Continuing the Mission

One year ago today, the day of the Brexit election, my post started with a quote from Thomas Paine, this one

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

It was true in the winter of 1776, and it was true last year, and it is still true. But the British, being the steadfast friends of freedom they have always been voted to leave the EU regardless. They’ve had a tough year. They will stay the course, I think. We’ll talk about that later, but just for comparison what happened in the year after we Americans declared independence? A quick overview from BritishBattles. com.

  • Battle of Long Island:The disastrous defeat of the Americans on 27th August 1776 leading to the loss of New York and the retreat to the Delaware River.
  • Battle of Harlem Heights:The skirmish on 16th September 1776 in northern New York island that restored the confidence of the American troops.
  • Battle of White Plains:The battle on 28th October 1776, leading to the American withdrawal to the Delaware River and the capture of Fort Washington by the British.
  • Battle of Fort Washington:The battle on 16th November 1776 that saw the American army forced off Manhattan Island and compelled to retreat to the Delaware River.
  • Battle of Trenton:George Washington’s iconic victory on 26th December 1776 over Colonel Rahl’s Hessian troops after crossing the frozen Delaware River; the battle that re-invigorated the American Revolution.
  • Battle of Princeton:The sequel on 3rd January 1777 to the successful Battle of Trenton: the two battles began the resurgence of the fortunes of the American Colonists in the Revolutionary War.
  • Battle of Ticonderoga 1777:The humiliating American abandonment of Fort Ticonderoga on 6th July 1777 to General Burgoyne’s British army.
  • Battle of Hubbardton:The hard-fought battle on 7th July 1777 in the forest south-east of Fort Ticonderoga.

The next winter will see the naked Continental Army starving at Valley Forge. We didn’t win our independence until 1783. I think the cousins will have a somewhat easier time, but their perils are also different. But amongst other things, they have us. As they started this trend, we picked it up last fall, not a little encouraged ourselves by Brexit.

Dan Hannan recapped the status the other day for us.

An unexpected defeat is always unsettling. I suspect many ConservativeHome readers were disoriented when two in five people voted for Jeremy Corbyn. We wondered how we had so misunderstood our own country; and that was following a vote that we had won.

In the days following the referendum, three false assertions became widespread. First, that Leave had won dishonestly. Second, that the country had become more racist. Third, that the 52 per cent had wrecked the economy.

The “liars” complaint is levelled the losers of every vote. Political campaigners are not trying to behave like neutral academics: they are trying to win. Both sides make good and bad arguments; both sides get to rebut each other’s claims.

Remain told us that a Leave vote would trigger a recession in 2016, cost every family more than £4000, cause Scotland to leave the UK and transplant the Calais refugee camp to Kent. In fact, Britain boomed after the vote, support for Scottish separatism plummeted and the Calais jungle was dismantled. […]

What of the idea that the referendum somehow unleashed xenophobia? The notion that the Leave vote had been “all about immigration” was endlessly repeated in Remain circles and on the BBC. In fact, every opinion poll showed that sovereignty had been the main motivator. Lord Ashcroft, for example, carried out a massive survey on the day, interviewing more than 12,000 people, and found that democratic control was by miles the biggest issue for Leavers (49 per cent of them named it as their main reason for backing Brexit), with immigration a distant second (which was cited by 33 per cent). But opinion polls, for many Remainers, were no match for anecdotes: “Well, one Leaver I spoke to said…” […]

Saddest of all, though, was the determination to believe that Britain would become poorer. To be fair, several experts thought there would be an instant crash. A week after the poll, 71 per cent of City economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a recession in 2016; in fact, Britain grew faster in the six months after the vote than in the six months before it. Another survey, by Reuters, found that the consensus among economists was that unemployment would rise by 9,000 a month in the second half of last year; in fact, it fell by almost exactly that amount.

Well, almost none of that happened. In fact, Britain is booming.

From Euro-Guido:

UK manufacturers’ order books are at their highest level since August 1988. A CBI survey of 464 firms found a “broad-based improvement” in 13 out of 17 manufacturing sub-sectors, with food, drink and tobacco and chemicals leading the British-made boom. Meanwhile, export orders rocketed to a 22-year high. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said:

“Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for “Made in Britain” goods rise with the temperature. Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.”

