Sigh …

There are problems associated with being a card-carrying Republican – not, however, the kind of problem the Democrats and the media would (and do!) scream out loud about.

This is a problem of a different sort; money. Remember your Mama telling you not to feed that stray cat because it will bring all the other stray cats around and you’ll have a real mess? Not a pretty analogy, I agree, but something very similar happens when you make donations to Republicans running for office. The day the internet went down for 12 hours in my neighborhood, when I was finally able to access my email, I was confronted with 64 of them! 64! I don’t run a business, I can count my friends on one and a half hands, and I don’t have 64 outstanding orders with vendors. 62 of the emails were from Congressional and Senatorial hopefuls requesting money for their campaigns.

Ok; I get it. Fine. We want to get rid of Maxine Waters, we want to get rid of Chuckie Boy, and Pelosi needs a very extended vacation anywhere but here in America. AOC should be counting her reigning days, those two Muslim bimbos need to go back to whatever they were doing before they crawled out from under the rock and Kamala Harris should go find employment anywhere and any place other than in the US. So I support the various Republican candidates in those areas in what I hope is NOT a vain attempt to take control of the House of Representatives and maintain the Republican majority in the Senate. Just for the record, I’m not talking big bucks here, but over the course of a year, it tends to add up. Like tithes in church, you can’t buy heaven and you can’t buy Republican majority in either House; the mid-term elections proved that.

But geez Louise! Somebody has got to give it a break! The subject lines of these emails are so dark, so ‘end of the world’, I’m sometimes afraid to read them, fearing I’ll be told that President Trump is dead and Adam Gopher Face is president. They come from all over the United States! Minnesota? Utah? I live in Florida! But it’s all about us and them – we don’t like ‘them’ and we need to have more ‘us’ everywhere and you’d better contribute now or else OUR WORSE FEARS WILL COME TRUE! Jiminy Cricket! Really??? When I sit back and analyze it, I have to laugh. I’ve discovered that the further away the candidate is, the smaller the donation, lol! But I can feel assured knowing I’ve contributed to the improvement of America.

It just gets exhausting, deleting all those emails. My desk mouse gets hot, my right index finger gets tired, and even retired I have better things to do.

They continue to send. I continue to contribute. Rinse and Repeat.

Sigh …

Sunday Funnies; Liberate America

Interesting that some of my English friends, especially in the original rebel province, East Anglia, went out of their way to tell me how much they enjoyed yesterday’s video. Well, Norfolk is sort of a prototype for the great plains, and it always amuses me that we have many buildings here in Nebraska built to English specs. What’s that? No the control towers on many of our airports are of a Royal Air Force design, and the aircrew that trained there, well many of them went on to Norfolk, to help free Europe. Many are still in England and we’ll remember them this weekend.

Now that is a proper salad bar.

Hi Tina!

And, of course

Special bonus video from Audre

Sunday Funnies; Are We There Yet?

Farmer George is starting to sound rather reasonable, isn’t he?

 

 

And, of course

Cousins’ Wars

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Our last British flag and the flag raised on Jully 4th, 1776

Audre innocently opened up a big can of worms yesterday with her post about her friend and bringing up the Civil War. Is there anything in American history, more compelling than that war, its people and causes in American history? I don’t think so, from children to adults, even to American soldiers (with whom I have occasionally spent rewarding nights, and we were still going over eggs and beer for breakfast.

But the most amazing thing is that it often seems to affect the British the same way, even granting that Ken Burns is a most gifted storyteller. But why? Sure, it was important for both countries, but it’s deeper than that, so let’s back up a bit. My former co-blogger, Jessica, is English, well actually Welsh, and this post is one that talked about English speaking revolutions. I think it also has bearing on the present in both countries, as the same messages are stirring about.

So, to echo Audre, let’s see what you think.

Last spring in one of our posts commemorating the life of Maggie Thatcher, Jess said this:

Here I will raise hackles. Americans, being the product of a revolution, cannot be true conservatives. America owes its existence to a rebellion against lawfully constituted authority, so American and British Conservatism are bound to differ. Mrs Thatcher was, indeed, the closest Britain has produced to an American style Conservative, but she always was different to many in her party, and the fact that that is true today says nothing about her legacy and everything about the enduring deep-rootedness of native British Conservatism and its respect for the authority of the Crown.

Which didn’t sound quite right to me then, although I saw her point. It still doesn’t and today we’re going to talk about why, for maybe the very first time here, Jess was wrong. Not that we aren’t successors of revolutionaries, we are, and conservative ones at that. Lady Astor wasn’t all that far wrong when we said that the Revolution was fought by “British Americans against a German King for British ideals”.

The real problem with Jess’s statement is that so is she, every bit as much as we are. So if that means we can’t be true conservatives, neither can she, or any Briton.

Let’s work this out a bit.

The title comes from The Cousins’ Wars by Kevin Phillips, and I suspect this will turn into sort of an irregular series. A lot of what Phillips says is backed up by what Daniel Hannan, MEP says in his Inventing Freedom: How the English Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World, those are the sources for most of this. Both of which I recommend highly especially Inventing Freedom.

