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

The Endgame

And so, according to Secondcitycop, this happened in Chicago last week:

Last Week’s Totals (5/31 – 6/6)
Shot & Killed: 29
Shot & Wounded: 138
Total Shot: 167
Total Homicides: 32

Total shot by the police in May and June: 0

Does anybody other than the rank and file of the CPD give a damn? Doesn’t look like it. This is an interview in Block Club Chicago (via SCC) with a lieutenant with almost thirty years service.

After battling civil unrest and looting last week, a Chicago Police lieutenant with almost 30 years on the job described a department “stretched thin,” lacking direction and fearing what could happen next.

In a wide-ranging interview, the lieutenant, who works in a North Side district but was stationed Downtown and on the South Side last week, agreed to talk to Block Club Chicago provided his identity and specific district not be disclosed.

In his almost three decades on the job, he’s never seen officers stretched so thin as they were controlling crowds at protests demanding justice for George Floyd and responding to looting, vandalism and violence across the city.

“I’ve been on almost three decades and have never experienced anything like this in my career. There’s some officers on their 10th day in a row working … 12-hour days,” he said before the weekend.

Read it all and be horrified.

I’d bet dollars I don’t have to doughnuts that it’s not very different in any of the blue city departments. There are reports that over a thousand NYPD cops have turned in their papers lately because they’ve had enough, and these aren’t the worst, can you imagine being a Minneapolis officer who wants to do a good job.

I’m hearing a lot of noise on the right bashing the police unions, usually I’m sympathetic. I’m no fan of public employee unions and for that matter neither was Walther Reuther or Franklin Roosevelt, but they are not the problem here.

The problem here is the city’s political and the police department’s leadership. As near as I can tell it has grown so corrupt as to be completely useless, and the blue states are no better. Some red states ain’t too hot either, but it’s an order of magnitude difference.

It’s kind of funny, reading SCC, they bash the union regularly but also recognize it’s their only chance of fair treatment from the city administration. Time to get real. The blue cities in the US; Chicago, New York, Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, and others. are essentially dead, nothing short of a voter revolt (and maybe not even that) can save them. But there is little sign that it is happening.

The only thing I can see to do is cordon them off as essentially no go zones, and let them kill each other off. Escape from New York come to life. We have enough to do to save the rest of the country. And that’s from a guy that has loved Chicago all my life.

American Rights, the Battle Continues

Shelley Luther
A Rosa Parks for our time

Ok, there’s a lot we haven’t talked about this, and yes, it’s deliberate. Like most of you, I’m deathly sick of house arrest. But the old Americanism is breaking out, as it always does when our liberty is threatened. Here’s what happened when an ex-marine talked ethics and patriotism to a police line. Watch the whole thing.

Did you watch to the end, where that line of riot police shuffled off?

And that’s the thing, the average police officer has all the troubles we all do, he’s mostly just trying to do his job. His superiors are a different story, though. It is unconscionable to give those orders.

Colonel Schlichter over at Townhall has something to say about this the other day as well.

As conservatives, we pride ourselves on our unwavering support of the Thin Blue Line, on backing our cops against leftist slander, and yet stupid and evil people in law enforcement are putting that default thumbs-up from normal Americans at risk. It’s bad enough when we watch the ridiculous spectacle of Deputy Karren and Deputy Man-Karen yelling at some mom for committing felony play-dating, but then we see how the FBI has flat-out framed political enemies and it’s too much. If the LEO community does not police its own ranks and stamp out this nonsense, it might as well take all the goodwill it has earned over the years, douse it in cheap gasoline, and set it on fire. […]

Here’s the thing – we normals respect our police not merely because they have badges and funny hats but because they take personal risks to protect us from those who would violate our rights. Usually, these violators are criminals. But the category of “People who violate our rights” also includes political hacks and bureaucratic petty fascists. And we reasonably expect to be protected from those creeps too.

“But we might get suspended or fired!” is the response. Well, yeah. That’s correct. And that’s immaterial.

He’s right, if you can’t stand the heat get the F out of the kitchen. Our nerves are plenty frayed worrying about all sorts of things, like feeding our kids and keep them safe. You really do not want the normals thinking that to keep our kids safe we have to keep them away from you. Or do you?

It’s like soldiers – the troops don’t get thanked for their service because their job is kick-back and safe.

