Have yourself a Merry Christmas

This is one that I notice many of you have been reading. Well, I certainly don’t blame you, it’s a wonderful article, one of Jessica’s best, and so here it is back on the front page on the day for which it was meant. Just as she wrote it. Neo

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And so we come to the day when the world opens its presents – and we do the same, but we celebrate the greatest present ever – the gift of ever-lasting life. Paul is right, our minds cannot encompass what it means, or what it will be like, but we can know what it is to be covered by the blood of the Lamb and to know that our sins are forgiven, and that our souls are being healed; that’s what Christmas means for us all – it’s just that only some of us ‘get it’.

We’ll alll wish dear Neo ‘Happy Christmas’, back with family in the east, and I hope you will all bear with me as I ‘mind the shop’.

The most (in the proper meaning of the word) awesome aspect of what we celebrate today is that the eternal Word, who was with God from the beginning, who created the world, came into it in human form, assuming our flesh and healing it. We say these things so easily, but how marvellous that the Lord of all things should have condescended to be one of us, to share our fate, to live among us, as one of us. It isn’t surprising that early heresies centred around trying to explain that away, because the ancient world was used enough to gods who took on human form, but it was just that – an act, an appearance, a guise for some purpose (often amorous) which was later dropped. The notion of God as one of us (cue the song) – note that contra the song there is no ‘if’ – he was one of us – was and remains revolutionary. At a stroke, in the twinkling of an eye, we poor sinners are rich beyond our deserts – all that was ruined, all that was broken is made whole.

That is why Christians celebrate this day. It is the day God’s love was incarnate, and the Apostles saw Him, they touched Him, they lived with Him – the Word made flesh dwelt with men and though the world saw Him not, enough did that two thousand yaears on, we celebrate it. This is something we can share with Jesus.

The Lord’s first miracle was at a celebration – a wedding – and it was something which helped the celebration along – good wine at that stage of the proceedings must have been greatly welcomed – and there might have been a few sore heads in the morning. If anyone here has been to a Jewish wedding, you’ll know how joyous it can be, and how the dancing and the eating fuse together into a celebration of life itself. That’s a reminder to us all that the new life we have in Christ is a cause for huge celebration. It is good to go to Church and to give thanks to God for all our blessings – and then to go home and be with some of them – our family and friends.

A very holy and happy Christmas from us here at Neo’s place!

Sunday Funnies (Delayed); Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself

Was there ever a meme that blew up like “Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself”? It’s a sign of a healthy society, of course, we don’t believe obvious bullshit no matter who tells us, or how often they try. When even corporations get in on it, it marks a whole new level. In truth, I feel better about America this week than I have in a while. Let’s look!

This one is probably a fake!

And a few thousand more. Typical smart, funny, non-credulous Americans, doing what we do best, laughing at people who think they’re better than us. meanwhile…

Here he is in all his soy flavored glory. He whose very name will get you blocked on Facebook (even though Schiff himself published it) with some of his friends. Seems like a bit of a pattern there to me. Nah!

Which is a bit silly because the left doesn’t believe anymore in climate change than you and I do. But what they really believe in is taxing us into the poorhouse while erecting an authoritarian government over us. Don’t fall for this bullshit, either.

Extra Special Babylon  Bee section

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And, of course

A Man for All Seasons

LZAlbany

I first wrote this for 9/11 in 2012, and have published it several times since. It is one of those things and one of those people we should remember. A man who came to join us, and to whom many of us owe their lives

There were plenty of heroes on 9/11. Fire and police and port authority all going in. Passengers counterattacking on Flight 93 and various civilians and military in New York and the Pentagon. Even what the military calls NCA, the National Command Authority.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

….
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

~Kipling

But the one that is my especial hero of the day; is my hero because of how he lived his life.

A British NCO from Cornwall who served in the Parachute Regiment immigrated to the US, served as Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cavalry in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the battle of Ia Drang, where he gave the British commands of ‘Fix Bayonets, On Line, Ready forward’. His picture is on the cover of ‘We Were Soldiers’. It is a praiseworthy story prompting us to Remember:

But it doesn’t end there, although that charge was enough to make him a hero as long as the United States of America shall last.

On 9/11 he was vice-president in charge of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. We all know what happened that day, but do we remember that only six Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated. One of them was this man, now a retired Colonel, who stayed to make sure he got his people out. In all those situations, he was singing an old song commemorating the resistance of the Welsh against the English, and Roark’s Drift in the Boer War, and other engagements. That song is:

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

That man was Colonel Rick Rescorla and he is a legend in the 7th Cavalry. He is not a man any of us should ever forget. A real-life Sagaman, who lived quietly amongst us. From Shakespeare:

“His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!'”

The tragedy of 911 was this; multiplied by three thousand.

Never forget.

After having reached safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children.

He is my hero not least because he fulfilled to the last breath the leadership credo that the Air Force taught me and so many others:

First: The Mission

Always: the People

Last: Yourself

And thus, on this September 13h the story of how the people of a great American financial institution were rescued by the 7th U.S. Cavalry (Custer’s Own).




Sunday Funnies: The Covfefe War

So the media is up in arms that they only found out this week that the Revolution’s first move was to secure the airports. Poor media, they’ll never figure it out. By the way, I don’t think the culture wars are even close to over. in fact, I think we have just begun to fight. Get another cup of covfefe and enjoy.

Find the gun!

Speeches

Sometimes speeches tell us who we are. This is one of those times.

Anne Widdecombe made her maiden speech at the EU the other day. I doubt the members were all that thrilled. But Britons and Americans value the objective truth, and that is what she gave us.

This is the former Conservative minister who this year got cheered to the rafters in a miner’s men’s club. Not hard to see why.

Then there is Trump. A very good speech on American pride.

That pretty much tells you what you need to know

Debate and Decision

Remy does the Democratic debate

Enough said

In another matter, Ilya Shapiro writing on The Federalist tells us that the Supreme Court made a good start at rolling back the administrative state this week.

In an otherwise obscure case about veterans’ benefits, the Supreme Court on Wednesday took its first step in pushing back against the overweening administrative state that, at a time Congress isn’t legislating much, creates most of the law by which Americans live our daily lives.

In Kisor v. Willkie, the court was asked to decide how much judges should defer to bureaucrats who re-interpret their own regulations. It didn’t overturn that “Auer deference,” but it limited it in significant ways: All nine justices agreed that courts need to ensure that a regulation truly is ambiguous before giving the agency re-interpreting it any sort of leeway. (If a regulation isn’t ambiguous, then there’s no reinterpretation possible.)

In other words, the Supreme Court limited the types of cases where judges defer to agencies, while setting standards for evaluating those cases that boil down to “when the agency is correct and employs special expertise, having considered the reliance interests of those being regulated” rather than just making legal or political judgment calls willy-nilly. So Auerdeference technically survives, but this new rule sounds an awful lot like reining in the administrative state! (Full disclosure: I filed a brief for the Cato Institute, joined by superstar law professors Jonathan Adler, Richard Epstein, and Michael McConnell, arguing for Auer’s overruling.)

It gets quite confusing, legal English being qhat it is and the Court also being what it is. You should read the article, linked above, but this sums it up pretty well.

Or, as Kavanaugh put it in his own separate concurrence (joined by Justice Samuel Alito), if a court exhausts all the “traditional tools of construction” before concluding that a regulation is ambiguous and thus invoking Auer, it will “almost always reach a conclusion about the best interpretation of the reg at issue.” Have no fear, because courts “will have no reason or basis to put a thumb on the scale in favor of an agency.”

At bottom, Kavanaugh makes the perfect analogy to sum up the unanimous Supreme Court’s position: “Umpires in games at Wrigley Field do not defer to the Cubs manager’s in-game interpretation of Wrigley’s ground rules.” Executive agencies are on notice that it’s no longer “anything goes” when they rewrite their own rules, that judges will hold their feet to the statutory fire.

Call it Antonin Scalia’s revenge, because the late justice, having authored Auer back in 1997, came around to the view that he was wrong—and that in any event courts need to work harder to avoid finding ambiguity in both statutes and regulations such that deference doctrines come into play. Or call it Kisor deference; while Kisor didn’t overturn Auer, it’s definitely a jurisprudential shift. And that’s a pretty good start to curbing the administrative state.

Nice, I think. And here is something else, 3 years ago this decision probably would not have been reached, I just quoted Kavanaugh and the article quotes Gorsuch as well. Think about that, they were both appointed by President Trump.

And when we say that these start the rollback, what we mean is that the EPA, for example, can’t suddenly decide that a meadow is a wetland because it rained last night. For the most part, once something is interpreted, it stays interpreted. That starts to make the Founder’s words again paramount, as they should be.

That it comes now, 100 years to the week of one the worst Progressive achievements, the Versailles Treaty is remarkable. That treaty, a hodgepodge of identity politics written on a national scale, accomplished almost nothing other than guaranteeing that it would all have to be done over again in 20 years. More on that here, I don’t agree with it all, but he’s on the right path, I think.

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