Naught For Our Comfort

This is a repost of a post I made reworking Jess' first (and guest post here) in the fall of 2014, when she was just starting her recovery. It gave me comfort then from the strain and worry involved, and the horribleness of knowing she might be gone from my life,  just like that. Now, it still gives me comfort, as I look around an America, that I  barely recognize. I hope it does you as well. Neo

I doubt that it is news to any of you but, one of the great joys of mine in writing this blog for the last two years has been the help and friendship of Jessica, and her co-author Chalcedon. I admire them both greatly, and one of the reasons for that is that they have rekindled my love for poetry, and you have seen all of us use it to reinforce our points. It is hardly a new method but, it is one used rarely these days. I suspect because most of us are so ill-educated that we are unaware of its richness, and ability to reinforce our point.

If you read much of Lincoln’ writings and speeches, for instance, you will see it used to great effect. For instance his famous, “of the people, for the people, and by the people’ was not original, nor did he claim it was, and his listeners knew it was not. The original is this: “This Bible is for the government of the people, for the people and by the people.” it is by John Wycliffe and it is from 1384.

And so they have enriched my life, and will continue to do so, God willing, and yours as well because it is reflected in my posts for you. And so

A sea-folk blinder than the sea
Broke all about his land,
But Alfred up against them bare
And gripped the ground and grasped the air,
Staggered, and strove to stand.

For earthquake swallowing earthquake
Uprent the Wessex tree;
The whirlpool of the pagan sway
Had swirled his sires as sticks away
When a flood smites the sea.

Our towns were shaken of tall kings
With scarlet beards like blood:
The world turned empty where they trod,
They took the kindly cross of God
And cut it up for wood.

He bent them back with spear and spade,
With desperate dyke and wall,
With foemen leaning on his shield
And roaring on him when he reeled;
And no help came at all.

There was not English armor left,
Nor any English thing,
When Alfred came to Athelney
To be an English king.

It was a very bad time to be King Alfred of Wessex, and I think it holds parallels to our time as well. to continue

“Mother of God” the wanderer said
“I am but a common king,
Nor will I ask what saints may ask,
To see a secret thing.

“But for this earth most pitiful.
This little land I know,
If that which is forever is,
Or if our hearts shall break with bliss
Seeing the stranger go?”

And here we come to my introduction to this epic by Jess when she quoted to me on one of our political defeats

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher

“And this is the word of Mary,
The word of the world’s desire
`No more of comfort shall ye get,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.’

Naught for your  comfort has become a catchphrase for us when things go awry, which has been often these last few years for us Americans, and for Britons as well.

We are living through a failed presidency (or, at least, trying to) and one of the reasons it has failed is that many of our countrymen have confused Obama with God, and I suspect he has as well. That never turns out well, and it is not here either.

I’m reminded that first class leaders hire the best men they can find to help them, and second class leaders hire third class helpers, and worst of all, third class leaders hire lackeys who will tell them what they want to hear. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But we are going to have to soldier until after the next election and hope we find a man (not a god) to help us lead in the rebuilding western civilization, for without our leadership it will fall. It’s going to be an epically hard battle, and we could do worse than to emulate King Alfred.

But remember, we remember King Alfred because he won. Let’s finish with the rest of the poem.

And this was the might of Alfred,
At the ending of the way;
That of such smiters, wise or wild,
He was least distant from the child,
Piling the stones all day.

The King looked up, and what he saw

Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

[…]

They shall not come in warships,
They shall not waste with brands,
But books be all their eating,
And ink be on their hands.

Yea, this shall be the sign of them,
The sign of the dying fire;
And man made like a half-wit,
That knows not of his sire.

What though they come with
scroll and pen,
And grave as a shaven clerk,
By this sign you shall know them
That they ruin and make dark;

By all men bond to nothing
Being slaves without a lord,
By one blind idiot world obeyed
Too blind to be abhorred.

By thought a crawling ruin,
By life a leaping mire,
By a broken heart in the breast
of the world
And the end of the world’s desire.

By God and man dishonored
By death and life made vain
Know ye, the old barbarian,
The barbarian come again

The eternal battle against barbarism is ours to win for our generation or to lose for generations to come. It has taken us a thousand years to get where we are, and it might take longer to recover. So, Stand Fast, my friends.

Did that interest you enough to wonder about the poem and its author? I hope so. It was written by G.K. Chesterton (and it’s much longer than the excerpts here) it’s called The Ballad of the White Horse. You can find it at Project Gutenberg.

The Morning After…

…in the City on the Hill.

Rubio suspends his campaign.

 

 

A class act, till the end, Marco Rubio. Yes, I, like many of you, strongly disliked his predilection of immigration amnesty. But, that said, he is amongst the best of us. I’ll miss him, but it was time.

Kasich can no longer be nominated, he has been mathematically eliminated, although I never understood why he was in the race, in the first place.

And so, it comes down to:

Cruz v. Trump

Which is as it should be, I suppose.

But always remember:

Now the onely way to avoyde this shipwracke and to provide for our posterity is to followe the Counsell of Micah, to doe Justly, to love mercy, to walke humbly with our God, for this end, wee must be knitt together in this worke as one man, wee must entertaine each other in brotherly Affeccion, wee must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities, for the supply of others necessities, wee must uphold a familiar Commerce together in all meekenes, gentlenes, patience and liberallity, wee must delight in eache other, make others Condicions our owne rejoyce together, mourne together, labour, and suffer together, allwayes haveing before our eyes our Commission and Community in the worke, our Community as members of the same body, soe shall wee keepe the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as his owne people and will commaund a blessing upon us in all our wayes, soe that wee shall see much more of his wisdome power goodnes and truthe then formerly wee have beene acquainted with, wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us, when tenn of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantacions: the lord make it like that of New England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us; soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world, wee shall open the mouthes of enemies to speake evill of the wayes of god and all professours for Gods sake; wee shall shame the faces of many of gods worthy servants, and cause theire prayers to be turned into Cursses upon us till wee be consumed out of the good land whether wee are going: And to shutt upp this discourse with that exhortacion of Moses that faithfull servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israell Deut. 30. Beloved there is now sett before us life, and good, deathe and evill in that wee are Commaunded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another to walke in his wayes and to keepe his Commaundements and his Ordinance, and his lawes, and the Articles of our Covenant with him that wee may live and be multiplyed, and that the Lord our God may blesse us in the land whether wee goe to possesse it: But if our heartes shall turne away soe that wee will not obey, but shall be seduced and worshipp other Gods our pleasures, and proffitts, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, wee shall surely perishe out of the good Land whether wee passe over this vast Sea to possesse it;

Therefore lett us choose life,

that wee, and our Seede,

may live; by obeyeing his

voyce, and cleaveing to him,

for hee is our life, and

our prosperity.

John Winthrop

on board the Arabella

in 1630.

As true today, as it was on that day.

Obama’s wrong. Americans should back Brexit – and so should you

1776Because Americans love Britain, and because we are a presumptuous lot, we often advise the United Kingdom on its foreign policy. And not only the UK, but Europe. Successive US administrations have urged European nations to form a United States of Europe as an answer to the question attributed to Henry Kissinger: ‘Who do I call if I want to call Europe?’

The latest such unrequested advice was offered to your Prime Minister by no less a foreign-policy maven — see his successes in Libya, Middle East, China, Crimea — than Barack Obama. The outgoing president informed David Cameron that his administration wants to see ‘a strong United Kingdom in a strong European Union’. He seemed to assume that, in the words of the Sinatra ballad, you can’t have one without the other.

But many of us here in the US are rooting for Brexit, and not just because we want what is best for Britain. We think Brexit would be in America’s interests.

Britain has long been America’s most valuable ally.

via Obama’s wrong. Americans should back Brexit – and so should you » The Spectator.

Yup, a full hundred years now, and our history of cooperation goes back even further, to almost immediately after the War of 1812. We’re proud of that, but there’s more. In many ways we are you. We, like you, look back at the long sweep of history and we see our political ancestors, fighting for liberty, against the Stuarts, the Plantagenet’s, and the Normans, all the way to Alfred the Great and perhaps further to Aethelbert of Kent, who wrote the first written law code in any Germanic language. Here, with the codification of Aethelberts’ Law is the origin of The Common Law, our joint heritage, and the one thing above all others that has made Britain and the America the only modern superpowers.

And mind you, the common law is the basis of the entire modern age, without its protection of lives and property from random seizure by an autocratic king, the world we jointly have made, would not exist. It would likely still be Hobbes’s vision, “Nasty, brutish, and short.” Look around, at the world, and where our influence is strongest, the people, not just the rulers prosper, where it wanes, the people suffer.

Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb made a video a few years ago that is on point, I think

I think she correct, and you know, if the Tudors made you what you are, you, at the height of your freedom, made us, it is above all the common heritage of the Anglosphere, and one that the whole world envies. If you would know why Britain and America are hated, look no further, it’s all based in envy of the people, and fear on the part of their rulers. Because we, and pretty much only we, have done all the things required to make it work. The rest, including most of Europe, give our principles only lip service, if that, and that is why thrice in the twentieth century, we, led by Britain and America, have had to rescue them from tyranny. Thrice, no less!

What I see in the European Union is still another attempt to bring Britain back under the control of Europe. One of the best analyses on this I’ve read is from Think Defence, an excellent British defense blog. He ends this way:

From a short to medium term operational defence and security perspective, I actually think the impact of BREXIT would be minimal either way. The advantages and disadvantages of EU membership, at least from this writers view of the defence and security landscape, seem to be hugely exaggerated by both sides of the debate.

NATO would remain, bilateral cooperation would continue and develop in other ways, defence spending will go up and down depending on threats and mechanisms for intelligence sharing explored, developed and implemented.

There are risks and opportunities on either side, but short term doom and gloom or the wide open uplands, in defence and security, you are looking in the wrong place.

At moment, more EU defence generally means more HQ’s, marching bands and flags, but after a remain vote and a period for dealing with the migrant crisis, calls for actual, real and tangible integration will get louder and louder.

For me at least, this is the question we should be dealing with, do we want a single EU state with a single EU Navy, Army and Air Force?

Everything else is a minor detail.

As an American, I can’t help but believe that the day the White Ensign is furled for the last time, succeeded by that obvious rip-off of the canton of the American flag, the chance of real freedom in the world, for all of us, will be reduced immeasurably. The Tudors made you (and us), it would be a shame to let Europe undo six hundred years of improving the human condition.

Weighed in the Balance

Oobie is one of my favorite bloggers. Why? Because she writes from knowledge of her subject, and with plain common sense. For me, it’s a winning combination. here she outlines her problems with this election, which parallel mine rather closely, but the meat of a fine article is in these final two paragraphs.

Here’s the problem for me. Can I in good conscience vote for somebody I think is unfit for the presidency? That of course includes Hillary Clinton in first order, so a vote for her is out of the question. That leaves me facing the prospect of voting for somebody else of very dubious qualifications. If I say affirmatively about Trump, “This is the man for me!” — what then? What if he gets in and then breaks all his promises (and he will — he might build a bit of wall, but it won’t be a serious endeavor), or starts to behave irrationally? What kind of satisfaction would I then have from a mindless insurrection? What good would have been achieved? Or what if he turns out to be as bad a candidate as I think and lost? And then again, if I sit home and withhold my vote from Trump, I automatically give that vote to the much worse criminal and lunatic, Clinton. And that can’t be right, either. I don’t see a happy ending here.

I guess I’m going to pray fervently that Ted Cruz can pull it out or Rubio is in as a brokered candidate. And otherwise, to cast a vote for Trump. If I do, it won’t be in the expectation of being proven wrong about his lack of character and irrationality. The Democrats were stupid. They should have run someone like Evan Bayh of Indiana, a mild-mannered, likable guy who is Mr. Middle of the Road. Then people such as I could have voted for him. But no, the parties are in the grip of the true believers now and things are not going to go smoothly.

via Weighed in the Balance | Ooobie on Everything.