So, we can surely expect them to pushback when some tool with sergeant’s stripes or chief stars tells them to oppress us.

For those LEOs who are confused:

When someone tells you to tackle people for misdemeanor failure to social distance, we expect you to say “No.”

When someone tells you to fly drones around scolding citizens, we expect you to say “No.”

When someone tells you to walk through a church parking lot taking down plate numbers, we expect you to say “No.”

When someone tells you to roll the SWAT team, with a complete with a Keystone Kop sniper up top, to confront the peril of a bunch of people protesting to reopen business, we expect you to say “No.”

When someone tells you to hassle Jews for praying, we expect you to say “No.”

We’ve seen all these things happen or be threatened since the bat stew virus infected the Bill of Rights, perhaps fatally. And these atrocities have to stop.

And they are going to stop. The question to you is, “Will you side with corrupt bureaucrats like the German Polezei did in the 1930s, or will you side with the American people and our God-given constitutional rights. Up to you, I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t much care. All I really care about is the restoration of eroded American rights. You can pick your side as you choose. But I’ll tell you something from experience, there are a hell of a lot of things worse than getting fired. One of them is living with yourself after you’ve ruined somebody’s life, or even killed them, for no reason, really, at all.

Many won’t play stupid games and they simply blow off dumb orders. I’ve witnessed police officers ignore all manner of Karen crimes, as they should. Bravo! We’ve seen a number of sheriffs stand up and refuse to enforce illegal and immoral orders from political hacks. Three cheers!

But then there are the Barney Fifes who, instead of saying “Hard pass” when ordered to dragging off some tattoo artist, comply instead. And that’s how we got a viral vid of two tubby constables hauling a guy to the pokey for trying to feed his family. Is that what LEOs signed up for? If so, we’re in trouble.

How would you feel if you were the guy or gal that wrote the citation that brought Shelley Luther into that courtroom to be abused by an Obama hack judge so badly that both of your Senators, and the Governor, as well as the state Attorney General called him out, while the Lt. Governor paid her fine, and the State Supreme Court ordered her release. By the way, she now has a new customer, Senator Cruz stopped in for a well-publicized haircut yesterday. All that to feed her kids, and help her employees feed theirs. Nice job, Bozo, you managed to create another Rosa Parks.

Feeling proud? If you are, well all I’ll say is you’re a scumbag and a disgrace to your uniform, and your country.

Vocational Education Can’t Be Either/Or

This from The Federalist is pretty good, although when I started it, I thought it would be mostly whingeing, and there is some of that. But do read it.

While I no longer teach in Detroit, the district has formally turned its focus to channeling students into one of seven “industry cluster areas” ranging from hospitality to public safety. Conversations about English credits and required physical education classes have been eclipsed by “real-world experiences” and “industry certification.” All students are now enrolled in a Career Pathways Education Plan — a project that aims to address the city’s educational woes by accelerating all students’ journeys to careers.

The calculation at the heart of the project is straightforward. Jobs exist in the city, and folks aren’t trained to do them — so train them. Isn’t this, after all, what schools do? Answering this question involves more than an argument about course selection. We’re asking if public school students from Detroit deserve an education that develops them as something more than employees.

Put another way, what ought the freshmen English teacher do with his time when he greets 160 students who read on a third-grade level, among whom is a homeless boy scrambling for shelter each night and a girl who will give birth the next semester? The right “industry certification” might change their life trajectory, but there is something frivolous about a school the highest aims of which could be summed up by Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

I see nothing inherently wrong with teaching kids what in my day we called vo-ed. In those days it was Industrial Arts (universally called ‘shop’) for the boys and Domestic Arts or some euphemism that meant ‘Home Ec’ for the girls, who also were the target for typing class, and business math, which could just as well have been called bookkeeping, and sometimes was.

It sounds sexist and it probably was a bit, but it also reflected the real world. The world that had Dictaphones that came in two parts, male that had a microphone, and female that had earphones.

The other thing was, those of us that were going to college, and you pretty well knew by the end of eighth grade, and so did your classmates, were able, if we were lucky, to squeeze in a year of shop, it was the most fun class I had in high school because it was doing, six weeks of woodshop, six of metal shop, six of technical drawing, a little about machining, and some practical electrics. A really good introduction to the world of work outside the office, and the neat part, the boys got six weeks of Home Ec. Which did us no harm. Guys should be able to sew on a button, cook dinner, and balance the checkbook. And while we were doing this, the girls were having an introduction to shop.

