One Little Word, and Passover

We going to start this post with one of Jessica’s articles. She speaks here of how Christ chose to send the news of His resurrection by Mary Magdalene, whose testimony would have borne no weight at all under Jewish law at that time. Then I want to speak of something else. Here’s Jessica-

Under Jewish Law, the testimony of a woman was no testimony at all. The first witness to the Risen Lord was a woman – Mary Magdalen. She was tearful. There she was, come to the tomb to anoint Him, and there was the stone moved. Her mind went where most of our minds would have gone – someone had taken Him away. That great stone had not moved itself, and dead bodies don’t walk out of tombs. The grave-clothes were bundled up and there was no trace of Jesus. Hard to imagine her feelings at the point. Only two days earlier her world had fallen apart. The man whose feet she had anointed and whom she had followed so loyally had been taken, tortured and then crucified. She knew that; she’d been there (which was more than could be said for most of those Apostles). It was over. All that remained was for her to do a final duty to the corpse. But even that was to be denied her. They had taken her Lord away.

She ran back to where the disciples were and told Peter the horrible news. Typically Peter, he ran to the tomb, and equally typically was outpaced by the younger John. But John stood at the entrance, and when Peter arrived he it was who, impulsive and brave as ever, went inside to see that the tomb was, indeed, as empty as Mary had said. The men went back home, no doubt to tell the others; Mary, as is the way of women, wanted to stay there a moment longer, perhaps to gather her thoughts, perhaps to mourn a moment alone.

She looked into the tomb again, only to be met by the most amazing sight – two angels asking her why she wept. The answer she gave echoes down the ages:  “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” As she turned away she saw a stranger, whom she took to be the gardener and asked where Jesus was. Then the man spoke – just one word, one word which shattered the world as she had known it and which echoes down the ages, even to the end of all things. ‘Mary’ was that word, the first from the lips of the Resurrected Lord. However much her tears had blinded her, that voice was clearly unmistakable: “Rabboni!” She said. Teacher, teacher, that was what she called Him. She went to cling to Him and He said: ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’  He bade her to go and tell the others what she had seen.

The testimony of a woman was no testimony in Jewish Law, and yet it was to a woman that the Risen Lord first came. He had broken the bonds of death, He had conquered the power of death and of Satan, the hold of sin on mankind was broken; and these things He entrusted to the power of one who in Jewish Law could offer no testimony at all.

She was the first. Let us love and honour her for that this Easter morning: ‘He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!’

[From Neo] A remarkable thing, really, especially when one considers that the Angel had spent the time to convince The Virgin Mary to consent to bearing Jesus. Remarkable in that time and place to show such respect to women. So should we.

I also note that Chalcedon touches on this in his excellent post today.


And something that applies to us Christians but comes from our Jewish (religious) forebearers. Bookworm in her Good Friday post has some good thinking for us.

An antisemitic Jew I know, rather than seeing the Passover ceremony as a celebration of freedom (commemorating as it does the world’s first and, for a long time, only successful slave revolt), justice, and morality (insofar as it gave us the Ten Commandments), derides the whole ceremony as the unconscionable and immoral celebration of the genocide of the Egyptian people. What troubles him so much is the fact that, after each plague, when Pharaoh seems about to soften and let the Jews go, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, leading to the necessity of yet another plague, culminating in the death of the first born.

As those familiar with the Bible know, his objection is predicated upon ignorance. The tenth plague, which saw God strike down the first born in every family that did not have the blood of the Pascal lamb above their door, was not a random punishment. It was, instead, divine retribution for the Pharaoh’s own ruling, in effect beginning before Moses’s birth, that all first born Jewish males should be drowned in the Nile.

The Jews of that generation were hiding in their houses, fearing death. Sound familiar?

She’s right of course. And how does that apply today? This way –

The Bible is not so superficial. There is, instead, a much more profound purpose behind the ten plagues, and that is to remind us of the tyrant’s capacity for tolerating others’ suffering, as long as his power remains in place.

