Giants Were in the Earth

I think a quick detour into the culture war is needed. Not the one on the streets with Scoldilocks and Extinction Rebellion, both are mere symbols of a discredited left, hopefully soon to die. But real culture.

The Unit yesterday called my attention to an article by Victor Davis Hanson in Townhall. Even for him, it’s exceptionally good. It’s titled: Members of Previous Generations Now Seem Like Giants.

Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.

Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.

We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.

Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

Think about that, they built a railroad in six years, from Omaha to San Francisco, using shovels, horses, gunpowder, and their backs. The most powerful machine they had was a steam locomotive that probably had less power than the last semi-truck you saw.

Then think about California this week, over a million people do not have electricity because PG&E is not allowed to trim trees but is required to pay for fires caused by not trimming trees and clearing underbrush.

In my youth, I knew men, and my own father was one of them, that built entire electrical distribution systems, in the midst of the depression, training farm boys to do the work, and working with mostly hand tools. Their work is one of the hidden reasons we won the Second World War, both because of the increased food available, and the reduced workforce necessary on the farms. One of his contemporaries built the entire Investor-owned gas and electric utility that serves Northern Indiana in that same time frame.

There were indeed giants in the earth.

Could we do any of these things now? Frankly, I doubt it. Yesterday someone commented that we are perhaps approaching the fourth turning. One hopes so. If you don’t know, the short form of that is this:

“Hard times create strong men.

Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men.

And, weak men create hard times.”

Well, we, or at least you young folks, will see.

In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today’s high-school graduate even finish “The Good Earth” or “The Grapes of Wrath”?

True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal.

Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.

“Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?”

In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.

These men:

THE Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains, ” Be ye removèd” They say to the lesser floods ” Be dry.”
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd – they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill tops shake to the summit – then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden – under the earthline their altars are
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city’s drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to leave their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s days may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that !
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd – they know the angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons !

Rudyard Kipling

That pretty much says it all, I think. But you should read the whole article.

 

Winning the Identity Sweepstakes, and Losing It

Professor Lipscomb

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb of  the University of Roehampton recently wrote:

Fed up with women’s lib being thrust at the public.’ This was a comment by a visitor to the We Are Bess exhibition at the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall, for which I was creative director and which I’ve mentioned before in this column. This rather curmudgeonly view is not shared by many: the vast majority of visitors have enjoyed it, thought it ‘interesting’, ‘moving’, ‘engaging’, ‘uplifting’; some 77 per cent so far say they would recommend the exhibition to others and 91 per cent feel that they learnt something new about the past or present. Many were delighted that the Trust had staged such a contemporary exhibition, which felt relevant and resonated with current issues. But this lone comment has stayed with me because it tells us something about the zeitgeist: both that ‘women’s lib’ or – more accurately – women’s achievements and lives – are something that many people are now interested in and that, for some, this feels like the lives of the other half are being ‘thrust’ upon them.

Read it all here, but it pretty much looks to me like some combination of virtue signaling and identity politics, not to mention generic whingeing. Not unusual in academia of course, and even less unusual amongst women on the BBC. In any case, most of the Britons I know, are completely fed up with the National Trust for its pandering to the SJWs, as indeed I would be as well. PC run amok, most of them say. Not as bad as the BBC, but working on it.

Jonathon Pearce quotes on Samizdata, Mohamed Ali, on Quillette:

“The dangerous and sectarian practice of prescriptive racialism is an outgrowth of an insistence that we think of people not as individuals but as representatives of groups — we speak of “the Arab experience” as if it were a uniform phenomenon. In a world in which groups are considered more important than people, it was inevitable that we would forfeit the ability to think in terms of unique human beings, each of whom may fall into several categories, but who are ultimately self-made characters. We should remember that the important features of an individual are what they choose to be and not the identities they happen to have inherited.”