But the place where Detroit went wrong with this is assuming that only technical education is required, sure you could specialize in shop, and frankly, lots of farm boys did, and may have been right to, and quite a few girls did a  lot of Home Ec and business courses. Good general introductions both of them to the real world. But they also took at least a year of math and a year of general science. Three of what we called social studies, geography, history, some economics, and three of English. You had to, the state required them for graduation. There was even a program where juniors and seniors could work half days for participating employers, who undertook to train them for the business (or the industry) while completing their education. It worked very well and gave them some income as well. Everybody won.

General math was basically a reprise of arithmetic, maybe with a bit of business math. But the average worker doesn’t deal with all that many quadratic equations. General Science much the same. Bur the social studies were the exact same courses designed to fit us for college, and/or life. And that included a year of literature, if I recall correctly, one-semester American, one non (mostly English, if I recall).

In short, we got a fairly good, general education, that fit us to take our place in the real world, both fit to hold a job, and be a citizen of a free country, and even speak (and write) English.

Detroit could, and likely does, do worse.

Iowa; and Winning

In Iowa last night:

Trump won, with something around 97%. Probably good enough! 🙂

The Democrats? Well nobody knows, the mickey mouse reporting system they devised is amazingly FUBARed, maybe we’ll have results by New Hampshire, or maybe not. Will anybody trust them anyway? Amazing from the ‘smart’ party.


Then there is Mitch McConnell. Most of us, and it’s increasingly affectionate, tend to call him “Cocaine Mitch”, somewhere back in time there was a reason, but darned if I remember it. But as Cristopher Roach reminds us in American Greatness, McConnell, like Trump, likes to win.

[I]n Navy SEAL training, winners of competitive events are often rewarded with extra chow and rest. Losers are punished. As the cadre constantly reminds trainees, “It pays to be a winner.”

As we’ve seen with the Democrats’ impeachment debacle and the Republican Senate’s ongoing successes with judges—including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knows how to win. The New York Times grimly reported, “Democrats have called Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the grim reaper. He embraces the nickname with enthusiasm.”

Indeed, his effectiveness is remarkable only because it is so rare among Republicans. Republicans traditionally delight in stiffing their voters. Has everyone forgotten the late Senator John McCain’s dramatic refusal to repeal Obamacare after years of promising to do so? While McConnell is a low-key guy, he is at peace with Trump, has focused on their common goals, and is not hostile to the wishes of his most important constituents, Republican voters.

In spite of their differences in style, Trump and McConnell share an important agreement regarding their fundamental understanding of politics: they both know that politics is about power and winning.

Working Together, As a Party Should

Trump’s embrace of power is undeniable. He has employed executive power to assert American interests on trade. He has deployed military power in a limited way against America’s enemies abroad, particularly in the case of ISIS. Trump has used executive power to move defense budget money around to build a wall.

McConnell and Trump both have grasped that judges have been an important stumbling block to Republican agenda items and have worked hard to ensure a record number of judges are confirmed during this window of opportunity.

Republicans were not always like this. An old friend—and one who is typical of the NeverTrump mindset—insists that how you play the game is more important than winning. But actually, it’s not. This is not baseball. Politics is high stakes. The genteel refusal to deploy power against the Left is an artifact from a different kind of politics in a different kind of country.

We are no longer having a “national conversation” among friends. It’s not about who has the better arguments. It’s a war. We count votes as a shorthand measure for numbers and power. As in war, you win first and worry about principles later.

Yep. McConnell, and Trump for that matter, are of the same generation as I am. We grew up in a different world, one where heroes were winners, our father’s generation won World War II, and they left us some good words. One of the guys who summed it up was Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers, who said often:

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

If you’d like a short form synopsis of why America is what it is, well, there it is. I’m also reminded of Patton’s speech to 3d Army.

 Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

And the Democrats have decided that politics is the new war. McConnell is acting accordingly. Why do the Dems have the House? The answer is in two words: “Paul Ryan”.

McConnell’s adjustment to reality and concern for results should be contrasted with former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan ran as a conservative, mouthing the right words about abortion, gay marriage, and big government. But, when in office, he tended to be AWOL on the culture war and diffident about Republican voters, much like President George W. Bush, who reflexively chastised them.

During the Bush years, Ryan was the model Republican, concerned more with fiscal issues than cultural ones, and gladly acting as a water boy for big business, whose wants were laundered into high minded and “principled” policy positions through the think tanks they fund. Bush and Ryan both pushed for tax cuts, immigration amnesty, and government transfer payments to the pharmaceutical industry, and nothing they did stopped a single abortion, dealt with the long-term impact of demographic replacement, or addressed the mass death and demoralization among working-class Americans.

Yep, I remember it well, the sell-out of the Reagan Revolution.

In other words, Trump’s voters knew the American people were in a real fight against a real enemy. And to fight you need a fighter, not Ned Flanders. But the only group Republicans like Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, and Justin Amash were willing to fight for—to the point of “retiring” and leaving their seats vulnerable—were their megadonors and the media.

While some NeverTrumpers are lunatics hell-bent on revenge, Ryan was more typical. He was polite and conflicted. In spite of his superficial differences with his opponents, he fundamentally bought into the pseudomorality of the Left. The professional class’s morality is steeped in the feminism of the businesswoman and her beta lackeys, who recoiled in horror at the “Access Hollywood” tape.

There’s quite a bit more at the link, and it’s all good. I keep coming back to Vince Lombardi, whom even a strong fan of ‘daBears’ like me, admired inordinately.

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

Rallying during Impeachment

And so, the other night the President held a rally in South Jersey, hardly a hotbed of conservatism, or is it? Only 140,000 people applied for tickets, this in a summer tourist area. A hundred and forty thousand plus – in New Jersey. Think about that…

In New Jersey!

Well, here it is. Nothing all that new, but the President is always entertaining.

Always fun, aren’t they?

Daniel Greenfield in Frontpage Magazine has noticed something else…

71% of Americans watched the Watergate hearings live. The Iran-Contra hearings beat regular programming on the big three networks which aired them live and without commercial breaks. 20 million tuned in to watch Anita Hill recite her dishonest smears against Justice Clarence Thomas.

Televised hearings had worked for the Democrats before. And they doubled down on them now.

Around 20 million watched Comey’s testimony and the attempt to ‘Thomas’ Justice Kavanaugh. Michael Cohen’s appearance took ratings down to 15 million. Mueller’s belated appearance brought them down to 13 million. The first day of the House impeachment proceedings was watched by only 13 million.

The first day of the Senate impeachment trial saw ratings fall to under 12 million. By the second day, they had fallen to 9 million.

This is the era of the internet. Are television ratings down because people are turning to websites?

Google Trends tracks impeachment interest as about a quarter of the level in late December. Taboola shows impeachment stories dropping from 20 million-page views to 15 million-page views in one week. Newswhip shows an even more dramatic decline from 80 million weekly engagements for impeachment content during the House hearings down to 22 million for the Senate trial.

While the media remains obsessed with impeachment, it’s well aware that the outbreak of the coronavirus and Kobe’s crash are drawing in far bigger audiences than the antics in the Senate.

The Democrats had spent years building up to this climactic moment, but now no one’s even watching.

The declining ratings tell the tale of a scam gone wrong. The media spent years promising a definitive takedown of Trump. Comey’s testimony was going to take down Trump. And then the Mueller investigation would see him in prison. Impeachment was going to be the grand finale. But it’s over.

It’s true, from my experience. I haven’t watched a minute of it, although I’ve seen some clips, but even those,  I haven’t bothered with here. Like the man says, it’s over. They don’t have near the votes to convict so why waste the time and money? Well, you and I both know, it’s all they got. They have a group of unelectable candidates, with unpopular ideas.

The real problem is that they are not for anything, all they are is against Trump. And one of the keys about America is that we are an optimistic people. It’s not so much that we always think the grass is greener on the other side, as that we are sure there is grass on the other side.

We’re not going to sell our birthright to any crackpot who is trying to tell us that we are just another bunch of losers, because we’re not. We know the secret, you haven’t lost until you quit, and we’re just getting started.

I understand why Trump wants to change the slogan to “Keep America Great”. he has good justification for it. But it’s one of the few places he’s wrong. The American experiment goes on. “Making America Great Again” is one of the most appropriate slogans for us ever, and we recognize no limits to that greatness. “Keep Americ Great” is OK, but America isn’t a status quo, it’s always an experiment, and almost always improving.

MAGA!

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