Outstanding!

Britain’s got some serious problems, many of them caused by uncontrolled immigration, and by a Conservative Party which seems to have lost its mooring in history. Not to mention a press that is at least as biased as the American one. So it ain’t all beer and skittles. But remember what Paine wrote, and hopefully they will get themselves back on track one way or another. Along that line, I was thinking the other day that Tom Jefferson and George Washington were miles prouder to be British (until arbitrary government forced them out) than Jeremy Corbyn ever dreamed of being. Sad for a prominent politician to owe his allegiance to something outside his country, mostly for his own aggrandizement. Right General Arnold? Was Peggy Shippen worth it?

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

This We’ll Defend

In Somerville, MA today, they will celebrate the raising of a new flag – they really should do this on 1 January, but they seem to think standing on a hilltop around Boston on 1 January is a mite chilly. No idea why. So they’re going to celebrate today. Works for me, since last Saturday was Flag Day, and today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. This is, of course, the first national flag, and is the first one to receive a salute from a foreign power. Specifically the Dutch under Governor Johannes de Graaff, at St Eustatius in the Caribbean to the brig Andrea Doria commanded by Captain Robinson, on 16 November 1776. The flag was first saluted on a naval vessel when The USS Ranger entered Quiberon Bay (under Brest) on 14 February 1778, under the command of Captain John Paul Jones.

Thos guys in Charlestown staring at the British 242 years ago today, were rather unique. Since the 14th of June, they had been the Continental Army which would become the United States Army, although the United States would not exist until 4 July 1776. That was the date that the Continental Congress adopted the New England Army, committed $2 million to its upkeep, and called for raising 10 companies of Riflemen from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland for its support. From the US Army Center of Military History

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies.  They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders.  The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.

In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army.  Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision.  Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City.  Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.

John R. Maass
Historian
US Army Center of Military History

So, a slightly belated Happy Birthday to the “This We’ll Defend” guys on the anniversary of their first battle, which they lost, rather gloriously.

 

You Had One Job

Sometimes, no matter your job title, you really have just one job. Theresa May was selected as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to execute Brexit, and that was what was expected. I like Mrs. May, then and now. I think she is a steady, dependable woman. But I also think she may a bit detail obsessed, it’s a fault many share.

She decided a few weeks ago she needed a bigger majority in Parliament to carry out Brexit properly. It made a fair amount of sense, the Tories have a lot of ‘Remainers’ and maybe she could weed a few out while increasing the majority. So OK.

But why in the hell, during the campaign were we talking about a Dementia Tax, or, of all the useless distractions, fox hunting, why the stupid slogans, let alone the American style presidential conceits, ‘Team May’ and ‘Theresa’s local candidates’, (we might have some lessons to teach, but the hubris of our Presidential candidates is about the worst thing one can pick up from us.) Why issue a manifesto written by a cabal, that your government hasn’t agreed to, especially one that will cause you to have to make a U-turn. ‘Strong and Stable’? Hardly. More like Hubris meet Nemesis.

And then you suffer a couple of Islamic terrorist attacks, and you let an opponent (who spent a considerable portion of his career supporting the IRA, Hamas, and Hezbollah) take the initiative because you once perhaps cut the number of police.

Of course, part of that is that is that because you’ve (or pretty much anybody else in Westminster) never had the guts to stand up to the racists that run the BBC, you have to be oh so politically correct. So you can’t tell the people the truth. The truth that because you let in all those bearded 13-year-old refugees, and their parents, and their sisters, and their brothers and their aunts, your security services have no idea where the potential terrorists are now, not even the ones that aren’t citizens.

But your police are pretty good at catching Christian pastors who teach what your father did, that homosexual sex is a sin, maybe if they weren’t doing that, they could catch a few of the terrorists. You keep saying that you want to help those ‘just about getting by’. Well, the best way to do that is to get out of the way, and out of their wallet, and let them spend their money on what they want and/or need, instead of sending it to Inland Revenue to fund those who will not work and live off the working poor.

