When the Left – leaning are rational

I am not a deep thinker but I can recognize and appreciate those who are. I’ve finished watching a conversation between John Anderson (former Prime Minister of Australia) and Bret Weinstein. Here in America, we know – or should know – Bret Weinstein from that terrible time in Portland, Oregon, when the lunatics took over the asylum. This particular conflict occurred in 2016 in Portland; I find it noteworthy that Portland’s history is such that in the fictionally based television series, West Wing, which is Democrat in party, leading the nation, remark more than once that when the wheels fall off, Portland (characters roll their eyes) is just being Portland. In case you need reminding, here is a video – unfortunately there are plenty more like it on YouTube; just reference Evergreen College protest (that’s the polite, less inflammatory word – ‘protest’).

Bret Weinstein was at almost epicenter of the uh, protest because he refused to adhere to a No Whites Day at the college.

Bret is not a conservative; he sees himself not as ‘classical liberal’ (whatever that may be) but as left-leaning. But I like him and I’ll tell you why. He is a thoughtful person; by that, I don’t mean he’s kind to old ladies, I mean that he has given great thought to the position he holds politically, to his viewpoints on the world, and how he thinks it should operate. He’s articulate, polite, has a fine mind, and is able to discuss dispassionately and with great insight how things could be better, what we should seek now as the goal for our country, and that we have fallen from the mark. He does not see the new administration as having any idea how to bring about unity, nor does he think that is even the intent of the administration. He is not a Donald Trump supporter but I have to respect his views because he’s not hateful or disparaging, simply finds where policies may have missed intended marks.

There is a very interesting segment in the video below when John Anderson asks him to describe what he thinks about conspiracy theories and he makes a very good case for his viewpoint.

You could go a lot farther and not find better than this conversation. John Anderson always brings to the table his intellect, his Christianity, and his phenomenal knowledge of history, politics, and science.

I found Bret’s closing thoughts and insight something worth noting.

Please enjoy

No one

Sauce for the goose=Sauce for the gander

In their right mind wanted this. Once again, my dad was right, “A crowd is like a wild animal; you never know what it’s going to do.” When I saw the size of the crowd Wednesday afternoon, my heart sank. The nerves kicked in. Went to bed late, got up early – more had arrived in D. C. I was happy for the folks that President Trump addressed them and at the same time thought, ‘this is not good’.

But never in a million years did I ever expect to see what we saw this afternoon at the Capitol. It was like a horror movie come true. Churches are sacrosanct. Schools are sacrosanct. All governmental buildings are sacrosanct – or should be. We all know how we reacted to what we saw; how we felt when we saw it. How to equate it? Like a 9/11 we perpetrated on ourselves? I don’t know. Right now I have no words, just inexpressible sadness. Maybe we have, indeed, become a banana republic – that’s the sort of place this sort of thing happens, isn’t it?

How did we get here from where we started? Through one of the toughest summers America has seen in a long time, we – meaning conservatives – managed to keep our cool, keep our baser natures in check, act reasonably and responsibly. And then this happens. We can’t use the poor excuse, “They did it to us, we’re gunna do it to them” or “what did you expect; people are pissed”. We don’t do this. We march, we carry signs, we write or call our elected officials, at every level, to be sure our voice is heard. We write in our blogs or talk in our vlogs. But we don’t break into a government building. We don’t act like buffoons – or baboons! – and sit in the prominent seat in the House of Representatives; that’s kid stuff, that’s like a 13-year-old kid giving the finger to the grouchy neighbor.

What has been done can never now be undone. They have made a bad situation worse. They just gave the left the victory by pulling the same crap the left did all summer. We have seen the enemy and it’s no longer them.

I think we are now one minute before midnight for America.


From Neo:

I petty much agree with Audre here, I don’t really see violence as being a cure for much of anything, and watching the storming of the Capitol broke my heart.

And yet…

It happened now, and I think it was going to happen if not this week, then next week, or next month, because the grievances were, and are real, starting with election fraud, and the ridiculous response to the Chinese flu, and continuing on to the GOPe ignoring and lying to the base since Eisenhower was president. I know exactly how they felt because I have the same urge. Why?? via Ace of Spades

From Willis Krumholz (@WillKrumholz):

 

Lots of people doing the “oh look at me, those bad Trump supporters” posts now. Today was unacceptable. Absolutely.

But what just happened? The Mayor of DC ordered police to stand down and a handful of idiots entered the Capitol…


Just last night, a violent mob surrounded a Senators wife at home with their newborn baby. They tried to force themselves into the home. In the last four years, Congresspersons were shot at and Rand Paul and Steve Scalise were almost killed.

This year, whole cities were destroyed and cops were targeted and killed.

Today at the Capitol, a woman–unarmed–was shot and killed. Nobody cares, apparently.

If your outrage only flows in one direction, which is even true of many GOP people, you are not the solution.

Why are we drawing the line at office buildings where Congress works as opposed to people’s homes and businesses?

Whole city blocks were destroyed this summer. Anyone who isn’t equally incensed at both is not a patriot.

Also, nobody is going to change anyone�s mind. The “GOP people” blaming Trump have always hated Trump. People who like Trump will point to stuff from this summer.

Maybe the answer is a Conservative/Traditionalist party that actually reflects working people (the base).

I can say with absolute assurance that the current GOP (“yay corporate tax cuts and staying in Afghanistan another 5 years”) does not reflect the base, let alone a good chunk of the country.

That’s true for me, and I’ll bet it’s true for many of you. Do you feel represented by your Senators, your Congressperson, your governor, or state legislators? When you write or email them do you ever get more than a pro forma (often automated) response, thanking you for writing without taking any notice of your views? Yeah, me neither. And I live in one of the reddest of red states, but it doesn’t matter. I could just as well be a Republican in Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, for all anybody in Lincoln or Washington gives a good goddamn what I think. They’re too busy feathering their own nest to have time for their employers.

That’s the Republicans, the Democrats are worse. They’ll happily stand aside as their stormtroopers burn down whole cities of poor people without a qualm, but boy they looked scared on Wednesday, didn’t they?

For all that there are many credible reports that this was an Antifa/Democrat false flag operation, they suddenly came face-to-face with their employers the taxpayers that make it all possible while sending our kids to die in stupid forever wars.

And now I see that the authoritarian neocons allied as usual with the left-wing want to crack down even harder on dissent. Well, dictators gotta dictate till they’re stopped. These people evidently think a civil war in America is a good thing. I don’t, but I live in the real world, not Washington, and I know damned well it will destroy a republic that has taken 250 years to build.

Wave good-bye to the Republic, it died Wednesday, not in the protest but in the response of the idiot political class to the demands of the people.

Audre was wrong about that, it’s not 11:59, it’s more like 20 minutes after midnight.

Good luck, we’re all on our own now.

The American Schism

Depending on your knowledge of church history, you may or may not know the term ‘schism’. There have been three in Christendom, and one that is but is not called so. The first is when the Nestorians (including Alexandria and the Copts left after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the second is when the Eastern Orthodox left after the addition of the filioque in the Creed, the one not really called that is the Reformation, where the Protestant churches left Rome’s sway. The third one is the one that concerns us here, the one sometimes called the Babylonian Captivity. where there was a Pope in Avignon, France and for most of the time there was also one in Rome. None have been good for Christianity.

It was political, as the Papacy was getting too involved in politics for the Pope’s taste, and then after the papacy moved back an overmighty bureaucracy (The College of Cardinals) appointed a second Pope in Avignon. This went on for 69  years.

So what has this to do with 2020 America? This, that schism divided the church rather badly because both sides were hurling thunderbolts, excommunion, interdict, heresy, all those fateful words that made fellow communicants into the other, and not entirely human. And that is where we are. Writing in American Thinker, Steve Deace says:

History may not repeat, but it often rhymes. America is not merely divided, as many of today’s political commentators claim, but it’s in the midst of a Great Schism as the church was in Avignon. Two completely distinct cultures are now simultaneously claiming the same nuts and bolts of the structure of America as their own, but with holistically different reasons and visions for doing so. One side wants to use it to maintain a way of life that was once considered traditional in America. The other desires revolution to undo many of those traditions it views as standing in the way of their reimagining of America.

Unless President Trump’s court challenges to the integrity of the election are successful soon, Joe Biden is going to be sworn in as the next president of the United States on January 20. Given the fact that Biden represents the left’s cultural revolution, on top of the ongoing controversy surrounding his potential election, it’s quite likely that many of the 74 million people who voted for Trump’s re-election would see Biden as an illegitimate president from the get-go. And we’ve already lived through four years of Democrats and their media attempting to de-legitimize the Trump presidency even before it began.

This is the language and behavior of schism.

He’s right, I will not, no I can not, receive as legitimate an election so rife with fraud that it was prima facie stolen from the president. I could not have if it had been this obvious that President Trump had in 2016, even though I agreed with much of what he said, and I certainly can not with Joe Biden, who from reports may have sold his loyalty to the Chicoms and the Ukrainians for money, not to mention to every tinpot globalist, and proposes almost every policy that has been proven to bring about the death of prosperity and the rule of law. Nope, can’t do it. And you know what, there about 70 million Americans who think just like I do.

Obama, you may remember whined that America is ungovernable (he’s not wrong, it’s a feature of a free country, not a bug) but you ain’t seen nothing yet. When people who don’t get involved in politics, get involved in politics, things change.

If Trump is ultimately denied the presidency, he will not drift off into irrelevancy as his detractors hope. Quite the contrary: Losing this way despite massively growing his appeal among voters compared to 2016 will only make Trump stronger in the hearts and minds of his base. He will become a living martyr — something even more powerful than a president in some ways, a symbol of how far the left in America is willing to go to end anything American conservatives view as worthy of conserving: Fake News, Fake Borders, Fake Laws, Fake Genders, Fake Science, Fake Russian Collusion, Fake Pee Tapes, Fake Independent Counsels, Fake Ukrainian Collusion, Fake Social Media, Fake COVID Panic Porn, and now Fake Elections.

The right in America has finally gotten the message the American left has been trying to convey — leftists have no intent of sharing Americana with those who still believe in it. If you cherish normalcy, let alone righteousness, you will be made to care — to the point that nothing remains sacred or agreed upon. Nothing is exempt from the gaslighting — not even a drug that is suddenly claimed to be dangerous after 60 years of being publicly certified as safe.

The American left is altering the deal, and it now stands as this: either you end your way of life voluntarily, or we end it for you. That’s it, take it or leave it.

To lose to these leftists, and this disputed way, will make Trump president in absentia to millions of Americans.

Do read the article, but

Yet yes, all of that and more, the representative constitutional republic is the holy of American holies, second only to God Himself, you profane that temple at your peril. In a very real sense, none of what is happening now in the legislatures or the courts matter, we are watching the last chapter of a dismal play whose actors are mostly pseudo men of no vision or leadership, less in intelligence than the Wuhan Flu and the backbone of a worm. The upshot is that Joe Biden (or Kamala Harris) will never be the legitimate president of the United States of America.

What will happen, no one really knows, but I fear we will find out.

 

 

St. Crispan/Crispians Day

Yesterday was St Crispins Day again, and that makes it a day to talk of the bravery of English and American armed forces, not that there is ever a bad day for that. St. Crispin’s Day is a pretty good encapsulation of our military histories though, always brave, sometimes badly led, and more often than not, victorious. I was going to write something else this year but don’t have anything especially earthshaking to add.

From Wikipedia: “Saint Crispin’s Day falls on 25 October and is the feast day of the Christian Saints Crispin and Crispinian, twins who were martyred c. 286.” That’s where the day gets its name. What it’s famous for is the battles of the English-speaking peoples that have been fought on it.

The first we will look at took place during the “Hundred Years War”. Henry V of England with a small army was on his way to Calais, getting chased all over northern France by Constable Charles d’Albret of France. The French King (Charles VI) was mentally incapacitated. Henry was heavily outnumbered and decided to arouse his exhausted army before the battle by giving a speech.

The English won the battle with ridiculously low casualties while wreaking havoc on the French forces. The reason for this was the English (and Welsh) longbowmen, making this the first battle since Roman times when infantry was anything but a rabble for the knights to ride down.

Battle number two for the day wasn’t so kind to the British.

This one was a cavalry charge against Russian Artillery. It was commanded by Lord Raglan (Yes, the sleeves are named for him). The orders he issued were vague and Lord Cardigan (Yes, he designed the sweater) executed the worst possible interpretation of them. The charge was carried out by the British light cavalry brigade which consisted of the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, 17th Lancers, and the 8th and 11th Hussars, whose bravery we have never forgotten. It was too well immortalized.

Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

It should be added that Great Britain didn’t do a great job of taking care of their veterans (neither did the U.S.) in those days.  Rudyard Kipling had this to say:

The Last of the Light Brigade

There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
“You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

“No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ’em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

They sent a cheque to the felon that sprang from an Irish bog;
They healed the spavined cab-horse; they housed the homeless dog;
And they sent (you may call me a liar), when felon and beast were paid,
A cheque, for enough to live on, to the last of the Light Brigade.

O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made – ”
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

OK, that’s two, only one more to go, 90 years later, to the day, halfway around the world

The Battle of Leyte Gulf

This time it’s the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Japanese realized that losing the Philippine Islands meant losing the war put everything they had left into this battle. Here a chart that shows the relative strengths.

Navy Large carriers Small Carriers Aircraft Embarked Battleships Cruisers Destroyers
United States 8 24  1712 12  24 141 
Japan 1 117 9  20 34

from: http://www.angelfire.com/fm/odyssey/LEYTE_GULF_Summary_of_the_Battle_.htm

From the chart, you can see how amazingly the USN had recovered from Pearl Harbor and the early battles of the war. You should also note that if the ship is not engaged in the battle it doesn’t count for much, so here we go.

The Japanese had a complicated plan depending on close timing between forces coming from various ports and operating under what we call EMCOM now. Essentially radio silence; meaning they couldn’t coordinate their attacks.

The Japanese carriers which had essentially no planes or pilots were used as a decoy force to try to pull Halsey’s 3d fleet away to the north. This worked, although it took them a long time to attract the American’s attention. When they were finally spotted Halsey went charging off after them until he was almost in gunshot and then turned around to help 7th fleet (which we are coming to). This also ended up being too late, so America’s premier naval force mostly sailed around burning oil and accomplishing not much of anything.

The Japanese Centre Force was first spotted in the Palawan Passage by the submarines Darter and Dace. Darter sank the Heavy Cruiser Atago which was Admiral Kurita’s flagship and Dace sank the Takao and severely damaged the Maya, which was forced to withdraw.

Halsey’s force made 259 sorties against the Centre Force eventually sinking the battleship Musashi with her 18.1 inch guns. They also did damage to some other ships. But Kurita made for the San Bernadino Strait at night with 4 battleships and 6 heavy and 3 light cruisers all fully operational.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Southern force including two elderly battleships under Admirals Nishimura and Shima were spotted on the morning of the 24th and Admiral Kincaid who realized they would attempt to attack the landing through the Surigao Strait was preparing to meet them. Kincaid’s 7th fleet had plenty of power for this.

The Battle of Surigao Strait

Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had 6 old battleships (5 of which had been sunk at Pearl Harbor), 4 Heavy and 4 Light Cruisers, 26 destroyers, and 39 PT Boats. He deployed his lighter ship along the side of the strait and formed his battle line. PT 131 made first contact and for 3 and a half hours the squadron attacked the Japanese force without a hit but, providing contact reports to the force. As Nishimura’s forces entered the strait the American destroyers attacked; hitting both battleships, the Yamishira was able to continue but, Fuso blew up and sank. Admiral Shima with the 2d Striking Force was much discouraged when he came upon the burning halves and other wreckage of the destroyer attack and decided to withdraw. So as Admiral Nishimura emerged from the strait to engage Oldendorf’s battle line, he had 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, and 1 Destroyer. Oldendorf crossed his “T”. Parenthetically this is what Lord Nelson risked with his battle plan at Trafalgar that we talked about a few days ago. The American Battleline started firing as they got range information (some had radar rangefinders and some didn’t) at about 30,000 yards. The Battleship was sunk, the Cruiser wrecked and somehow the Destroyer escaped. This was the last surface gun action in history.

The battle off Samar

USS Hoel (DD-533)

7th fleet had 18 escort carriers divided into three task units. They were equipped for fighting submarines and providing air cover to the landing, not for a full-on naval battle. These are usually referred to by their radio call signs Taffy 1, Taffy 2, and the most northerly, Taffy 3 under Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague. It was a routine morning until at 0647 Ensign Jensen from the Kadashan Bay sighted (and attacked) a force that he accurately reported as 4 Battleships and 8 Cruisers. The surprise was complete. A few minutes later heavy shells began falling around the carriers.

Admiral Sprague was in trouble. He was being chased by heavily armed warships which were considerably faster than his escort carriers and were already in range. He also had very few weapons that could hurt them. He started chasing shell splashes, making smoke, running away, and yelling for help, from 3d fleet, 7th fleet, a merciful God, or somewhere. At 0716 he also ordered his three destroyers, the Hoel, the Herrmann, and the Johnston, to counterattack the Japanese which they did with incredible bravery. At 0750 the Destroyer escorts also attacked. Remember these are anti-submarine ships with 5 in and 3 inch guns going on the attack against Battleships and Heavy Cruisers. Not terribly different from charging the Russian guns 90 years before. They attacked with torpedoes and guns and managed to disrupt the Japanese formation enough to give Sprague a chance to get away. All the available aircraft also attacked even though they weren’t carrying the proper (if any) ordnance for this work, they strafed and buzzed and annoyed the Japanese though.

By 0945 the Johnston, the Hoel, and destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts had been sunk. and the escort carrier Gambier Bay was hit repeatedly by 8 inch shells and sank at 0907.

But Kurita had lost control of his formation (and was probably worrying about when 3d fleet would turn up) and broke off the action at 0911.

While Taffy 3 was doing all this, Taffy 1 was subjected to the first organized use of that new weapon: the Kamikaze, Taffy three would be so attacked in the afternoon.

And so we have St Crispin’s Day, a day of mostly victorious battle for the English-speaking peoples. The English win one with a “Band of Brothers”; the British lose one heroically and gloriously, and the Americans win one part easily, live through a terrible nightmare, while the American varsity is off hunting empty carriers.

#WalkAway from Corruption

I want to talk a bit about the revelations about the Biden family this week, and will under the fold.

But first I’d very much like you to watch this video. This a young woman’s walk away story and she is very impressive. Yes, the video is a bit long, but that also means it’s pretty thorough.

I’ve said many times that my dad, while actually pretty conservative, was a New Dealer, and I cannot fault why he was and was probably right to be. But I was also right to walk away from the Democrats clean back in High School because they just did not make sense in my world. Only in the reign of Obama, however, have I come to believe the Republican Party may well be America’s deliverance once again, but only if we conservatives force them to be.

Here’s the video

See what I mean, this is powerful stuff, I think, for any Democrat who still has a residual ability to think for themself.


OK, on to Biden et. al. The NY Post (one of the very few newspapers who retain any credibility whatsoever) broke a story on Wednesday about the corruption emanating from Joe Biden’s family. It is based on a copy of a computer hard drive found by a Maryland computer repairman and turned over to the FBI last year. One of the very interesting questions raised is just what the FBI has been doing with it for almost a year, or was it just used as a seat cushion. I suspect many of us know the answer to that.

It is seemingly pretty damning about Hunter’s activities in Ukraine and China. To me, it looks like corroboration more than anything we haven’t already suspected. But it is interesting that supposedly Joe required his family to kick back 50% of their ill-gotten gains which makes the Mafia look like pikers. Like I said, very interesting but nothing much all that new. And in fact, Biden’s campaign hasn’t denied it so much as attempted to spin it.

But the real story here is that Twitter suspended the Post and removed the Tweets associated with the story, suspended the Editor of the Post, suspended the official Trump campaign site,  locked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s account, and blocked links to the official US Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on the matter.

Facebook while somewhat more measured has also restricted access to the material.

Senator Ted Cruz’s questions are appropriate,

1. Who made the decision to prevent users from sharing this story? On what basis did they make that decision?

2. When was the New York Post made aware of Twitter’s decision and what process was afforded to it to contest the censorship?

3. Has Twitter prevented the New York TimesWashington Post, or any other major news outlet from posting its own reporting? If so, when?

4. If Twitter did not prevent Buzzfeed from sharing its reporting on the Steele dossier or the New York Times reporting on President Trump’s tax returns, please explain a politically neutral principle for why the reporting is treated differently?

5. Has Twitter ever restricted a story published by a major news outlet about Donald J. Trump during his four years as President of the United States?

6. Have Twitter or any of its employees involved in the decision to censor this reporting been in contact in any capacity with the Biden-Harris campaign or any of its representatives regarding this reporting or the allegations contained therein?

Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley  Tweeted this:

Once again, the coverup is poised to do more damage to the perpetrators than the alleged crime(s).

If we hold the Senate, and/or take the House, which is our part in curbing this corrupt nonsense, then the Article 230 status of big digital media is in play, and they are likely to lose, being held to the standards of publishers, and likely convicted of election interference on a scale that Russia and China have never even dreamed of.

It’s an ill wind …

Eternal Lessons from History

It’s funny, somebody posts something interesting somewhere more or less out of the blue, and then others completely unrelated show up with something that builds on the first one. So it is here.

Our friend (and co-contributor at AATW) wrote on Sunday that modern history begins in the Peloponnesian War, as it does, saying this:

I am not the most conservative author here, but, unlike many others, in history I am so conservative as to consider that modernity begins with the classical period of Greece, particularly the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. Although for much of history the rate of change has generally been very slow, especially compared with recent years, and although the cultures we see in the New Testament are, in many respects, far removed from our own, the New Testament has an immediacy about it that comes from its proximity to us on various basic levels.

The same is not necessarily true of the Old Testament, which reveals Bronze Age culture to us (and then goes into the Iron Age). This is a very different world and we have to work hard with ancient complementary sources to really understand it. This Bronze Age world is weird and exotic to our modern eyes.

He’s correct, of course. The Lutheran Study Bible specifies that the Books of History in the Old Testament are those from Josua to Esther. Esther is usually considered to be set in the reign of Xerxes I who ruled from  486 to 465 BC, so predating the Peloponnesian War. So it’s a fairly short break, but a decisive one.

So, I’m reading my way around the net this morning and what shows up from Michael McManus writing at The Conservative Woman but a quote from Thucydides, the historian of, and a victim himself, of that war from Book 3 of his history in paragraphs 82-85, edited by the link’s author:

‘The sufferings which the war inflicted upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, human nature being what it is. War is a rough teacher. Words changed their meanings to accommodate the changed situation. Callous aggression came to be regarded as courage; prudence became weakness; moderation became timidity; willingness to consider evidence and look at all sides of a question became nervousness; fanatical thuggery and treachery became righteous actions. The ideological extremist was trusted while those who urged restraint became the enemy. If someone made a reasonable suggestion, his opponents sought to cover it up or distort its meaning.

‘Ambition, greed and the craving for power caused these evils and intensified the violence. Those in contention were full of fine words and noble expressions: some spoke of equality and political liberty for the people; others spoke of the safety, stability and trustworthiness of sound aristocratic government. Both sides stopped at nothing to get their way. No one wanted to listen to reason but sought fine arguments to justify vile deeds. Meanwhile, ordinary, sensible citizens were trapped between the two: even their quietness was taken as evidence of guilt.

‘The character of the Greeks went from bad to worse. The simple life of honour and decency was laughed at and society divided into hostile camps whose promises were no longer trusted. The less intelligent prospered: knowing their weaknesses and expecting to be defeated in debate they resorted to intimidation and violence. The more intelligent, foolishly confident that reason and evidence would prevail, were caught off-guard and vanquished. Those who were envious of their neighbours engaged in savage and pitiless actions. No longer restrained by convention and law, human nature showed itself to be ungovernable in its passionate disregard for justice, and its hatred of anything superior to itself.’

I think he’d feel right at home in our countries in 2020, don’t you?

And that is kind of the point, while the Old Testament feels exotic to us, we see the same motives there that Thucydides wrote about in ancient Greece, that the American Founders sought to guard against in our founding documents – now endangered, and that we see forthrightly in our governments and on our streets today. We somewhat facilely say that our founder’s sought to guard against Original Sin, well we are not wrong, for that is human nature, sometimes achieving amazing feats and goodness approaching the angels, and sometimes veritable ogres, destroying wantonly and with no less amazing cruelty.

And that is the genius of the English speaking people and especially the United States, to set the bad sides of our nature against our opponents’ bad sides to achieve lasting freedom. We need to guard our heritage fiercely.

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