I am reminded …

That there are moments of great beauty in being American; of living in this crazy wonderful country of America.

You know my political ‘leanings’ (it’s a wonder I don’t topple over) but watching and listening to West Wing sometimes brings a tightness of chest and stinging eyes. Regardless of your own political leanings, there are golden nuggets in WWing that make watching it worthwhile.

I’m listening (I’ve watched the series so many times that I just listen to it now while I do other things) to the episode regarding Thanksgiving. There’s a fun storyline about the Press Secretary having to decide which of two live turkeys gets to be pardoned, and the important storyline about a freight container of 83 escaped Chinese. A difficult situation to deal with as this fictional (?) administration has trade deals with China that it wants to maintain and not jeopardize. The container box Chinese claim they are persecuted Christians. The President decides he will interview one and decide whether or not they are Christians or are merely coached on what to say. It’s really quite touching to watch (or listen to) the exchange between the president and the Chinese gentleman.

The president decides that they are, indeed, Christian. The Chinese are being held in a camp under military guard. The president pulls some strings and it all works out the way we hope it would.

My America.

Our America.

I never cease to be moved by the promise this country holds.

 

England Expects …

It was two hundred and fifteen years ago today that  Admiral Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Trafalgar. This is one of those victories that in the modern age we seem to think was pre-ordained. It wasn’t. I’m told that it is barely celebrated in England, that’s very silly. This is a victory that did as much to make the world we live in as Salamis, Lepanto, or the Armada.  That’s sad. I can only attribute that to too many of our people coming to believe that our influence on the world has been an evil one. That is not only wrong, and perhaps evil in itself, but diametrically opposed to the truth.

Sir Walter Raleigh, in A Discourse of the Invention of Ships, Anchors, Compass, &c., said this:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

This was also quoted by Fleet Admiral Nimitz, on his retirement. It was true for the Elizabethans, it was true in Nelson’s time, it is true now, it will always be true. But the Anglo-Saxon powers have always been more interested in trade than pure control of the world and its people. Alfred Thayer McMahon, in The Influence of Sea Power upon History, says this with regard to the British fleet:  “Those distant, storm-tossed ships, never seen by the Grande Armee, were all that stood between it and world domination.” And that is so. Our francophile president, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if Napoleon took possession of Louisiana and attempted to move an army there, “on that day we shall have to marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation”. Nor was he kidding, control of New Orleans would have (and had under the Spanish) stifled the growth of not only the Old Southwest, but also the Old Northwest, it was simply something that America could not allow, and survive.

Nor did it end there. We haven’t forgotten that during our Civil War, the French attempted to impose a Hapsburg emperor on Mexico, or that it was only thwarted in 1865, when fifty thousand battle-hardened Union troops assembled in Texas, leading to the French Foreign Legion’s most famous defeat. But we also recognize that one of the reasons that we developed as we did is that the Royal Navy was the guarantor of the Monroe Doctrine. That allowed the new world to develop at its own speed and in its own way.

We should also mention that the end of chattel slavery in the west was primarily done by the Royal Navy, which encouraged industriousness amongst its people by paying prize money for captured slavers, and the return of their cargos. Slavery ended with the deaths of a half-million white Americans, but they and the Royal Navy were both following the precepts first proposed around the time of the Revolution–in East Anglia.

Nor do I think there is any question that India, is far better off today than it was in the days before the Raj. Gandhi himself once said that his nonviolent tactics would not have worked against a less moral people than the British, and in fact, Dr. Martin Luther King said the same thing about the civil rights struggle here.

And so we come to the twentieth century, to 1941 specifically. Off Newfoundland, two convoys of warships met. One carried the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill on HMS Prince of Wales. the other carried the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, on the USS Augusta. This is the time when the guard of the English speaking peoples changed from England to America. Fittingly it happened during Church Parade on the Prince of Wales. Churchill said this about it:

The prime minister reported that no one who attended would forget “that sunlit morning on the crowded quarterdeck—the symbol of the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes draped side by side on the pulpit,” and “the close-packed ranks of British and American sailors, completely intermingled, sharing the same books and joining fervently in the prayers and hymns familiar to both.” Churchill had chosen the hymns—“For Those In Peril On the Sea;” “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” He said later, “Every word seemed to stir the heart. It was a great hour to live. Nearly half of those who sang were soon to die.” HMSPrince of Wales was sunk by Japanese aircraft off Malaya on December 10, 1941.