And just how much does the NHS spend on medical tourists, let alone those who shouldn’t even be in Britain but are anyway. Not to mention bloated administration that couldn’t care less about administrating effectively.

But, that is what you let happen, and so now you didn’t increase your majority, you lost it, and now you have a hung Parliament. As Cranmer noted this morning…

With no majority in the House of Commons, the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ fades away and grammar schools whither. With no majority, it’s hard to see how Brexit will now mean Brexit (that is, out of the single market and customs union; free of the European Court of Justice; the end of free movement; out of the CAP and the CFP; and the restoration of parliamentary supremacy). You don’t boast about being a ‘bloody difficult woman’ if those bloody difficulties lead to greater division and more instability. With Brexit in jeopardy and the clamour for ‘soft Brexit’ growing, it is difficult at this stage to see where the necessary leadership will come from.

Steven Hayward adds this…

[B]ut at a macro level there is one big thing in common with the major election results of the past year, starting with Brexit, then Trump, but including the French election (the major parties shut out of the final) and even the Italian referendum on constitutional reform—a rejection of the establishment. Bad news for Angela Merkel I think.

He’s right of course. He’s also right that there will probably be still another election in the UK within a year.

The really sad thing is: The British people deserve far better than this sorry spectacle.

Teddy Bears, Tea Candles, and Terrorism

Heather MacDonald has an article up in City Journal, which speaks to recent British events and our (and their) problems in restricting immigration.

The candlelight vigils didn’t work. After the Manchester Arena suicide bombing in England last month, liberal pundits suggested “mass vigils” and “community solidarity” as a counterterrorism response. The most important imperative, according to the media intelligentsia, was to signal that the West’s commitment to “diversity” and “inclusion” was intact.

Unfortunately, the three Islamic terrorists who used a van and knives to kill another seven civilians and critically injure dozens more in London on Saturday night were unmoved by the “diversity” message. Witnesses described the killers frantically stabbing anyone they could reach, while shouting “This is for Allah”; one witness said that a girl was stabbed up to 15 times.

The “candlelight vigil” counsel has been more muted after this latest attack, though the New York Times has predictably advised the candidates in Britain’s upcoming elections not to succumb to “draconian measures” or to do “just what the terrorists want” by undermining democratic values.

Nor have they ever, nor will they ever. They are a mark of the weakness of our society. A symbol of defeat. One did not see candlelight vigils after the Blitz, or Dunkirk, or the catastrophic losses of the air raids of Big Week, or Pearl Harbor, or the fall of Warsaw in 1939. Our people had a mission, they mourned the dead and then got on with the mission. We, many of us, know what the mission is, even if our governments don’t.

It is, as it always is, the safety of our homelands, and to be honest, “if you are not with us, you are against us”. I don’t see a bunch of wild-eyed idiots out here, that want to massacre the Moslems, although if the problem is forced underground long enough, that likely will happen. The mission is to vet people coming into the homelands, assuring ourselves, as best we can, that they are coming for the right reasons. No sensible American (or Briton) believes in a total ban on immigration, our societies are built on interaction with the world. But allowing people whose main aim in life is to kill you to roam unchecked in our countries is madness.

On Saturday night, following the London attacks, Trump had tweeted: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” Trump’s exhortation produced expletive-laden fury, as well as more sober dismay. Columnist Fareed Zakaria summarized two of the main arguments against the visa pause on CNN Monday morning. The pause is a “nonsense solution” to Islamic terrorism, Zakaria said, because the “vast majority” of attacks have been committed by “homegrown terrorists and locals.” In other words, “homegrown” Islamic terrorism is not an immigration problem. But a second-generation Muslim terrorist is more of an immigration problem than a first-generation Muslim terrorist. Such a killer demonstrates that the uncontrolled flow of immigrants from terror-breeding countries has overwhelmed the necessary process of assimilation. When security forces in a country like Britain can no longer keep track of Islamic extremists within their borders, that is a consequence of specific immigration policies.

