A Time for Heroes

MC da Silva at American Thinker had some thoughts to share about Mike Gundy the Head Football coach at Oklahoma State University.

To be honest, I actually lost some sleep over the Mike Gundy video earlier last week. Maybe you’ve seen it — the video where the Oklahoma State University football coach is seen apologizing for the offense of wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the conservative news company OANN.

It was a disturbing scene with the coach robotically parroting the talking points of the delicate running back who originally took issue with the offending piece of apparel.

It’s reminiscent of a hostage video of a captured US soldier. Either that or something out of a cartoon villain’s mind control experiment. You can practically see the spirals in his eyes.

Beyond the bizarre visuals, the most disturbing thing about this was the fact that an ostensible adult and leader could be brought to heel by his subordinate — an early adult many years his junior — by something as meaningless and inconsequential as the running back’s tender feelings.

It represented yet another example of the plague of institutional failures spreading over our country. It is no longer limited to just classrooms, the media, government, and their globalist corporate overlords.

Today, we are faced with the crumbling of institutions such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, the Pentagon, professional sports, and, now apparently, even college sports.

The athletic field is where we instill in our young men the most important lessons of masculine behavior. Play fair, respect your opponent, be gracious in victory and proud in defeat.

If the scene at Oklahoma is anything to go by, the institution of sports has also fallen.

Yet there undoubtedly a silver lining to this terrifying turn of events:

The stakes are now real.

Take it from someone who has volunteered to serve our country: the path of courage is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.

Read it all, and mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with his using of himself as an example, for our soldiers have always epitomized this. But for once, I didn’t think of a soldier, my mind went back to my youth in Indiana and basketball. [Yes, I was a jock, and always a fan.] Dr. James Naismith, who said. “While the game was invented in Massachusetts, basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport.” It still does.

I immediately thought of “The Coach”, John Wooden of UCLA, born in Hall, Indiana, first three-time consensus All-American player, the first inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. and so many more honors that you can (and should) read about at Wikipedia. Truly legendary.

I grew up in the era of Branch McCracken’s Hurrying Hoosiers at IU, and Rick Mount at Purdue, who was the leading scorer that memorable day when Purdue defeated Indiana 120-76. So it wasn’t that we didn’t have teams close at hand to watch. But we saw the Boilermakers lose two straight NCAA championships to the Lew Alcindor led Bruins. We noticed.

The Coach’s overall record of 664–162 (80.4%), including his two years at Indiana State and at UCLA, tells you much. Wasn’t much shame in losing to the team that had ten consecutive NCAA championships. Or to the man who refused to participate in the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) tournament because they wouldn’t allow black players.

But what I really thought of is his legacy, of a man in control of himself, in fact, that is the legacy he himself would have chosen I think. On the official Coach Wooden website, you can read of his pyramid of success (you should, in fact). But I’ll highlight a few:

Loyalty is part of our higher nature and it is also part of the nature of leaders who achieve higher goals. The power of Loyalty is the reason I placed it in the center of the Pyramid’s foundation.

A leader who has Loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. This is true almost everywhere. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization or part of a team whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration.

Loyalty from the top inspires Loyalty from below. It is a most precious and powerful commodity and it starts with the leader.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

Getting to the top and staying there (somewhat different tasks) present unique and formidable challenges. To do either requires great Self-Control. This characteristic within the Pyramid of Success addresses the importance of controlling yourself in all areas – avoiding temptations, avoiding emotionalism, avoiding peaks and valleys of effort.

I viewed Self-Control, both personal and by our team, as a sixth Bruin on the court during my years at UCLA. That invisible sixth player was as important as any of the visible players.

I like to remind those under my supervision: “Control yourself so others won’t have to do it for you.”

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

There is no stronger steel than well-founded belief in yourself; the knowledge that your preparation is fully complete and that you are ready for the competition.

Confidence cannot be grafted on artificially. True abiding confidence is earned through tenaciously pursuing and attaining those assets that allow you to reach your own level of competency; that is, excellence.

You must monitor Confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

All from the website. Do check it out. No man was ever more successful and respected in his field than The Coach, he has been since the sixties, one of my heroes, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And remember this too:

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” ― John Wooden

Not on my Watch.

Let’s start with an aside, I, personally, was very pleased when yesterday’s article from Audre showed up. There is a lot going on this summer, and much of it is bad, some very bad, and so like Pontiac said, it’s very good to smile and perhaps laugh. That’s one, although not the only, reason why I value her contribution here so much. We all need that, and blogging like almost anything else concerning current events tends towards, ‘If it bleeds, it leads”. But there is a lot more to life, and we need to remember to take the time to enjoy the good things.


Now then, we’ve had many hard things to say about various and sundry politicians, especially governors this year, and with cause, as they have caused our elderly to be put in harm’s way, with little or no protection, and they caviled and hid like the cowards they are from their responsibilities and all the rest. But not all of them.

In my neighboring state of South Dakota, they have perhaps one of the greatest governors of the last few generations, and surprising no one except the left, she is a woman, Kristi Noem.

When almost everyone was panicking and shutting down their states, Ms. Noem said:

 that South Dakotans are free Americans, not subject to arbitrary orders from politicians. They are also smart: South Dakotans can look after their own health better than any government can. So her administration has put out a steady stream of data and advice, but she has refused to order anyone to do anything. And guess what: South Dakota has a very low level of COVID fatality and, last time I checked, the lowest unemployment rate in the country.*

That’s what should have been done across the country. If people want to compete for Darwin awards, well, it’s their life, to waste if they choose. Of course, that doesn’t do much to aggrandize a politician’s power, like controlling every jot and tittle of citizens’ lives. But it decidedly is the American Way, the way of freedom to choose.

As PowerLine also reported:

When looting and arson erupted across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, a riot began in Sioux Falls. Within minutes, Noem called out the National Guard to suppress criminal behavior. “Rioting and looting will not be tolerated in South Dakota,” she said.

And now when terrorists are threatening the public display of our heritage, Governor Noem, whose state is home to Mt Rushmore, the epic sculpture of four presidents, of which the making is an epic of its own, her comment is just as apropos “Not on my watch”. Not as an exclamation just as a matter of fact. And if South Dakotans need any help, which would surprise me, it won’t be far away. I can think of quite a few guys and girls, in Stetsons and boots carrying hardware made by Winchester and Colt who would be proud indeed to help. Truly, this is an American thing.

We’ve dealt with this before, this is the attempted undoing of the story told by John Ford in Who Shot Liberty Valance. And the ending will be the same.

Too often people forget, this is America, and we bloody well built it, and if a bit of remodeling might be in order, we’ll take care of it.

As is said these days, “You go, girl”, and we’ve got your six.

*via Powerline as is the picture.

Churches Supporting BLM Have Lost Their Mission

So, as we reopen that which should never have closed, our churches, it seems clergy are coming under pressure to make statements supporting Black Lives Matter. It would be unconscionable for them to do so. Joshua Lawson explains in The Federalist.

As churches across America restart in-person services, Christians and their pastors are feeling the heat. The “heat,” however, is not from the lack of air conditioning in the sanctuary as things get hot and humid — it’s the pressure to “say something” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Yet just as Christians shouldn’t feel obligated to issue “official church statements” every time sin is committed (there would be little time for anything else), they should oppose demands from Black Lives Matter activists to “take their Christianity further.” Why? The gospel is already sufficient.

Believers living out Christ’s commands to love God and love their neighbors as themselves led the West’s push to abolish slavery. Christians acting out a sincere application of the gospel were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, a movement steeped in the biblical message of neighborly love. We’re already in possession of the ultimate “user’s manual” to bring peace to our nation and defeat evil wherever it lurks — it’s called the Bible.

It’s true, you know, those things were accomplished, above all, by Christians, British and American mostly.

Not for nothing did President Lincoln say to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war?” It is one of the most influential books in history, selling 300,000 copies the first year after it was published in the United States, and many times that number since. But here is the kicker, she was the daughter of very outspoken Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher, and she was married to Rev. Calvin Ellis Stowe, Professor of Biblical Literature at the Lane Theological Seminary of which her father was president. He was an ardent anti-slavery man and they participated in the Underground Railway. If that’s not enough, her brother was Henry Ward Beecher, one of the most famous Abolitionist preachers, so too were two of her other brothers, preachers as well. Here indeed are the roots of American Abolitionism and the Civil War to come.

As stated in James 1:16-20, “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Indeed, James warns against being carried away by earthly movements. The only cause we should be following whole-heartedly is the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. … You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

All Christians can, with confidence, emphatically say the words “black lives matter,” a statement that is resoundingly true. What they should not condone, however, is the BLM movement that removes the forgiveness, hope, and peace of the gospel and replaces those core values with continual protest, fear, and anger. As Paul reminds us in Romans 12:19, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.”

The God-inspired words of the New Testament are already sufficient. The words and deeds of Jesus Christ are already sufficient. When before His last breath Christ proclaimed, “it is finished,” His mission was complete.

We’ll never know perfect human equality here on earth. But until our Lord returns, Christians can take comfort that the Bible app on their phone, the Holy Scripture resting on the shelf, and the Word in front of them in the church pew all contain the only guide needed to heal our broken world.

Indeed so, yesterday we wandered off on the tangent of the morality of self-defense, and in Christian morality it is moral, even a duty, not, in truth, so much to protect ourselves, although that is our right, but to protect our neighbors. And that is very good, but our first duty remains what it always is:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34

And protection of self and others is part of that, and yes, if you happened to wonder, that is why a large percentage of legal gun owners are also decisively Pro Life. In a very real sense, it is the same issue.

Note that I have published a connected post this morning on All around the Watchtower as well.

Telling America’s Story, and Why It Matters

There is actually one more chap[ter in our trilogy on how the western myth has shaped America. It cams quite a few years later when I was reflecting on various things that go with it. I think it sums up the series fairly well.

We have often talked about the role of the western in how America sees itself, and indeed in how the world sees America. In fact in one her very first posts here, Jessica started the topic, saying…

My father was fifty when I was born, and his tastes in movies became mine. When other teenage girls were swooning about Kevin Costner (really???), I was dismissive. John Wayne was my hero – and remains so. He summed up America for me. Strong, but never boastful about it. I remember crying when I saw ‘The Man who shot Liberty Vallance’ – it was so unfair – it was Tom Donovan, not Ransom Stoddard who shot Liberty Vallance, so why did the latter end up with the girl? Huh, I remember thinking, if I had been ‘the girl’ there was no way I’d have chosen Jimmy Stewart over John Wayne – what was she thinking?  But, as Tom Donovan might have said: “Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim”.

The film’s message, which passed me by in my indignation, was about the passing of the old West, and the place of myth in the making of a nation. America is a nation build around myths and legends. That is not to say they are wrong, it is to say that those movies told a bigger story about the making of a great nation and what made it that. All nations need myths, and the point about the American one seemed to be encapsulated in my second favourite John Wayne film – ‘She wore a Yellow ribbon.’ Captain Nathan Brittles was the quintessential quiet American. A man who, having lost his family, was married to army, and who did his duty, no matter what. My teenage heart went out to him, and I was very sniffy about the heroine going off with those ‘boys’ rather than a ‘real man’.

I really can’t see how ‘the girl’ was going to lose, having to choose between John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, but Jess’ later reflection is dead on point, I think. Very good insight for a young British err Welsh lass, I think. Building a civilization is one time (and not the only one) when the only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

I also think it a very good analogy for what we are now seeing in our cities. To me, many of the leftist politicians closely resemble Liberty Valance. 

In fact, a few days later, in a music post that summed up the week, called True Grit, I said this.

My background is Scandinavian  our myths had to do with gods and goddesses. But, we have something else as well, we have our sagas from the time when we went out into the world, and settled Iceland and Greenland, many say we founded both Moscow and Dublin, and the Eastern Emperor’s Varangian Guard were Swedish as well, and a fair number of Anglo-Saxons found it a welcome refuge starting in 1067. A little boastful perhaps but, it’s well to remember that the Viking age ended in a resounding clash of arms as the Danish King of England defeated the King of Norway and two weeks later lost to the Duke of Normandy.

That’s what these films are: The Saga of America.

Jess asked her Mummy a very valid question back when she was 10 when she asked “What is America for, Mummy?” But she got it a little wrong, the real question is, “Who is America for, Mummy?”

Because it’s the Saga of ordinary men and women, who dreamed of living free, and were willing to do the hard, dangerous, and often dirty work of making that dream happen. Even if they were a one-eyed fat man or a Texian whore. America has never been about class or social standing. That’s what I think America is, the new start of western civilization and of the people with True Grit.

And you know, we’re not the only ones. Last week in The Federalist,  Inez Feltscher Stepman, told us about her favorite top ten westerns (and ten extras). Her ranking are somewhat different than mine, but not all that different. I think she might have seen more of them than I have, which is a low bar. One thing stood out for me. Did you know that one of the most effective posters made and used by Solidarity, in the eighties featured Gary Cooper, in his role in High Noon? I didn’t, but the character shown by one man standing alone against evil is a central part of most of the westerns, and of the American character. It’s also why the collectivists all over the world hate us. Here’s a bit from Inez…

No film genre is more quintessential to the American soul than the Western. The virtues Westerns champion—courage, moral clarity, self-reliance, individualism—are American virtues; their vices—excessive or hokey moral simplicity, caricatures of the enemy—are American too. Westerns are so synonymous with the legend that is America that it’s little wonder that from their heyday in the 1950s until today, they’ve played a key role in shaping our perception of ourselves, as well as the world’s opinion of us.

The white-hatted cowboy standing firm against long odds is iconic, and not only within our borders. Western imagery has had such a powerful impact across the globe that Gary Cooper’s character in “High Noon” (No. 3) was used by the anti-Communist Polish party Solidarity in a poster campaign urging people to overcome their fear of tyrannical system and show their true colors at the polls.

She expanded on that in a podcast with Mary Katharine Ham this week. it’s good listening.

Only one hint, though. Her number one is in my top three, and the exact ranking depends on the day.

Inez also gives the outstanding advice that if you are not enthused with current movies, and who is, why not watch some of these twenty movies. I certainly am going to! 🙂

And that probably has something to do with why Archbishop Vigano wrote to President Trump telling him this amongst other things: (via Human Events).

For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship,” Vigano wrote, adding, “And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.”

Vigano believes Americans “are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters.

For as the Archbishop wrote this is indeed the battle between light and darkness, and it will be decided in the United States, And I think the forces of light will win, as light always does over the darkness. You should read that article, snd the Archbishop’s letter which is easily found on the internet.

It may also have something to do with why over 1 million people have asked for tickets for the President’s rally this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a venue that seats slightly less than 20,000.

 

 

 

Hypocrisy, Valor, and Prayer

Well, something new today and something that pleases me greatly. We are featuring a post by a guest author, whose nom de internet is 39 Pontiac Dream. He’s a friend of both Audre and me and lives in north Norfolk, England. It’s something I’ve wanted ever since Jess left, I find the English view of events here informative, and like so many of us, I care about what is happening to the cousins. So, Here’s Pontiac

The Hair Raising Hypocrisy of the Media

Take this title with a pinch of salt. It’s nothing more thanconjecture on my part, in relation to hat some might see as quite superfluous. In the UK, though, this superfluous musingcould potentially mean something quite different.

As Tina (my better other half as Neo and Audre will tell you) and I were watching the news ecently, Tina turned to me and asked, “who is doing their hair and makeup?” A relatively straight forward question with a simple answer in normal times however, here in good old Blighty, the hair and beautysector are being told that they will be some of the last businesses to reopen, considering the close and personal contact with their clients. If, however, those in the media are still using them, then they are disobeying the lockdown measures they propagate every day. Tina informs me (I’m a bloke – how the hell would I know?!) that hair and makeup, in relation to television, is a tricky business. The makeup, for one, and considering the cameras, the lighting, the heat in the studio has to be applied to ensure the presenters look completely natural. Apparently, that takes years of training and is not something a presenter would know how to do. With regards hair, not one of our news presenters or reporters look any different, presentation wise, to how they did before the lockdown. Some on the BBC insist they’ve been doing it themselves but I seriously doubt that. If they are, indeed, cutting their own hair, then inevitably there’d be someone who has made a mistake; cut one side higher than the other; cut a chunk out of the back of their hair leaving a bald spot. Inadvertently cut their fringe too short. There are no tell tale mishaps to back up their claims that they are doing it themselves which makes me suspect that they are not doing it themselves, as they say. They should, to all intents and purposes, all look as dishevelled as Boris Johnson does on one of his morning runs but they don’t so I ask again – who is styling these presenters?

If they’re not breaking the rules and are doing it themselves then you have to ask whether the stylists the BBC (and other channels) usually employ are now surplus to requirements
because I see no difference in how they look now to how they looked before.

I have no idea whether this sector, in the States, is suffering in the same way as it is here in Britain but I’m surprised no one has even thought to ask.

As I told Pontiac, likely they are employees of the network and considered essential, because TV makeup is pretty specialized. It can also be important. Back in 1960, the presidential candidates had a debate, Nixon refused makeup and Kennedy did not. By the transcript, it was nearly a draw, but Nixon won on the radio (more important then than now, of course) but Kennedy won on TV. Something to think about. But it is pretty hypocritical.

So say “Hi” to Pontiac in comments and let us know what you think, as well.


Today is an anniversary as well, of course, as most here will remember. Today 76 years ago, it must have felt pretty lonely in Southern England, as some million soldiers mounted the invasion of the continent that would result in VE day in about 10 months.

On April 2d of that year, A.P. Herbert published a poem that we should remember more than we do.

Boadicea from the Bridge looked down,
And saw the Yankee tanks invade the town.
Boadicea held her head more high
To hail the Sherman and the proud G.I.
‘Eyes right!’ she said. ‘Fine fellows though you are,
You’re not the first to drive an armoured car.
Halt, soldiers, halt! For here is one can tell
A tale of fighting chariots as well.
Look up, brave girls. In a.d. 61
I led the lads, and saw the Roman run.
God speed you too against an alien mob:
God bless you all for joining in the job.
By Grant! By Sherman!’ said the queen of queens.
I wish I’d had such men, and such machines.’

They passed. And Parliament, across the way,
Discussed the principle of equal pay.

I can remember waking up every Saturday to watch TV at 6:30 in the morning, no, not cartoons, a show called The Big Picture made by the Signal Corps. It showed various things the army was up to and was pretty interesting. This is one episode.

 

The Longest Day indeed, for here the future of Europe was decided for a generation by the Anglo Saxon powers. They went in with our prayers behind them, of course. In the United States led by the President.

Time and Place.

Sen Daniel Inouye, former Captain AUS 442d Regimental Combat Team
Holder of the
Medal of Honor
The Bronze Star Medal
The Purple Heart
The Presidential Medal of Freedom
and, at his death
The President pro tempore of the United States Senate

Ordinarily, if we have enough, I have been mostly alternating between Audre and myself during the week. We tend to about equal views (and that pleases me). But I’m going to break pattern today since it was my turn yesterday to have an internet outage. And besides this continues on from yesterday’s about American heroes. Enjoy! Neo.

 

Still thinking about all the information contained in the documentary The War. The personal interviews, though, is what really stays with you. The faces, the voices, the eyes of the men interviewed feel like they become part of you somehow. Perhaps it’s because we see the faces of our fathers or uncles, or brothers who served. They share a look to their eyes; it’s more than an ‘I’ve seen a thing or two’ look, that look also has deep tones of sadness.

The second favorite interview is with Daniel Inouye; yes, that Daniel Inouye. Mentally and physically strong. Focused. Assured. Confident. Quite striking and remarkable. His contribution to the war effort is something that almost sounds made up, but he had witnesses to his heroism. This is just a snippet from Wikipedia about his time in WWll: (after he had blown up the other two bunkers) – As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Lt. Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, coming within 10 yards. As he raised himself on his left elbow and cocked his right arm to throw his last hand grenade, a German soldier saw Inouye and fired a 30mm Schiessbecher antipersonnel rifle grenade from inside the bunker, which struck Inouye directly on his right elbow. The high explosive grenade failed to detonate, saving Lt. Inouye from instant death but amputating most of his right arm at the elbow (except for a few tendons and a flap of skin) via blunt force trauma. Despite this gruesome injury, Lt. Inouye was again saved from likely death due to the blunt, low-velocity grenade tearing the nerves in his arm unevenly and incompletely, which involuntarily squeezed the grenade tightly via a reflex arc instead of going limp and dropping it at Inouye’s feet. However, this still left him crippled, in terrible pain, under fire with minimal cover and staring at a live grenade “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore.”[13]

Inouye’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker began hastily reloading his rifle with regular full metal jacket ammunition (replacing the wood-tipped rounds used to propel rifle grenades), Inouye quickly pried the live hand grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. The German soldier had just finished reloading and was aiming his rifle to finish him off when Lt. Inouye threw his grenade through the narrow firing slit, killing the German. Stumbling to his feet with the remnants of his right arm hanging grotesquely at his side and his Thompson in his off-hand, braced against his hip, Lt. Inouye continued forward, killing at least one more German before suffering his fifth and final wound of the day (in his left leg), which finally halted his one-man assault for good and sent him tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. He awoke to see the worried men of his platoon hovering over him. His only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them back to their positions, saying “Nobody called off the war!”[14]

The remainder of Inouye’s mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him.[15]

What can I say? All the truly profound things have been said about war and heroism. If you’ll pardon me, I’ll just say that was one tough som’bitch. He was, after his return and college, the Democrat Senator for Hawaii. For years. He voted for some things I would have been against, and against some things I would have been for, but gosh, he earned his right to say his piece. A stellar member of the Great Generation.

Fast forward to today. Who is the loudest, nastiest, snidest Democrat Senator from the State of Hawaii? Maizy Hirono. I have very little to say about her – but only because she brings out the absolute worst in me. So I’ll just leave this video as a small sample of the difference in time and place between Daniel Inouye and Maizy Hirono. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w8ml5lQvOo.

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