Here was mapped the grand strategy that would allow the cousins, for that, is what we were, and are, to free the world from the menace of Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan. But here’s the point: On that day in 1941, only seventy-nine years ago, if you were free to speak your mind, you spoke English as your native language. All the rest of the world owes their very freedom to those distant storm-tossed ships, that won one of the world’s greatest victories, for England, and for the world.

And so, for two hundred and fourteen years now, the Royal Navy has drunk one toast in silence, and all free peoples should join them.

I give you, Gentlemen (and Ladies):

“The immortal memory,

of Nelson and those who fell with him”

 

It’s true now, as it has always been, We sleep safe in our beds because of rough men (and now women) who are prepared to do violence on our behalf.

#WalkAway from Corruption

I want to talk a bit about the revelations about the Biden family this week, and will under the fold.

But first I’d very much like you to watch this video. This a young woman’s walk away story and she is very impressive. Yes, the video is a bit long, but that also means it’s pretty thorough.

I’ve said many times that my dad, while actually pretty conservative, was a New Dealer, and I cannot fault why he was and was probably right to be. But I was also right to walk away from the Democrats clean back in High School because they just did not make sense in my world. Only in the reign of Obama, however, have I come to believe the Republican Party may well be America’s deliverance once again, but only if we conservatives force them to be.

Here’s the video

See what I mean, this is powerful stuff, I think, for any Democrat who still has a residual ability to think for themself.


OK, on to Biden et. al. The NY Post (one of the very few newspapers who retain any credibility whatsoever) broke a story on Wednesday about the corruption emanating from Joe Biden’s family. It is based on a copy of a computer hard drive found by a Maryland computer repairman and turned over to the FBI last year. One of the very interesting questions raised is just what the FBI has been doing with it for almost a year, or was it just used as a seat cushion. I suspect many of us know the answer to that.

It is seemingly pretty damning about Hunter’s activities in Ukraine and China. To me, it looks like corroboration more than anything we haven’t already suspected. But it is interesting that supposedly Joe required his family to kick back 50% of their ill-gotten gains which makes the Mafia look like pikers. Like I said, very interesting but nothing much all that new. And in fact, Biden’s campaign hasn’t denied it so much as attempted to spin it.

But the real story here is that Twitter suspended the Post and removed the Tweets associated with the story, suspended the Editor of the Post, suspended the official Trump campaign site,  locked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s account, and blocked links to the official US Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on the matter.

Facebook while somewhat more measured has also restricted access to the material.

Senator Ted Cruz’s questions are appropriate,

1. Who made the decision to prevent users from sharing this story? On what basis did they make that decision?

2. When was the New York Post made aware of Twitter’s decision and what process was afforded to it to contest the censorship?

3. Has Twitter prevented the New York TimesWashington Post, or any other major news outlet from posting its own reporting? If so, when?

4. If Twitter did not prevent Buzzfeed from sharing its reporting on the Steele dossier or the New York Times reporting on President Trump’s tax returns, please explain a politically neutral principle for why the reporting is treated differently?

5. Has Twitter ever restricted a story published by a major news outlet about Donald J. Trump during his four years as President of the United States?

6. Have Twitter or any of its employees involved in the decision to censor this reporting been in contact in any capacity with the Biden-Harris campaign or any of its representatives regarding this reporting or the allegations contained therein?

Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley  Tweeted this:

Once again, the coverup is poised to do more damage to the perpetrators than the alleged crime(s).

If we hold the Senate, and/or take the House, which is our part in curbing this corrupt nonsense, then the Article 230 status of big digital media is in play, and they are likely to lose, being held to the standards of publishers, and likely convicted of election interference on a scale that Russia and China have never even dreamed of.

