Video Monday

We haven’t had a video Monday for a while, so let’s get started.

This is rather nice, it is also true.

The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Is the UK Labor party anti-Semitic? Did the sun come up in the east?

This is from the BBC’s Panorama, a full hour distilled down to eight minutes because an hour is too much.

Candace Owens on those children detained

Imagine that!

Moar Anne Widdecombe, because free people can never have too much Anne Widdecombe. Making the BBC look as stupid as it is here.

Bill Whittle on socialism

If you have an hour, this is worth spending it on. Victor Davis Hanson on The Case for Trump.

Asylum, and the Colonel

A couple notes.

1. The American Spectator like the Australian Spectator and the original Spectator is now behind a paywall. I like all three but do not consider them worth $70+ to £100 per year, so you will not see any more articles featured here from the various Spectators. Sad, to see them fade into irrelevance, as they try to survive, but we all do what we must. Frankly, if I were wont to spend money on political commentary, it would be the original, which is a much better magazine than either of the overseas versions, which while good, are but pale imitations of the original.

2. Tommy Robinson showing that he knows what America is about far better than the UK’s ambassador to the US has applied to the US, and President Trump, for political asylum. Given the scum that we are letting sneak in on that scam in the last few years, he should be roundly welcomed. What could be more American than standing up and defending a bunch of lower class girls who are being trafficked?


And speaking of what America is, the Colonel, Kurt Schlichter, has some thoughts on that and the presidential race, in Townhall, as always.

You gotta hand it to them – it’s an innovative strategy to run for President by taking the position that your country is garbage and that its are people deplorable monsters. It’ll be interesting to see how the Democrats fare on their “America sucks!” platform. The last week has seen Team Donkey take brave stands against the flag and celebrating our military, and you would half expect them to next advocate something insanely suicidal, like taking your health insurance or forcing you to pay for illegal aliens’ doctors.

Oh wait, that happened too.

Who are these lunatics? Do they really think this is going to play in America as well as it does in Chicago, Manhattan and Scat Francisco?

They do.

But it’s not.

Not that they would know it, since they don’t know any real Americans. The current Democrat Party consists of hipster geebos, race hustlers, pierced campus mutants, bitter middle-aged divorcées who teach high school, tech twerps and uninvited foreigners who shouldn’t even be here. The libs will be shocked to learn that real Americans love America.

Their platform, carried out by the carnival freakshow that is the Democrat Party and its allies in the media and in the woke corporations, is part of a greater strategy. It’s to denigrate and then destroy what makes America America, to steal our story from us and replace it with a bogus legacy of oppression and misery. They want to impose upon us a new narrative of a morally stained America unworthy of respect or gratitude, and guess who will be the heroes of that new narrative…

Not the armed Americans who shot the British king’s thugs.

Not the heroic pioneers who civilized the West.

Not the captains of industry who took a primitive backwater and made it the most prosperous and freest nation in human history.

Not the warriors who won at Gettysburg and Normandy.

Not you.

The colonel is completely correct, as usual. I find every single Demonrat candidate the time round to be retchingly horrific. Biden used to be at least amusing, but they are, every one of them, vermin whom I wouldn’t talk to on the street, or let into my house, let alone be in charge of the government. I was a shaky Trump supporter, before the election (‘actions, not words’, don’t you know). Mr. Clinton’s wife convinced me to vote for Trump, as she did many others. But compared to this murder of frauds, she would have been great.

Just think if Joe had been smart, brave, and tough enough to look over at the other weirdos, losers and mutations on that stage and say, “Are you people crazy? A Biden administration will not take your health insurance. It’s not going to open the borders and it’s not going to ask Americans to pay for illegal aliens’ – yeah, illegal aliens – health care. We’re not doing reparations or free college for gender studies majors or climate panicking. Oh, and America is the greatest nation on earth.” He would immediately win over the people who have doubts about Trump but a certainty about the America-hating nimrods that AOC’s party is pushing – the certainty that these idiots can never be trusted with power.

Luckily for Trump, it won’t happen. Good-Guy-To-Have-A-Beer-With Joe is long gone, like the wrinkles he had Botoxed away in preparation for this last disastrous White House run. Joe was the Democrat’s final chance to run a major candidate who likes America and likes Americans. Now one of the two major American political parties is all-in on hating the USA and hating you.

And so, here we are well over a year before the election, and yet we know the next year plus will be:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing
.

And Looking Across the Ditch

Yesterday we took a look at the status of Brexit, since that post the worst candidate for Tory leader has dropped out, which seems like a good thing. But let’s take a look at Europe.