What we are positing here is that the English Civil War (including the quasi-legal regicide) with its follow-on of the Glorious Revolution had exactly the same cause (and for the most part sides) as the second English Civil war (the one we call the American Revolution) and even pretty much the same players and thinking animated the American Civil War. By the time William and Mary were given the throne, it was pretty obvious that the monarch was the creation of Parliament.

Cromwell’s support (as did he) came most strongly from the Eastern Association, centered in East Anglia, and the borderlands of England and Scotland, which were also strangely, or not, where most of the strongest Patriots in the Revolution came from. In fact, many of their ancestors had returned to England to fight with Cromwell. From East Anglia came the dissenters who made up the Congregationalists of New England, and from the borderlands came the Scots-Irish (as we call them) and especially the low church Anglicans of Virginia. In many cases, these were second sons of the lower aristocracy who would not be inheriting the family estates because of primogeniture. This pattern persisted down through the American Civil War as well, and is greatly important in seeing how America became Britain intensified.

And in truth, the Revolution divided England in very much the same manner as it did the colonies. Hannan tells us:

In 1775, William Pitt the Elder proposed to repeal every piece of legislation that the American Patriots had found objectionable, beginning with the Sugar Act, and to recognize the Continental Congress as, in effect, as an American parliament, coequal with Britain’s

This would have been, essentially, Commonwealth status, and it would very likely have been accepted.

Not to put too fine a point on it though, this battle has been the one that made the Anglosphere the preeminent supporter of liberty in the world. Nor was it a new fight in the seventeenth century either. Tacitus tells us, in Hannan’s words:

The primitive German tribes, he wrote, were in the habit of deciding their affairs through open air clan meetings. Their chiefs were not autocrats, but governors by consent Their rule rested on auctoritas (the ability to inspire) rather than postestas (the power to compel). Their peoples were not subjects but free and equal participants in the administration of their affairs.

Feudalism overcame this in the eleventh and twelfth centuries all over Europe, except in Great Britain, Switzerland, and parts of Scandinavia. Even in England, it was dealt a nearly mortal blow in 1066. The wonderful stories of charters (including Magna Charta), the Peasant’s Revolt (which was certainly misnamed because there were no peasants in England) and all the rest is the story of the recovery of ancient rights and principles.

The other thing that has always struck me is this: What the French call “les anglo-saxons”, which is all of the core (UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia), Anglosphere is different. In truth, for a great part we in the United States are wont to talk of “American Exceptionalism”, and it’s true enough. But a better term might be Anglosphere exceptionalism. Our revolutionaries have always operated on the old meaning of revolution, the one we use in engineering, to complete the revolution so that it is upright again. They have always been conservative, in American Constitutional terms: Originalist. Which is completely different from the French and Russian revolutions which sought to destroy the old order. We have always sought to restore.

And we still do

 

And yes, there will be several more of these, which are repeat posts from 2013 and 14. As we look over our parapets, or perhaps more cogently, peek between the drawn curtains in our house arrest, well such a life is both unEnglish and unAmerican,  and I doubt our peoples will submit very long, and any government that tries is very foolish, indeed.

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Speaking Softly while Carrying a Big Stick

The Big Stick

Conrad Black writing yesterday in American Greatness described how a great power acts. Let’s follow along.

It is not too soon to examine the shifting strategic balance in the world in the light of the unfolding coronavirus crisis and its economic and political consequences.

Though he gets little credit for it—even from his supporters, who tend not to be overly sophisticated foreign policy specialists—President Trump has carefully developed a subtle foreign policy. This policy is based on a definition of America’s interests that is not adventurously overstretched like Lyndon Johnson’s plunge into the ground war in Vietnam or George W. Bush’s energetic support for democracy—even in places like Gaza, Lebanon, and eventually, Egypt, that had little aptitude for it and democratically elected anti-democratic politicians. Nor is Trump’s foreign policy the wavering pacifism and overly earnest pursuit of adversaries as President Obama attempted with Iran.

Trump has revived the concept of nuclear non-proliferation in the case of untrustworthy states (Iran and North Korea) and has left local disputes to be worked out locally, where it wasn’t practical for the United States to maintain force levels adequate to prevail over local balances.

Rather another case of ‘threading the needle’ neither the Charybdis of intervening where we have little or no interest (perhaps beyond those who believe in the ‘forever wars’ that have so disenchanted the American people) and the Scylla of isolationism, which would negate any interest of the United States (and the Western Civilization that we revere). It’s not an easy task as many British diplomats in the 19th and early 20th centuries would attest.

This is how a sensible Great Power maintains its influence, by defending what is important, ignoring what isn’t, avoiding unnecessary confrontations, and sorting out abrasions without humiliating anyone—except where serious provocations require disproportionate responses, as in the execution of Iranian Quds Force  General Qasem Soleimani earlier this year.