That is always the problem with trying to figure out groups, other than perhaps self-selected groups, such as perhaps SAS troopers, the commonality of experience is lacking. I like Professor Lipscomb and I like her work, but I wonder if a contemporary London based female historian has that much in common with Tudor women, let alone the victims of Jack the Ripper. Sure she probably has more in common with them than I do, at least anatomically, but I suspect each of the three sees the world quite differently, as indeed I do. We can and should try to overcome that and have empathy for all actors, but it is not the easiest thing to do.,

R.S. McCain has a question. Here’s the background.

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering a woman who got into his car thinking it was her Uber ride had activated the child locks in his backseat so the doors could be opened only from the outside, police in South Carolina revealed.
Nathaniel David Rowland , 24, was charged Saturday in the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville, New Jersey. Rowland decided not to appear at a hearing in Richland County jail Sunday.
Rowland is charged with kidnapping and murder, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said. . . .
Investigators would not say what they thought Rowland did to Josephson from the time she got into his black Chevrolet Impala in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district around 1:30 a.m. Friday until her body was dumped in woods off a dirt road in Clarendon County about 65 miles away.

Not all that often that the police are all that reticent about what was done to a crime victim, in my experience, and that leads to the question. Why are the feminists not raising even more noise about this undoubted victim, than about Creepy Uncle Joe being a bit touchy-feely for the last two score years without complaint? Here is a picture of the victim and the alleged perp, see if you can figure it out.

See how these three sort of disparate stories connect? In all three, people are not paying attention to individuals but only members of the various groups. Why on earth should we feel more sympathy for the victims of a nineteenth-century murderer in London than for a twenty-first-century victim of a murderer in Columbia, South Caroline, let alone a bunch of Tudor women who may (or may not) have gotten all the respect the deserved, documented for historians convenience, or not.

As we keep saying there is little new under the sun, back in 1909 Rudyard Kipling had some thoughts in A City of Brass that seem to be spot on to the whole mess.

In a land that the sand overlays – the ways to her gates are untrod –
A multitude ended their days whose gates were made splendid by God,
Till they grew drunk and were smitten with madness and went to their fall,
And of these is a story written: but Allah Alone knoweth all!

When the wine stirred in their heart their bosoms dilated.
They rose to suppose themselves kings over all things created –
To decree a new earth at a birth without labour or sorrow –
To declare: “We prepare it to-day and inherit to-morrow.”
They chose themselves prophets and priests of minute understanding,
Men swift to see done, and outrun, their extremest commanding –
Of the tribe which describe with a jibe the perversions of Justice –
Panders avowed to the crowd whatsoever its lust is.

Swiftly these pulled down the walls that their fathers had made them –
The impregnable ramparts of old, they razed and relaid them
As playgrounds of pleasure and leisure, with limitless entries, 
And havens of rest for the wastrels where once walked the sentries;
And because there was need of more pay for the shouters and marchers,
They disbanded in face of their foemen their yeomen and archers.
They replied to their well-wishers’ fears – to their enemies laughter,
Saying: “Peace! We have fashioned a God Which shall save us hereafter.
We ascribe all dominion to man in his factions conferring,
And have given to numbers the Name of the Wisdom unerring.”

They said: “Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour?
Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.”
They said: “Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him?
He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.”
They said: “Who hath toiled, who hath striven, and gathered possession?
Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.”
They said: “Who is irked by the Law? Though we may not remove it.
If he lend us his aid in this raid, we will set him above it!
So the robber did judgment again upon such as displeased him,
The slayer, too, boasted his slain, and the judges released him.

As for their kinsmen far off, on the skirts of the nation,
They harried all earth to make sure none escaped reprobation.
They awakened unrest for a jest in their newly-won borders,
And jeered at the blood of their brethren betrayed by their orders.
They instructed the ruled to rebel, their rulers to aid them;
And, since such as obeyed them not fell, their Viceroys obeyed them.
When the riotous set them at naught they said: “Praise the upheaval!
For the show and the world and the thought of Dominion is evil!”
They unwound and flung from them with rage, as a rag that defied them,
The imperial gains of the age which their forefathers piled them.
They ran panting in haste to lay waste and embitter for ever 
The wellsprings of Wisdom and Strengths which are Faith and Endeavour.
They nosed out and digged up and dragged forth and exposed to derision
All doctrine of purpose and worth and restraint and prevision:

And it ceased, and God granted them all things for which they had striven,
And the heart of a beast in the place of a man’s heart was given. .