What Pharaoh discovered with the first nine plagues is that life can go on, at least for the ruler, no matter the burdens placed upon his people. A blood filled Nile River may, at first, have seemed appalling, but the red receded and life went on. Pharaoh still held together his government. The same held true for each subsequent plague, whether lice or boils or wild animals or frogs, or whatever: As long as Pharaoh could maintain his power base, he could always reconcile himself to the incremental decimation visited upon those he ruled.

Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might have a theoretical concern that a starving and frightened populace could turn on him. However, as long as he was assured that his people, despite the horrors inflicted against them, continued to fear and worship him, their suffering was irrelevant. It was only when the price became too high — when Pharaoh’s power base was destroyed because his citizens were destroyed and when the plague struck in his own palace, killing his own first born* — that Pharaoh was convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways.

Human nature hasn’t changed much in 3,000 years. Think, for example, of both the Nazis and the Japanese at the end of WWII. For the Nazis, it was apparent by December 1944 (the Battle of the Bulge) that the war was over. Hitler, however, was a megalomaniac in the pharaonic mold, and his high command, either from fear or insanity, would not gainsay him. Rather than surrendering, the Nazi high command was willing to see its country overrun and its citizens killed. Only when the death toll became too high,when it was apparent that nothing could be salvaged from the ashes, and when the high command realized that the Americans and Russians were coming after them, personally, did the war on the continent finally end.

Read it all at The news from North Korea reminds is that Passover is always relevant.

That was then, this is now. The threats are ever present and often change, there are plenty of bad actors in the world. But the necessary response remains the same. From Book’s Passover article this year.

What Pharaoh discovered with the first nine plagues is that life can go on, at least for the ruler, no matter the burdens he places upon his people. A blood-filled Nile River may, at first, seem appalling, but the red recedes and life went on. Pharaoh still holds power. The same is true for each subsequent plague, whether lice, boils, frogs, darkness, or any of the other plagues. As long as Pharaoh realizes, after the first panic, that he is still powerful, he will always reconcile himself to his people’s incremental destruction.

Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might have a theoretical concern that a starving and frightened populace could turn on him. However, as long as he is assured that his people will continue to fear and worship him, their suffering is irrelevant. It was only when the price became too high — when Pharaoh the plague struck in his own palace, killing his firstborn* — that Pharaoh is convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways. […]

The only way to destroy an evil institution is to decapitate it. That’s what God did with the 10th plague. That’s what Truman did when he dropped atom bombs on Japan. That’s what the Allies did when they engaged in total war against the Nazis. In each case, the only way to end a tyrant’s rampage of murder, torture, and enslavement was directly hurting the tyrant’s person.

Those who prefer the stability of tyranny to the risks of freedom are the same people who refuse to accept that, under tyranny, the innocents are always going to die, with the only question being whether they will die quickly or slowly. That’s the problem with an evil regime. If you’re unlucky enough to live under that regime, you’re going to end as cannon fodder. Pharaoh will let you die of plagues, and the Nazi and Japanese leadership will let you be bombed and burned, and China’s leadership will release a plague on the world and let tens of thousands of people sicken and die, both at home and abroad — as long as the tyrant can retain his power.

People of goodwill must sometimes recognize that the generation raised under tyranny is a lost generation that cannot be saved, whether because it will die under the tyrant’s lash, in the tyrant’s war, or in a war against the tyrant. Sometimes, when slaves finally taste freedom, they fear it. The Bible recognizes this problem, banning the Promised Land to those who were slaves in Egypt. They were a lost generation.

For this reason, when one sees a people groaning under tyranny the most humane thing to do is to destroy the tyranny quickly and decisively even if that process causes people to suffer. Most of them were always going to be lost. Our actions are for the benefit of subsequent generations and, if we are lucky, for those who survived both the tyranny and the liberation.

Plain common sense, isn’t it?

