Sunday Funnies; Narwhal Tusks and Impeachment

Another week nearly beyond description, but we’ll try

There are still, I guess, Democrats who want to be president, but they have it wrong, we usually don’t elect the most stupid candidate. 2d most maybe, but not the most.

I can’t really blame Nancy Pelosi for running away from reality last week though.

Die Hard Advent Calendar

And, of course:

Or maybe this suits this audience better

How about an advent special?

Putin, Trump, and the EU

Like I said yesterday in comments, I’m bored with the impeachment follies, it’s bullshit and it’s going nowhere, although it may well give President Trump a landslide victory, and that very fact may allow reasonable Democrats to get control of their party. But don’t hold your breath on that either. We’ll come back to it, sadly, when there is something to talk about.

Meantime, it does us no harm to look out over the parapet and see what’s going on in the world. So today, there is an excellent (I think) assessment of Putin by Areg Galstyan at American Thinker. Let’s have a look…

Vladimir Putin has ruled the country since 2000, and over these 19 years, influence groups around him have been fighting each other for a special position and status. Unlike most of his associates, Putin is indeed an ideologically motivated leader who perceives himself not just as a politician and an official, but as a sovereign, such as Peter the Great and Alexander III — the beloved emperors of the current Russian leader.

One of my blogfriends, a Briton living in Siberia, categorically states he is also a Christian, that may be so or it may not be, but he undeniably supports the Russian Orthodox Church, whether out of conviction or statecraft doesn’t really matter. Interesting that Putin and Trump, the two largest nationalist leaders, also profess as Christians, not many others do, as they attend St. Mattress almost every Sunday.

The new ideology that is called Putinism is uniting principles and foundations that have remained unchanged throughout all the historical stages of the development of Russia. Its foundation is the concept of National Democracy. It implies that the process of democratization and the formation of an active civil society is inevitable but it should not be carried out according to any foreign model. The Russian nation, like any other, has its civilizational, social, and cultural features. Today, 190 peoples live in Russia, and most of them retain their language, traditions, and mentality. From this point of view, Moscow is always under the permanent threat of external forces using any interethnic disagreements for their purposes. If, for example, a political decision was made to allow same-sex “marriage” in the deeply conservative regions of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, and Siberia, riots would begin. And they would lead to the most unpredictable consequences. For a large part of the progressive West, this may sound wild. Yet for Russia, it is a matter of national security.

It is important to understand that Russia is not limited to Moscow or Saint Petersburg. These cities, like any major megalopolises, are centers of the dominance of progressive and liberal ideas. No one will argue with the fact that the United States does not begin and end in New York and California; there are also Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and other states. The victory of Donald Trump vividly demonstrated that it was conditional Texas and Kentucky that were the heart of America, not Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The situation is similar in Russia: Putin is guided by the mood of the regional majority, not the liberal minority of the capital. There are a lot of sensitive problems, and any Russian ruler has to maintain internal balance in order to keep the country’s physical integrity. This is an extremely difficult task. At certain periods of time, Emperor Nicholas II, and then the last general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, did not cope with this task. This resulted in the collapse of the Russian Empire and the USSR, respectively. Thus, the essence of Sovereign or National Democracy is in a banal formula: everything has its time. In other words, Putinism advocates an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary model of development.

There is quite a bit more, all of it good.

My takeaway is this, I don’t think Russia is much of a threat to the US. It is a big European/Asian power, yes, and it could do serious harm to the US, but why. The converse is equally true, and I don’t hear any American thinking we should destroy Russia.

We compete yes, especially for oil sales. As an aside, last month for the first time in 70 years we became a net exporter. But providing Germany’s fossil fuel doesn’t translate to a justification for war.

A key point is this, our interests are in fact, while not identical, similar, and until the 1917 revolution, Russia was (more or less) our friend, as much as any great power (saving only Britain) was or is. We pretty much know now (and probably should have before) that a lot of the Washington swamp hasn’t gotten the memo that the cold war is over. I’d guess that there is a similar cabal in the Kremlin. If for no other reason than its good for the arms manufacturers, and their subsidiaries in Washington and Moscow.

But we’re both interested in suppressing terrorism, especially after our ‘experts’ made the mid-east so much worse. And frankly, it is not really in either of our interests to encourage the Chinese, let alone the North Koreans.

NATO was formed 70 years ago to “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. It has done well on the first two, and after the failure of the Soviet Union pretty much failed on the last. That will I suspect have consequences as Europe returns to be the cockpit of internecine conflict. The EU will implode, probably in this decade, and then the great game will restart as the Germans once more try to form a European Empire. In truth, the EU itself is an attempt by Germany to form an empire by economic means rather than military, that is why Macron’s nose is so out of joint.

If as the linked author says, Putin believes in Westphalia, Vienna, and Potsdam and Yalta, then he is pretty much the Russian form of Trump. And as we know, now if we didn’t before we elected him, he’s not out looking around for wars to wage. I doubt Putin is either. Both have better things to do for their countries.

And I think it entirely possible that Putin is more trustworthy than either Macron or Merkel, let alone this new German running the EU.

Leadership in the News

Thanksgiving week is always a bit strange, and this year is no exception. I think today we’ll cover some stories that we missed in the last few days since they have some serious repercussions.

First, those amazing Hong Kongers managed to turn an election for essentially dogcatcher, in the American idiom, into a Chinese regime shaking moment that gave the lie to the entire Chicom propaganda effort. As Claudia Rossett writes for PJ Media

Their Finest Hour.

And she’s right, it’s a moment of English speaking history to stand with Agincourt, with Lexington and Concord, and with Churchill’s vaunted Few. All those, just like Hong Kong’s stand were very marginal efforts with long odds against tyranny. It’s what we do, or at least what we used to do. The rest of us need to be worthy of the Hong Kongers.

The Secretary of the Navy got fired last weekend, and it was decidedly for cause. The Colonel explains at Townhall.

Here’s what happened. The president used his constitutional prerogative to pardon or otherwise restore the rank of three accused military personnel, which some of us in the military community had mixed feelings about but which some flag officers vehemently opposed. The most clearly correct action was the restoration of the rank of SEAL Eddie Gallagher. His shameful prosecution had been replete with JAG misconduct, including the mind boggling decision of the prosecutors to electronically spy on defense attorneys. Beyond this outrage – and I note, incredulously, that apparently no one was prosecuted for doing it[…]

There’s more, he explains the situation very clearly. He also explains how command works.

In any case, the president was unequivocal about what he wanted, and this pipsqueak admiral publicly defied and disrespected him. Then Trump tweeted that it was not going to happen. What should have happened is the Chief of Naval Operations should have picked up the phone breathing fire, but he didn’t, and it got worse. Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, Chief of Information, issued a statement reading:

“The Navy follows the lawful orders of the President. We will do so in case of an order to stop the administrative review of SOC Gallagher’s professional qualification. We are aware of the President’s tweet and we are awaiting further guidance.”

At the same time, according to NPR, the Navy pressed on with its administrative review of Gallagher’s status.

This is intolerable.

Fire them all.

Indeed so, in fact to this old fashioned guy, the term “Conduct unbecoming to good order and discipline” comes to mind. Maybe court-martial them first and retire them as an E1.

I’m pretty easy going as a boss, but if you tried that on me, you’d be walking back to town, on your own freaking time. Simply not tolerable.

The Babylon Bee

And speaking of talking out of both sides of your mouth, have you been keeping up with Chik-fil-A? Robert Gagnon at The Federalist has.

“I picked up the phone and called Dan Cathy. Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community,” [Rev Franklin] Graham said. “They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change.”

Yeah, Bullshit.

‘There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,’ Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said in an interview with Bisnow. ‘There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A [critical of our support of anti-gay-marriage charities], and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.’ … Future partners could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities, but the company said none of the organizations have anti-LGBT positions. … After years of ‘taking it on the chin,’ as a Chick-fil-A executive told Bisnow, the latest round of headlines was impossible to ignore. This time, it was impeding the company’s growth.

That is not what Dan Cathy has been saying all these years. Either they’ve changed or they’ve been lying to us for a decade, while we social conservatives made them the third-largest restaurant chain in America. Which is it?

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was quite right in his comment on this interview: “Chick-fil-A didn’t just switch their giving practices, they broadcasted it. They made a conscious choice to draw attention to this very public divorce from two Bible-believing charities. And then, in a calculated move, announced their support was going to an organization that, on its website, openly and proudly supports everything about the LGBT community.” […]

Compromise has been going on for a while. It is just now getting more blatant. Back in 2015, Chick-fil-A was listed as a sponsor for an LGBT film festival. By 2011, CFA had stopped giving to LGBT bullies’ big-target organizations, such as Family Research CouncilExodus International, and Eagle Forum, in an obvious effort to mollify critics.

Chick-fil-A had a record $3 billion in earnings for 2018. Apparently, that was not enough. What does one call prostituting one’s values for the sake of still more money and more social approval, dumping one’s loyal lover in the process?

I can tell you what Old Testament prophets would have said: Chick-fil-A is now officially a greedy and cowardly corporate whore, like nearly all other large corporations. Its betrayal now is worse than if it had started out with such an MO. It would have been better if it had never existed.

That’s the thing about God, isn’t it? He doesn’t brook much bullshit. It’s possible, I suppose, that Chik-fil-A has a communication problem similar to the one we talked about above in the Navy. Then Cathy needs to fire that chain of command and fix it.

Meantime, I prefer honest whores. So Chik-fil-A won’t be getting my money. In addition, it is a living demonstration that “When you pay the Dane, you never get rid of the Dane”.

Dies Irae

Do you guys listen to (or play) classical music? That’s my normal fare, to listen to, and yes, I used to play some of it, although as a brass player, marches were more my style. One composer that I have always liked rather a lot is Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff. He came along pretty late in the Romantic period, a Russian who ended up escaping to the United States, and there are clues in the music. He was also an Orthodox Christian which perhaps matters as well.

Anthony J. DeBlasi over at American Thinker has noticed as well. I’m frankly weak on Medieval Latin Hymns, but I am familiar with Requiem Masses, therefore the phrase Dies Irae is not wholly unfamiliar. I did not recognize that Rachmaninoff worked the plainsong of this into almost all of his works. A message? Perhaps.

What I hadn’t heard till this morning was his Symphony Number 1. It was completed in 1895 and had a disastrous opening, was lost in World War II and put back together from the various parts. Talk about eye-opening. It’s arguable that the semi-hidden plainsong in his other works is a message, here it is 60 point blackface type. From the inscription on, for it originally carried an inscription from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: “Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Here is the Symphony:

Mr. DeBlasi speculates (and that’s all any of us can do) that Rachmaninoff saw the future of Russia and the communist uprisings of 1905 and 1917, and this was his answer. I’m inclined to think he is right. This is so different and so foreboding, not to mention boiling over with anger compared to anything else he wrote that I can’t see how it could be anything else.

As I said, its opening was a disaster, causing the composer mental distress for the rest of his life. Perhaps a prophet unheeded in his home, and perhaps we, in his second home are doing a pretty good job of not heeding him as well.

Long ago (in 2012) Jessica found a translation of the hymn (I think) from the 13th Century. It certainly carries a warning.

THE day of wrath, that dreadful day, Shall all the world in ashes lay, As David and the Sibyl say.

What tremor shall the soul affright, When comes that Judge whose searching light Brings thought and word and deed to light.

The last loud trumpet’s spreading tone Shall through the place of tombs be blown, To summon all before the throne.

Death is struck, and nature quaking, All creation is awaking To its Judge an answer making.

The written book shall be outspread, And all that it contains be read, To try the living and the dead.

Then shall the Judge His throne attain, And every secret sin arraign, Till nothing unavenged remain.

What shall my guilty conscience plead, And who for me will intercede, When even saints forgiveness need?

King of tremendous majesty! Who savest whom Thou savest, free, Thou fount of pity, save Thou me.

Remember, Jesus Lord, I pray, For me Thou walked’st on life’s way; Confound me not on this last day.

‘Twas me Thy weary footsteps sought, My ransom on the Cross was bought, Let not such labour come to naught.

Just Judge of recompense, I pray, Cancel my debt, too great to pay, Before the last accounting day.

My groans a culprit’s heart declare, My cheeks shame’s burning livery wear, Spare me, O God, Thy suppliant spare!

As Thou didst Mary’s sin efface, And take the thief to Thine embrace, So dost Thou give me hope of grace.

Though all unworthy be my cry, Give grace, O gracious Lord, or I Shall burn in fires that never die.

Grant me among Thy sheep to stand; From outcast goats my soul diband, And raise me to Thine own right hand.

When cursed foes are put to shame, And given o’er to biting flame, Ah! with Thy blessed call my name.

Prostrate, my contrite heart I rend; My God, my Father, and my Friend, Do not forsake me in the end.

O day of weeping, day of woe, When rising from his pyre below, The sinner to his Judge shall cry,

‘Spare me, Thou mighty God on high!’ Ah, gentle Jesu, Saviour blest, Grant to them all eternal rest!. Amen.

And this is the very important part of Christianity that our churches rarely speak of. There will be a Judgement Day, and when that trumpet sounds, it will be too late to repent what we have done in this life. We are all sinners, but if we are wise, we repent often and sincerely. Many in our churches have not been taught this, but God has made it clear as glass, there will be no excuses, I suspect.

Denying Mom’s US Entry

Twitter screenshot of Caroline Farrow, a British mother, and journalist.

One of the nice things about blogging is that over time you meet some very special people, some of whom are heroes and heroines. Today we will speak of one, that has become a heroine and a friend to me, Caroline Farrow.

I first ran across her when Jessica’s blog was forced off the public square to protect an author’s job, almost immediately thereafter Jess was diagnosed with brain cancer. After a month and two surgeries, it was decided that palliative care was the only thing left – except for prayer. Well, prayer works, Jessica received the last Rites on a Friday and was out of her coma, cancer-free the following Sunday. The lesson is to never give up or in. BTW, the NHS still doesn’t understand.

I first heard Caroline’s voice in a comment of sympathy and support as we took the blog private, where it would remain for a year.

The next time I ran across her was the story of Charlie Gard, here is one of many articles we published on that.

Then came Alfie, and Caroline was intimately involved in this one, and I wrote on it here, here, and here, and probably others.

That is where I mostly learned to trust and honor her, as a guardian of the helpless, who are far too often stifled (or worse) in today’s Britain.

Then yesterday, I read at PJ Media, that Caroline has been denied entry to the United States. Why? Because she believes women are women and men are men. From the article:

The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) had approved Farrow’s trip to the U.S. Yet when she arrived at the airport, an airline representative told her “Your ESTA has been denied,” the mother told LifeSiteNews. Various pieces of evidence suggest the transgender activists who have long harassed her coordinated to prevent her trip.

Earlier this month, when Farrow checked her ESTA status, one of her stalkers tweeted that she might be denied entry. He later tweeted about two active criminal complaints against her.

18 people are talking about this

These claims may sound like a conspiracy theory, but Farrow has indeed faced terrifying harassment — for expressing the view that biological men cannot become women and that transgender “treatments” can harm children. In April, she told PJ Media about the harassment and the local police response.

“I’ve just got a team of people, they seem to attach so much importance and so much weight to what I say and they’re just determined to shut down my point of view,” Farrow told PJ Media. “They feel that they can be as abusive as they like: they can target my family, target my children, and I deserve it because I’m full of ‘hate’ because I believe that men can’t become women.”


Note in that article that the harassment includes not only Caroline.

She recalled online harassment involving pictures of “enormous disgusting sex toys,” and repeated insults, referring to the journalist and mother as a c**t, hundreds of times over. Others have made thinly veiled threats of violence against her. A man who identifies as a woman who “has been convicted of hitting people in the head with a golf club,” told her “he’s coming around here for a game of golf — clear intimidation.”

One website “discusses whether or not to disfigure my face with acid and disfigure my children’s faces with acid,” she recalled.

The harassment did not stop with her. “They’ve gone after my husband, they’ve gone after my children, they’ve tried to identify my children’s schools, they’ve published our address, my husband’s private mobile number,” Farrow said. “They’re probably targeting the kids’ schools as well. They tried to target my husband’s bishop.”

“My ex-partner — we broke up 13 years ago — they found out his identity, they were publishing his name, his photograph, his employer’s details,” she added. Her ex-husband asked her, “Why are these people after me because they don’t like my ex-wife?”

Of course, the British police ignore her concerns while acting instantly on those of the alphabet people. SOP in Britain these days. Normals get no protection from thugs and are prosecuted if they defend themselves.

Really special people aren’t they? Even if I believed in their cause (I emphatically don’t, no intelligent person can), the so-called people need to be incarcerated where they can’t inflict harm on others. Or simply put down.

Of course, we understand that much here has to do with the hatred of not only the British establishment but the American establishment for Christianity. Not to mention the proclivities of bureaucrats to turn their brains (if any) off and simply tick boxes.

Isn’t that freakin’ special? Personally, I think whatever weasel(s) in the embassy, DHS, or wherever in the USG needs to find himself (themselves) on the unemployment line, without a security clearance and a very bad reference, making him totally unemployable. Not that that will happen, we’ve had an extreme overdose this week of seeing just how incredibly stupid and subject to corruption the cretins we employ are.

First things first, restore that ESTA clearance pronto, and then kick that cretin into the Thames in his concrete Chuck Taylor’s.

Then get back to draining the swamp.

Is Going Home Possible?

Yesterday, my new blog friend The Portly Politico, wrote about how it seems that the old rural South is dying, saying this:

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the changing, dying rural communities I observed on a trip through western South Carolina.  You’re not supposed to say as much, but I don’t like that the culture and the world I grew up in are changing.  I’m not sure when it became taboo to say, “This is my home and these are my kin,” but apparently that’s no longer acceptable if you’re a conservative Christian in the American South, especially if you’re a white man.

I both understand and sympathize. As a child of the far upper midwest (North of Fargo) transferred to the far agricultural edge of Chicagoland, the shoe fits extraordinarily well. In truth, out here in the middle of Nebraska feels more like home than Indiana ever did (and my folks moved there in 1935).

But he recommended an article by Leslie Alexander called Stranger in a Strange Land. It’s a wonderful (not really in the good sense, but full of wonder) recounting at how soulless she finds Dallas.

There is a distinct feeling that almost everyone has come from somewhere else, and not a similar place.  An untattooed, unpierced body is infrequent.  Pink is the most common hair color. Amorphous masses of bodies abound–male, female, or something in between. Cordial relations between the sexes–between ladies and gentlemen–is non-existent.  Instead, there’s a strange ambiguity that feels desolate. The atypical Normals look at each other with recognition.  And a kind of wistfulness.

Courtesy is rare.  A Louisiana girl, I am accustomed to pleasant greetings and warmth, a shared desire to connect.  Here, greetings are often met with silence or suspicion.  Even a drive-through smoothie shop is an empty experience; I recently attempted small talk at the window, trying mightily to connect.  I left feeling unseen, and sad.

I don’t know about you but that speaks to me on a deep level. As I move about out here, an American of Norwegian descent who grew up amongst Prussians, and now lives amongst Bohemians. We are far enough from the cities to have a fair amount of community left, and I think Leslie found that in Southern Louisiana too.

It’s interesting that one of the defining characteristics in Britain between Brexit and  Remain is that most of the Brexiteers are rooted in British soil and history, while the Remainers are not. They have come to be called Somewheres and Anywheres. It’s just as applicable here.

But whether it’s Lincoln, Omaha, Dallas, Chicago, or any of the other cities, community is very rare. Back in the day, our churches played a fair role in the community, even where, as where I grew up, we had about the same number of churches as we did bars. Some churches worked together easily, like my E&R and the local Methodist church. Some would do projects, and some were simply aloof. All had what seemed reasonable justifications for their view, and all respected all.

Most of you know that I have long since converted to the ELCA, partially because it is the heir to the long-submerged Norwegian Lutheran church. But I admit to finding it nearly as loose as the UCC I came out of, and that looseness does not build a community. Maybe that’s why I suspect that one of these days, I’ll find myself in the LCMS, it provides a continuity and tradition that I find comforting.

In a sense, it may be the Kingdom of the Right-Hand equivalent of the originalism that informs my view of the founding of the United States.

If that statement intrigues you, I started a series of videos at All Along the Watchtower this morning on just what the Missouri Synod is all about.

Anyway, that is what I’m thinking about today.

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