or other German cities — even though these women were victims of her own failed open-border policy.

As New Year’s Eve approaches again, Merkel’s “Multikulti” paradise looks more and more like a police state. According to leaked, confidential police reports published by Germany’s Expressnewspaper, Cologne will be turned into a fortified city to avoid a repeat of last year’s mass sexual assaults. Security forces will monitor the streets with helicopters, surveillance cameras, observation posts and mounted units. The city of Hamburg has also reportedly taken similar steps.

While the Merkel government arms the police, efforts are underway to tighten gun laws for the citizenry. As the German state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on November 28: “Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for tighter weapons laws to prevent guns from falling in to the wrong hands.” With this latest initiative, Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany and the rest of the Western World, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

via Angela Merkel: False Prophet of Europe

Look, you don’t need me to analyze this stuff for you, it’s about as clear as who was going to win World War II in Europe on 01 April 1945. Hint: It wasn’t Germany, it isn’t now either. There likely is a reason why NATO is increasingly seen as weak, and that reason isn’t Donald Trump. If NATO is to defend Eastern Europe, Germany which sits dead middle, is essential for communications and logistics. So a lot depends for all of us on the French and German elections happening next year. I’m not very hopeful, but I’ve been wrong a lot, maybe I’ll be again.

Engineering Club Sensible

electoral-smallBy outlook, if not degree, I’m an engineer. My basic question is always, “Will it work, as designed, and can we build and run it on budget (or below)?” As far as I’m concerned, it’s what built the world we live in. It has nothing whatsoever to do with good intentions, it has much indeed to do with elegance. Maybe this is our year because it’s overwhelmingly a real world philosophy. It’s also overtly American, because America epitomizes the practical, yes, Americans are a very idealistic people, but down at bedrock, almost every American asks, “Does it work?”

Catherine Priestley wrote something about this the other day in The Spectator. Here’s some of it.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that the times are changing. When news of the Trump victory unfolded across the world, we watched from Sydney University’s Manning Bar. Never had it been so packed. Students piled in to watch history, all-consumed by the bright red map of America flashing on the screen.

My engineering friends bought me a beer and together we observed the room. On one side were slumped shoulders, ashen faces and tears from tragic left-wing students, whose world-view had suffered the rejection of the ballot box. The other side was a sea of red caps and raucous applause with each Trump gain; the unmistakable ecstasy of a formerly ostracised group, finally on the ascent.

The engineers are sensible people and don’t really belong to either extreme. Instead, they drink to democracy and are glad that a blow has at last been struck against political correctness. They talk excitedly of how they’d improve the data analysis of flawed polling and have a purely factual discussion about how the construction of the wall might be done. The upending of the status quo means the engineers, typically outsiders who stick to an isolated building on campus far away from frenzied student politics, are now invigorated to participate.

Leading up to Trump’s victory, one could sense change in the air. Doomsday articles threatening stock market crashes, polls that placed Trump firmly behind; all had a Brexit parallel about them. When Joe Hockey addressed the US Studies Centre the week before Trump’s election, he said that 70 per cent of Americans felt the country was heading in the wrong direction. ‘This is normally a game changer in politics,’ he remarked. […]

Although uncertainty is trending, one thing we can be sure of is that Outsiders everywhere are on the rise. In general, they are a broad alignment of people across all parties and factions who share a love of common sense and find themselves more consequential to politics now than they have been for some time. Perhaps they find themselves on the Left, but feel isolated due to the dogma of political correctness and identity politics. Or they are of the Right and have become angry with the authoritarian Insiders who appear to restrict personal freedoms. Either way, they are all members of what the late Christopher Pearson might have termed ‘Club Sensible’. While major parties appear to fragment and shrink in these changing times, Club Sensible’s membership base steadily grows.

via Engineering Club Sensible | The Spectator

I think she’s on to something here. That map at the top of the page, is about as red as I’ve ever seen, and overwhelmingly, the red parts are where people deal with the real world, you know the one where reality rules and good intentions don’t cut it.

Will Trump fix the world? No. But he may well drain at least some of the swamp, although that might anger some of the alligators that are up to our ass. We all know it out here, “No good deed goes unpunished,” we say. That’s all right, we also say, “What must be done, will be done.”

And so far, from the quality of the people he is picking, well, I’m very encouraged. It looks to me like he is picking some of the best of America, and that is the mark of the first-rate leader. That’s something that every grunt on a job site or enlisted soldier knows, but a whole lot of officers forget when they get stars in their eyes. But not all of them.

There’s a reason why 3d US Army had the fewest casualties while conquering the most ground back there in 1944. It was called “Lucky”. If I was an opponent of America’s, I would be praying very hard, because I think its new name may well be ‘Chaos’.