Today, the tyrant is China’s government and, as was the case with Nazi Germany or Bushido Japan, China’s tyranny has suddenly started to reach far beyond its borders. No matter how China’s bought-and-paid-for American media work to cover up China’s responsibility for what happened, John Adams was correct: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

We know the facts: COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab, although we do not know whether this was deliberate or accidental. China, in true tyrant fashion, was so determined to cover up its failure that it willingly let people die by destroying anything (e.g., information and doctors) that might have helped battle the plague early. When Wuhan began to see mass die-offs, China continued to deny there was a problem. As the plague spread beyond China’s borders, its government continued to deny responsibility, so much so that both China and the WHO (which we pay for, but which answers to China) lied consistently about COVID-19’s reach, danger, and origin.

Now that the plague is a world-wide phenomenon, China is sending or selling useless masks and test kits to hurting nations around the world. It is trying to blame America for COVID-19. And it’s almost certain that people are still dying in the thousands in China, even as the government insists it’s tamed COVID-19 and tells the world to start readmitting its people and its shoddy products. The Chinese communist government is Pharaoh.

The only way to stop tyranny is to fight tyranny. Despite media efforts to cover for their Chinese paymasters, Trump is calling China out on its lies and other malfeasance.

All based on the Exodus combined with the American character. And remember:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety,

deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Europe – With Whose Military?

From the blog of the United States Naval Institute by CDR Salamander.

Those who have served in NATO, especially those involved in the force generation process, are very familiar with the default response for the extra hard bits or blank spots in the CJSOR; “The Americans will fill it.”

Though it can be difficult to appreciate when the USA finally had enough, for me I can point to one decisive point that brought a macro-shift in feelings towards our European allies. The growing frustration with this habit reached a turning point almost 13-yrs ago in the summer of 2007 when NATO failed fill the rotary wing requirements in Regional Command (RC) South, and the USA finally jumped through hoops to make the aviation bridging force happen.

Combined with the Dutch and Canadians removing their maneuver forces from Uruzgan & Kandahar, it was clear that the USA needed to take back the keys after a few years of NATO being the primary force in all but RC-East. NATO had culminated.

With each passing year, the frustrations grew. You could hear it in the speeches by both General Craddock and SECDEF Gates from the Bush43 and the Obama administration, and finally bore fruit with the Trump Administration’s regular drumbeat about NATO nations increasing spending to at least 2% of GDP and a desire to have the USA to say “no.”

With the clear message out that the USA will be a hard sell on any operation under a NATO flag that would expect Uncle Sam to bear most of the effort, our Continental European allies are looking towards the EU as a venue.

The rhetoric out of Continental Europe continues to seem as if they have not quite gotten hold of the degree of their weakness and lack of capability that the USA complains about directly translates in to EU military weakness and lack of capability.

When you read what they are putting out, you keep wondering, “You and what army, air force, or Navy?” Are they aware of the lessons identified from the Libyan operations when it comes to European militaries?

First, let’s go to my friends the Dutch via Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Pardon the imperfect translation;

…first small step must be about safety and trust. For the civilian population in Idlib; the care providers; but also for the parties that are directly involved in the military. Let us all take one step back now and at least free the airspace above Idlib from bombing. No more Syrian fighter aircraft and helicopters. So: a no-fly zone for Assad above Idlib.

So Assad has no choice anymore and keeps his air force on the ground. The closure of the airspace above Idlib must then be monitored internationally. And if an air strike nevertheless takes place in Idlib, then at least we know who is responsible for it.

The monitoring of the closure of airspace is preferably carried out with a mandate from the UN Security Council. Unfortunately, he has been paralyzed for years about Syria, but we have a duty to try to break this stalemate. If that mandate does not come about, monitoring will have to be organized in a more creative way, for example by sharing information, accessing information from local organizations or performing remote monitoring. All with the aim of stopping the violence and identifying the perpetrators who use the violence and calling them to account.

If I knew how to laugh in Russian, I would.

These are wonderful words and ideas, but have the European nations invested in a military to do this? How much credibility do nations lose when their diplomats put things on the table their nations simply cannot do?

Read it all, of course. And realize this, I and many other Americans are Anglophiles, we are not Europhiles. Great Britain is, and has been for almost a century, an ally, in fact, our greatest ally. In contrast, most of Europe started as our enemies and now are at best, our dependants.