The Battle for Britain

LONDON, UK – CIRCA JUNE 2017: Statue of Boadicea Boudicca Queen of the Iceni who died AD 61 after leading her people against the Roman invaders (high dynamic range)

Some of you may wonder why we speak so much here about Brexit. After all, this is primarily an American blog. Well part of the reason is President Trump, for the moment he’s doing a superlative job for us, and so other than laughing at the deranged Progressives (yes, I repeat myself) there really isn’t too much to say. A nice change, isn’t it? Yes, there are things he could improve on, such as China, perhaps, but overall, there’s little to complain about.

Britain is a different case. After the people clearly stated that they wanted to preserve British sovereignty and leave the European Union, they have met a wall of resistance from their own government, including elected officials, the bureaucracy, and the rent-seeking corporatists.

It’s a battle for the Britain which led the world into ordered liberty, the land of Locke, of Burke, of Nelson and Wellington, and yes, of Churchill and Thatcher. It’s also an existential battle, one that must be won, or the British government will lose all legitimacy. As usual, Melanie Philips put the issues squarely and well here.

[…]Westminster is currently heaving with plots aimed at reversing the 2016 referendum result – while purporting to honor it. So MPs are coming up with demands to delay the legal date for the UK’s departure, demands for a second referendum, demands for “compromise” departure terms that are, in effect, forms of Remain.

This is all to break what is widely reported as the parliamentary “deadlock” over the issue. But there’s no deadlock. The legally binding default position is that if no deal with the EU is struck, Britain will leave on March 29 without a deal.

This is enshrined in an act of parliament passed last year. So the way forward is in fact very clear. The problem is that MPs who passed this act of parliament now want to dump it. They claim that leaving with no deal is out of the question because it would plunge Britain into chaos and ruin.

Britain has been subjected to a blizzard of scare stories about starving to death, running out of medicines or being unable to fly to Europe if it leaves with no deal.

These are ludicrous exaggerations. Much more to the point, the EU itself has far too much to lose from having no deal. But it will only do a deal on Britain’s terms if its own back is to the wall. In other words, leaving with no deal is essential to get the deal that Britain wants.

Yet instead of helping bring that about, Remainer MPs are spitting in the eye of democracy by seeking to reverse the referendum result, thus setting parliament against the people. Why?

At the core of much Remain thinking lies a profound indifference toward or even contempt for the very idea of a sovereign nation. For people who take pride in their cosmopolitanism and who regard national ties as a form of bigoted atavism, democracy can be endlessly reinvented in their own image.

Such Remainers thus grossly underrated the depth of feeling behind the vote for Brexit because they grossly underrate Britain itself.

Britain is a very special country; which is why it’s the one country to leave the EU. The countries of mainland Europe, with their long histories of mutual invasion, permeable borders, shifting national boundaries and attachments to democracy that are fitful and tenuous, have a shallow understanding of national identity.

By contrast, Britain is an island nation with an unequivocally distinct and separate identity. It hasn’t been invaded for 1,000 years and has consistently repelled attackers from across the seas.

This history has created its national character: independent of mind, stoic under pressure, opposed to extremism but ferocious in defense of its liberties and very, very averse to being bullied or told what to do.

This is why Britain was the cradle of political liberty. And this is why it voted to leave the EU – because despite the cultural demoralization of its post-war elites which took it into the European project in 1973, it still knows itself to be special.

There are three nations which have this view of themselves as being uniquely blessed: Britain, America and Israel. All have played an outsized role in bringing the benefits of civilization to the world.

Yes, all have had their faults. The British Empire had episodes of great cruelty; America had vicious racial prejudice; Israel’s political system is corrupt and dysfunctional.