Zakaria claimed that the problem is “ideology,” not immigration. But how will the West’s ability to counter that ideology be improved by bringing in more bearers of it without a better understanding of who is ripe for radicalization? Until we are confident of our ability to screen for radical Islamic ideology in newcomers and their progeny, the rational reaction is to temporarily slow things down.

I’ll admit he’s got somewhat of a point here, but can you imagine the uproar if Trump agreed with him, and simply banned immigration by any Muslim whatsoever? Yeah, me too. It would be effective though, and I know Brits who propose exactly that. Not to mention interning the ones already there, citizen or not. I find that several bridges too far, but I understand why they feel that way.

Other pundits and Democratic politicians have resurrected the constitutional arguments against the travel pause. They echo the Fourth Circuit opinion striking down the pause that was issued three days after a second-generation Libyan in Manchester killed 22 people with his suicide vest in May. The Fourth Circuit majority held that the Trump executive order violates the First Amendment’s ban on “laws respecting an establishment of religion.” The majority’s argument is preposterous. The executive order establishes or disestablishes no religion. It has no effect on the vast majority of Muslims worldwide living outside the six covered countries, and it applies to non-Muslims from the six covered countries. Why is Bali not on the list? Because it is not a significant source of terror-breeding ideology and terrorist training. But even if the order had been drawn on religious grounds, foreigners living outside the U.S. have no constitutional rights. The U.S. government owes foreigners on foreign soil nothing when it comes to immigration policy; the equal protection clause and the First Amendment do not apply to them. No one has a right to enter the U.S., or any other country, on his own terms. If the government wanted to suspend visas for blondes, those non-American blondes living abroad would have no standing to challenge the government’s actions.

Emphasis mine. Do read her article linked above, and recognize that the time for safe spaces and piles of teddy bears, and tea candle cause global warming is rapidly passing. It is becoming time for stout-hearted and clear-eyed men and women to start solving the problems caused by allowing the children to run the joint all these years.

F*** you, I’m Millwall

Ferrari Press Agency…hero Roy Larner was left in intensive care after confronting the three terrorists on London Bridge suffering several stab wounds. Pals have now set up a justgiving page to help him. See Ferrari copy

On my post A Most Resolute People? an old acquaintance from CP&S, the Raven, had this to say.

Oh Neo, this isn’t a fair comparison- the people in the later picture are being evacuated by the cops. You’ll find plenty of picture of people online who are looking a lot more cheerful while they are being evacuated (including one chap nursing his pint to safety). I’m sat in an office overlooking London Bridge and Burough Market as I write this: no-one is ‘reeling’, but plenty of people are getting on with their jobs and giving the Islamists the finger.

Well, she (I think, I always thought the Raven was female, but I don’t know that, so if I’m wrong, I’m sorry) had a point. I did select those photos to make a point, and I did see others, including the chap with his beer. Only excuse is that we all do it, to strengthen our words. Not much of an excuse, really, but I’m unlikely to change.

But she gave us another comment yesterday, that included this link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4575570/Millwall-fan-tells-fought-London-Bridge-terrorists.html

And we’re going to talk a bit about it. But first

A football fan was left with shocking injuries after he was stabbed eight times by the London Bridge terrorists as he fought them off with his bare hands to allow fellow drinkers to escape.

Brave Roy Larner launched himself at the trio on Saturday night who he said had run in to the Black & Blue restaurant in Borough Market shouting, ‘This is for Allah’ and ‘Islam, Islam, Islam’.

As staff and customers panicked, the 47-year-old shouted, ‘F**k you, I’m Millwall,’ before trying to punch the attackers, who have been named as Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.

His actions are said to have saved lives as people were able to escape while Mr Larner fought the terrorists back, getting slashed in his head, chest and hands in the process.

Mr Larner, 47, from Peckham, south London, is recovering from surgery after being slashed ‘in the head’ multiple times by the assailants.

Speaking from his bed at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, he said: ‘I’m a bit better. I’ve had surgery. They reckon I might have to be in here a week.

‘I just did what I had to do.’