The European Parliament elections have put an end to the “far right.” From now on, the EU’s ministers and bureaucrats will have a new nationalist right complicating their machinations. The attempt to identify elite preferences with majority rule under the false rubric of centrism has failed. For the first time, the center-left Socialists & Democrats and the center-right European People’s Party have failed to win a majority. Instead, an anti-EU bloc has emerged in the European Parliament, the very institution intended to fix the famous democratic deficit of the EU while sanctioning “centrism” continent-wide.

This immoderate centrism will no longer be able to label populists as undemocratic. These so-called populists in several countries now control the government. They achieved this by democratic decision in free and fair elections: think here of Poland, Hungary, and Italy. Populism is a popular choice for the European Parliament: England, France, and Italy bear this out. Unless elites propose to elect another people, as Bertold Brecht joked, they’ll just have to stop calling it “far right.” […]

We are experiencing a politics of maneuvering between elites that still hold the highest offices in the EU and counter-elites hoping to replace them, change the structure of the EU, and even destroy some EU powers. The command of the high EU offices is still powerful enough to exclude the nationalists from EU coalitions, since there are alternatives on the center and left, but that will expose the center as its own faction or what Pierre Manent has referred to as the “immoderate middle.” Expect the nationalists to make this conflict worse by undermining the legitimacy of the European Parliament. They will work to subvert the European institutional consensus—to expose entrenched corruption and to expose the technocratic consensus as partisan, and to defend each other from Article VII sanctions (loss of voting rights) which the European Parliament threatened against Hungary in 2018.

This is a good moment for the nationalists to size up their adversaries’ ideas about the situation Europe now faces, adrift somewhere between America and China. Europe has neither the economic growth nor the technology to compete with either of the two, but EU officials keep saying they want to be independent of NATO on security and foreign policy even as China is buying its way into the EU and introducing new technologies over which it has a near-monopoly, such as 5G infrastructure. Before the 2008 financial crisis, the EU was not only the future of Europe, but political alternatives were inconceivable—they had no expression. EU politicians and their compliant press applied the epithet Eurosceptic to such views. But the failure to deal with the financial crisis, among other crises, has mainstreamed opposition to the EU on a number of levels in Europe—and it’s now storming into the European Parliament itself.

What champion of the EU consensus will fight it? The self-appointed leader of Europe is French President Emmanuel Macron. His presidency has not exactly been met with great success. The French people in many ways have given him their own vote of no-confidence, from months of street protests (“yellow vests” movement) to the victory of Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament elections, his own party coming in a close second, with only 22% of the votes. His great unpopularity, which plagued both his single-term predecessors, portends problems for the Fifth Republic. But Macron is still an elected president with very considerable powers.

There is quite a lot more, read it all at The European Union and the Fate of Nations.

I think that is true, once again (albeit by quite different means) Great Britain is moving to prevent a single power from dominating Europe. This time, not the government, but the people. It’s a wise move, even though continental Europe is becoming irrelevant, as both China and the United States move well beyond it. It needs Britain far more than it thinks. That I suspect is part of the trouble with Germany and France. Remainers often chide Brexiteer as ‘Little Englanders’. But like so much with the left, it is projection. What I see is little Europe and global Britain.

Britain isn’t the largest power in Europe, nor has it ever been. But, like, and perhaps even more than, the United States, it has a cachet for the rest of the world. It is the foremost font of ‘soft power’ because of who and what it has been in the modern world. I commented last weekend at the Hong Kong demonstrations and the number of the old colonial flag, Union Jack in the canton, and royal arms in the field, 20 years after the colony was ceded back to China. That’s no accident.

Nor is it an accident that all the countries that promote freedom share the Union Jack. Britain, of course, and Australia, and New Zealand, But the old flag of Singapore also does, as does Canada’s Red Ensign. The US also has a historic flag featuring the Union Flag in the canton. In fact, that was the flag raised in Philadelphia on 4 July 1776.

That’s a lot of places that remember the heritage of the British, show me the comparable heritage of the French, or the Germans.

Titus Techera ends his article with this:

As soon as he won the vote in Italy, Salvini moved to talk to other populist victors, having already formed a new European party for nationalists. Is it even possible for nationalists to have an alliance across borders? On what principle of justice? They will invariably have competing, contradictory claims and no institutional arrangements where leaders can pledge their loyalties and arrange to defend each other from the institutional claims of the EU, much less from the enormous influence of the German economy. Whether national politics or the continent-wide arrangement of institutions and economic interests wins will go a long way to deciding the future of Europe.