Franklin D. Roosevelt concluded that an American presence was required in Western Europe and the Far East to prevent those key regions getting into the hands of enemies of this hemisphere. The resulting policy of “containment” was devised by Roosevelt’s strategic team and executed by President Truman and his successors and imaginatively refined on two occasions. Richard Nixon triangulated Great Power arrangements with his opening of relations with China, and Ronald Reagan pushed to build a comprehensive high-altitude, laser-based, missile defense system which implicitly threatened to undermine the entire Soviet nuclear deterrent capability. The combination of Chinese diplomatic and high-technology military pressure caused the peaceful disintegration of the Soviet Union.

You will, of course, remember that at Reykjavik, Gorbachev offered to put the whole Soviet missile inventory on the table to get the SDI removed. Reagan said no, knowing it was a war winner, and it was, even the American threat to deploy it was.

And now comes China:

China is becoming technologically and commercially skilled, but it has very few resources. A chronically overaged population is developing after their insane “one-child policy,” and the Chinese are extremely vulnerable to American pressure, both on tariffs and in America’s ability to encourage official Taiwanese separation. Despite its swashbuckling, China is in no position to challenge the United States for mastery in the world’s sea lanes, and China’s neighbors look to America for encouragement. Trump has given it to Japan, India, and others, quietly. Like Japan before World War II, which was importing 85 percent of its oil from the United States while it invaded China and Indochina, China today would be severely compromised if the United States blocked its ability to dump goods in sophisticated markets.

In economic as in other matters, the United States is able to outbid almost any country for the goodwill of a third party, as is demonstrated by the Europeans’ accommodation to American sanctions on Iran, which they opposed.

China is the enemy in what is shaping up to be the new cold war and another one that could go hot. The US Marine Corps is already reconfiguring itself away from the small war ethos that has dominated since the Clinton years toward a maritime-based policy design to cripple China, which is very dependent on its unfair trade practices, a fact exacerbated by the Chinese flu and especially the cover-up perpetrated by the CCP. The US, however, if we can recover our balance, and increasingly it looks as if the people have taken over that problem (Time to go back to work) that will happen. As Trump’s ad said this week, we did it before and we can do it again, and if western civilization is going to survive we have to.

 

And we would be wise to remember some words of Adali Stevenson:

Communism is the death of the soul. It is the organization of total conformity – in short, of tyranny – and it is committed to making tyranny universal.

As an afterthought, I note that the US-UK trade talks started yesterday, once again there is hope that it may again be as Maggie Thatcher observed…

During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it.

Drowning Leviathan

In yesterday’s American Spectator, Donald Devine notes in an important article that:

The government’s Washington Post command center recently used its powerful front page to announce that big government was back.

Post chief political correspondent Dan Balz explained that the coronavirus crisis has changed everything. “The role of government has changed overnight.” It represents the “biggest expansion of government authority in generations,” a transformation supported by both political parties. Although his support for the expansion was clear, Balz conceded a “huge debate” is still to come where the

battle will be waged on terms that could be far different from those before the pandemic — terms that have held sway since President Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington four decades ago determined to put advocates of a vigorous government on the defensive for the first time since the New Deal.

Yeah, no. What bat flu has shown up is just how useless the federal government is.

[T]he coronavirus pandemic was fought almost entirely at the state level. Why? The states and especially local governments have millions of health employees to fight a pandemic while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a few hundred. The private sector contributed even more personnel millions to fight the pandemic. Rather than fighting social problems with the usual soothing political platitudes and media bromides, the pandemic reality required actual resources to do the work.

In short, the virus came at us in the usual way, and in most of the country, we defeated it in the old usual American way. With a team of local and state officials backed by the private sector, working around (however they could) the blockades and impediments imposed by the federal government. The big-government advocates a limned in New York and California, Illinois, and Michigan, have cost their citizens millions, if not billions in terms of income, they have cost many of their elderly their lives, and they have substantially tried to reduce the freedom of Americans.

There will be no debate, the left will scream and shout their lies, along with the deep state, and Americans will remember the definition of an expert, A failure, with a degree, hiding in the bureaucracy, almost always doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to the wrong people.

First, President Trump resuscitated a law to override his predecessor’s new regulations and then began systematically lifting regulatory burdens administratively across the board, producing the longest economic recovery in history with the lowest unemployment. In the face of businesses closings for the pandemic, the Administration then proposed an across the board further loosening of government restrictions on labor relations, workplace safety, the environment, and healthcare rather than advancing more big government.

That’s worth a thought. Can you imagine how desperate we would be if this had happened before 20 January 2017? We’ve had three years of phenomenal growth to cushion the shock of the damage done to us, by China, seemingly spending American money, to try to dominate the world. And the “elite experts’ really think we’re going to let them run rampant now.

There are a few presidents who have effected history substantially, Washington, Lincoln, Coolidge, Reagan, and now Trump. There are also several presidents who have inflicted substantial damage on the country, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Johanson, and Carter.

The American people are pretty pragmatic, overall, we tend to back winners and delete losers, has that changed? I doubt it. But it never happens without struggle, and this one will be an epic, as we attempt to roll back an entire century of regression.

Hopefully, I’m wrong, but it never hurts to: Buy more Ammo.

Freedom is a precious thing, and we have ripped the mask off the big state’s advocates, they stand opposed to the freedom of the people. Lincoln said it well (as usual):

We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”

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