Thus the statement, that many of us truly believe, that Europeans are willing to fight to the last American.

Here is one of the underlying reasons why so many of us support Brexit. We sense that Britain is becoming just another cash (and blood) cow to the self-appointed elite of the Vierte Reich in Brussels and that this will increase as America increasingly becomes a hard sell on these usually stupid ventures. Instead of the old jibe that ISAF means ‘I Saw Americans Fighting’, it is likely to become ‘I saw Britons fighting’ as Brussels attempts to make Britain the barbarians to their Rome. Hewer of wood, carrier of water, and shedder of blood. All without thanks or reward of course. Like Americans in Paris in the late forties, they will be swindled and laughed at on the streets.

Except that the British people are too smart to sit down and shut up. Like the American people, they are waking up and making it known to their so-called elites that this is not acceptable to them.

More power to their elbow. We come back to the question for the Europeans. With ““You and what army, air force, or Navy?”. Be a shame if Europe fomented a war and neither Britain nor America came. Or would it?

Brexit Day

And so, today at 5 pm CST, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Nigel Farage said goodbye a couple days ago.

As we have said since at least 21 June 2016, Mummy has joined our revolution at last. and today marks a milestone on her journey back to freedom. It’s not over (in truth, it never is) but the day marks a milestone, now it is up to Britain to make good on the promise that Boris made to the people.

Sumantra Maitra in The Federalist reflects on this, using the vehicle of the Royal Mint’s commemorative 50p coin, which states on its reverse “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.” There is a strong echo there of Thomas Jefferson’s words in his 1801 inaugural where he spoke of  “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” As Sumantra notes, real life has intruded on Jefferson’s words, and they will on Britain’s hopes as well. As Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillian once observed, “Events, dear boy, events” always intrude on intentions and hopes. That doesn’t mean they don’t matter, only that things intrude. Here’s a bit more from the article:

While America has given up on the realism of no “entangling alliances,” and Britain is not going to turn from a parliamentary monarchy to a constitutional republic any time soon, these words somehow reflect a new direction, a closing of the gaps that have been haunting for the last 30 or so years. As the rest of Europe grows ever distant and even antagonistic to the United States, one country, tethered not just by politics but by language, culture, kinship, and common law, will remain close.

This island now feels the same nationalism and optimism as its former colony once felt, trying to forge a shaky but independent way ahead, coming out of an empire.

What Does Freedom Mean to the United Kingdom?

The culmination of Brexit has been interesting. The prime minister notified the nation with a short tweet, without much fanfare or boisterous triumphalism. House of Commons leader and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, quoting Edward Gibbon, reminded the country it is not economic prosperity but the true freedom — “the first of earthly blessings, independence” — which is the key.

True freedom is not just predicated on cheap, Chinese-made toasters and 40 different cuisines in the poshest corners of London. True freedom is the power to pull up the drawbridge and put a flag on the ramparts. If a country cannot make its own laws and guard its own borders, dictated instead by the rules of a foreign elite in a distant city, it is not truly free.

Or on their desk in Brussels, even if it means having your speech cut off.

Nevertheless, sometimes upheaval is necessary, and what an upheaval Brexit was. There’s a pearl of odd conventional wisdom among Anglo-American conservatives that the only reason for survival is to conserve the existing order. But what if the existing order is steadily progressive, or worse, not just progressive but actually revolutionary? Do you still conserve an order that is determined to transform the very existence of your society?

Everything is relative. To the earnest, late-’80s, Soviet Communist Party man, conserving the USSR empire would be important, but the people decided against it. To an American conservative, preserving the managerial ruling of the Obama years with its global climate accords and Title IX kangaroo courts at universities, not to mention encroaching transgender madness in all aspects of society, would be madness. Likewise, Brexit was a reaction — because sometimes conserving isn’t enough. A restructuring and overthrow of the ruling progressive edifice is needed.

And that is what we mean in Anglo-American history as completing the revolution. To understand it helps to see history as a wheel, sometimes, as in  1215, 1642, 1688, 1776, and 2016, the wheel gets stuck upside down, and then we need to give it a push – to complete the revolution, and continue our journey.