I’m inclined to say, of course, they can, if they are mature enough to do it. Like the US, Britain, and Canada will give way on minor gripes to each other, so can these countries. Whether they will is a different question.

To conclude, what the nationalists can do is shake the confidence of the centrists and mount a minority assault on decisions in the various EU institutions, since they cannot control EU offices. We will find out whether the various EU institutions are weaker or stronger than they have hitherto seemed. But we will also learn how aggressive the shift from the political center to the Greens and Liberals will make the majority. There is no tranquility or common purpose in sight.

And it is even possible, although unlikely on their own, that they shake the whole edifice down and allow Europe once again to be a group of independent nations trying to look out for their people.

Britain, America, and now Australia

So, the Australians, like the British, and the Americans, confound the polls and disappoint the pollsters and the left (redundancy alert, mostly). Why does this keep happening, and what lessons can we take from its recurrence? David Catron in The Spectator has some ideas.

[I]magine an election in which one party promises to save the planet and the opposing party pledges to save your job. Which is more likely to get your vote? For most people, those who support families and coach T-Ball on weekends, the answer will not require a lot of soul searching. You may have, for various social reasons, told some pollster that the “Save the Earth” party has your support. But it’s a lot easier to focus on the environment if one can count on a steady income. Consequently, in the end, you’ll vote for the “Paycheck Party.”

This shouldn’t require enormous prescience to predict, yet it consistently surprises the pollsters. The latest election in which they managed to miss the blindingly obvious just took place Down Under between the Labor Party and the conservative Liberal-National coalition. Like Brexit and the 2016 presidential election in the United States, it was a whiff for the pollsters. Labor — which ran on combating climate change, clamping down on fossil fuels, and raising taxes — was the universal favorite. Just before the vote, the Washington Post gleefully reported:

Opinion polls and betting markets predict Australia’s Labor Party, under the leadership of 52-year-old former union head Bill Shorten, will handily defeat the Liberal-National party coalition that has governed the country for five-and-a-half tumultuous years.… The Labor Party wants Australia to generate half its electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030, a huge shift for a nation with the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves and the eighth-biggest natural gas industry.

Well, schadenfreude is fun but I shouldn’t gloat too much, Right up until the results I really though Mittens Romney was going to win. How lucky for us he didn’t, if Mittens had defeated Obama, we’d still be in the doldrums caused by the globalists, instead we have the resurgent vibrant economy that Trump brought with him.

In a country like ours, where voting is voluntary and turnout fluctuates significantly, it’s all too easy to create a polling model that includes inaccurate assumptions. And, for a survey to be statistically valid, it must be based on a random sample. This presents real challenges in a nation whose turnout in presidential elections tends to be about 60 percent of eligible voters. But this shouldn’t present an issue where voting is compulsory. Yet election analyst Kevin Bonham told SBS News that the consistency of Australia’s recent polls is “suspicious”:

It’s like one poll can be three per cent out and that’s what you would sort of expect now and then by random chance. But all the polls being out by that amount in the same direction and getting all the same results is something that absolutely cannot happen by random chance.… It’s absolutely proof of a systematic issue.… If they are doing true random sampling independent of each other, there is no way that they would all get results so close to each other at the same time.

Hilariously, some of the excuses that have been offered are not merely inconsistent with compulsory voting, but suspiciously reminiscent of those made by left-leaning statisticians in the U.S. Some “experts” suggest that the Australian samples contained too many educated people. Sound familiar? As with Brexit and the Trump election, the idea is that “smart” people are over-represented, so naturally they skewed the poll in the “smart” direction. This is what University of Melbourne statistician Adrian Beaumont suggests in The Conversation.

Beaumont claims, without evidence, that educated people are “probably” more likely to respond to surveys. Likewise, he avers that Morrison had a “much better connection to those with a lower degree of educational attainment” than did the leader of the Labor Party. He also fails to provide any objective data to support this assertion. A far more plausible explanation is provided in the Wall Street Journal by Tom Switzer, the Directorof the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney. It involves a species of voter similar to the “shy Trump” supporter:

Shy voters now shape Australian politics. During the past three years, television and social-media outlets created a climate of opinion in which it was politically incorrect to oppose identity politics, high taxes, wealth redistribution and costly climate-mitigation policies. In the privacy of the voting booth, “quiet Australians,” as Mr. Morrison calls them, decided that their interests lay in a low-tax and resource-rich market economy.