We’ve also been known to say with Jim Lovell, “There are people who make things happen, there are people who
watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

bad-decisions

Enough Said

 

And remember, always

It is the Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Father Denis Edward O’Brien, USMC

Cardiff University, Chicago, and Purdue

unknown2None of those schools is very good at American football, lately. But they are good at something else, they are good at freedom, especially of speech.

Jonathon Turley is one of the most passionate about free speech, real free speech. Maybe he picked it up at the University of Chicago, where he studied, as I reinforced mine at Purdue. Both schools are outspoken champions of free speech. There are some others, sadly far too few.

But America has a plethora of champions of free speech compared to the UK. That is why is so wonderful to see a UK university join in on the movement. From Turley

Cardiff took a strong stand for free speech in breaking away from other schools which have have imposed stringent speech codes and regulations. The university pledged to end its past censorship and platforming rules. It declared that it would not bar controversial speakers and that “censorship is not the answer.”

Instead, Cardiff passed a motion that was entitled “Challenge, Don’t Censor.” The motion declared that “students are capable of challenging intolerable views through rigorous debate; censorship is not the answer.”

Amen. This is particularly impressive in Europe where free speech is being sharply curtailed.

via Cardiff and Tufts Universities: Two Divergent Paths On Free Speech | JONATHAN TURLEY

Amen, indeed. May their number grow quickly.

Even more amazing,

The stand against being told what they can hear and think echoes the response of a group of sixth-form students, who were due to hear from Milo Yiannopoulos before his speech was shut down by the UK Government.

In an open letter to censorious authorities, pupils from Simon Langton Grammar School expressed their dismay, saying “we do not need to be protected” from controversial speakers.

cardiff

Those students at the Cardiff Student Union and at Simon Langton Grammar School are heroes of free speech, and that is to all our benefit without regard to our, or their politics. Free and unafraid speech is one of the keystones of freedom itself.

Outstanding to all hands, and remember:

Adfyd a ddwg wybodaeth, a gwybodaeth ddoethineb.

Queens and Presidents, and Duty

6741670-3x2-700x467Melanie Phillips wrote in the £ Sunday Times about how the Queen Elizabeth II has to subsume the woman in the duty of the queen. It’s not a new theme for us, we spoke of her mother’s sense of duty owed to people and God in Duty Is the Rent You Pay For Life. It is something that also runs deep, in soldiers, it was Robert E. Lee who said,

Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things.

You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.

And yet, that is asking an awful lot of a man, or a woman. Not many make the grade, and it strikes me that none of those that make it, rely on their own strength. Lee was a serious Episcopalian, his quotes about God are nearly as numerous and intertwined with his quotes about war and the army he loved. Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England, and as Melanie says, she has often gone against her own desires to fulfill her duty to her people, and her God, from whom her reign comes.

Yes, that is a difficult concept for Americans to grasp, she is queen by the grace of God, but her duty is twofold, to God and people, simply because she is not accountable to the people. In a very real sense, the British have to simply trust her to do the right thing, and because of her sense of duty, she nearly always has.

[Speaking of the Netflix series The Crown] It’s rather that, most unexpectedly in this age of sneering secular utilitarianism, the series pivots around the key but largely disregarded point of the monarchy: that the wearer of the crown is consecrated to God.

That’s why the monarch is crowned in an abbey and anointed rather than appointed. The coronation is a near-mystical act of transfiguration. As King George VI says in the drama to his young daughter Elizabeth: “When the holy oil touches me I am for ever changed, brought into contact with the divine.”

The paradox is that the monarch is bound by an unparalleled duty to the people precisely because the wearer of the crown does not answer to them. As Queen Mary tells the new, young Queen: “Loyalty to the ideal you have inherited is your overarching duty because it comes from God.

Monarchy is God’s sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth to give ordinary people an ideal to strive toward. You are answerable to God, not the public.”

It is this sacramental bond of duty that places the monarch on a superior plane altogether from any prime minster or president.

That mystical place beside God has been held by the Constitution and the flag for most Americans through history because that mystical place must be filled, or we are simply brutes competing by whatever means for our individual gain. That is why so many on the left accuse us of doing exactly that because they have no conception of a higher power to which duty is owed. That is what doomed the Duke of Windsor, that he put his personal benefit above his duty. It is a large part of why Hillary Clinton was defeated in the election.

The Queen is portrayed as someone who takes this absolute duty to heart, with often devastating consequences for all the flesh-and-blood people who carry this burden.

The Queen’s identity is split down the middle. There is the human Elizabeth, the wife, mother and sister; and then there is Elizabeth Regina who, when these identities come into conflict, has to override the human being involved.

That is obviously true, but it is also true of her entire generation, this is the wellspring which has made them, British, American, Canadian, and Australian (and the rest as well) our greatest generation.

via Royal sense of duty may die with the Queen | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times Do read the whole thing™.

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