All three countries, however, are beset from within by an intelligentsia determined to distort their nation’s history, exaggerate its failings and prove it was born in original sin.

A nation cannot be defended unless its people love and admire it, and unless it is led by men and women who acknowledge it for what it is rather than what they want it to be.

People look for leaders who will defend their way of life, promote the historic culture that binds their society together into a nation they can call their own, and take all necessary measures to keep it safe and inviolate.

The failure by the political establishment to deliver that led directly to the Brexit vote, the election of US President Donald Trump and, in Israel, to the destruction of the Left as a political force.

Read it all, and you will likely have more understanding of why so many Americans, here in a country created by British liberty, are so fierce in our support of our cousins. Once again, as in 1940 and in 1916, and in 1805 they fight a battle that we both have and will have to again fight. I think they’ll win, but if they don’t things will be very dark in Europe.

I’m reminded of this, by A. P. Herbert.

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

Remembrance Day

Poppy_wreath_stockwellIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

 

 In the United States today we are celebrating Veterans Day, it is the day we thank our living veterans and serving service people. For Britain and the Commonwealth, it is Remembrance Day is analogous to our Memorial Day which is 30 May. The short form is that it comes from Decoration Day, which in our history was the day on which the veterans of The Grand Army of the Republic decorated the graves of the veterans of our Civil War, it now honors all of our war dead. So for us, Veterans Day honors the living, although if we’re completely honest, both days honor both in the public’s mind.

And for all of us, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I. And yes, I easily confess that I watched the ceremony at the Cenotaph. Think of that, it was a hundred years ago this morning that the war that we all called the Great War ended. In truth, Europe has never really recovered.

This was the moment when the leadership of the western world became an American responsibility, although we didn’t really recognize that until 1940.

But, we here in the Great Republic are aware that in the last hundred years we have never fought alone, we have, in all our wars (yes, even Vietnam, Thank You Australia) fought beside at least one other member or former member of the British Empire. In most, we have fought together with all of you. And we have been very proud to do so.

I also remember that during the Falklands, that while our government did not feel able to overtly help, for mostly political reasons, the American people, from the President on down, were cheering for you. You guys weren’t the only ones who watched the fleet sail with a tear in your eyes. And if it had been necessary, one of our light carriers, the Iwo Jima, which happened to be in refit, was being readied to be transferred to the Royal Navy. It was your war, as Vietnam was ours, but we know who our friends are.

One lesson we learned from Vietnam, is to honor in all ways and at all times our veterans, and from what I read, it may be a lesson that the cousins have in some measure forgotten, whatever the politics of the war, it was not the fault of the soldiers, no soldier has ever wanted a war. In fact, since we don’t think our government does a good enough job of taking care of ours, we have many volunteer organizations that help them as well.  Always remember them, they gave their lives willingly for your freedom.

As Americans, we are proud that we were able to help defend you, during the Cold War, as the saying went, the Eastern border of the United States was the Elbe River. We meant it and the Soviets knew we meant it, and so we won. It was long, it was very costly, it was boring, it was terrifying, it was many things, it was also our privilege and our duty. But for Britain, it was also the repayment of a debt we owed you. We remember that during the nineteenth century, while we were busy building America (with not a few British ideas, and a lot of British capital, as well) we had proclaimed that new European colonies would not be permitted in the New World. We knew perfectly well that we were completely unable to enforce that, we also knew that Britain, for its own reasons (mostly trade) would.

We are also aware that Britain, and especially the Royal Navy was the major force that ended chattel slavery in western civilization. Sometimes we think you forget how good you have been for the world. Eventually, more than 600,000 Americans would die to end slavery here, and it was worth it, as were your efforts. And that doesn’t even touch upon the longest period of (mostly) peace between major powers, which has come to be called justifiably The Pax Brittanica. Your history in the modern world is something to be very proud of, and we, the rowdy colonials who fought a war against you to preserve our rights as Englishmen, salute you.