I’m very sure that is true, we have seen it in Britain, in America, and now in Australia. If you make the average citizen feel like an oppressed minority in his own country, who exists only to do what his betters tell him to do – well with the people who led the world into freedom, again the British, the American, the Australians, those whom De Gaulle called “The Anglo Saxons” (he had much right, love of freedom is one inheritance that we all have of that foggy, damp, island off the coast of Europe) well, you’ll get a revolt, peacefully at the ballot box, and historically, if that doesn’t work, more direct means will come to the fore.

We are all rather ‘Deplorable’ like that.

And so, Britain, then America, and now Australia, that’s the first round.

The second round starts Thursday when Britain will elect European MPs. I suspect the European Parliament is going to be interesting, because I think the British are going to send a bunch who will be more likely to give an Agincourt Salute than further the ‘European Project’ and I also suspect that quite a few in Europe will once again follow.

Welcome, Australia, to the Counterrevolution!

Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis ætas;
Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo.
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
iam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.

From the  Eclogue of Virgil:

which translates as follows:

Now comes the final era of the Sibyl’s song;
The great order of the ages is born afresh.
And now justice returns, honored rules return;
now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.

American Historic Moments; Then and Now

Don Troiani- “The Last Salute” HAP

Our friend, Practically Historical, reminds us that 154 years ago today General John B Gordon (seven times wounded, including 5 Minnie balls at Antietam) by order of General Robert E. Lee, surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, to General Joshua L. Chamberlain (won the Medal of Honor at Little Round Top at Gettysburg, wounded six times, nearly mortally at Petersburg, and cited 4 times for bravery) of the Army of the Potomac.

As the Army of Northern Virginia marched past the Army of the Potomac, Chamberlain ordered the Army to “Carry Arms” (the marching salute) in respect, and at Gordon’s order, the Confederates responded. Chamberlain described the scene:

At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his sword point to his toe in salutation.”    Gordon truly understood the significance of the gesture, “Chamberlain called his men into line and as the Confederate soldiers marched in front of them, the veterans in blue gave a soldierly salute to those vanquished heroes—a token of respect from Americans to Americans.”

There is a lesson there for those who would destroy the heritage of the Confederacy. At least 300,000  Americans died upon those fields to (amongst their reasons) to destroy chattel slavery in America. At the end of it, they respected their opponents enough to salute them in honor, and the Confederates enough to return the salute. Without a worthy enemy, there is no honor, and so far no more worthy enemy for American arms has ever appeared than American arms. Both sides fighting for freedom, even if their definitions differed. When you denigrate the Confederates, you also denigrate the forces that fought them and freed the slaves.

And so with salutes and honors, and with terms that meant no proscription lists and no hangings, America’s hardest war ended.


Then there is this:

That is the first ever photograph of a Black Hole, something so dense that even light cannot escape. So how can we take its picture? It’s complicated. Here’s part of the explanation.

And this:

Both of those are some seriously good explaining of a subject that is quite hard to understand.

But how did this happen? A badass stem professor, of course. In fact, a Cal Tech professor with a doctorate from MIT, who graduated from West Lafayette High School. And back in the day when she was in high school used to work with her dad’s colleagues, professors at Purdue. Professor Dr. Katie Bouman. Her dad is Charles Bouman, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Purdue. Wonder what dinner conversation was like in their house.

She explained in a TED talk what she was trying to do a couple years ago as well.

And it worked, as the picture above indicates. Pretty cool, essentially turning the entire Earth into a camera.

This is a very big deal, confirming relativity amongst other things, and another major major accomplishment for American science. I’m not a huge fan of government subsidizing stuff, but I’m not sure that any corporation would really see the point of this research, although I’ll bet there will be commercial benefits derived from it. Most corporations these days are insanely short-sighted about research. Hammer and Rails reminds us:

The combined budgets of NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Health (NIH) are just over $63 billion for FY 2019. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider that the US’s 2019 federal budget is $4.746 trillion, the three major scientific foundations and government institutions that allow for such ground breaking scientific research account for just under 1.5% of the federal budget.

For just 1.5% of our budget, we’re able to fund the great work of Dr. Bouman, along with other great scientists at Purdue, the Big Ten, and beyond. While Dr. Bouman didn’t go to Purdue (I guess I can’t blame her for going to MIT instead), her connections to the university allowed her to cultivate her passion in the STEM fields, and it shows that the impact of Purdue continue into interstellar space.

Congrats to Dr. Bouman, former President Córdova, and all the researchers involved in the Event Horizon Telescope.

Yep, and MIT had a couple things to say, as well. First, they noted how important women in Stem are to our success in space.