He was pictured propping himself up in his hospital bed with a ‘learn to run’ manual his friends had given him – which they said displayed ‘our south east London sense of humour’.

Love the book, waste of time though, he wouldn’t run from trouble anytime, anywhere. Thank God for him and those like him. The are the foundation of our societies. They’ve petitioned for him to be awarded the George Cross, second only to the Victoria Cross, and the highest award for valor awarded to civilians. He damned sure deserves it. Rollin’ on in alone against three knife-wielding fanatics is beyond brave, perhaps next time a few could follow? Please?

For me, that highlights something, he’s 47, a bit younger than me, but mostly the same generation, and old enough to remember what could be called ‘the football wars’ when the English fans took apart whole towns. The old Viking Berserkers didn’t have a lot on them, other than better weaponry. His mom was a baby during the Blitz. They’ve made it through some tough times.

You didn’t see any Millenials in that charge, and you wouldn’t here either, except perhaps for our veterans. A lot of it is how you’re raised to see yourself. If you raised to be a (pardon me) special snowflake whom no one will ever offend you will not react as one raised to believe, ‘F**k you, I’m Millwall’. Or ‘f**k you, I’m a Briton and Britons will never be slaves’. Same thing really, just a shorter form.

Jessica used to speak of the movies of John Wayne, especially those done with John Ford as part of the myth of America. She was, and is, right. Very few of us raised watching those (and that likely includes Mr. Larner, as well) ever thought life was supposed to be fair, or that we wouldn’t have to fight, sometimes at long odds, for our life and our freedom. Amongst my friends, I doubt he’d be buying many beers, anymore.

This fits Mr. Larner as well as it fits so many of us.

Hope he gets that bauble, he is the kind of man that built first England, then Britain, and then the world, and kept it free.

“Advance, Banners, in the name of England and St. George.”

 

A Most Resolute People?

This was taken in London in 1940. These people are serious, but they look pretty unafraid, and they even have a smile for their Queen. In fact, those people, no less than the Few in Fighter Command, inspired the world, to defeat Nazi Germany. As has been said so often, there was no more compelling reason for the United States to enter the European War than there was for the Soviet Union to enter the Japanese war, and they didn’t till after VE Day.

But we did. Why? Well, there were the famous radio broadcasts, by Edward R. Murrow, starting with “This is London” with the bombs going off in the background, there was the bravery and success of the RAF. But there was also admiration for the British people, fighting on alone, with the King and his family at their head (and bombed himself) and the words of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the best of both countries distilled into one man.

And so, together we built the world of today. But…

The pictures from London this weekend didn’t look like that. They didn’t show a resolute people, who could legitimately say, “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job”. Instead we saw this.

REUTERS/Neil Hall

That is not a portrait of serious, resolute people, that’s a picture of a defeated people, who have given up any control of their own life. Perhaps the police instructed them to do this, it is a reasonable way to make sure they haven’t weapons, but this went on for blocks. They damned sure weren’t ‘walking like free men.’

Thing is, if reports are right, the wannabe terrorists killed 7 people with the total destruction of their force. That ain’t no victory, that’s a defeat, and a bad one. They killed three people each, none of whom had anything to do with their cause, just happened to be there. I think in America the wannabe terrorists would have done even worse, it sounds like there were plenty of opportunities for a civilian who knew what he was doing to intervene decisively. The Mets response was very good, but as always when you need a cop in seconds they were only minutes away.

Then there is this:

It’s kind of reasonable advice, if you’re a helpless subject, totally dependent on the police, which is what the British government seems to want these days. But at some point one must fight, even rabbits will, and rabbits have teeth, and sometimes win.

Kim Quade over at Victory Girls wrote yesterday

Free people don’t live to react. They live confidently and proactively. They fiercely guard their borders and maintain their culture. It’s sad to think that the little island nation of Britain, which kept Nazis from invading their land nearly 80 years ago, may be succumbing to their own folly within.

She’s right, it’s very sad indeed to think that the little island of Britain, whose people more than anyone else, built the world we live in, will end this way. But if they don’t change, it will.

But let’s end with something much more uplifting.

 

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