But what I really wanted to talk about today are two men, both veterans of the Great War, who won both the American Medal of Honor and one the Victoria Cross as well. Both were posthumous. In fact, they were both awarded in the fall of 1921. One was a soldier of the empire, and one was an American doughboy. This is the story of the British recipient.

FROM THE LONDON TIMES of OCT. 18, 1921

Yesterday morning General Pershing laid the Congressional Medal of Honour on the grave of the Unknown British Warrior in Westminster Abbey. The simple and beautiful ceremony seemed full of the promise of new and happier times. And what we call Nature appeared to have laid her approval on the hopes that it aroused.

That the United States should confer on an unknown British Warrior the highest military honour that can be bestowed by its Government, that jealously guarded and rarely granted Medal of Honour, which can only be won “at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty”; that Congress should pass a special Act enabling this honour to be paid to one who was not a citizen of the United States; that by the request and in the presence of the American Ambassador the medal should be laid upon the tomb by the hand of the great soldier who is now the successor of Washington, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan as General of the Armies of the United States, and that the ceremony should take place while the eyes of all the world are turned to the coming Congress at Washington.

Here is great matter for pride and hope; and it seemed to be by something more than mere accident or the working of unalterable law that, just at the beginning of the ceremony, the sun should stream down, in its natural gold, through a window not yet painted, upon the Union Jack that was spread at the foot of the Unknown Warrior‘s grave. The ancient mystery of the great Abbey is never wholly dispelled by the light of day. Yesterday, as ever, she preserved her immemorial secrets and her ever brooding silence; yet brightness, colour, confidence were the notes of the ceremony; and, contrasting the sunshine of yesterday with the tragic gloom remembered on other occasions since August, 1914, one could not but believe that the externals matched the inner truth of the act, and that the modern history which, as the Dean of Westminster reminded us, began with the war in which the Unknown Warrior gave his life was about, through him and his like,to bring joy and peace to the world.

With the Union Jack at its foot and the wreaths bestowed about its edge, the stone that temporarily covers the Unknown Warrior’s grave near the west end of the Abbey was bare, save for a little case full of rosaries and sacred emblems that lies at its head. The space about it was shut off from the rest of the Nave by a barrier, through which passed only those who had been specially invited to seats of honour round the grave. The Nave was packed with people facing north and south, and lined with soldiers and sailors of the United States Army and Navy, among them some of General Pershing’s picked battalion, strapping fellows in khaki or blue, who seemed to have all the smartness and the immobility to which we are accustomed in British troops on such occasions.

[…]

Backed by a row of Abbey dignitaries were the Dean of Westminster, the American Ambassador, and General Pershing, standing at the gravehead, and facing up the great church.

At the invitation of the Dean, the American Ambassador then spoke as follows:

“By an Act of the Congress of the United States, approved on March 4 of the present year, the President was authorized “to bestow, with appropriate ceremonies, military and civil, a Medal of Honour upon the unknown unidentified British soldier buried in Westmister Abbey.” The purpose of Congress was declared by the Act itself, in these words: “Animated by the same spirit of comradeship in which we of the American forces fought alongside of our Allies, we desire to add whatever we can to the imperishable glory won by the deeds of our Allies and commemorated in part by this tribute to their unknown dead.”

The Congressional Medal, as it is commonly termed because it is the only medal presented “in the name of Congress,” symbolizes the highest military honour that can be bestowed by the Government of the United States. It corresponds to the Victoria Cross and can be awarded only to an American warrior who achieves distinction “at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty.”

A special Act of Congress was required to permit the placing of it upon the tomb of a British soldier. The significance of this presentation, therefore, is twofold. It comprises, in addition to the highest military tribute, a message of fraternity direct from the American people, through their chosen representatives in Congress, to the people of the British Empire.