As noted in the comments to the Tweet above, all these women, and all of us men, as well, follow in the footsteps of Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron who wrote the first algorithm. And this:

Bomb Cyclone, Blizzard, Ice Dam: Quite the Week

A BNSF train sits in flood waters from the Platte River, in Plattsmouth, Neb., Sunday, March 17, 2019. Hundreds of people remained out of their homes in Nebraska, but rivers there were starting to recede. The National Weather Service said the Elkhorn River remained at major flood stage but was dropping. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

So I think we’ll stay a little closer to home today. Just a couple hours down I-80 to be exact. I don’t talk about it much, but Nebraska is gorgeous and has been pretty good to me.

But winter going into spring can be pretty awful. This year is an example. Let Emily Zanotti explain:

Historic floodwaters have besieged Nebraska following this week’s “Bomb Cyclone” weather event, leaving areas in and around Omaha and Belleville, Nebraska, completely underwater — and the waters show no sign of receding any time soon.

Few news organizations outside the state have been documenting the flood and subsequent levee breaches, which have left Nebraskans struggling to save their homes and farms from floodwaters reaching up to seven feet higher than they’ve ever been.

Reuters reports that the floods are the direct result of the “Bomb Cyclone,” a “winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.” Between the Bomb Cyclone’s snow and rain, the Missouri River rose dramatically, and isn’t expected to officially crest until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

In Fremont, Nebraska, residents remain stranded, according to local news sources. Roads and bridges are washed out and emergency responders are furiously raising sand-bag walls in the hopes of saving homes from the rising Platte River after two levees, meant to keep the river at bay, failed completely.

Near Lincoln, roads and highways are washed out, Omaha.com reports.

“A quarter-mile section of U.S. 281 was washed out just south of the bridge over the Niobrara River,” according to the local outlet. “At the Allen ranch, floodwaters 4 to 5 feet deep inundated pastures and livestock pens,” he said, “tipping over stock trailers, flowing into farm sheds and tractors, and scattering cattle.”

“I’ve never seen anything close to this,” one rancher told reporters. “I’ve seen water come within a foot of coming over the banks of the river, but never anything like this. Never.”

Governor Ricketts and Senator Sasse have been out checking on what is needed, and if truth be told, probably mostly getting in the way. But showing them around is important too.

 

So we’ve got ourselves a bit of a mess. Ain’t the first one, won’t be the last either. And you know, they remind us of who we are, as we pitch in to help our neighbors, One of my blogfriends, a Nebraska Extension Agent (no doubt she is very busy now) put it this way.

Perspective. I spoke a little of this last week. This week, in the midst of much occurring, it was all about perspective for me. It’s hard to find words for the devastation occurring in Nebraska. Perhaps like me, you found yourself feeling a tad overwhelmed or helpless by the images of damage…cattle being dug out of snow or stranded on islands and whole communities engulfed by water… I think what made this extra hard for me is that so many of our people are hurting and affected. Tornadoes and hail damage are somewhat more isolated for allowing people to more easily respond. This has been harder to help with road and bridge infrastructure damaged in so much of the State. And, unfortunately, we will feel these effects for a long time.

Perspective for me was counting my blessings. Because I rely a great deal on my faith, considering worse things I’ve personally gone through and remembering God’s faithfulness to me helps me with perspective. My family is all safe and we have each other, and my dad’s livestock are also safe. Those statements aren’t true for some I know who lost family and livestock this week and many more that I don’t know. In talking to a farmer friend, he was also sharing how he kept thinking about his blessings and that was the message he was sharing with others. So perhaps thinking of our blessings can help all of us with so much loss all around us? That actually is one of the research-based tips mentioned in this article: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2019/coping-stress-during-crisis.

Nebraskans are so resilient! In the midst of tragedy, the stories of people pulling together to help however they can is heart-warming. Though we may experience more devastation for a time, we will get through this! #NebraskaStrong.

#NebraskaStrong. Yep, that describes us. We’re fairly quiet folk, not given to overtalking things or very comfortable showing emotions. We tend toward both the solid and the stolid.  But, we’ve been in this country long enough to know that the old saying was right, the strong do thrive, the sick do die, and the weak never start stay back east. That is the story of the Great American Desert, and neither floodwater nor ice dam, neither blizzard nor tornado will change it. It’s a story of neighbors banding together and facing their troubles down. It’s a very American story, perhaps the American story, neighbors standing together through anything, its what we do, just as de Tocqueville wrote way back when it’s still our way.

If you are wondering how this screws up our lives going forward, my friend’s blog also passes along quite a bit of the information that the University of Nebraska is telling us. Very useful, and highly recommended.

 

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