It’s an ill wind …

Confirmation

Neo will roll his eyes but I have to mention the television series, West Wing. I learned so much from that series about which I had known nothing.

We’re watching the confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett and I never understood what that entails. Fortunately, West Wing covers some of that and I always operate under the assumption that if I don’t know something, other people may not know either. I think it’s a fair assumption.

The process takes far longer than you may expect it to. There’s generally one person in charge of the confirmation process, usually the ‘policy guy’ (I don’t have to type ‘or woman’, do I? I think we’re all adults here). He’s the guy with the ‘check list’. Amy Barrett allowed that she submitted 1800 pages for the confirmation team. Several people will have been chosen to read all or some of those pages, depending upon what topic the page covers. They read to see if the nominee for Supreme Court Justice has any legal writings detrimental to the policy of the current administration. They look for any mention displaying bias, discrimination, defamation, and/or disagreement with the current administration. They look for malfeasance and any hint of scandal.

If the written collection holds nothing that red flags the nominee, they begin the interviews of friends, co-workers, family, neighbors of the nominee. They go to previous employers. They sniff out every possible wrong the nominee may have participated in.

If there are still no red flags, the confirmation team will meet with the nominee and have a few face to face meetings, and the person’s work record is questioned and uncertain ground can be clarified and cleared. If the confirmation team finds no issues that require further inquiry, the team will then inform the president of that administration of their findings. If the president has reasons of his own, he may turn down the potential nominee and ask that another person be looked at using the same process.

If the president accepts the recommendation of the confirmation team, he then meets with the potential nominee to decide for himself whether or not he thinks the possible nominee meets whatever his personal criteria may be.

Having gone through this process and passing all the attendant laser focus of this background check of all time, the president will then announce to the press his nominee for the seat of Supreme Court Justice. And from that second forward, the members of the ‘other party’ begin the same process in regard to that nominee, considering the other party has other interests and policies that they are concerned with.

The actual hearing for confirmation, as we have learned – large and in our faces on the major networks – is a mud flinging, party boosting, scandalous innuendos, aspersions casting attempt to both ruin and/or elevate the nominee, depending on the party asking the questions.

This is what we need to understand. In this particular case, in this particular place and time, the hatred for the President of the United States is such that there is no depth of disgusting to which the Democrats will not delve. According to the Democrats, Amy Barrett has been nominated by the President to INSURE that what He wants gets done to the DETRIMENT of millions of Americans. You’re all very nice people so all I’m going to say to that is ‘stuff and nonsense’! Should she be confirmed, she will be one of eight Justices. [Nine including the primus inter pares Chief Justice*] So when they repeat – ad nauseum – that her decision will kill Roe v Wade, Obama Care, any of the cases that will come before the Court – they are lying. Pure and simple.

*The Chief Justice has no control over any legal decision made by any Justice, he does assign the writing of opinions with which he agrees and has a fair amount of administrative control of the court. admin.

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

Arms of the Portuguese Prince Henry, the Navig...

Image via Wikipedia

Another Columbus Day has come. And again we celebrate the (re)discovery of the New World. And look what has been erected on that discovery! If you didn’t know; Columbus was a student of Prince Henry the Navigator’s school.

Those students made almost all of the voyages of discovery from the Iberian Peninsula. By the way, Prince Henry of  Portugal was the Grandson of John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster. The English always make it into these stories of the sea, don’t they?

So we know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. But why? His crews were afraid of starving or falling off the edge of the world. His ships were ridiculously small. What exactly was the point? Nobody in Portugal had even heard of Brazil, nor were they all that enthused about an overseas empire. So, why?

Trade, that’s why. Everybody knew where India and China were (at least all the cool cats that knew the world was round). They had since Marco Polo made that remarkable trip, if not before. They liked the silk and other good things that came from China. But there was a problem.

