Sunday Funnies; Turn 4

Coming out of turn 4 on the flag lap.

If you gotta tell us: You ain’t

And, of course Lauren Boebert for Congress!

Eternal Lessons from History

It’s funny, somebody posts something interesting somewhere more or less out of the blue, and then others completely unrelated show up with something that builds on the first one. So it is here.

Our friend (and co-contributor at AATW) wrote on Sunday that modern history begins in the Peloponnesian War, as it does, saying this:

I am not the most conservative author here, but, unlike many others, in history I am so conservative as to consider that modernity begins with the classical period of Greece, particularly the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. Although for much of history the rate of change has generally been very slow, especially compared with recent years, and although the cultures we see in the New Testament are, in many respects, far removed from our own, the New Testament has an immediacy about it that comes from its proximity to us on various basic levels.

The same is not necessarily true of the Old Testament, which reveals Bronze Age culture to us (and then goes into the Iron Age). This is a very different world and we have to work hard with ancient complementary sources to really understand it. This Bronze Age world is weird and exotic to our modern eyes.

He’s correct, of course. The Lutheran Study Bible specifies that the Books of History in the Old Testament are those from Josua to Esther. Esther is usually considered to be set in the reign of Xerxes I who ruled from  486 to 465 BC, so predating the Peloponnesian War. So it’s a fairly short break, but a decisive one.

So, I’m reading my way around the net this morning and what shows up from Michael McManus writing at The Conservative Woman but a quote from Thucydides, the historian of, and a victim himself, of that war from Book 3 of his history in paragraphs 82-85, edited by the link’s author:

‘The sufferings which the war inflicted upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, human nature being what it is. War is a rough teacher. Words changed their meanings to accommodate the changed situation. Callous aggression came to be regarded as courage; prudence became weakness; moderation became timidity; willingness to consider evidence and look at all sides of a question became nervousness; fanatical thuggery and treachery became righteous actions. The ideological extremist was trusted while those who urged restraint became the enemy. If someone made a reasonable suggestion, his opponents sought to cover it up or distort its meaning.

‘Ambition, greed and the craving for power caused these evils and intensified the violence. Those in contention were full of fine words and noble expressions: some spoke of equality and political liberty for the people; others spoke of the safety, stability and trustworthiness of sound aristocratic government. Both sides stopped at nothing to get their way. No one wanted to listen to reason but sought fine arguments to justify vile deeds. Meanwhile, ordinary, sensible citizens were trapped between the two: even their quietness was taken as evidence of guilt.

‘The character of the Greeks went from bad to worse. The simple life of honour and decency was laughed at and society divided into hostile camps whose promises were no longer trusted. The less intelligent prospered: knowing their weaknesses and expecting to be defeated in debate they resorted to intimidation and violence. The more intelligent, foolishly confident that reason and evidence would prevail, were caught off-guard and vanquished. Those who were envious of their neighbours engaged in savage and pitiless actions. No longer restrained by convention and law, human nature showed itself to be ungovernable in its passionate disregard for justice, and its hatred of anything superior to itself.’

I think he’d feel right at home in our countries in 2020, don’t you?

And that is kind of the point, while the Old Testament feels exotic to us, we see the same motives there that Thucydides wrote about in ancient Greece, that the American Founders sought to guard against in our founding documents – now endangered, and that we see forthrightly in our governments and on our streets today. We somewhat facilely say that our founder’s sought to guard against Original Sin, well we are not wrong, for that is human nature, sometimes achieving amazing feats and goodness approaching the angels, and sometimes veritable ogres, destroying wantonly and with no less amazing cruelty.

And that is the genius of the English speaking people and especially the United States, to set the bad sides of our nature against our opponents’ bad sides to achieve lasting freedom. We need to guard our heritage fiercely.

Sunday Funnies; Nancy’s Bad Hair Day

Nancy’s bad hair day comes under the first rule of holes.

Come to Freedom

It won’t be that easy but…

This

And of course

Trump and the Glorious Revolution

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 

Almost all Americans know these words, many of us review them at least annually. But they did not spring forth fully formed from Thomas Jefferson’s mind, great and agile as it was. They are part of our English inheritance, just as most of our government and constitution were. In fine, the entire concept comes from John Locke and his Second Treatise on Government. In it, he begins by defining political power as the:

right of making Laws with Penalties of Death, and consequently all less Penalties, for the Regulating and Preserving of Property, and of employing the force of the Community, in the Execution of such Laws and in defence of the Common-wealth from Foreign Injury, and all this only for the Publick Good.

The chief property he is referring to here is one’s body. One owns his own body and no one can tell him to use it otherwise than in his own interest. He also owns the things that he has made, and that includes his income and all the things he may purchase that derive from his labor. He also posits that the Legislature can only legitimately legislate from the basis of the natural law and that it must apply equitably to all citizens and not favor certain sections of the citizenry.

Here is the ultimate defense of the right of self-defense, so eloquently stated in both the  English and American Bills of Rights. And the delegation of that right (while still preserving it to us as individuals) was one of the things we did as we instituted governments amongst men.

And that is also why the President was entirely correct in stating that he would never denounce the right of American citizens to defend themselves or their property from lawless rioters.

The Democrat city and state hierarchies have been almost uniformly derelict or worse in protecting their citizens against the mobs that Democrats themselves have set loose amongst them, and mind, this is primarily a city and state responsibility, one of the major reasons they exist, that no person or shopkeeper in these cities can reasonably expect protection from the authorities, and thus the right to defend themselves and their property comes right back to them, unless and until they can again get reasonable assurance that the government will protect them.

The legislative body and it’s executive, whether from within the body or separately elected is central to all this, and I’ve merely skimmed it. But when the government in any or all of its parts (executive, legislative, and judicial in Locke’s view as in the Constitution) shirk or evade that duty, as we are seeing this year in many Democrat run cities, then the people have the inherent right to remove the offending officials, or to supersede them, or even to revolt, changing the entire form of government.

The Law of the Pursuer

If like many of us, you have taken defensive weapons training, you know that while (in certain circumstances, that vary from state to state) you may use deadly force to defend yourself or another person and sometimes property as well. You also know that you may not pursue your assailant if he retreats. That retreat ends the confrontation, and if you pursue you become the assailant.

This is a very old concept called din rodef, “the law of the pursuer.”

This is what came into play in Kenosha last week when Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three felons, two fatally, who were pursuing him. The best article I’ve seen on this is by Civis Americanus in American Thinker, let’s have a look.

A rodef (plural rodfim) is somebody who pursues somebody else with the objective of causing death or serious physical injury. Din rodef entitles the one pursued, or a bystander, to use reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, to stop the rodef from completing the intended violent crime. The principle is actually very similar to most modern laws. Deadly force cannot be used if lesser force will suffice, and the rodef ceases to be a rodef the instant he desists from his violent actions. Din rodef is also reflected by the modern adages (in the context of a fight or argument) such as “Never follow anybody into the parking lot” and “Never follow the other guy home” because these are prima facie evidence of malicious and violent intent. It’s hard for a rodef to claim innocence or self-defense when things go bad.

The first Rittenhouse video shows clearly that he was running away from another man, presumably Joseph Rosenbaum, who apparently threw something at him. Rittenhouse was therefore trying to avoid a violent confrontation while Rosenbaum, as best I can tell from the video, was the rodef who insisted on having it. He got what he wanted as in, “Stupid game, stupid prize.” The following opinions are based solely on what can be seen from the videos, and there may well be additional evidence. If I were on the jury I would, on the basis of just the video, toss the charges against Rittenhouse unless the prosecutor could show me very convincing evidence that the incident was not as it seemed.

First, I find it debatable that Mr. Rittenhouse who is 17 should have been in Kenosha at all, let alone with a weapon that is unlawful for him to carry in Wisconsin. But that is a separate matter. He is an incredible marksman under enormous stress, in truth he is an American hero, protecting himself and others. But legalities.

You can easily find the crimes (on the internet) that his pursuers had committed and been found guilty of. They are far more than traffic tickets. Gaige Grosskreutz, the wounded attacker was, as with all three, a convicted felon and not entitled anywhere in the US to be in possession of a gun. He got lucky, he’s alive.

This may well be the first skirmish as American citizens start taking back our cities, time will tell. But few of us will forget Kyle Rittenhouse, who did so much better than many of us could hope to in similar circumstances.

I note that Lin Wood (who represented Nick Sandman) is coordinating fundraising for his defense. Good, and I suggest that his criminal counsel will make a laughingstock of the Kenosha prosecutor who played to the left base with 1st-degree murder charges. Kyle is currently represented by John Pierce.

I further note that if the Kenosha police were allowed to do their jobs and the prosecutor’s office and the courts did their’s, this never would have happened.

Two pieces of old American folk wisdom come to mind.

  1. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, and
  2. Taking out the trash.

Know what’s better than a Poll?

I read a headline this morning that stated that President Trump out-raised Biden in campaign funds for the month of July by $25, 000, 000! Like milk, that kind of news ‘does a body good’.

President Trump raised $165 million. That’s breath-taking.

I read a headline a couple of days ago that stated that President Trump received more voter registrations – you only register if you’re a first time voter – which means registered Republican – than did Biden. Just keeps getting better.

The polls (see angry face emoji) are now showing that Biden in way ahead of President Trump. This gives me great joy! Because, as I’ve discussed (probably more than you cared for, lol), the Silent Majority is growing. Plus, never forget Blexit and Latinos for Trump and Jews for Trump. Warms the cockles of my heart.

I am joyful this morning. All the signs look good. But you know how it goes – tomorrow I could be a quaking heap of fear and anxiety.

But for now … Yehaw!

We’re three months from November 3rd. What do you think; will he be re-elected?

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