Happy (Belated ) Birthday, Uncle Billy

shermanDay late and a dollar short, as usual for me. Yesterday was Uncle Billy Sherman’s birthday. While I missed it, I suspect he would have approved of my post.

Arguably, Uncle Billy is the man who won the Civil War, although he needed cover from Grant in the Army. But the people that admired his work is telling. Patton, Guderian, Rommel, Churchill, Liddel-Hart, Fuller, and many others that I can’t remember.

When he went ‘Marching through Georgia’ he epitomized something he really believed. When one goes to war, one must either “Go Roman or go home”. It’s a lesson our leadership has forgotten since 1945. But it is the cheapest way to fight a war, in blood and treasure and it also means you’ll fight fewer wars because not many are going to be keen to take you on.

He’s quite famous for a speech he made where he said this:

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

He also said this:

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

And this

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Overall, a pretty good description of American war fighting, and why I think he would approve of yesterday’s article.

My friend, Schaefferhistorian has a bit more on Sherman:

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.

via Happy Birthday Uncle Billy | Practically Historical

In other news, there are a couple of pretty good videos out this week, so let’s have a look. First from Whittle and company.

And this from Melanie Phillips, I also like

Perhaps we should end with another couple of quotes from Uncle Billy which seems appropriate for the times

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts.

I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

Seems familiar, somehow. But he also had the solution for us.

 

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself.

If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.

The Anglo-Saxons are Awake!

w1056-5Blaming the responsible

 

And yes, they are fundamentally unserious

 

 

Steve Hayward took a look at the beginning of the Berkely riots. Here is what he saw

Berkeley still has rent control, but it hasn’t stopped Milo Yiannapoulos from living rent-free in the heads of the left. So in another triumph for his ironic performance art, a mini-riot has forced the cancelation of his speech here tonight. I turned up for the beginning of the protest at 5 pm, and it was pretty silly sounding and unimpressive. But I noticed there were TV helicopters circling around above the university, and then I started noticing the professional rioters starting to infiltrate. They were obvious for wearing black apparel an having their faces covered in bandanas or something. There were a lot of people on the periphery talking on their cell phones in what looked like a purposeful way. So I thought the better part of valor was to withdraw from the scene.

Pardon me, but that sounds very much like the professional rioters colluded with the news media, in a planned riot. Is it so? I don’t know, but an investigation wouldn’t hurt.

At the Cologne meeting of European Nationalists, Marine le Pen, who is leading in the French polls, really brought it. The line that stands out for me, is this: “The Anglo-Saxons are Awake! The Continent Is Next!”

 

It’s going to be a very interesting year.

 

The Hysterical Left, and Neil Gorsuch

w1056-4I seem to have developed some form of flu. It’s rather distracting, so a short one today.

In any case, I think Melanie is on to quite a lot here. It was an instructive year, as I watched (and participated in) as Britain discovered the words of the American founders to urge on the Brexit forces, and then, in turn, support us as we elected Trump. It was indeed an Anglosphere effort.

 

I too was moved when Mrs. May said in Philadelphia what is so often said here. Britain (and especially England) and America have built the modern world in all its freedom. And what we are hearing now is what can only be described in Hollywood terms, “To crush your enemies — See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!”

It’s not over, not by a long shot, but I think, on both sides of the pond, we have turned a corner, and at last conservatives are fighting back, not merely better managing the decline.

And yes, there is something about that English accent. At least for this American guy. 🙂

[Added] And speaking of Mrs. May, question time in the House was quite a scene. She increasingly reminds me of Maggie Thatcher (and that is the highest praise I can offer a British Prime Minister).


c3h1m-kvuae7_imThen there is the news we have been waiting, Trumps first pick for the Supreme Court. Well, one problem with Trump is overuse of superlatives, but Gorsuch is simply awesome. Probably as good as Scalia, and in some areas perhaps even better. As near as I can tell (not my field) there simply is no downside to him, heck he even looks the part. I can’t see the hook the Democrats can use to derail this, other than hysteria, of course. But I think America has had just about enough of that nonsense, and 2018 is coming. Here’s a sample from Judge Gorsuch.

…judges should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfect- ly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be— not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best. As Justice Scalia put it, “[i]f you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the con- clusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong.”

For a lot of us, the Supreme Court had a lot to do with who we voted for, for President. I think our trust has been repaid. And since he’s only about 50, he may well be there for almost a generation. If so, he’ll do much to secure our legacy.

 

The Jacksonian Revolt

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

We’ve said here often that most Europeans simply misunderstand Americans. That is true, and it is also true that Britons do better than most at understanding us, which is reasonable, given that we sprang as a nation from Brittania’s brow.

Walter Russel Mead undertook in Foreign Affairs to explain how Trump arose. I think he gets it pretty much right, and understanding it may well be fundamental going forward. (I think this is a free article, at least it came that way to me.)

American Populism and the Liberal Order

[F]or the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises ahead. But not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

Since World War II, U.S. grand strategy has been shaped by two major schools of thought, both focused on achieving a stable international system with the United States at the center. Hamiltonians believed that it was in the American interest for the United States to replace the United Kingdom as “the gyroscope of world order,” in the words of President Woodrow Wilson’s adviser Edward House during World War I, putting the financial and security architecture in place for a reviving global economy after World War II—something that would both contain the Soviet Union and advance U.S. interests. When the Soviet Union fell, Hamiltonians responded by doubling down on the creation of a global liberal order, understood primarily in economic terms.

Wilsonians, meanwhile, also believed that the creation of a global liberal order was a vital U.S. interest, but they conceived of it in terms of values rather than economics. Seeing corrupt and authoritarian regimes abroad as a leading cause of conflict and violence, Wilsonians sought peace through the promotion of human rights, democratic governance, and the rule of law. In the later stages of the Cold War, one branch of this camp, liberal institutionalists, focused on the promotion of international institutions and ever-closer global integration, while another branch, neoconservatives, believed that a liberal agenda could best be advanced through Washington’s unilateral efforts (or in voluntary conjunction with like-minded partners).

The disputes between and among these factions were intense and consequential, but they took place within a common commitment to a common project of global order. As that project came under increasing strain in recent decades, however, the unquestioned grip of the globalists on U.S. foreign policy thinking began to loosen. More nationalist, less globally minded voices began to be heard, and a public increasingly disenchanted with what it saw as the costly failures the global order-building project began to challenge what the foreign policy establishment was preaching. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian schools of thought, prominent before World War II but out of favor during the heyday of the liberal order, have come back with a vengeance.

Jeffersonians, including today’s so-called realists, argue that reducing the United States’ global profile would reduce the costs and risks of foreign policy. They seek to define U.S. interests narrowly and advance them in the safest and most economical ways. Libertarians take this proposition to its limits and find allies among many on the left who oppose interventionism, want to cut military spending, and favor redeploying the government’s efforts and resources at home. Both Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas seemed to think that they could surf the rising tide of Jeffersonian thinking during the Republican presidential primary. But Donald Trump sensed something that his political rivals failed to grasp: that the truly surging force in American politics wasn’t Jeffersonian minimalism. It was Jacksonian populist nationalism.

IDENTITY POLITICS BITE BACK

The distinctively American populism Trump espouses is rooted in the thought and culture of the country’s first populist president, Andrew Jackson. For Jacksonians—who formed the core of Trump’s passionately supportive base—the United States is not a political entity created and defined by a set of intellectual propositions rooted in the Enlightenment and oriented toward the fulfillment of a universal mission. Rather, it is the nation-state of the American people, and its chief business lies at home. Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, or even as a function of a unique American vocation to transform the world, but rather as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens. The role of the U.S. government, Jacksonians believe, is to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the physical security and economic well-being of the American people in their national home—and to do that while interfering as little as possible with the individual freedom that makes the country unique. 

Jacksonian populism is only intermittently concerned with foreign policy, and indeed it is only intermittently engaged with politics more generally. It took a particular combination of forces and trends to mobilize it this election cycle, and most of those were domestically focused. In seeking to explain the Jacksonian surge, commentators have looked to factors such as wage stagnation, the loss of good jobs for unskilled workers, the hollowing out of civic life, a rise in drug use—conditions many associate with life in blighted inner cities that have spread across much of the country. But this is a partial and incomplete view. Identity and culture have historically played a major role in American politics, and 2016 was no exception. Jacksonian America felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat. Trump—flawed as many Jacksonians themselves believed him to be—seemed the only candidate willing to help fight for its survival.

Not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

For Jacksonian America, certain events galvanize intense interest and political engagement, however brief. One of these is war; when an enemy attacks, Jacksonians spring to the country’s defense. The most powerful driver of Jacksonian political engagement in domestic politics, similarly, is the perception that Jacksonians are being attacked by internal enemies, such as an elite cabal or immigrants from different backgrounds. Jacksonians worry about the U.S. government being taken over by malevolent forces bent on transforming the United States’ essential character. They are not obsessed with corruption, seeing it as an ineradicable part of politics. But they care deeply about what they see as perversion—when politicians try to use the government to oppress the people rather than protect them. And that is what many Jacksonians came to feel was happening in recent years, with powerful forces in the American elite, including the political establishments of both major parties, in cahoots against them.

Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.

via The Jacksonian Revolt | Foreign Affairs There is quite a lot more, all of it valuable. It is essential if you would know why America elected Donald Trump President.

How we Got Trump

1776Mollie Hemingway wrote yesterday in The Federalist about Saying People Can’t Say ‘This Is Why Trump Won’ Is Why Trump Won.

See, one of the reasons tens of millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton was that they were sick of this type of media bullying. But you’re not supposed to point out that BuzzFeed and their ilk’s behavior contributed to Trump’s victory.

Remember when Meryl Street gave her sermon at the Golden Globes about how awful Trump is? Liberals, and that includes many in the media, absolutely loved it. CNN put out a “breaking news” alert that she had torn into Trump. Conservatives tended not to love it so much. I panned it for its inaccuracy, the lack of empathy it supposedly called for, and general cluelessness.

Yep, and she’s right: That’s why you got Trump.

But there’s nothing whatever new about it, it’s ancient folk wisdom in our countries, and rings through our joint and several histories, all the way back to 1066, at least. Here’s our Kipling put it.

THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

The Bible puts it slightly differently when it says “Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” It will happen every time, and it has. Go ask King John, or Charles I, or Napoleon, or Hitler. The Anglo-Saxons are dangerous enemies. And yes, both in England and America, for with our heritage many of us also imbibed many of the characteristics of our Mother Country. Kipling again.

1776

after
The  snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
The ice on the Delaware,
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
They neither know nor care.

Not though the earliest primrose break
On the sunny side of the lane,
And scuffling rookeries awake
Their England’ s spring again.

They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
Or the ice melts out of the bay:
And the men that served with Washington
Lie all as still as they.

They will  not  stir  though  the mayflower blows
In the moist dark woods of pine,
And every rock-strewn pasture shows
Mullein and columbine.

Each for his land, in a fair fight,
Encountered strove, and died,
And the kindly earth that knows no spite
Covers them side by side.

She is too busy to think of war;
She has all the world to make gay;
And,  behold, the yearly flowers are
Where they were in our fathers’ day!

Golden-rod by the pasture-wall
When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
Bright as the blood they shed.

Jess wrote long ago:

It was a brothers’ war, and when it was over they bore no real ill-will and became friends and allies.

They could do that because of a shared love of freedom and the same concept of justice. There was no need to ask what culture was, and those uncounted millions who found in the New World a haven, embraced those values – so much so that people took them for granted – they were surely universal.

They were, and they are for us and ours, on both sides of the pond. Which is why we tend to look on with amusement at the loons here, and there, and then get on with business. But there are limits to that.

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

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

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

The Normans learned this, pretty fast, and it worked out OK. But these fools remind me of Louis XVI. They have remembered nothing and forgotten nothing. I fear they will come to a bad end.

Trump’s Immigration Order ≠ Hitler

From Bookworm Room

From Bookworm Room

From Bookworm Room. Long and well worth your time.

The Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed are having a collective mental collapse in response to President Trump’s new immigration order. Typically, their behavior is predicated, not upon actual facts, but upon media propaganda and their own factual and historic ignorance. This post will rebut the worst, most misleading of these arguments, which is the claim Jews and all other decent people must accept unlimited refugees from Muslim countries because Hitler.

My Facebook feed is being inundated with the fallacy holding that, unless we allow unlimited immigration from those seven terrorist-fomenting Muslim countries, we’re no better than America in the late 1930s, when it refused to allow in Jewish refugees, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. [My Twitter feed as well. Neo]

Most especially, because I am a Jew, the Progressives insist I should be on the front-line in the war against the immigration order, screaming “Stop! Don’t take any of these people in the country.” This is a morally evil argument predicated upon ignorance and misrepresentation. […]

We have to begin by remembering who the Jews were and what they were facing:

The Jews were a Europeanized people tied to the same Biblical morality and cultural tradition as America’s Christian majority. As was true for Americans, Jews abided by the Ten Commandments — unsurprising, given that it was Jews who introduced those same commandments to the Christians. As Dennis Prager has explained in his excellent Ten Commandments series of videos, these Commandments serve as the basis for a high functioning, safe, moral community.

The Jews were highly literate and the ones from Western Europe had advanced professional skills that meshed well with and, indeed, added to the American skill set. Many were as, if not more, sophisticated than the majority of Americans.

Most importantly, their grounding in Torah meant that they were exceptionally law-abiding. Not only do the vast majority play by general rules governing good citizenship, they never engaged in rape as a means of conquest, honor killing, genital mutilation, systemic discrimination, or genocidal ideology. Taking them into America would not have affected American values, nor would it have put American citizens at risk of mass rape, female mutilation, torture, or murder on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, or sexual orientation.

The Jews were also on the receiving end of an utterly unprecedented, completely aberrant, attempt in the modern era to destroy an entire race of people. Europe, of course, had always practiced a deadly antisemitism, but it was sort of like an endemic disease: It appeared randomly, it never killed everyone, and the disease’s victims (i.e., the Jews) had learned to adapt to it.  They survived and, in Enlightenment Europe, they even thrived.

Hitler’s approach was entirely different. It wasn’t an endemic problem. It was, instead, a pandemic disease that had a 100% mortality rate for Jews. Even worse for those poor Jews, there were no contiguous nations immune to the disease. While righteous individuals in those nations took a stand, most of them eagerly embraced the sickness.

Another notable fact about the Jewish refugees was that they were women and children (think of the few thousand children whose lives were saved by the Kindertransport). Young men were not overly represented. Instead, applications involving older men came from intact families with men who were no longer of fighting age (rather like the highly cultured, peaceful family of Otto Frank, father to Anne).

Now let’s look at the Muslims who Progressives insist are analogous to the Jews:

Middle Eastern Muslims, especially the ones from the list of terrorist-promoting countries (a list Obama’s team compiled) are not people who share America’s Biblical morality and cultural traditions. Indeed, their mores are often the complete opposite of ours. As foolish Europeans have already discovered, the citizens from Muslim countries such as those on the Trump list come from cultures that aggressively advocate mass rape, pedophilia, honor killings, genital mutilation, the erasure of women through veils and sequestering, the slaughter of gays, and discrimination (often murderous) against other faiths, especially Judaism.

Regarding that last point, do remember that Muslims aren’t shy about their hatred for Jews. After the Jews refused to recognize Mohamed as their prophet he, in a remarkably un-saint-like way, got petty. He began by denigrating Jews and, as his wounded ego festered, began to demand their deaths.

via Trump’s immigration order does not mark the second coming of Hitler Go and read it all, I’ll wait.

OK, got all that? She’s right you know, completely and utterly right. She also says this.

Oh, and speaking of those wealthy countries, they border the lands from which the refugees come, they share the refugees’ culture, and they have significant space and resources for handling refugees. In other words, unlike the Jews during the 1930s and 1940s, there are contiguous nations that ought to be perfect refuges for those suffering in Syria from the war, or those suffering elsewhere from the burden of their own culture.

It’s worth noting that all these wealthy Muslim countries refuse to touch with a ten-foot pole their Muslim compatriots from countries on the terror-sponsoring list. They know, as Europe is learning, that while Saudi Arab and Qatar and Kuwait have exerted some control on Islam’s worst impulses, the incoming refugees will wreak havoc with and destroy their fragile, wealth-driven stability.  Put another way, people who are religiously wedded to hatred and ignorance, many of whom are illiterate as well, are not good immigrants, and that’s true even if they travel to countries that share with them a slightly more civilized (or at least tightly controlled) version of their culture. […]

When your Progressive friends get all shrill and weepy about the fact that President Trump, using terrorist data from the Obama administration, has put a 90-day hold on the influx of dangerous people from a perpetually hate-filled, ignorant, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu part of the world, in order to come up with immigration systems that can more readily separate the more violent immigrants from the ordinary lumpen mass of people steeped in medieval hatred, comfort yourself with the thought that Trump is on the side of morality and wisdom. A President’s first job is to protect Americans. This is not the same as shutting our eyes while people die abroad. This is a sober, compassionate evaluation that says we cannot save others if we cannot first save ourselves.

In contrast, the Progressives are, as always, completely ignorant. Moreover, as always, they unable to separate the more serious, substantive facts from their complete reliance on emotionally manipulative, extremely shallow, propaganda pictures and headlines. Getting our policy ideas from the Left is a sure recipe for national disaster.

Oh, one more thing:  For a clear-eyed view of just how reasonable Trump’s policy is, and how consistent it is with American policy both before and during the Obama era, you must read David French’s analysis of the new policy. Keep in mind as you read it that French is not a Trump fan, so this is not a blind, slobbering love letter.

Emphasis mine.

The Constitution says this:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 2, Section 1 says this:

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. …

Article 2, Section 2 says this

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments,….

Article 2, Section 3 says this

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

Got that? We, the people of the United States (yes, that means the citizens, and perhaps legal aliens) commissioned the President, currently Donald Trump, to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, of these United States.

We did not elect him to please a bunch of Progressives whose every utterance is a denial of the above words, of the German Chancellor, of the Iranian Mullahs, or even a bunch of British luvvies. His job is to defend us, the people of the United States, in the words of the oath that every other American official (as well as naturalized citizen) takes, “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” While preserving our liberties, not anybody else’s. It may be and often is, “necessary and expedient” to preserve other people’s as well. That is why we fought Hitler, as well as Japan, but it is not mandated.

It is certainly beyond (and contrary to) his commission to aid and abet the importation of possible terrorists (of any kind, but Islamic at this point) into America.

Clear enough?

I thought so.

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