America: What Others See

Sometimes we should back off on our concerns and see what others think of us. Two “others” have written about America this week. I think we should take note.

The first is Nikola Kedhi writing on The Federalist. Most of the people we quote here are pretty well-known and we don’t elaborate, but here we should. According to his bio at The Federalist, he is:

Nikola hails from Albania and studied International Economics, Management, and Finance at Bocconi University in Milan. He obtained his Master’s in Finance from Carlos III University in Madrid. Currently, he works as an Associate at Deloitte in Albania, one of the Big 4 consultancy firms.

So no close ties to America other than perhaps, his job. Let’s see what he says.

America is much more than a country. It is much more than a land or a group of people that came together to form a nation. Ultimately, the United States is a symbol. It is the world’s fullest and greatest embodiment of capitalism, democracy, and freedom. It is the land of the free, the home of the brave, a source of hope, and a defender of justice.

Many may not understand the significance of America as an ideal. Some in the United States and Europe have lived comfortably for decades, never been invaded, never lost their land or property, nor their freedom to think or speak. As a result, they can’t value what they already have. It’s an unfortunate reality that you often have to lose something to fully understand its worth.

My country, Albania, is small today, but in the past, the ancestral lands of my people once spread throughout the Balkans. We had the first queen in Europe, gave the Vatican four popes, provided emperors who shaped history and survived through the strong men and women who died for their country, their traditions, and their families.

Nevertheless, neighboring countries with the help of larger empires and states in Europe slowly took our territories and forced into flight large parts of our population. More than 100 years ago, only one country stood up for us, fought for our territorial integrity, and helped us retain the borders we have today: the United States of America.

One doesn’t need to travel further back in time than a few generations to find Albania at the mercy of the red terror known as communism. […]

Despite 45 years of propaganda demonizing the United States, the Albanian people never forgot what President Reagan often referred to as the “shining city on a hill.” Indeed, no matter the torture and the brainwashing the regime tried, it could never remove the desire for freedom. The desire for freedom, meritocracy, and justice are deeply ingrained in the human soul. […]

Still, hope remains. I see it every day and not just in America. President Trump stands in front of the advance of the radical leftists in the United States and he inspires others to follow his example in Europe. He has vowed that America will never be a socialist country. The history of America is filled with inspiring stories of those who stood up, never gave up hope, and resolutely worked for a better future. A strong and prosperous United States means a safer and better world.

Read it all. Then there is this from The Spectator, by Robert Taylor who is based in London.

At a time of crisis, we need hope more than ever. We need positivity and optimism. We need the American Dream. What is the American Dream exactly? Being a Brit, I didn’t really know, though I had a foggy notion of a can-do, anyone-can-make-it, over-the-rainbow sort of spirit. So I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turns out I wasn’t too far wrong. To summarize, the American Dream is a national ethos that fosters prosperity and success on the basis of social mobility and rewards for hard work and enterprise.

That sounds good and noble to me. But I’d suggest it should apply, especially now, not just to America, but far beyond its shores, to all those willing to embrace it. {…}

To repair the massive damage, to dust ourselves down, recover from the shock, and get back up on our feet, we need cooperation between leading states in terms of economic intervention and health resilience.

And who can lead this cooperation? Well, let’s think. The UN? No way — too many competing interests. China? Nope. There’s no trust, especially since this whole thing appears to have started in or near some filthy live- animal market in Wuhan, followed by weeks of obfuscation and denial.

The EU? Are you kidding? Once the coronavirus hit, the sham that is the European Union was rapidly laid bare to anyone who cared to look. […]

No. Just as in 1945, with the establishment of Bretton Woods as a basis for the global economy and international security, only the USA can lead us out of this crisis. The American Dream must become an international reality. […]

Dare I say that there are few nations that trust each other more, and have a stronger recent history of standing side by side, than the U.S. and UK? […]

For years, a range of academics, economists, and politicians across the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, recognizing their common language, history, cultural understanding, head of state, and deep- rooted, intertwined identities, have advocated closer cooperation between their respective nations in the CANZUK movement (it’s an acronym — get it?). While Britain has been pulling away from the EU, it has quietly been moving towards its English-speaking brethren.