There were two soldiers. One was British. The other was American. They fought under different flags, but upon the same vast battlefield. Their incentives and ideals were identical. They were patriot warriors sworn to the defence and preservation of the countries which they loved beyond their own lives. Each realized that the downfall of his own free land would presage the destruction of all liberty. Both were conscious of the blessings that had flowed from the English Magna Charta and the American Constitution. Well they knew that the obliteration of either would involve the extinguishment of the other. So with consciences as clear as their eyes and with hearts as clean as their hands they could stand and did stand shoulder to shoulder in common battle for their common race and common cause.There was nothing singular, nothing peculiar, about them. They typified millions so like to themselves as to constitute a mighty host of undistinguishable fighting men of hardy stock. A tribute to either is a tribute to all.

Though different in rank, these two soldiers were as one in patriotism, in fidelity, in honour,and in courage. They were comrades in the roar of battle. They are comrades in the peace of this sacred place.

One, the soldier of the Empire, made the supreme sacrifice, and, to the glory of the country whose faith he kept, he lies at rest in this hallowed ground enshrined in grateful memory. The other, equally noble and equally beloved, is by my side. Both live and will ever live in the hearts of their countrymen.

What more fitting than that this soldier of the great Republic should place this rare and precious token of appreciation and affection of a hundred millions of kinsmen upon the tomb of his comrade, the soldier of the mighty Empire! Proudly and reverently, by authority of the Congress and the President, I call upon the General of the Armies of the United States, fifth only in line as the successor of Washington, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan, to bestow the Medal of Honour upon this typical British soldier who, though, alas! in common with thousands of others, “unknown and unidentified,” shall never be “unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.”

Then General Pershing said:

One cannot enter here and not feel an overpowering emotion in recalling the important events in the history of Great Britain that have shaped the progress of the nations. Distinguished men and women are here enshrined who, through the centuries, have unselfishly given their services and their lives to make that record glorious. As they pass in memory before us there is none whose deeds are more worthy, and none whose devotion inspires our admiration more, than this Unknown Warrior. He will always remain the symbol of the tremendous sacrifice by his people in the world’s greatest conflict.

It was he who, without hesitation, bared his breast against tyranny and injustice. It was he who suffered in the dark days of misfortune and disaster, but always with admirable loyalty and fortitude. Gathering new strength from the very force of his determination, he felt the flush of success without unseemly arrogance. In the moment of his victory, alas! we saw him fall in making the supreme gift to humanity. His was ever the courage of right, the confidence of justice. Mankind will continue to share his triumph, and with the passing years will come to strew fresh laurels over his grave.

As we solemnly gather about this sepulchre, the hearts of the American people join in this tribute to their English-speaking kinsman. Let us profit by the occasion, and under its inspiration pledge anew our trust in the God of our fathers, that He may guide and direct our faltering footsteps into paths of permanent peace. Let us resolve together, in friendship and in confidence, to maintain toward all peoples that Christian spirit that underlies the character of both nations.
And now, in this holy sanctuary, in the name of the President and the people of the United States, I place upon his tomb. the Medal of Honour conferred upon him by special Act of the American Congress, in commemoration of the sacrifices of our British comrade and his fellow-countrymen,and as a slight token of our gratitude and affection toward this people.

On the conclusion of his speech the Congressional Medal of Honour was handed by Admiral Niblack to General Pershing, who, stooping down, laid it on the grave, above the breast of the unknown hero beneath. Shining there, with its long ribbon of watered blue silk, it lay, a symbol of the past, a pledge for the future.

And General Pershing stood at the salute to his fallen comrade.

Which is entirely appropriate as well. As most of my American readers will be aware, any recipient of the Medal of Honor is entitled to be saluted first by all American service members.

[It should also be noted that on Armistice Day that year, by order of the King, the American Unknown Soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross. ]

There is considerably more, here is the link to the entire article from the Times, it is very moving.

After all the speeches and the award the congregation joined in singing

Thiis is as good a point in time as any to mark the point where Britain and the Commonwealth became more than allies, they became our cousins, of which relationship we are very proud.