Yup, that is exactly the problem isn’t it. Clinton, a crook, and a more or less proven national security threat, or Trump, a buffoon, and perhaps more of a threat to civil liberties than Obama, and supposedly of the same party as Congress.

Hobson’s choice, isn’t it? Well, sort of, it’s really more of a variant of Morton’s Fork, I think. But in any case, it’ll be a sad day in the history of the Republic if we have to make a choice between Clinton or Trump. I just don’t know what I’ll do if they are the nominees, I hope it simply doesn’t happen. Ted Cruz, I’m looking at you. I know, and refreshingly you know, that you’re only a man, although an ambitious, thoughtful, and serious one, who believes in the lodestar of the Republic, The Constitution. That will do, I think.

Nancy Reagan RIP, and a bit from Jim deMint

Official White House photograph of Nancy Reaga...

Official White House photograph of Nancy Reagan, wife to then-President of the United States Ronald Reagan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we start, word has come that Nancy Reagan died yesterday morning, this is how an era ends. made me think of a bit of T.S. Elliot from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled

She’ll be missed! RIP and enjoy being with Ronnie again.


The Reagans knew as much as anyone about building a conservative movement, and so it may be fitting to add this here because Jim deMint know a fair amount about it himself. Genevieve Wood tells us:

Candidates for federal and state office are running successfully on conservative ideas—cutting government spending, protecting religious liberty, repealing Obamacare—that have taken hold over the past five years, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint says.

Peggy Noonan: The Court, Like the Country, Needs Balance

I’ve always like Peggy Noonan, anybody who could write the ‘Pointe du Hoc’ speech for Ronald Reagan is far from all bad. Yes, she got caught in the umbrella of the Acela corridor for a while and Obama dazzled her. Well, how is that different than all the conservatives dazzled by Donald Trump? It’s not.

Here, she tells some truth, and she’s right.

The president has every right to nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia. He shouldn’t, but he has the right by law and precedent.

The reasons he shouldn’t spring from facts particular to the moment and having to do with what Justice Scalia symbolized.

In a 50/50 country, one that suffers deep ideological divisions and is constantly at its own throat, Justice Scalia stood, for that half of the country that is more or less conservative, for wisdom, permanence, enduring structures and understandings. That he was brilliant, witty and penetrating in his thought goes without saying. He was also brave, with that exhausting kind of courage that has to do with swimming each day against the tide. Here is Justice Scalia as prophet, dissenting in 1992’s sweeping abortion decision, Planned Parenthood v Casey: “Its length, and what might be called its epic tone, suggest that its authors believe they are bringing to an end a troublesome era in the history of our Nation and of our Court. … [But] by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.”

It did; it has.

And very sadly, she is right about why the people should have the choice on the nominator of Scalia’s replacement too:

There is something increasingly unappeasable in the left. This is something conservatives and others have come to fear, that progressives now accept no limits. We can’t just have court-ordered legalized abortion across the land, we have to have it up to the point of birth, and taxpayers have to pay for it. It’s not enough to win same-sex marriage, you’ve got to personally approve of it and if you publicly resist you’ll be ruined. It’s not enough that we have publicly funded contraceptives, the nuns have to provide them.

This unappeasable spirit always turns to the courts to have its way.

If progressives were wise they would step back, accept their victories, take a breath and turn to the idea of solidifying gains, of heroic patience, of being peaceable.

Don’t make them bake the cake. Don’t make them accept the progressive replacement for Scalia. Leave the nuns alone.

Progressives have no idea how fragile it all is. That’s why they feel free to be unappeasable. They don’t know what they’re grinding down.

They think America has endless give. But America is composed of humans, and they do not have endless give.

Isn’t that what we’re seeing this year in the political realm? That they don’t have endless give? And we’ll be seeing more of it.

via Peggy Noonan: The Court, Like the Country, Needs Balance — The Patriot Post.

She’s very right here, there is an end to the give in the American people, it was last seen in the 1860 election. Wise (or even clever) people don’t want to find it again. But the Progressives, like the Democrats of Dixie in 1860 seem oblivious to the approaching apocalypse.

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