The U.S. is the logical fifth, and most important, partner in this movement. Can these five countries work together now, not just for mutual benefit but to lead the world towards a new global order? Of course they can. […]

Maybe I’m an idealist, but I see a massive opportunity from this crisis for old friends, pulled apart by a decades-long narrative that encouraged crude, regional trading blocs while derisively snorting at the nation state and historic trading links, to come together once again.

Read this one too. I agree completely with both of them. When we say that if the US goes down, there is no place to run to, this is what we mean. It is true for us and it is true for all those who love freedom and liberty, not to mention a chance to get ahead in this life. We are the last ditch in defense of that city on the hill with its beacon burning bright. Others will follow, and help but we must lead. Because we are “The Keepers of the Flame”.

Whatever must be done, and I think many of us have some knowledge of that, must be done.

Some things are worth living for, and they are the things worth dying for

Those sunlit uplands that Churchill dreamed of still beckon, and the journey may be tough but it will be worth it.

In All Ways As We

You may remember that I’m Republican. I’ve been Republican since the day I registered to vote on my 18th birthday. Here’s something really funny; my favorite television show is West Wing. I’m on my fourth binge of the series and practically know the dialog. I never watched it when it was actually running as a current series on network television – I wasn’t much interested in politics then and my husband is pretty basically a kill-’em-up, blow-’em-up, crash-’em-up kinda guy when it comes to entertainment so if he’s watching a Rambo or something, I’m generally reading.

When I retired two years ago I had something I’d always heard about -‘free time’. Hard to imagine, free time. But I had it and after cleaning out closets, organizing cupboards, and getting odd jobs done around the house, I had to figure out what to fill my free time with. My daughter and son-in-law had given me Netflix as a Christmas present around the same time I retired and so I went ‘shopping’ around their host of movies and programs and watched things I’d heard about but missed when I was working, found some unexpected treasures, and some really junky stuff but it was kind of fun checking things out.

Then I ran out of things I’d heard about but hadn’t seen and had to reconsider my options. I didn’t know when I started the first binge that it was a Democrat President and Administration. When I discovered it early on, I thought, well, I’ll try it and if I don’t like it I don’t have to watch any more of it. The acting was very good (I think Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett is the best acting of his career), the writing was outstanding (I just love really smart sarcasm!), I enjoyed the supporting cast, and they had some really good human interest stories.

But there is one episode, season two, episode 10, entitled Noel. It made me weep. It still brings tears to my eyes, even on the fourth go-round. This is a clip of the story that moves me to tears. I like the fact that the video is poor because it will help you to concentrate on the story within a story that is being told. I want you to listen to it carefully. 

Who is that person in the hole with you? Think of all the people near and dear to you. Who would jump in that hole? I hope and pray that everyone has at least one person in their life that they feel would jump in the hole with them. For me, my mind goes to Hebrews 4:15. I’m not going to explain it; you’re a big kid now, you can look it up. That’s who would jump in the hole with me.

All Manner of Things Shall be Well.

So what to talk about, I’ve read the horror stories, of local officials and even judges, gone full totalitarian, but I’d be surprised if you haven’t too, and it’s really up to those people’s voters to redress the problem. I hope they do, relentlessly. Americans have never shown much tolerance for totalitarian behavior, it’s one of the things that makes us different, and why we lead the (more or less) free world. But I’ve little to add to what has been written.

But we are far enough through this to raise our heads a bit and look around. We, the peoples who seventy-five years ago tonight, defeated Nazi Germany (and soon Imperial Japan). We, the English speaking peoples did that, almost alone. Remember at Argentia Bay in 1941 when Churchill and Roosevelt met, the United States had just passed the draft (by one vote). And almost alone in the world, the Anglosphere was actually free, Four years later we were victorious all around the world.

Now we cower at the flu. How’d that happen? The best way to understand the future is to study the past. So let’s do so.

While reflecting on our plight in the current pandemic, CNN’s Brian Stelter recently lamented, “We’ve never lived through something quite like this. We have nothing to compare this with!” It is true; we have never lived through a pandemic like this, but others have.

He’s right, of course, but the reason we don’t hear much about them is that we marched on. We’ve had many opportunities to curl up in a ball and give up. What we are today is the result of that ferocious will to life and liberty, but we’ve watered it down, because of an easy life, I suspect.

I wonder what our medieval predecessors would think of our societal reaction to this virus. In short, they would marvel at our fear and melancholy.

There Are Things Worse than Physical Death

Imagine how a premodern person might judge this reaction. We have shut down life. We reassert our faith in “science” and big government at every turn. We saddle our children with even more crippling debt. We forbid church but keep the marijuana flowing. We release criminals but threaten or actually arrest people for enjoying the outdoors. The health crisis is not unprecedented; our reaction to it is. Others have lived through health crises much worse. How did they respond?

One example of the typical medieval approach is the Venerable Bede (circa 673–735) in his “Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.” As a matter of course, Bede recounts a few destructive famines and plagues. He mentions a “bitter plague” in the fifth century that killed so many people so quickly, there weren’t enough survivors to bury all the dead.

Another terrible plague came to England in 664. It began in the south and worked its way north through Scotland and then over to Ireland. It broke out sporadically over the next 25 years and, according to Bede, swept away a “great multitude” of people.

The disease struck young and old alike. Bede tells of a 3-year-old boy who died and another “little boy” of uncertain age who succumbed. Monks and nuns in the monasteries were dying daily. When he was about 13 years old, Bede survived an outbreak in the Jarrow monastery. He and the abbot were the only survivors in the monastery who could still recite the psalms antiphonally and keep the daily prayers going.

Bede’s main historical interest in the plague is not to give a physical or scientific description of how the victims died, although he details a few of the symptoms. He focuses instead on their emotional and spiritual state. In sum, they died with great courage. The slow, agonizing death afforded an opportunity for reflection, repentance, and consideration of what is most important in life and in death. This is what premodern Christians called “the art of dying.” It is now a lost art in a culture that seeks to repress the inevitability of death at all costs.

Yes, the fear of death was real back then, too. The extent of the plague’s devastation tempted some of the new Christians to return to paganism in their desperate search for relief. But Bede’s eyewitness account is dominated not by fear but by courage. Bede and his contemporaries knew there are things worse than physical death, which is why their fear was not paralyzing.

In addition to the courage displayed in the face of a plague, another striking characteristic of Bede’s narrative is the overall attitude of joy. Right in the middle of what some persist in calling the “Dark Ages,” Bede reports that five years into this unfortunate epidemic was also a time of peace and increased learning. He claims there was never a time “more happy” since the Angles had arrived in Britain.

It wasn’t that life was easy. Their great joy was the result of a trust in something more powerful and enduring than the disaster of the moment and the temporality of human life.

And the patron saint of historians is not deceiving us, this was the time of the great flowering of Anglos-Saxon Christianity, which overcame all, even the pagan Danish hordes.

As Boethius observed from prison, his good fortune had spoiled him. It has done the same to us, leaving us woefully unprepared to confront challenges that should be familiar to the human race. Fortune has turned, and only slightly so far, but enough to expose our emotional and spiritual fragility in the face of adversity.

We should hear the wake-up call to steel ourselves, individually and corporately, for what may be harder times to come. What’s more, perhaps we need to reclaim a more stirring vision of ultimate reality, one that will inspire more courage and joy for facing the present crisis.

Read the whole post here, it’s well worth your time: Our Ancestors Would Be Amazed At Our Cowardly Coronavirus Hysteria.

The linked author is entirely correct, of course, this is what comes of putting our selves in God’s place. Yesterday, the Midweek Hymn at The Conservative Woman ( which you should be reading) was: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. Its back story is an example of the art of dying as well, but this is a hymn (and a quick march) of the Church Triumphant. I remember it well from my younger days. Now it has fallen into disuse, and the Church is hardly triumphant any more either, much of it lying prostrate at the feet of secular culture, and the reaction to Chines Bat Flu is the result.

We Americans, like our British cousins, have had our dark days, when all seemed lost, Valley Forge comes to mind, marching barefoot, if not quite naked, in the snow, with a smallpox epidemic raging through camp, while they starved, and most of the enlistments due to expire, is about as bad as it gets, but those men kept the faith, and mind all the constituent parts of the British have faced equal trials and won through to the quite incredible world we live in today.

When things get bad, and no one is going to gainsay they are bad now, maybe not as bad as that winter at Valley Forge, but bad, it’s time to get moving. I’ve often thought that the name Valley Forge was entirely appropriate for in that valley was forged a new nation, one that would look much like its motherland, and so, like her, come to lead the world.

But we imported other things too, like a soldier from Cornwall, who would lead the 7th Cavalry at the first of Ia Drang, singing an old Welsh song in a kind of counterpoint to the 7th Cav’s Irish march. He would do so again on 9/11, as he saved almost all of the people, he himself being one of the exceptions of his company, for he was last seen going up the staircase, as is our wont. This is what he was singing.

Let us go, and do likewise

Always remember with Mother Julian of Norwich that:

He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but He said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.

Free Men Celebrating Free Men

Just as on 4 July, many will think a bit of America, or on 1 July, we think of Canada, and how we all honor Remembrance day, For today is the day that Anzac Day is observed, and it’s important to us all.

See on 24 April, at 0415, a green Australian Corp jumped out of longboats to wade ashore at Gallipoli. Braver men never walked the earth or died on the beach. So today is one of those holidays where we take the time to salute very brave men.

This is from a man who uses the screen name Tony from Oz, and I like it so very much.

Why is ANZAC Day so important in Australia?

At 4.15AM on Sunday the 25th April 1915 an untried Corps of Australian soldiers waded ashore from the longboats that had brought them there from the large troopships further out to sea. As they came ashore in the dawn’s half light they were mowed down in droves by the Turkish soldiers who had the high ground.

An original image of one of the landings at ANZAC Cove, this one at 8AM on April 25 1915. (Image Credit – Australian War Memorial Archives)

The place was an insignificant little Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, part of Turkey, near a small place known as Ari Burnu, now forever known as ANZAC Cove, a small piece of Australian Sacred Ground on a foreign shore.

The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Forces from New Zealand were also part of this campaign, hence the acronym includes New Zealand, who, while part of this campaign, were under the command of their own fellow New Zealanders. This was a combined effort, and this day is also recognised just as reverently in New Zealand.

So, why is this one day so revered by Australians, when the 8 Month campaign that followed was considered in the main overall scheme of the War as a failure, considering that Australia has been part of so many famous victories on fields of battle in War since that time.

The original Badge of the Australian Army, worn on the hats of every Australian soldier. This is known as The Rising Sun Badge.

This was when Australian troops, commanded by Australians fought for the first time for each other as fellow Australians.

Those coming ashore who survived this original murderous onslaught regrouped and started to fight back. This campaign lasted for eight and a half months. In that time, Australian soldiers announced to the World that they were now no longer an untried group of colonials, but a magnificent fighting force in their own right, and one to be reckoned with.

During those 8 Months, nine Australians were awarded The Victoria Cross for valour, the highest award for bravery that there is. (This is the equivalent of the Medal of Honor in the U.S.) In fact, seven of those medals were awarded in just one  three day period. This was at Lone Pine, in August, where the Australians engaged in what was a diversionary feint to disguise the massed landing by the British further up the Coast at Suvla Bay. This Lone Pine engagement was some of the most savage hand to hand combat in close quarters of the whole 8 Month period at Gallipoli.

During that 8 Month period of this Gallipoli Campaign, 8,709 Australian soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

Each year from then forward, Australia has recognised that day of the first landing as the most solemn of days on our Calendar, when we, as a nation, pay reverent homage, not only to those brave men who fought and died at Gallipoli, but to all our Australian Military forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in times of all Wars, and for all our current serving men and women in Australia’s military forces.

Dawn Services are held across the Country timed for 4.15AM local time at memorials in the large Capital cities, and across cities and towns all over Australia, literally at thousands of such places. While still early morning at that time, these services are always attended by masses of people all across Australia.

Later that same morning, marches are held in many of these places as well. Those marches in the Capital cities have literally thousands of men and women marching, with only veterans and current serving members from the three armed forces, and some marches may only have a handful of men marching, as numbers now thin out with the passing of years.

While those people march, many thousands line the length of the march and pay solemn tribute to those old men who fought so that we actually could line those streets to salute them, and to also pay silent tribute to those who did not come home.

Keep reading ANZAC Day – 25th April 2017 | PA Pundits – International

I note in passing that Tony is one of the best in writing on energy matters, which is why I read him. But, here’s a belated

Well done, mate.

I’m going to take a liberty here. When I originally published this on 26 April 2017, Tony from Oz had a couple of very germane comments, so I’m going to append them.

TonyfromOz says:

NEO,

thanks for taking my Post, and thanks for your kind words as well

Of interest to Americans especially is one of the links at the bottom of that Post, the one about General Sir John Monash. Pershing took the Americans to that conflict in France, and at one time our Australian, General Monash had literally thousands of U.S. soldiers under his command, one of only very few (if any other occasions at all) when Americans fought under the command of anyone other than a U.S. Commander. In fact the very first time this happened was at The Battle Of Hamel, when Monash asked for 2000 American soldiers (only two Battalions) to be part of the Battle. Pershing grumbled that Americans only fought under U.S. command and so, 1000 of those were withdrawn.The Battle went forward, and in a time when Battles took sometimes weeks, and even months, this one was over in barely 93 Minutes, with a smashing victory, so well planned was it by Monash. From that point forward, Monash was given virtually whatever he wanted, when it came to troops, because, after that decisive victory, even Pershing wanted some of the glow to rub off on him. The date of that Battle itself was specifically why Monash asked for the Americans, one of the first Battles U.S. soldiers took part in.That Battle of Hamel was held early in the morning of the 4th July 1918.

See this link for more: https://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/remembrance-day-and-the-importance-of-australias-general-sir-john-monash/

And again NEO, thanks for taking my Post.

Tony.

He’s right that is likely one of the very first instances of American troops fighting under foreign leadership, ever. And this follow up:

TonyfromOz says:

Monash was an interesting military senior officer, really. He was a Civil Engineer before the War, and he knew the value of intricate planning. He was sick of the way that the English senior officers just kept throwing men at the line in the hope they would get somewhere, and killed everyone for the sake of virtually nothing at all, and just kept doing it.

They gave him Monash one Battle, Hamel, 4th July 1918, and when he sent word back to high command after 93 minutes that it was all over, they were astounded. Monash was a little displeased really, because he planned to have it done in 90 Minutes, and how they all laughed at him when he said that. Now they had to take notice, and they gave him a bigger operation, The Battle of Amiens, which he again intricately planned. He had 170,000 men under his sole command. It started at 4.10AM, and finished just after Lunch on that same day. They took back more than 5 miles of land, captured literally thousands of men, military pieces etc. Ludendorff, the German General said that this was the single worst day of the War for Germany, and right then, he knew the War was lost. Monash’s losses of men, killed and wounded amounted to less than 1%, the lowest of the War, and this was considered the most decisive victory of the War till that time. Right there Monash was given even more control, and each battle was planned to nth degree, and each battle was a decisive victory. In the end Monash had nearly half a million men under his Command,almost 300,000 of them Australians, and included 50,000 Americans also. He took his battles all the way to the Hindenburg Line, covering more than half of France. The Germans gave up on the 2nd of October, so keep in mind, Monash did all this, from Hamel to the border in 12 weeks. He went from Colonel to LtGen (Three Star) in two years. And all the men, well, they just loved him, reckoned they had a better chance with Monash than with anyone else.

Tony.

A Turning Point?

In The Telegraph the other day, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote about the watershed that Brexit is for Britain.

None of Europe’s underlying pathologies have been tackled. It is a spectator as America and China battle for technological supremacy in the 21st Century. Not a single one of the world’s 20 most valuable tech companies is European.

The reasons lie in the EU’s legal ethos, in its slow, rigid, regulatory system, and in 190,000 pages of Acquis Communautaire that is nigh impossible to repeal – the very rules that Britain must supposedly accept in perpetuity to conduct routine trade.

“We have a cultural problem in Europe: you cannot embrace new technology unless you accept risk, and the EU is afraid of risk,” I was told once by Emma Marcegaglia, then head of BusinessEurope.

How very true that is, as we all know, “No risk, no gain”. But in many ways that is the corporatist (and the EU is the most corporatist entity in the world) vision of heaven. Protected for all time by their lackeys in government from innovation and change, their future is assured. Or is it?

The precautionary principle was frozen into EU jurisprudence with the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997 – which is roughly when the EU started going into economic decline, though this is hard to separate from the parallel euro experiment.

The US cleaves instead to the ‘innovation principle’, the doctrine of cost-benefit analysis based on hard science. American tradition is trial-and-error, policed by lawsuits for abusers.

Behind this is the spirit of English Common Law: crudely, anything is allowed unless explicitly forbidden; so far removed from the Napoleonic Code that curtails all until explicitly authorised. Anglo-Saxon law is why the US ran away with the internet age while Europe never left the starting line.

The UK has been caught on the wrong side of the cultural divide within the EU. The risk-aversion culture has been a headwind for British biotech and its tech “unicorns” (private start-ups worth a $1bn), third in the world behind the US and China, with most of Europe straggling far behind.

And it has been getting nothing but worse for Britain, who we Americans should remember, invented many of the things that we developed into world-beating things and technologies, and that includes the computer and the internet. This, if Boris does it right is the promise of Brexit. For most of our history, Britain has been the great inventor, and we have been the great developer. It the partnership that has made the world modern.

So how did Britain come to join the EEC/EU? Conservative Home in an article by Joe Baron sheds some light.

During World War Two, the contradiction immanent in Britain’s fight for freedom against Nazi imperialism whilst presiding over the largest seaborne empire in history was necessarily ignored. After victory, however, this was no longer possible. It had to be confronted.

The British empire had become morally unjustifiable and consequently unsustainable, as well as, after the financial strain of the war, economically unviable to boot. In 1947, the jewel in Britain’s imperial crown was granted independence and violently partitioned into Pakistan and India; Ghana gained independence in 1957 and Nigeria in 1960; indeed, throughout the 1950s and 60s, Britain’s imperial possessions fell, like dominoes, into the hands of charismatic, indigenous leaders armed with the language of liberty devised by the British themselves.

Britain had become a shadow of its former glory. Britannia no longer bestraddled the world, mistress of the seas, trident in hand; instead, she sat passively, seeking handouts from her new creditor and master on the other side of the Atlantic – an ocean once dominated by the imposing guns of her navy. In 1956, in a final coup de grace, her master and patron chased her out of Suez with a swift, humiliating reproach. Britain’s hegemony was at an end.

We, in America, never realized how deeply Suez hurt our cousins, to have a President, who they thought their friend, so summarily to tell them to back off, rankled deeply, especially after all the other things that had been going bad.

This is the prelude to joining the EU and indeed one of the underlying causes of that which some of us, even here, remember as the British Disease. Truly could Dean Acheson say, “Britain has lost an empire and not yet found a role”. It was a very low period for the cousins, and just about everything seemed to be going to hell in a handcart for them. But things started changing in the 80s.