It has been a very long century since that last quiet August weekend of the Edwardian Age. It has been filled far too often with the roar of the guns, and the rattle of musketry followed by the sounding of the Last Post. But the mission has been maintained, it will never be won, although we can and should pray that it will be less horrific going forward. But all around the world, freedom loving people have learned of the steadfast valor even unto death of English speaking soldiers, sailors, and airmen. We are proud of our part, yes. But we are equally proud to be your allies and friends.

 

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon

And in truth, there is an answer to the poem that leads this article

Oh! you who sleep in Flander’s Fields
Sleep sweet-to rise anew
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With all who died
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flander’s Fields
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught
We’ll teach the lesson that ye taught
In Flander’s Fields

‘In a droupnynge before the day’

So, it’s Halloween, that great introduction of our kids to begging, and when we remind ourselves how women like to be lusted after. Or something, like just plain fun. So how about a fall poem (scary, but not a Halloween one, really) from The Clerk of Oxford.

As I lay in winter’s night.
In a droupnynge before the day, [in uneasy sleep, before the dawn]
Methought I saw a selly sight, [marvellous vision]
A body, where it on bier lay,
That had been a comely knight,
And little served God to pay. [Who had done little to serve God]
Lost he had this life’s light;
The ghost was out and would away.
And when the ghost him should go,
It turned again, and yet with stood, [stood beside him]
Beheld the flesh where it came from,
So sorrowfully with dreary mood,
And said, ‘Alas and wailawo!
Thou fickle flesh, thou false bold,
Why liest thou now stinking so

That whilen were so wild and wood? [Who once was so wild and bold]

The ghost of the knight continues to address the body:

Thou that were wont to ride
So high on horse in and out,
So queynte a knight and kud so wide, [So skilful a knight, and so widely known]
As a lion fierce and proud,
Where is now all thy mickle pride,
And thy leete that was so loud? [?honour that was so loudly proclaimed]
Why liest thou there so bare thi syde, [naked]
Pricked in so poor a shroud? [wrapped]
Where be now all thy worthy weeds? [rich clothes]
Thy somers with thy bourliche bed? [packhorses with your noble bedding]
Thy palfreys and thy noble steeds,
That thou about in destre led? [which you led by the hand]
Thy falcons that were wont to grede, [call]
And thy greyhounds that thou fed?
Methinketh thy good is thee full gnede; [your possessions are very scanty now]
Now all thy friends be from thee fled.
Where be thy castles and thy towers?
Thy chambers and thy high hall,
That painted were with fair flowers,
And thy rich robes all?
Thy quiltes and thy covertoures, [expensive bedding and coverlets]
That sendel and that purple pall? [silks and rich fabrics]
Lo, wretch, where is now thy bower?
Tomorrow shalt thou therein fall.

Where be now all thy cooks snell, [skilled]
Who would dress thy meat
With rich spiceries for to smell,
That thou were greedy for to frete, [gobble up]
To make thy foul flesh to swell,
That now will foul worms eat?
And in the pot and pan of hell [with a pun with ‘pit and pain’]
With thy gluttony hast thou gete. [you’ve got yourself]

Thou wretch that in all thy sight
Were never of worldes wynne sad, [sated with any worldly pleasures]
Now hast thou neither land nor light,
But seven foot, and hardly that…
But tomorrow when it is day,
Out from kith and all thy kin
Bare shalt thou wend away.
And leave all this world’s wyn. [joy]
In proud palace though thou here lay,
With worms is now become thine inn; [dwelling-place]
Thy bower is built so cold in clay,
The roof to rest upon thy chin.

There’s more, and the Clerk will tell you all about it, here. A fascinating and terrifying vision which seems quite appropriate for the day.

Sleep well, and

 

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget to vote, or Nancy Pelosi may haunt your dreams for two years.

