An Old-Fashioned Patriot

Some things don’t change, and the world is much better off for it. Such as:

Jake Tapper


Q: Are you a Democrat?

SEC. MATTIS: You know, we’re all built on our formative experiences.

When I was 18, I joined the Marine Corps, and in the U.S. military we are proudly apolitical….


Jake Tapper


2/ …By that, I mean that in our duties, we were brought up to obey the elected commander in chief, whoever that is. And we’ve seen, over those — since I was in the military longer than some of you have been alive, I have seen Republicans and Democrats come and go….


Jake Tapper


3/… Where am I today? I’m a member of the president’s administration. And you have seen that President Trump’s military policies, security policies, reaping significant bipartisan support….


Jake Tapper


4/… So my role…and I realize you all write about tension between this person and that, this administration and that party, and this sort of thing. But when you think 83 percent of the U.S. Congress voting the same way on an issue put forward by the Republican president…


Jake Tapper


5/ … you can see that my portfolio is bipartisan by its very basis, and that is the protection of the United States. That’s what President Trump has told me to do, and I eagerly carry that out, alongside probably the most selfless young men and women…


Jake Tapper


6/ … — not all young; some old men and women, too — civilian and military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines working together.
So that’s where I stand. That defines me.


Jake Tapper


7/ Q: I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but you haven’t registered Republican or Democrat. Is that what I’m hearing you say?

SEC. MATTIS: I’ve never registered for any political party.

It’s easy to forget sometimes as we all run in circles, screaming and shouting, but there are more important things than politics, or even Hollyweird.
One of them is the defense of the Republic, and down through the years, one of the marks of the US Military has been that it is apolitical, keeping its eyes on the eternal, God and the Constitution.
Obama tried, near as I can tell, to change that, to politicize the military as he did the other institutions, but I suspect he mostly failed, and Mattis shows us why. And old-fashioned, rock-ribbed, man of integrity. And the reason why Americans trust our military more than any other institution.
Hat tip to Rightscoop.

Law and Disorder in Portland

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

There was a story in The Washington Times last Sunday on the Antifa riots in Portland. It was rather interesting.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler came under fire over a viral video showing Antifa protesters blocking traffic and harassing drivers, but he says he supports the decision by police to watch from a distance without getting involved.

“I was appalled by what I saw in the video, but I support the Portland Police Bureau’s decision not to intervene,” he said at a Friday press conference. “This whole incident will be investigated.”

The video posted by journalist Andy C. Ngo showed protesters, including members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, blocking an intersection and attempting to direct traffic at while officers on motorcycle watched from a block away.

I expect that we have all seen it multiple times by now. What we have now is the Mayor’s (He’s also the Police Commissioner) announcing Portland’s surrender to Antifa/BLM. Nothing more, nothing less.

“I’m willing to take criticism all day long from Fox News,” he said. “But I’m not willing to accept criticism from Fox News of the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau.”

Well, I saw the report on Fox news several times. I did not see any criticism of the individual police officers, which would indeed be inappropriate. They are required to follow orders. I did hear, and myself have, severe criticisms of the Portland Police Bureau, the Police Commissioner, and the Mayor. They have failed both the police force and the citizens of Portland.

The mayor argued that law enforcement is in a no-win situation.

“This is the story of Goldilocks and the two bears. The porridge is either too hot or it’s too cold,” Mr. Wheeler told reporters. “At any given moment in this city, the police are criticized for being heavy-handed and intervening too quickly, or they’re being criticized for being standoffish and not intervening quickly enough.”

Poor little snowflake leadership, I wonder if police morale in Portland is below periscope depth like it is in Chicago. I bet it is, with leadership like this.

Tell me again why we have police forces?

Sir Robert Peel, the founder (during the time the Duke of Wellington was Prime Minister) of the London Metropolitan Police, the first modern police force, after which all police forces in the English speaking world were patterned, had nine principles of policing. They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing cooperation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognize always that the extent to which the cooperation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favor, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

I think Mayor/ Police Commissioner Wheeler would do well to review Principles 1, 5, and 9 for starters. At the rate he is going, the people are going to apply number 7 and take back the police power for themselves. Some call that vigilantism, but it is necessary when the police refuse to be the police.

And likely at that point, you will see the military take over because it has reached the point that only Napoleon’s cure will work. His command was to “Give them a whiff of grapeshot.” That’s the progression that the stupid Progressives Regressives have us on.

A Cloud Smaller Than a Fist

We’ll be coming back to politics, for the US mid-terms and the British Brexit will determine much of the history of the twenty-first century. Will the Pax Americana continue or will the Chinese inherit the earth? This fall will have much to say about it. We would be foolhardy to be sanguine about it.

But this week kicks off what I sometimes call “The season of battles” where the English Speaking peoples obtained and held the dominion of the seas. This article, which I first published in 2011, is an excellent introduction.

Sometimes out here on the prairie way off in the southwest you will see a small dark cloud that is not very noticeable but if know what you’re looking at;  you may realize that stormy weather is coming in. History is like that sometimes too. Sometimes a small local event echoes down the halls of history with its reverberations growing until they shake the world.

Constantine’s deathbed conversion to Christianity was like that. it had no real importance at the time but echoes down the corridors of time to this day. So was the death of Genghis Khan and the Battle of Salamis. So was the signing of the Declaration of Independence, for that matter, until made good in American blood.

September 26th was the anniversary of another one of those events. On that day a ship landed in Plymouth, England. This was not uncommon, Plymouth then as now was one of England great ports.

The ship was unusual though, it had been damaged by grounding on a reef, it carried amongst other things, several tons of cloves, nearly unheard of in England. Probably, they didn’t know what they were missing; there weren’t any Virginia Hams, either. But Virginia’s namesake was interested in this ship.

The ship had sailed from Plymouth nearly 3 years earlier in company with four of her sisters. The other four had all been lost or turned back in their many adventures.

For the ship and her company had accomplished a great feat, they had circumnavigated the Earth. They had visited South America, had sailed north in the Pacific to Vancouver, refitted and claimed land around San Fransisco Bay, had made port in the Philippines and the Spice Islands and made it home again.

This ship was no ordinary ship, though, for this was the fabulous Golden Hind, captained by none other than Francis Drake, soon to be knighted on board by Queen Elizabeth I.

The Golden Hind by Derek Starkswood

An important event no doubt, for this was the first circumnavigation by anyone but a Spaniard, but not really earthshaking, you say.

You could have been right, like the Declaration it depends on subsequent events. But on this September 26, in the Year of our Lord 1580, we are less than 9 years away from the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the beginning of the long, slow and painful defeat of Imperial Spain , which would see the famous red and orange ensign fly for the last time in 1898 as the Spanish fleets surrendered to those stepchildren of medieval England, the Americans, at Santiago and Manila Bay.

That long slow decline, and the ascendancy of the English Speaking peoples at sea and around the world begins here.

As so often in history, the contrafactuals are fascinating. If the Golden Hind hadn’t survived, without Drake would the English have (with the help of the storm) have beaten the Armada, if not, would there have been English colonies and all that they represent to our world today, in North America.

But Sir Francis did make it. The North American Colonies were started and in time became the United States of America, Canada was conquered and became a British Commonwealth. Australia and New Zealand were founded and prospered. India was conquered and liberated by Gandhi. The sun that never set on the British Empire finally did; but not until America was ready to take her place as Viceroy of King Neptune.

And so 438 years ago today, occurred one of the seminal events of modern world history.

Sunday Funnies; Kanye

Welp, I hear there is a new diner in DC, called the Kennedydodd, this is their menu.

Is it still Oktoberfest?

And a repeat from Brenna Spencer

Most from PowerLine and a few from Ace’s and elsewhere.

The Angry Mob: Video Saturday

Well, this is increasingly what we see.


Then there’s Kanye at the White House.

I can’t say I agree with everything he says, but he makes more sense than most of the Democrats.

Meanwhile the mob roars on, whatever they say.

Now open, in a theater somewhat near you, See it.

And some Paglia on how feminism is gonna kill us.

Well, that’s enough to keep us busy for now, I guess

Anti Leadership

Then there comes this to our attention from Mr Ed at  Samizdata.

Recent testimony from a former Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Craig Mackey indicates that he was present as one of his officers was stabbed to death during the Westminster Bridge attack, and sat in his car and locked the doors, and took advice from his subordinates as to what, if anything, to do. Holding, in an acting capacity, the most important policing role in the UK, he did not get out of the car, in which he was a passenger, to intervene, nor, AFAIK, did he suggest that the car be used as a weapon. Of course, it is much easier for any one of us to sit as armchair strategists as to what we might have done, but would we continue in office and look forward to collecting pensions had we been in Sir Craig’s unscuffed shoes?

Sir Craig told jurors it was his ‘instinct’ to get out of the car, but was in a short-sleeved shirt with no equipment following (a) ministerial meeting. ‘I was conscious my two colleagues were not police officers. If anyone had got out, the way this Masood was looking, anyone who got in his way would have been a target,’ he said. ‘I think anyone who came up against that individual would have faced serious, serious injury, if not death.’

He is right, PC Keith Palmer, an unarmed police officer, was murdered in front of the eyes of his then ultimate commander. An armed officer who was co-incidentally nearby was then able to shoot and kill the terrorist Khalid Masood. Presumably Sir Craig did not see it, on balance, as his responsibility to intervene.

The inquest… …heard that Sir Craig, then acting Scotland Yard chief, and his colleagues locked the car doors because they had ‘no protective equipment and no radio’.

Some have criticised Sir Craig, alleging cowardice. The Daily Mail highlights the contrast with a junior Transport Police officer who fought the London Bridge attackers.

So it’s not impossible these days to find brave people in public service, but what rises to the top? Is the process like flatulence in a bath?

In the last summer of George VI’s reign, a relatively junior RAF officer, Flt-Lt John Quinton DFC gave away the only parachute he had to save a young Air Cadet he was training at the cost of his life: The ultimate zenith of courage and leadership. I am reminded of a quote I read about being a Lieutenant in the (IIRC Imperial) German Army.

To live your life as a Lieutenant is to life your life as an example to your men. Dying as an example is thus part of it‘.

I’m more of the Patton school of leadership than the German, although it is valid enough. I believe in making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. But neither Imperial Germany nor the United States has much tolerance for cowardice. Apparently, HMG now does. Well, one acts as one sees one’s leaders act. Maybe that is the trouble.

None of us were there, so in a way, it is perhaps unfair to criticize Sir Craig, who bears an honorific once reserved for brave soldiers and sailors, but we have a right to expect better. In my short ROTC career, one of the lessons pounded into me was this about priorities.

  • The Mission. The mission overrides all other conditions. Sir Craig’s mission was the safety of English citizens. He failed grotesquely.
  • Your People. Sometime your people will die in carrying out the mission, they know that, in America, we call it part of the job. It’s suboptimal, but it happens. To have the highest police commander in the country sit immobile in his locked car, not commanding, just spectating, as one of his people is murdered, is so far beyond the pale of acceptable conduct, that I am left almost speechless.
  • Yourself. Well, Sir Craig surely understands about looking out for number one. Personally, I think the proper precedent for honoring Sir Craig is Admiral Byng. And don’t forget the blindfold, otherwise, you’ll be chasing him about the quarterdeck.

Well, such is the leadership of the largest police force in the UK, and people wonder why New York has less violent crime.

Soon we may well once again speak of the gallantry of English s[eaking soldiers on the anniversary of three great battles. But for now, I’m reminded of the USS Hoel (DD-533) which in company with a few other destroyers and destroyer escorts attacked with torpedoes and 5 and 3 inch gunfire Kurita’s main battleship force off Samar, including Yamato with her 18.1 in guns, and saved Taffy Three’s carriers at the cost of all but 85 of the Hoel’s complement.

There are plenty of similar of similar example on both sides of the pond. Such conduct as that of Sir Craig is simply intolerable, and reduces the Metropolitan Police to a joke, but not a funny one.

But there is this, I suppose, he’d be the perfect copresenter for a presentation on cowardice with the Sheriff of Broward County, Florida.

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