However, Thatcher changed everything. Her radical reforms, unapologetic patriotism, uncompromising will and remarkable character lifted the nation out of its post-war torpor and restored its self-confidence. The unions were tamed, fiscal profligacy was replaced by fiscal restraint, markets were liberalised, inefficient nationalised industries privatised, inflation was controlled and, consequently, annual growth exceeded four per cent during the late 1980s.

A British ‘economic miracle’ was being enviously mooted on the continent – a truly remarkable turnaround from the stagnation and misery afflicting the nation just 10 years earlier. Successive governments, even Labour ones, refused to reverse the Iron Lady’s reforms and, in 2015, Britain became the fifth largest economy in the world, largely thanks to her courageous endeavours – wisely left to bear fruit by her successors.

Most important, though, was the national pride restored by Thatcher’s indomitable spirit and sense of moral purpose. Along with Ronald Reagan, she led the free world’s fight against the inhumanity of Soviet communism; in 1982, she ignored her doubters and successfully dispatched a task force to wrestle back the Falkland Islands from Argentina’s military junta; and in 1990, just before her downfall, she encouraged George Bush senior, then American president, to dispense with the wobbling and stand firm against Saddam Hussein after his unprovoked attack on Kuwait. Like Britannia, Thatcher bestrode the global stage, handbag in hand, and gave Britain back its pride and self-confidence.

That this national revival led to rising public disaffection with the EU cannot be gainsaid. Why should a wealthy, self-confident country like Britain sacrifice its sovereignty to a sclerotic, unresponsive, undemocratic, supranational and meddlesome bureaucracy like the European Union? On 23rd June 2016, the answer was clear: it shouldn’t – a decision that, after three and  a half years, was reaffirmed by Johnson’s election victory.

If Britain joined what was to become the EU in a moment of disorientation and self-doubt, it voted out as a confident, self-assured, optimistic, outward-looking and independent nation state. For this, we have Thatcher to thank. And as a delicious accompaniment, she posthumously drove a stake through the heart of her vampiric nemesis, Michael Heseltine. Victory has never been sweeter.

And like here in America, it was done not by the elites and what we call Wall Street. It was done by the people themselves, what in America is Main Steet and in Britain is High Street. It amounts to a counter-revolution on both sides of the Atlantic, in which we are feeding off of and celebrating each other’s victories. The special relationship hasn’t been this strong since World War II, and as then it is a bond between our peoples, both sets of which Hillary would call thick Deplorables. For her class, she was correct, but not for our peoples

Do read the links, there’s lots of very good information there.

DC Whispers has a very thinly sourced story up that President Trump and Queen Elizabeth are now working together to defeat the swamp which is deep in both countries.

And helping in that particular endeavor is none other than the Queen who is said to have taken a keen interest in pushing for a more full disclosure of the part some high-ranking British officials played in the before and after manipulations that ran rampant around America’s 2016 presidential election.

Great Britain, with the full consent of the Queen, now prepares to save Western Civilization on the European continent while President Trump works to do the same here in the United States. Neither battle will be easy. The enemies of both the Queen and President Trump are more volatile / agitated than ever.

Is it true? I have no idea. But it would be a most formidable team. But it is not impossible, HMQ is, of course, the very last world leader who learned directly from that great Anglo-American, Sir Winston Churchill. One hopes it is true. Reminds me of a bit of lesser-known Kipling.

“This is the State above the Law.
    The State exists for the State alone.”
[This is a gland at the back of the jaw,
    And an answering lump by the collar-bone.]
Some die shouting in gas or fire;
    Some die silent, by shell and shot.
Some die desperate, caught on the wire;
    Some die suddenly. This will not.
“Regis suprema voluntas Lex”
    [It will follow the regular course of—throats.]
Some die pinned by the broken decks,
    Some die sobbing between the boats.
Some die eloquent, pressed to death
    By the sliding trench as their friends can hear.
Some die wholly in half a breath.
    Some—give trouble for half a year.
“There is neither Evil nor Good in life.
    Except as the needs of the State ordain.”
[Since it is rather too late for the knife,
    All we can do is mask the pain.]
From A Death Bed.

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.

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