And so, Great Britain has reached a milestone. Herman Wouk in War and Remembrance had Pug Henry comment on New Years Eve 1942 that there was “Plenty of hell behind and plenty more in front.” So it is with Brexit (the age of Trump, too). But it is a milestone, perhaps analogous to the Battle of Saratoga. Although it is interesting to note that one of the American heroes of that battle was Benedict Arnold. One hopes there is not a counterpart in the part of Brexit yet to come.

And so to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, A constitutional parliamentary monarchy, if they can keep it.

Brexit Week

So, what is the status of Brexit which will happen on 31 January? To be honest, I think it’s pretty foggy, but it is happening at last. It’s an interim arrangement, but Boris insists it will be finalized by the end of the year. Good, in my opinion, although it should have happened about 3 years ago. Best I’ve seen on it is from Alex Christoforou on The Duran, here’s some of it.

[…]The main significance is this: getting liberal/globalist elites to respect democratic outcomes even if they don’t like them. This is an important precedent.

That is indeed a critically important result.

Despite “Remoaner” hysteria, leaving the EU is not the end of the world either. I’m sure Britain will be able to get on fine outside the EU and indeed both the British and the Continentals have strong incentives to get along. Perhaps Britain will reinvent itself as a global tax haven. After all, Europe’s share of global GDP has been rapidly declining over the past decades.

In fact, it is pretty much the only market in the world that is.

Britain’s departure is a major economic blow to the EU. Brexit will leave a €7.5-billion hole in the EU budget, Britain being the biggest contributors besides the Germans. Britain was one of the EU’s few dynamic major economies (along with Germany and, to a more limited extent, France) and the only one with a semi-serious tech sector. The bloc will be reduced to 450 million inhabitants and will become a distant third in terms of GDP behind China and the United States of America.

Britain is the 5th largest economy in the world, the EU will notice its absence.

Brexit happening seems a good time to recall a farsighted Frenchman who predicted that none of this would work: Charles de Gaulle. President de Gaulle twice vetoed Britain’s candidacy to join the then-European Economic Community (EEC), causing an uproar in Atlanticist circles.

De Gaulle had long thought that the so-called “Europeanists” were not sincere and/or coherent in their claim to be building a strong and independent federal Europe. He said in a May 1962 press conference:

France’s proposals [on Europe] have raised two objections, which incidentally are perfectly contradictory even though they are presented by the same people. . . . These critics tell us: “You want to create a Europe of nations, while we want to create supranational Europe.” As if a simple phrase were sufficient to confound these powerfully established entities that are the nations and the States. And then, these same critics simultaneously tell us: “England has submitted its candidacy to join the [European] Common Market. So long as they are not in, we won’t be able to do anything political.”

And yet, everyone knows that England, as a great State and a nation true to itself, will never consent to being dissolved in some utopian construct.

Prescient words!

Indeed they are, and yes, England has been the driver of Brexit.

Of course, Yes, Minister covered this.

Anyway, Britain’s departure from the European Union opens the way for the Continentals to try, a bit more earnestly, to create a truly sovereign and independent “European Europe.” This is not an absurd ambition. London was in some ways Europe’s only top-tier “global city.” Paris, Berlin, and Brussels really are secondary nodes. There’s a charmingly provincial quality to European politics which must be preserved. While in the Anglosphere Jews and Asians have massively displaced White Gentiles among their cultural and economic elites, the same is not really true in Continental Europe, certainly outside of France. Time will tell.

I think he’s using the British usage of Asians here, from South Asia, not eastern Asia as we usually do in the US. But I think he has a point, and the video at the link makes it stronger.

Sunday Funnies; Bat Guano Crazy

Killing Terrorists, supporting freedom, signing trade deals, and what do you get? Impeached. That’s the situation this week. It could be worse, there could be a Demonrat who looks like a credible candidate.

 

Pappy says

And, of course

 

The Toledo Rally

If you didn’t see the Trump/ Pence rally the other night here it is.

One of his best, hitting all the targets that need hitting, hard an in the X ring.

%d bloggers like this: