An Inaugural Reflection

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The American inauguration is one of the great traditions of the American Republic, and of freedom itself. But why? First because since 1800, no matter what, the office of the President, which has come to be the most powerful job in the world, transfers completely peacefully from one incumbent to the next. Yes, there are often protests, and sometimes riots, but they never have any impact on the event. President Washington believed that the peaceful inauguration of President Adams was more important than his own. He had a point. It happened in the midst of the beginnings of our Civil War, and again during that war. It happened when Franklin Roosevelt died, without a pause in the war effort. It’s a touchstone of American freedom.

Jane Hampton Cook wrote for Fox News about why she loves it.

The inauguration is why I love America. Of all the presidential events, from election night to the State of the Union, from press conferences to state dinners, the inauguration is my favorite for one simple reason. More than any other moment, the inauguration is a picture of our Constitution, proof that we are a nation based on representation, not royalty.

In a single instance the three branches of government— the executive, judicial and legislative— come together for a united purpose. A new president takes the oath of office administered by the chief justice of the Supreme Court while standing in front of the U.S. Capitol that houses Congress.

This doesn’t mean that everyone is happy about the winner of an election, though many are. But it does mean that this American experiment, the “sacred fire of liberty” as George Washington called it in his first inaugural, is still burning today.

John F. Kennedy, who won by a mere 112,000 votes in a bitter election, poignantly explained America’s ceremonial unity at his 1961 inauguration. “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom.”

Read it all at Fox News, and yes, I agree.

Bookworm noticed some differences from the previous administration.

Instead, Trump made the American people the stars of his speech. For example,

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Trump’s focus on the American people (“you”), rather than himself, is in marked contrast to Obama’s speeches, which invariably are all about . . . Obama.

via Donald Trump’s speech and the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, do read the whole thing.

That’s pretty much what we’ve been saying for a long time, isn’t it? In Christianity, it’s called servant leadership. That’s why the Pope is sometimes called “The servant of the servants of God”.

Another example was General Secretary of Defense Mattis’ first act, a message to our troops. Here it is.

It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.

Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.

Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.

I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your secretary.

via The Right Scoop in this case.

The Warrior Monk is about my age, and so likely trained as a Marine, about when I was in college, I suspect he believes the same things about leadership that I was taught so long ago.

First: The Mission

Second: Your People

Third: Yourself.

The analogy to our Judeao-Christian ethics as Bookworm described above is exact.

I am more and more convinced that We, the People, have chosen wisely. But actions count for much more than words, so we will see in the coming months and years, but it is a very good start.

Oh, and this, setting things right, both large and small.

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The Most Recent Man to Walk on the Moon

The most recent man to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan, Capt, USN, ret, BSEE ’56, Purdue, died Monday.

It’s hard to emphasize enough what the space program meant to us in the 60s. If we were thoughtful at all, it brought home to us the kind of dedication that had seen us through World War Two and allowed us to face down the Soviet Union, so far. But at Purdue, it was more than that, it must kind of been like having been in Portsmouth back when the Golden Hind had docked after sailing around the world. My God, it was exciting stuff.

And Purdue was one of the epicenters, sitting right out there in the Hoosier cornfields, well, it was one of the way stations to the stars. Actually, it still is, The Cradle of Astronauts, many call it. It’s justified. In my family, one went to one of two schools, the girls to Valparaiso University, and I followed my brother-in-law to Purdue. In large measure it was an act of hero worship, for him, a CE, for my dad, who quit school in the 11th grade, but may have been the best engineer I have known, but also for those guys, whose names we all knew, from the guys who flew the missions in World War Two, through the first and most recent men on the moon. Who didn’t want to be like them? Well, as they all knew happens, duty intervened. But even now, as a fairly old man, I admire them inordinately. Heroes they were, and are.

Gene was one of the best, and he’ll be missed. It’s always reassuring to know that men like him are in the world, and you know, for all the nonsense we deal with, they’re are a lot of them around. Few are famous, for not everybody can be first, and people like this often believe second is the first loser. But every time you see a man, or woman doing their duty regardless, they are one of them. They are the best of us.

“Gene Cernan was a true hero, a pioneer in aviation and, to us, one of the greatest Boilermakers of all time,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “He will be remembered in the history books as the most recent human to step on the moon. We will remember him as a valued friend and an inspiration to take risks and reach for our goals.”

Cernan earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1956 and an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1970. He was one of 14 astronauts chosen by NASA in October 1963.

“Although Gene Cernan is most often described as ‘the last man to walk on the moon,’ it is most appropriate for us to remember that he insisted on ‘most recent.’ Long after Apollo 17, he continued to inspire our dreams for the future. He was proud to be a Purdue engineer; we will miss him,” said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering.

Mike Berghoff, chair of Purdue Board of Trustees said, “His accomplishments in space provided generations of Boilermakers, especially Purdue students, evidence that your careers can be built around your dreams and passions.”

A long-time supporter of Purdue, Cernan served as co-chair of a major fundraising campaign with fellow astronaut and Purdue alum Neil Amstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon.

And you know, so many things that we take for granted today, some as mundane as Velcro, were developed for the space program, when I was a young man, I had a subscription to a NASA publication, the purpose of which was to share technical ideas, and products/developments which NASA had developed with American industry, and the breadth of what they worked on was simply breathtaking.

And now, another one is gone, but will never be forgotten. Brigadier General Chuck Yeager once said

You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.

That is as good a description of those men and women as I’ve ever read. I count it as the luckiest thing in my life that I knew so many of them.

Godspeed, Gene, and Rest in Peace.

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Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

 

Cultural Blasphemy ? More Like Americanism

0108trumpculture02Ace quoted this piece the other day and called it very good. I agree. Yes, in Newsweek, and also yes, its liberal bias is pretty obvious. But you know we all filter things through our experiences and thus are biased. No less me than Michael Wolf. But things do work better when we talk to each other rather than at each other. I think he’s trying here to understand the rest of us here, and maybe share some of his insights, with other liberals. He’s not wrong, at least in broad strokes. In truth “Shut up, we won”, isn’t going to work much better for us than it did Obama.

That doesn’t mean we ought to be compromising things we believe. It does mean that we should return civility when civility is offered. When it’s not, well the left probably hasn’t seen The Shootist lately. They should because a whole lot of America still lives by that.

 

Here’s the article ( autoplay video)

If all his other cultural blasphemies did not finish off Donald Trump, his grab-them-by-the-pussy line, in the overwhelming opinion of the liberal media, would. That it did not might suggest that many cultural certainties are a lot less firm than most of the media and culture industry thought. Twenty years (or so) of rule tightening about how we talk about sex, gender, race and our multicultural society—what is disparagingly called political correctness, or, more inclusively, the liberal point of view—was put up for review by Trump’s election.

The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment—expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title—reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump—a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound. To write him you would need some combination of authors like Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Harry Crews and Gore Vidal, all notably out of step with current cultural norms.

The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it’s not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans. Media fragmentation has created all sorts of thriving niches that accommodate the views of eager consumers, lessening the need to speak to a broader, more difficult-to-reach audience—the once-great mass market. (With no one speaking to it, it’s had to largely contend itself with an expanding diet of sports—another overlooked point of the Trump voter connection, his several decades of red carpet presence at major sporting events.) And, too, convincing higher-fashion cultural consumers that their concerns are paramount ones.

These are just “white man’s problems,” said an agent who in 2013 rejected a collection of short stories about middle-aged terrors and angst by 53-year-old Pennsylvania and working-class son Kevin Morris (transformed by the mysteries of American life into a top Hollywood entertainment lawyer), who promptly took that as the title for his book—think Richard Ford, John Cheever and Bernard Malamud, all writers who are also out of fashion—which he then self-published through Amazon. (The self-publishing world is an extraordinary and vibrant parallel culture, hardly recognizable to the official bookish world). When Grove/Atlantic’s Morgan Entrekin shortly thereafter bought Morris’s first novel, All Joe Knight, about sex and race and money, told through the eyes of a lower-middle-class white kid who grows up to be an alienated middle-aged white guy, “we struggled,” he said, “to think of like-minded writers who could blurb the book and could hardly come up with any.” The book, published shortly after the Trump election, and, in its political incorrectness and protean language, something of an instant samizdat-like favorite at least among other older male writers, has yet to be reviewed by The New York Times.

 

via The Trump Establishment’s Cultural Significance, Explained

Seriously but not Literally

america-vs-englandI again quoted whoever it was that said we take Donald Trump seriously but not literally again last evening. It is true, we do, we voted for him because he looks to us like a real outsider, who is his own man, not an owned man of the progs. It was exactly the same impulse that led to Brexit, I, and many other Americans and Britons think. Here’s more about that impulse and the repercussions, from a British blog, that I found through still another British blog: The Conservative Woman, which has become one of my favorites. Here’s some of what Herbert has to say:

In 2016, after the best part of five decades spent infiltrating our media, our universities, and our pop culture, the radical feminists, racial minorities who see race as their identity, LBGT types, statists, and haters of national pride and free market economics, came out of the shadows in a final act of revolution, confident that the world was theirs for the taking, and it all came to nothing.

Hillary Clinton, the archetypal feminist, was denied the most powerful position in the world, from where she would have wreaked untold havoc on the most basic values that America and the developed world stand for. And we Britons took back control of our national sovereignty from the creeping socialism and the Soros-funded open society, open-borders mentality of the EU.

This was a massive shock to the progressive left, of course, as witness the parade of their weak-minded, slogan chanting, under-achieving, envy-driven, really rather stupid professional grievance-collecting, entitlement-ridden, acolytes, who emitted what amounted to a shriek of anger that their well-laid plans had been foiled by democracy.

The reaction of this rag-bag army of misfits and malcontents finally showed the new left’s true colours to the world. They demonstrated publicly that all they had to offer was slogans: ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘fascist’ – and, of course, ‘climate change denier’ whenever that part of their plan could be slipped into the equation.

During the 2016 US Presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum in the UK, the progressive left threw everything at victory through the arrogant media, the self-satisfied celebrities, and the pc professors – the so-called experts – who came out of the woodwork, confident that they would swing us all to their all-pervading progressive worldview, and that we would submit.  We didn’t. In 2016, in the UK and the US, the silent majority of ordinary people thumbed their noses at all of them.

This was the real revolution – a revolution of common sense and decency – of values and freedom. It amounted to a rejection of identity politics, grievance cultures, climate change hysteria, alleged experts telling people what is right and wrong, politicians trying to take moral authority over the people who elect them levelling accusations that they were racist when all people wanted was to preserve their hard-won culture, and protect it from being swamped by alien cultures intent on hegemony.

Do read the whole thing at 2016: The year the worm finally turned | herbertpurdy.com

He’s right, it is a real revolution, in the same sense that the American Revolution was. It is an effort to restore, to complete the revolution, if you will, to stand things back in their proper place.

Brexit is and was an imperfect tool for this, but it seemed and seems to be fit for purpose, to divide the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Similarly, Donald Trump is not, and was not a perfect candidate, many of us had reservations, and we may be clinging to a frail reed in his cabinet picks. We will see. But then, neither was Stephan Langton, or the barons a very good choice for the freedom of the common man, but they gave us the first of those charters that have marked our history: Magna Charta.

What is not in doubt is that after still another four or eight years of Hillary Clinton as President, it was going to be very unlikely to put this right, and so it was time to act. This was not a communal, collective act, this was a decision reached quietly, inwardly by millions of Americans, as was the Brexit choice in Britain, and for very similar reasons.

There is a reason why the Anglo-Saxon countries have a thousand year long history of increasing freedom, no matter the opposition. Kipling, as always stated it well.

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.

“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes you all day.

They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man- at-arms you can find.

“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em a lie!”

Hopefully, it works, at least temporarily, but if it doesn’t, there is a further leavening in the Anglo-Saxons. It has come down to us known as:

The furor of the Northmen

I don’t think anybody really wants to go there, but we did back in 1688, and in 1776, and once more in 1861. It wasn’t pretty, but as always:

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Irrelevant Trump Wingeing, and Some on the Free Market.

129445-quotes-about-can-do-attitudeYesterday, Jan Hansenn in comments proposed that we are not logical in our hopes for Trump, that others fear him, not because he may succeed but that he may damage the country, and finally that his business career is not all that successful. He also referenced sites that I consider mostly fake news, the New York Times, and Newsweek. But that’s still common, and many share the delusion (including the purveyors) that they provide real news.

I think he is wrong and Kurt Schlicter is right, categorically, that is my conclusion, and the only one that fits. My article and Colonel Schlichter’s had little to do with Trump, in fact. They were expositions of why the so-called Progressives are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who want a do over. The thing they, and Jan, need to realize is that about 12 Noon on January 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Your reservations, fears, and my hopes, in fact, all of our feelings about him are simply irrelevant. He is the President -Elect.

But what is the wonder of an age to me, is the sight of a plurality of the country, and a good percentage of the world, denying these facts. Trying to reverse a deal as done as Jodl’s signature on the surrender of Nazi Germany. It’s over, kiddies. We can argue about cabinet picks, Supreme Court justices, policies, and many other things. For the most part you, and occasionally I will lose. It’s real simple, elections have consequences, and he won. For good or bad, he will be President. Deal with it, Snowflakes.

America doesn’t do do-overs. That’s Europe’s thing, to keep voting until the elites get the answer they want. If you remember way back there in 2008, most of us thought Obama had some pretty looney ideas, but we were prepared to give him a chance, until about the time of that speech in Cairo, anyway. Speaking of damaging the country. We managed to survive, although it was tough, and I’d guess we’ll make it through the next fortnight as well.

Then we’ll see, all of us, how he does. I’m pretty confident he’ll be the best president since Reagan, and perhaps since Coolidge. But that remains to be seen, he could be a total flop, but if he can accomplish a third of what he wants to, it’s likely to become known as ‘the Roaring Teens’.

There is a reason, several really, but one salient one, why I am almost always opposed to government interference in markets. It could easily be summarized as “they do not know what they do”. Mostly we call it the law of unintended consequences. It echoes through almost every piece of legislation and regulation that the government does (see Obamacare). That’s why Coolidge was right, it is much better for the government to not do, than to do, especially if they know not what they are doing. The best thing for the workers, whether blue or white collar, for the investors, and indeed for the country, is for the government to get the hell out of the way.

That is why we were a bit disappointed with Trump’s handling of the Carrier thing. Offsetting that, though, is this: a promise is a promise.

Dan Mitchell has more on the economic thing, here. Read it and absorb it, because he, and Bastiat, are simply correct.

For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly

Over at Townhall, Kurt Schlichter has caught fire again, and it’s a joy to read. Some excerpts:

[Speaking of Liberals] Fear is going to make them go nuts – not the fear that Trump will be a failure, but the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing fear that Donald Trump will be a success.

And it looks like Trump may very well be one – something I previously and publicly doubted.

Let’s step back and think about who Trump has shown himself to be. Sure, he’s vulgar, and his knowledge of traditional conservatism is … limited. But he’s a competitor, and if he’s stupid like the liberals say then what does that make the liberals who Trump keeps beating as enthusiastically as Josh Marshall tweeting past midnight? Look, the guy is a property developer. If he does not deliver what he promises, the buyer won’t take occupancy and he loses money. Trump knows from his own experience – and the painful experience of the follow-through-free GOP – that the way to win is to deliver on his promises. It may ruffle our conservafeathers, but Trump promised to keep Carrier in the USA and he did it. As promised, the market is in the stratosphere and consumer confidence exists again. Trump promised to nominate conservatives and he did – do you think that whiny puffball Jeb Bush would have put up a cabinet full of Mad Dogs and activists aching to burn their own useless agencies to the ground? […]

News Flash: Donald Trump is not only going dance with the ones who brung him but afterwards he is going to take them to his limo to make out. This guy is interested in trying to please the people who elected him, not the urban swells who write for or read the NYT or WaPo […]

Sure, I think the Russians’ truthful revelations of true stuff that showed the true depth of Democratic corruption in a true way hurt Hillary. I just think that the left is deluding itself when it tells normal people that they were somehow suckered by the Russians’ truthful revelations of true stuff that showed the true depth of Democratic corruption. “You flyover rubes are so stupid that you can be manipulated by the facts that we were too incompetent to effectively hide from you!” is probably not a great way to win hearts and minds, but hey progs, feel free to go with it. […]

That Trump laughs at how a creaky ex-superpower is so relentlessly trolling the feckless Obama – President Faily McWorsethancarter even makes acting butch seem super femme – draws cries of “Treason!” and “Traitor!” from the same set who never saw a flag they didn’t want to burn, mourned Castro, and who know damn well it isn’t them or their gender indeterminate children who would get to fight and die in the war they seem so eager to provoke to close out Obama’s pathetic reign.

For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly – Kurt Schlichter

Heck, I was going to comment on this, but why? It’s simply glorious to see him writing like this again. And watching their heads explode is going to be even better, in my judgment. Colonel Schlichter really brought it here, read the whole thing™.

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