You see there were pirates in the Mediterranean, then one had to get through the totalitarian Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Persians, and various and sundry other Islamic States. If you remember Spain had just managed to reconquer Spain from the Moslems and just plain didn’t want anything to do with them. So they decided to take a shortcut and sail west to go east. Yeah, their calculations were off a bit about the size of the world, but that’s why.

Now let’s think about this a little, Spain went way out of its way to avoid the clowns and founded both the New World and New Spain in the process: and got themselves into a shooting war with England that would eventually cost them their world power status. See A Cloud Smaller Than a Fist.

A few hundred years later, the United States won its Independence from Great Britain. The United States’ very first war was a regime change in Tripoli. There are still Islamic pirates, they still hold slaves and all in all they are still living in the 7th Century. And still today, Iran threatens war on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Some things never change.

Only now with their oil wealth, instead of modernizing and improving their people’s lives and such, they seem intent on conquering the world and seem to believe the world will use its modernity to help

They have found some fellow travelers, who had best hope they lose because they aren’t going to enjoy winning for long. Ask the survivors of the Kingdom of the Visigoths in about 1000 AD.

So there you have it. The cause of Columbus sailing the Ocean Blue.

In Other News:

  • General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, dies peacefully at his home in Lexington, Virginia. He was 63 years old.

Lee was born to Henry Lee (Light Horse Harry) and Ann Carter Lee at Stratford Hall, Virginia, in 1807. His father served in the American Revolution under George Washington and was later a governor of Virginia. Robert Lee attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated second in his class in 1829. He did not earn a single demerit during his four years at the academy. Afterward, Lee embarked on a military career, eventually fighting in the Mexican War (1846-48) and later serving as the superintendent of West Point.

  • On the morning of October 12, 1915, the 49-year-old British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium.

Before World War I began in 1914, Cavell served for a number of years as the matron of a nurse’s training school in Brussels. After the city was captured and occupied by the Germans in the first month of the war, Cavell chose to remain at her post, tending to German soldiers and Belgians alike. In August 1915, German authorities arrested her and accused her of helping British and French prisoners-of-war, as well as Belgians hoping to serve with the Allied armies, to escape Belgium for neutral Holland. As I wrote on the centenary of her execution, here, there was no doubt at all of her guilt. And you can watch (no sound BTW) the procession for her state funeral at Norwich Cathedral in 1919 here.

  • On this day in 1776, British Generals Henry Clinton and William Howe lead a force of 4,000 troops aboard some 90 flat-boats up New York’s East River toward Throg’s Neck, a peninsula in Westchester County, in an effort to encircle General George Washington and the Patriot force stationed at Harlem Heights.

This was the largest British amphibious attack before Normandy.

After hearing of the British landing at Throg’s Neck, Washington ordered a contingent of troops from the Pennsylvania regiment to destroy the bridge leading from the peninsula to the Westchester mainland. The destruction of the bridge stranded Clinton and his men at Throg’s Neck for six days before they were loaded back onto their vessels and continued up the East River toward Pell Point.

  • On this day in 1946, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma, dies today at age 63.

All courtesy of This Day In History.

American Integrity

A reminder of just how young the United States is. According to the Daily Wire, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., died Sept. 26 in Franklin, Tennessee. Who? I hear you ask. Well, he was an attorney and a teacher, teaching at both The Virginia Military Institute and at The Citadel. All in all a very admirable man as the linked article shows.

But what is really striking is that 175 years before his death, his Grandfather left the presidency of the United States. He was John Tyler, the first President to succeed after the death of the President, in his case William Henry Harrison, the victor of the Battle of Tippecanoe, which pretty much ended Tecumseh’s Confederacy, and propelled him to become the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, and then the first Whig president of the United States. The campaign slogan that you may remember from school was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”.

John Tyler was the president who annexed the Republic of Texas, at its request, in 1845.

“Perhaps John Tyler wasn’t the greatest of presidents,” Tyler reflected. “He was a great man, a loving husband and father and was a servant of the people. You can’t beat that. Who knew the unknown president would be an example to us all (through his integrity)?”

I think we can safely say the same about his grandson.


Over at Ace’s where they speak plain English, occasionally the Anglo-Saxon version, CBD has some thoughts about how TDS got so prevalent.

President Trump is their worst nightmare of an Alpha Male; he gets the hot chicks, he has lots of money, he is physically imposing, and worst of all, he doesn’t run away from a fight the way they were taught by their mothers. That’s why they snipe at him behind the anonymity of Twitter, and the protection of the crowd during press conferences.

But deep down in their frightened and intimidated hearts, they know that Donald Trump and his immense shock of hair would punch the bully and bang the prom queen…and they wouldn’t and couldn’t. […]

And even worse! he loves America, and America loves him back.

As CBD says the idea comes from Dennis Prager.

He and many other Americans (we will soon know how many) who support the president’s Republican policies will vote for the party that stands for almost everything they oppose because they will “vote for the man, not the party.”

I find nothing admirable in this position — morally or rationally. At this time in American history, to care more about an individual candidate than the party is to support the unraveling of America. It is so irrational as to be incredible.

Voting for any Democrat — whether for mayor, district attorney, state legislature, state governor, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate or president — is to vote for someone who will enable the left to destroy America as we know it. (That is their wording, not only mine.) The Democratic Party was once largely liberal. But today, it is left, and the left readily acknowledges it wishes to “transform” America, which means to destroy America as we have known it.

Yep, for years, I was one who voted the man, but that was in the days of the ‘Uniparty’. Those days have gone, The only possible vote today for an American patriot with any claim to integrity is to pull the Big Red Lever marked Republican. There’s that word again: integrity. It’s something that runs through American history in a flood rare if not nonexistent in the rest of the political world. We’ve spoken of this before. In one of Jessica’s articles on John Ford/John Wayne (and Maureen O’Hara) movies, she said this ( about A Quiet Man):

[…] It works because the great John Ford conjures up the things which matter in real life including greed, pride and ambition – and he makes a good story out of them. We can identify with Sean as the outsider with a secret – and a heart as big as a city, and we can sympathise with his ignorance of the local customs. But we also see a humility there too – a willingness to try to learn and to fit in – without losing his integrity. Mary Kate is almost a Bronte heroine – fiercely proud and independent, but trapped by her sex and times into a place where the option open to her seems to have narrowed to being a house-keeper to her bullying brother – to whom she gives almost as good as she gets. But there’s a sense of life being wasted and yet, heavily as she falls for Sean Thornton, she, too, will not do so at the price of her integrity.

That word, integrity, seems to me at the heart of so many of Ford’s films. Men, and women. make choices, and often the rewards for a loss of integrity seem greater than those for retaining it – but Ford gets what we want from him – that his characters choose what is right. His worlds are complex reflections of reality, but he never loses us in relativism; men are men if they make the sacrifices necessary to sustain that identity, and Ford shows us them in many dimensions.

And that is one of the things that connects us, from now in the 21st century, all the way from Trump and the Duke through Lincoln, and Polk, to Jefferson and Washington himself, the man who no less than George III of England called, “The Greatest Man in the World”.

Integrity is that important to free men. To the point that the great founder who designed the economic system that made America the greatest economic power the world has ever seen, a guy by the name of Alexander Hamilton, President Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, who had a running feud with Jefferson, which was current during the election of 1800 (The ugliest in American history including 2020) said this:

“In a choice of Evils let them take the least – Jefferson is in every view less dangerous than Burr.”

And so, a deal was made, to protect the Federalist economic program, while electing Thomas Jefferson to be the 3d President of the United States. In Hamilton’s view, Jefferson for all his faults (and there were quite a few, in Hamilton’s, and my, view) did, and it was an overriding characteristic, believe in liberty, and in their knowledgeable view, all Burr believed in was Burr and Burr’s pocketbook.

And that is exactly the situation we face again in 2020, 220 years later. President Trump, whatever his faults (and he too has plenty) believes in liberty, while Biden believes in Biden and Biden’s pocketbook to the exclusion of anything else.

Like Hamilton almost said then, we can vote for the United States or we can vote for Burr Biden.

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