Hell in a Handcart

Steven Hayward over at PowerLine posted yesterday on how Europe is falling apart.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hanging on by her fingernails in Germany right now, as the backlash against migrants reached a critical mass in recent weeks. The cabinet minister who confronted Merkel and forced immigration concessions, Horst Seehofer of the “conservative” CSU party based chiefly in Bavaria, has seen his own poll ratings collapse in the aftermath of the political crisis. But this is just as likely to be the result of his not having gone far enough with his attempts to get Merkel to reverse course on her disastrous immigration policy. The supposedly Trumpian “Alternative for Germany” party is now expected to rack up big gains in upcoming regional elections. Merkel’s chances for survival in office don’t look very good at the moment.

Indeed so, and Britain is just as bad, as we spoke of yesterday. The Visegrad countries are in almost open revolt against Brussels, and this:

Meanwhile, this story from The Express in London:

‘Italy has caused a MELTDOWN’ 700,000 migrants waiting to cross into Europe from Libya

A BOTTLENECK of 700,000 migrants is waiting in Libya to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, the National Crime Agency has said. The number – greater than the population of Leicester – highlights the difficulties facing the EU in controlling migrants seeking a new life in Europe.

Senior members of the NCA, dubbed Britain’s FBI, revealed the figures as they detailed the increasingly tough battle they face to stop people smugglers. NCA directors warned of a sharp rise in attempted illegal sea crossings from Africa to Europe this year, with 300 people drowning last week.

Migrants are then crossing Europe and using increasingly devious ways to evade detection, including hiding in “coffin-sized” secret compartments in vehicles. . .

Tom Dowdall, NCA deputy director of organised immigration crime, said the problem was growing. Attempted crossings to Greece and Turkey are up by 47 per cent on last year, with those to Spain and Italy up by 75 per cent. They have not reached the peak levels of 2015, caused after Mrs Merkel made a controversial decision to open Germany’s borders and allow a million refugees in.

And the ‘Deep State’ is still attempting its coup against Donald Trump in the US. And as Steve notes, you’ve read almost nothing of this in this in the papers, which carry more propaganda that than the Völkischer Beobachter would have ever dared to. So what is going on?

Here what it looks like to me. The ‘New World Order’ is real. Oh, it may not be really organized, although parts may be, it’s a group of people with the same aim and methods, working to the same goals.

It’s the Deep State, the fake news media, the Democratic Party, the corporatist big businesses, and probably more in the US. It’s all the center-left parties, including the Tories, in Britain along with their media. The same across Europe.

But I think they’ve already lost. Brexit and Trump defeated them. Not on the battlefield, but because they brought to the fore men and women who will fearlessly tell the truth.

Men like President Trump, whose election forced them to move perhaps a generation early, and the rowdy Americans stifled the movement, with many thanks to the Constitution.

And men like Tommy Robinson, a hero who stands for the indigenous people of Britain, and quite a few others, in all our countries.

Where the Americans lead, others take heart, and follow. And thus, in one state after another, all across Europe, we see nationalists taking heart and defending against this new threat.

Well, it’s not really a new threat, it’s really the old order, one variety of feudalism or another.

Will we win? That remains to be seen. I’m reminded that the main character of Herman Wouk’s World War II romance, War and Remembrance, was at the Army-Navy club for the New Year’s Eve party on 31 December 1942. When asked how the war was going his comment was, “Plenty of hell behind us, and plenty more ahead of us.”

Churchill called the El Alamein, Midway, Guadalcanal, Stalingrad axis of victories The End of the Beginning. He was correct. Before we never won a battle, after these we never lost one. This is like that. What we have done so far is to identify (most of) the enemies of freedom and independence for all of us, now it remains to destroy them for another generation.

If you wondered why Trump commented that of his meetings in Europe this week, Putin may be the easiest, this is why. Putin puts Russia first, not some nebulous group like the EU. He’s a nationalist, as is Trump. That means that rational negotiations are possible. His goals are not our goals, but they are rational. Which is something that cannot be said of most of our opposition.

So, once again, perhaps exceptional America, allied with Britannia, our traditional, stubborn, quiet, Anglo-Saxon partner, may lead Europe to the broad sunlit uplands of freedom. The only promise is that we will give it our best shot. Otherwise, Yeats will be the herald of a new dark age.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

%d bloggers like this: