There Will be Battles Won

The Marines made a return to Super Bowl advertising last weekend, but only online. Seems reasonable, since they tend to get the short end of the stick fiscally pretty regularly. It’s down in the post. I think you’ll like it, I do.

But let’s talk about military recruitment ads a bit. The British army also has some new ads out, and they’ve been fairly controversial.

To be honest, I don’t hate them. If I think back to how I was in my teens and early 20s, I doubt they would have been effective with me, but the American Midwest in the early 70s is not 2018 Britain. Presumably, MOD know what they are about.

I rather do agree with Piers Morgan of all people though.

The Telegraph did some interviews about it as well

Well, we’ve had our share of similar ads. ‘A force for good’ anyone. It’s fine, the Navy is, but I doubt it has much to do with why people join. Same with most of the rest.

Friends tell me that the Royal Marine adverts are rather different, rather more like the USMC ones. Good on the Bootnecks, breaking things and killing people is the reason we have soldiers, even when they come from the sea.

But nobody does it like the Few, the Loud, and the Proud, Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.

And now we have leadership, including a President, that believes in winning, and often does. Piers Morgan recently wrote…

I think the reason for this simple: success.

Trump’s entire DNA is predicated on winning. Every sinew of his being for the past 50 years has pulsated with a burning, insatiable desire to win.

‘You’ve gotta win,’ Trump once told me. ‘That’s what it’s all about. You know, Muhammad Ali used to talk and talk, but he won. If you talk and talk but you lose, the act doesn’t play.’

I think that is true, it’s not the money, the prestige, or even the power, it’s winning the contest. There’s somebody else in Washington like that, and this one is Secretary of Defense. His name is James Mattis, and his reputation is as the patron saint of (other people’s) chaos. He wrote…

I’m not subtle. I need to make the military more lethal,” Mattis said. “Some people think I’m supposed to be an equal opportunity employer.”

My Army friends sometimes said the Marines were always “Hey diddle, diddle, straight up the middle”. 🙂 Maybe so, but you know sometimes that’s all that works.

And the new ad:

Rather says it all.


Trumping the Media

Joe Katzman recently wrote an article for The Daily Caller and it is outstanding. Did you ever wonder why our knowledge and logical arguments never win against the left? Well here is your answer, as well as the answer to why Twitter is essential to the President winning for us. Enjoy!

Try this on for size:

People often take public positions in an attempt to increase their social status.

If you’ve been in a corporate setting, or settings with certain friends, I don’t need to offer further examples of this idea. You’ve seen it happen, and you also know that you need to be “reading the room” at all times before you speak and act. Failure costs status. People notice this dynamic, and act accordingly.

I didn’t say it was an ideal state of affairs. But a truly rational person must notice reality. My friend and his wife are picking up on a “we’re higher status than you” signal, and it’s part of the reason they’re so upset.

Macro examples also abound:

Do you really think it’s a coincidence that leftism and its “Diversity Pokemon Points” amount to a full caste system?

Do you have any doubt about The left’s hatred for those who will not stay in their assigned status?

Yes, it is as juvenile as mean girls in junior high, but you know we all play this game some if we want to get ahead in life.

Maybe that’s because American public education is now a 20-year Milgram Experiment. Where the meta-message inside political correctness is to override your own judgement, in favor of deliberately-shifting judgements from people with higher status.

These aren’t accidents. They’re clues.

Leftism isn’t a policy machine or an economic machine. Its economic results would tell you that much in a hurry. But the machine keeps running. Which means it must work for something. The correct question is: in what way does it work?

Analysis: Leftism is a status machine. A very, very successful status machine. Conservatives have lost status battle after status battle, often because they fought it as a policy battle. It rarely is.

That’s conservatism’s most consistent and most damaging mistake.

President Trump’s systematic thrashing of the leftist media is the example that illustrates the theory.

Conservatives complained about the media for a long time. Aristotle’s dialectic approach, against people uninterested in truth. Net effect? Very low. Sad!

So let’s apply what we’ve learned.

Why do the media have power? Because they have social status with ordinary people. […]

And in truth, that is all they have. I was in my early twenties (that’s a while ago) when I learned that if I knew anything about anything the media wrote about, the media would be wrong, it has gotten much worse since.

Trump also acts in ways that cause journalists to fulfill his pre-suasion labeling. He makes “outrageous” statements, which many people outside the Beltway Bubble agree with. Those statements receive over-the-top media attacks, which make his enemies look ridiculous. Then events swiftly show that Trump had a point. Trump rubs it in, using the media’s own “Fake News” term against them and pouncing on every sloppy and dishonest mistake. As a final topper, Trump makes the dishonest media a focus during every massive rally. Which strengthens his out-grouping effect among participants and viewers.

He uses ridicule and lèse majesté, not bended knee and appeals — note that subordinating word — to logical argument.

The result?

American belief in the credibility of their news media is now at about 32 percent. That’s the lowest ever polled, and an 8 percent drop from the lowest point of the 2008-2015 period. The media has lost audience, and a lot of power. When Vogue tried to damage Melania by ripping her wardrobe, activists promptly made memes from a photo of the weird-looking critic. The attack instantly lost its power.

Facebook has tried to fight these trend lines by flagging items as “fake news.” Recently, the social media giant decided to stop. Too many people sought out flagged articles. Or, put another way: In many circles, the mainstream media’s status has become negative.

If you thought those memes, like the ones we rung most weekends, are just for fun, now you know why that while they are fun, bigly, they have a real purpose. I’m a logical thinking guy, I couldn’t do what the President does on Twitter, or those memes, for that matter, but I can laugh at them and say Yep, it is so.

And so, now is the time for us to in the words of the famous quote:

To crush your enemies. See them driven before you.

And to hear the lamentations of their women.

Even, maybe especially, the male ones.


Life is Winning in America

A few videos, scenes, not to mention words that moved me relating to The March for Life in Washington last Friday. Enjoy!

Over at Life News, there is an amazing time-lapse video of the people streaming the streets.

One more video maybe

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, wrote an op-ed in the National Review last Friday.

In short, life is winning in America again. It’s winning because of the policies of our administration, and because of the commitment and compassion of those who gather today in our nation’s capital, and in marches, meetings, and homes all across the country.

Life is winning through the steady advance of science that illuminates when life begins.

Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families, who open their hearts and homes to children in need.

Life is winning through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis-pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations who bring comfort and care to women, in cities and towns across this country.

And life is winning through the quiet counsel between mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, between friends across kitchen tables, and over coffee on college campuses, where the truth is being told, and hope is defeating despair.

We must continue to be a movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person. We must recommit ourselves to be a movement of compassion, not confrontation, of generosity, not judgment, and above all else, we must continue to be a movement of love.

This I know we’ll do – because I have faith.

I have faith in the goodness of the American people. I have faith in the president they elected. And I have that other kind of faith – the faith that moves mountains, and that, even now, stirs all across America.

And Senator Mike Lee with a floor speech in the United States Senate.

Mr. President, today hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life will participate in the 45th annual March for Life.

Why do these citizens march, year after year?

It certainly isn’t for their health … Or for the media coverage.

No, these Americans march on behalf of those who cannot.

They march for uniquely vulnerable members of the human family. For the unborn. For those threatened by abortion. And for the countless innocent lives already lost.

These Americans march to protest the legal regime that sustains abortion.

The cornerstone of that crumbling edifice is Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that invented a so-called “right” to abortion in the Constitution, and in so doing stripped the unborn of their right to life.

The principal effect of Roe on our culture has been to cheapen the value of humanity itself. 

Roe has insinuated into the law a poisonous notion, the notion that some human beings may be treated as things. As objects to be discarded when they are inconvenient. We’ve seen this before in human history.

But an unintended effect of Roe has been to kick-start a movement that has lasted for four-and-a-half decades.

Roe did not resolve the abortion debate — although it tried to. Rather it intensified the debate.

The nation’s conscience was not deadened by Roe’s euphemisms and evasions; rather it was brought to life.

Like a firebell in the night, Roe awakened a generation of Americans to the injustice of abortion.

Countless thousands of them are marching in Washington, Salt Lake City, and cities across the country today.

But the institution of abortion still has its defenders. Vociferous defenders, even.

Why does this issue arouse such anger and passion?

I argue it is because the pro-life and pro-abortion rights movements offer competing moral visions for our society. Indeed, competing arguments about human dignity and what it means to be human in the first place.

Both moral visions are as old as the nation. They have appeared in various guises all throughout our history.

But there is a consistent trend in how the clash of visions has played out in every era.

The vision advanced by the pro-life movement has inspired righteous protests. The other vision has been used to rationalize hideous injustices.

The pro-life vision embraces our country’s noblest truth. The pro-abortion vision twists it.

Let me explain what I mean.

Our Declaration of Independence contains one of the most succinct and revolutionary statements in human history.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We know that the United States has not always acted on this high principle. We have denied life, liberty, and opportunity to our fellow man in countless cruel and unfortunate ways.

But even in the darkest times, patriots and reformers have looked to this passage as a guiding light, because it is the conscience of our nation.

Abraham Lincoln referred to the Declaration constantly in his speeches, calling it the “sheet anchor of American republicanism” and the “Father of all moral principle.”

He called the Declaration’s statement on human equality the “electric cord” that links patriotic Americans through the ages.

Now that electric cord has reached us. It is a direct line that runs from the Founding Generation to the very heart of the pro-life movement.

The core conviction of the pro-life movement is that “all men are created equal.” That all have a right to life.

We believe that every human being has dignity and merits protection simply by virtue of being human.

You will often hear pro-lifers emphasize the human features of unborn children, as well we should.

We point out that the human heart begins to beat as early as 16 days after conception. We point out that the unborn child can yawn, react to pain, and suck her thumb. And we point out that that thumb even has a one-of-a-kind fingerprint.

But we do not mention these characteristics because they are what give unborn children worth. It is not our fingerprints or even our beating hearts that make us people.

Rather, we point to these characteristics because they point in turn to something more fundamental.

They point to the inescapable fact that the unborn child is a human being, just like us. A member of our messy family.

It is that endowment, that shared humanity, that gives us all moral worth.

And so, to summarize the pro-life position, we have only to repeat those five words in the Declaration: “All men are created equal.” All are entitled to life.

But to be sure, not everyone shares the belief that all men are created equal.

At various times this belief has been called an “error of the past generation.” It has even been called a “self-evident lie!”

Few today would denounce the Declaration of Independence in such terms.

But defenders of abortion still repudiate the Declaration by their actions, and by the arguments they advance to protect legal abortion.

Defenders of abortion no longer dispute that unborn children are living human beings. How could they? Science testifies unequivocally to our shared humanity.

Most sophisticated defenders of abortion do not even dispute that abortion is a violent act.

If you do not believe me on this point, perhaps you will believe Ronald Dworkin, a prominent apologist for the pro-choice position: “Abortion,” Dworkin writes, “[is] deliberately killing a developing human embryo.”

He goes on to describe abortion as a “choice for death.”

So if abortion defenders do not deny the humanity of the fetus, and if they do not deny that abortion kills the fetus, how then do they defend abortion?

In short, they do it by segregating the human family into two classes: Human beings who are worthy of life — sometimes referred to as “human persons”– and human beings who are unworthy of life — “human non-persons.”

According to this view, human beings do not deserve protection on the basis of their humanity alone.

Rather they gain the right to life when they attain certain characteristics — usually some level of cognitive ability or bodily development.

Since the unborn lack these magic personhood qualities, they lack the right to life and may be dismembered in the womb. They are “human non-persons.” Or so the argument goes.

There are many problems with this chilling view. It has been rebutted at length by smarter men and women than me.

But for the purposes of today, it is enough to point out the track record of this argument.

Because it just so happens that every time mankind has been artificially divided into classes — into “persons” and “non-persons” based on their race, sex, genetic fitness, or any other attribute — the result has been calamity.

Which leads to a very simple question that has never been satisfactorily answered by abortion’s defenders: Why should we believe that this time is any different?

Abortion is a difficult subject matter for so many reasons, but on another level it is quite simple.

Our society has to choose between the two visions of human dignity described above.

Put simply, do we believe that all men are created equal? Or that some are more equal than others?

This simple question deserves a simple response: We must choose the first of those options, and affirm that all human beings are created with dignity.

And we must reject all attempts to separate the human family into higher and lower classes.

Let us see these attempts for what they are: Cruel fictions that cheapen life itself.

Just as there is no such thing as “life unworthy of life,” there is no such thing as a “human non-person.” There are just people. And we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Yes, dignity was ours before we stirred in the womb. It is stamped onto the very fabric of our genome. It is printed onto our soul.

This is the truth so brilliantly proclaimed in our nation’s Founding Documents — even as it is denied by our legal system, starting with Roe v. Wade.

But even though the laws of man are against us (for now!), the truth is with us. And the truth can erode even the most formidable edifice of lies.

And so, on this forty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us respond to Roe as Frederick Douglass responded to a similar indignity, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

“Happily for the whole human family,” Douglass thundered, “their rights have been defined, declared, and decided in a court higher than the Supreme Court.”

Those words are as true today as they were when they were spoken.

They call us to continue the winding march for justice — and for life –until the unalienable rights of every human being are respected in our land.

Thank you.


Freedom, Bought and Sold

It always interests me to see what our readers are reading here. Yesterday, close to 20% of you were reading a fairly old article of Jessica’s, entitled The Exhausted West?.  In it, she spoke about Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard Commencement address. It is, I think quite appropriate to today’s subject, especially one of the paragraphs she quoted from the speech.

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counterbalanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil. 

Indeed, we have lost here, and even more in Europe, the key fact that freedom imposes responsibility, and that there is much more to life than material possessions.

Today, we are going to speak of the late/current demonstrations in Iran, and even more the reaction to them in the west. The source of today’s is Douglass Murray in The Spectator (UK) article entitled The Iranian revolution the world wants to ignore.

If there is one lesson the world should have learned from Iran’s ‘Green Revolution’ of 2009 and the so-called Arab Spring that followed, it is this: the worst regimes stay. Rulers who are only averagely appalling (Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak) can be toppled by uprisings. Those who are willing to kill every one of their countrymen stay. So it is that after almost half a million dead we enter 2018 with Bashar al-Assad still President of Syria and with Iran’s mullahs approaching the 40th anniversary of their seizure of power in 1979. […]

Yep, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and quite a few more died peacefully in bed, few of their opponents did.

Yet anyone who expects these demonstrations to lead to swift change in the nature of the Iranian government remembers no history. Shortly after the latest protests began, the country’s security forces, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, were seen photographing the events. In Iran, a regime camera is as deadly as a sniper’s sights. Only more delayed. As in 2009, the photographs will be used by the police to arrest demonstrators and also family members unconnected with the protests. This will be followed by the torture and rape of men and women in prison by the theocratic regime’s frontmen. As after the Green Revolution, there will in due course be show trials, forced recantations and executions. This is how a police state with four decades of experience goes about its business. In 1979, the behaviour of the Shah’s dreaded Savak secret police was one of the spurs for revolution. The Ayatollahs have superseded the Savak, fine-tuned their brutality and learned from their mistakes.

Anyone in doubt about the capacity of the Supreme Leader to hang on to power need only watch the footage of crowds in the city of Rasht advancing down the street on one of the first nights of protest. You can see the exact moment when the regime’s Revolutionary Guard starts attacking the protesters. The crowd that is marching one way down the street suddenly finds an organised army running towards them. These are trained killers being unleashed on angry but peaceful civilians. Six hundred people have already been arrested and dozens already killed. The civilians don’t stand a chance. […]

None whatsoever, the Supreme Leaders people are not fully trained troops, probably, although they are inured to killing, which is all it really takes, plus a modicum of organization to easily defeat a mob in the street. Not much different than murder on an industrial scale, but it is effective.

Unless, that is, the outside world takes any interest in their plight. In the early hours of the demonstrations, the US President took to Twitter to warn the Iranian authorities that ‘The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!’ But such is the obsession with Donald Trump and the parochialism of all our politics that Trump’s critics immediately took to the media to condemn his condemnation of human rights abuses. Again on Twitter, the most powerful man on the planet — determined not to replay the actions of his predecessor in office, who was highly reluctant to speak out during the crushing of the Green Revolution — warned that ‘The world is watching.’ He may be right. But the world may watch in silence.

This is one of those occasions where, whatever you think of Donald Trump, he is correct, the west invented human rights, and are the only guarantor. And yet, many, maybe most around the world for whatever reason decided to side with the Ayatollah against the west, personified by Donald Trump. Speaking for myself, I found it sickening.

Some international caution is justified. People have their reasons. Our own Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has expressed ‘concern’ over events, but has been careful not to go further. Fresh back from a visit to Tehran, the Foreign Secretary has been working to obtain the release of the British–Iranian dual citizen, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Iran for the last 18 months. Thanks to a campaign by Labour MPs, the issue of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release has been turned into an issue of the Foreign Secretary’s personal competence (at times as though it is Boris Johnson, and not the mullahs, who imprisoned the woman). Johnson’s Iranian counterparts know that he has a lot riding on his efforts to release her and have used this advantage well. So a campaign for one woman’s freedom has hindered a Foreign Secretary from campaigning for a nation’s freedom.

Other silences have been less defensible. The leader of the opposition is not normally silent when there is an opportunity to talk about unfairness or injustice. Yet after days of protests in Iran, Jeremy Corbyn said nothing.

One reason may be that the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition was until recently in the pay of the Iranian regime. For presenting programmes on its propaganda wing, Press TV (before becoming Labour party leader), Corbyn received up to £20,000. Damningly — or it would be damning if more people cared — he appeared on Press TV even after the channel lost its broadcasting licence. It lost that licence not because of its always clear political support for a sectarian, gay-hanging, women-oppressing dictatorship. It lost it because during the channel’s campaign to delegitimise the 2009 protests, Press TV broadcast a forced confession from a journalist who had been abducted by the regime and was being held in prison. Ofcom thought this crossed a line. Jeremy Corbyn did not and was happy to continue to take his apple-juice money from Tehran.

Elsewhere the silence indicates the dream-puncturing of an entire political class. In 2015 the UN security council agreed a deal with Iran to limit elements of its nuclear programme for a period. Iran’s incentives included a freeing up of trade and a delivery of billions of dollars in cash. For their part, companies and governments across Europe hoped to get their own cash bonanzas in the wake of that deal. Such deals always compromise the people who make them. One of the chief defenders of the 2015 deal, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, has spent recent days being studiously silent on the uprisings in Iran. When President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital she couldn’t tweet enough condemnations of his action. Yet five days into the protests in Iran, she hadn’t even said that she is watching events closely. Europe’s leading foreign affairs ideologue needs Iran’s governing status quo to stay in place so that nothing about her own deal, future cash prize or putative Nobel award is in any way disturbed.

We’ve said speaking of the election that Donald Trump has F**k you money. He has enough that he can do what he thinks is right without regard to his next paycheck. It’s a major advantage. It applies here, as well. The US, seemingly alone in the west has F**k you money, too. Not that we do, but we have a historical record of trying to do the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Do we always succeed? Of course not. But maybe that is the reason why we, of all the nations of the west, still will go out into the world to fight evil.

But I suspect the day is coming when we will come to the conclusion that if the people of Europe amongst others value money above all things, especially above their own freedom, well, why should we care. That will be the day that Europe falls. Of its own volition, bribed by its own money. It will be a sad day, but it begins to appear inevitable.


Peace through Superior Firepower?

Who knew? Perhaps deterrence works. In any case, the North Koreans are talking to the Southern ones. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Maybe this is why.

CBS has a report (more bloody autoplay videos, sorry!) that:

Last week, the Pacific Air Forces announced three B-2 “Spirit” stealth bombers with approximately 200 personnel have been deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the Pacific island of Guam.

The statement said the deployment is intended to provide leaders with “deterrent options to maintain regional stability.”[…]

Last year, flights by B-1B bombers from Guam to the airspace around Korea were a major flashpoint, prompting a warning from North Korea that it had drawn up a plan to target the waters around the island with a missile strike that it could carry out anytime Kim gave the order. The B-2 is more threatening.

It’s the most advanced bomber in the Air Force and, unlike the B-1B, can carry nuclear weapons. It’s also the only known aircraft that can drop the Air Force’s biggest bomb, the 14,000-kilogram, about 30,000-pound, FGBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

The “MOP,” capable of penetrating deep into the ground to destroy reinforced tunnels and bunkers, was explicitly designed with North Korea in mind.

That adds on to the CVNs Ronald Reagan, Carl Vinson, and perhaps the Carl Stennis, and the USS Wasp as well, an upgraded amphibious assault ship, with its Marines, and either carrying or capable of carrying about 30 F 35Bs.

That’s all in addition to all the stuff already in South Korea, Japan, and the general neighborhood, and the South Koreans who are no slouch themselves.

I recall SECDEF Mattis commenting that nothing keeps him awake, he keeps others awake. His point was that this administration while having due regard for public opinion, is not going to make policy from what will (XXX) do, the will make policy from what does the United States want to happen. A somewhat subtle but very important difference.

And so we see Whoa Fat’s minions at the conference table in South Korea, after less than a year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Likewise, we see serious demonstrations in the streets in Iran. They may not win this time, but win they shall. We see Egypt and Saudi Arabia talking to Israel, and about no less than a military alliance. We may, perhaps, be watching the dawn of a new era. KSA is reportedly negotiating to buy the Iron Dome system from Israel.

And we even see the people of eastern Europe stand up to their would-be masters in western Europe. Why it’s almost like they didn’t throw off their communist masters only to succumb to the fascists in the west.

The only people I see decrying this is the anti-freedom left in America, and the European governments most of whom have sold their soul long ago for material gain. Are they noisy? Yep. Are they important? Nope. Only when the sheriff is on strike. But the sheriff is on patrol again

And just now I see a report that the two Koreas will march together under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics next month. Not a problem solved, but one that is perhaps on its way, something no one foresaw a year ago.

Not “Peace in our time” but perhaps we are back to where we can say that it is better to “Jaw, Jaw than to War War.”

Quite a year it has been!

Week in Pictures: Sh*tholes, Oprah, Climate Change, and Tax Cuts

Well, let’s start with some videos this week.

Katie Pavlich? Sure!

A bit of common sense from Bill Whittle

And on to the week in pictures.

Have a good week! From Ace, Bookworm, and PowerLine.

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