Another Week

Let’s start with a bit more from the recent CPAC. We all know Ben Shapiro, and yes, he is one of our great rising voices, but what I find fascinating is that as well as he resonates with us, he speaks just as well to the cousins, who increasingly find our outspokenness to be vital to the cause of saving our freedom.

But it is a two-way street, has been since before America was America, we have looked to England as we learned how to be ‘the land of the free’ and they still produce leaders worth listening to. So a bit of payback, here’s one of theirs, talking to us.

And if there is anything Americans have learned, its how great conservative women are, the American ones, surely, but our British cousins have some great ones too.

And so we continue the mission, knowing that freedom will never be secure, that it must be won in every generation, and also knowing that it is well worth it.

This has been a week filled with sound and fury (most are lately) this week the emphasis has been the continuing effort to disarm the American people. Nothing new, really, just an attack on freedom from a different angle. I predict we will again stand firm.

My kind of guy!

From Ace.

Hard earned wisdom?

Mostly from PowerLine, as per.

Have a good week.

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Dear America: Your News Media Absolutely Hates You

Ben Domenech, the founder of The Federalist has noticed something many of us have. The American media hates America and Americans.

It’d be nice to say that American media doesn’t hate this country. It’d be nice to claim that the American press, while maintaining objectivity and balancing against bias, is still inherently American – that they are patriots who love this country even as they report on its defects. Recall the quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan while Ambassador to the United Nations: “Am I embarrassed to speak for a less than perfect democracy? Not one bit. Find me a better one. Do I suppose there are societies which are free of sin? No, I don’t. Do I think ours is, on balance, incomparably the most hopeful set of human relations the world has? Yes, I do. Have we done obscene things? Yes, we have. How did our people learn about them? They learned about them in the newspapers.” And that is important.

But we cannot say these things when the American media, time and again, illustrates its utter hatred for the nation and its people in those newspapers and on television. Having judged the American project kaput after the election of Donald Trump, they are now stooping to the level of defending the North Koreans – perhaps the most brutal and heinous regime in the world today – thanks to some side-eye from its minister of propaganda, the sister of Kim Jong Un. If the headlines are to be believed, “North Korea heading for diplomacy gold medal at Olympics”is the story American media want to tell about this moment.

I wish this was an exaggeration. Witness this story from CNN today, with its dripping credulousness in attacking Mike Pence with a story sourced entirely to a diplomatic source close to the North Korean regime.

“The senior diplomatic source said Pence “degraded the image of the United States as a superpower” by meeting with North Korean defectors along with Otto Warmbier’s father, and by speaking strongly against North Korea on multiple occasions. “Fred Warmbier accompanied Pence during his visit to South Korea. His son Otto was jailed in North Korea and died upon his return to the US last year after suffering extensive brain damage… “The source also described as “undignified behavior” Pence’s decision to stay seated and to not applaud the unified Korean team at the opening ceremony, adding that the Vice President “took the low road instead of acting like a big brother.”

As Ben notes this is not some raw graduate of leftist indoctrination but a fifteen-year veteran reporter (perhaps propagandist would be a more accurate term). It is endemic in the media, enshrined alongside the media’s disdain for all thing American, except of course the ridiculous salaries they are paid for their lying.

And CNN’s not alone! Bre Payton reports:

“Kim Yo Jong’s brother is starving his own people in order to develop nuclear weapons he’s threatening to use against the United States and other countries, but you might not know that about her based on these headlines. CNN: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”

YAHOO: “All swagger and smiles, Kim Jong Un’s mysterious sister gets her star turn at Winter Olympics”

YAHOO: “Kim Yo Jong: N. Korea’s political princess”

BBC: “Kim Jong-un’s sister: ‘Sweet but with a tomboy streak’”

WASHINGTON POST: “The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South”

ASSOCIATED PRESS: “At Olympic Games, Kim Jong Un’s sister takes VIP seat”… “This favorable news coverage of the Hermit Kingdom didn’t come out of a vacuum. Last month, NBC’s Lester Holt visited a luxury ski resort in Masikryong, North Korea, where a crowd of people dressed in matching outfits milled about in the background. They were probably forced to show up and ski in order to make the regime look good, as photo ops with compulsory attendees are a frequent regime tactic to hide the country’s terrible living conditions. “As my colleague John Daniel Davidson pointed out in his critique of Holt’s coverage: “More than 40 percent of the population are malnourished and more than 70 percent rely on food-aid. There is no tourist industry to speak of. The only reason to build such a resort in such a country is to propagate a lie about the deplorable conditions there.” “Those skiers won’t be the only North Koreans forced to put on a show to make the regime look good. North Korea has sent 229 young women dressed in identical outfits and colloquially known as an “army of beauties” to cheer on its Olympic team.”

You know Potemkin villages are rife in history but they only work when the will is to believe their story. Just as the visit of the Danish Red Cross to Theresienstadt gave Hitler a propaganda victory. Although in that case, it is perhaps true that the Danes acted as they did to protect their own jews, who alone in World War II came through the Holaucaust. That is not true here where the media is managing to dissociate this woman from what she does for a living. She is the Propaganda Minister (the job title made famous by Joseph Goebbels in the 1930 and 40s) for a regime, run by her brother, that is actually worse than Hitler, and perhaps worse than Mao.

Some sweetheart our media has!

John Wayne and the American Brand

My old friend Pumabydesign picked up an article by Vassar Bushmills about John Wayne and his brand. It’s good stuff from Watchers of Weasels.

For close to ten years, in the late 60s and early 70’s, the most hated man in Hollywood was John Wayne. That’s right, the Duke. It was all about the Vietnam War, about which you never saw one contemporaneous film released except for Wayne’s “Green Berets”, a 1968 film released just as public sentiment was turning against the war because (take note) the American media, especially Walter Cronkite and CBS News, decided it was a war that could not be won, and who then took great strides to make their analysis came true.

Like the Vietnam War, Hollywood, New York and Washington were largely of one sentiment about John Wayne, only, the rub is, the rest of America loved him. And in a contest of numbers, that matters. Throughout the war period he was America’s top box office draw. He had established a “brand” by the 1960s that lives on today, and nothing those anti-war leftists could say would diminish it. And yes, Donald Trump’s presidency is in part a result of the resiliency of that brand.

It’s simple math, actually. A point that will be driven home shortly in a different context, Richard Grenier, in his 1979 elegy to John Wayne, wrote:

“But Richard Dreyfuss and Robert de Niro are known to only a small proportion of the people who knew Gary Cooper and John Wayne.”

With that alone, John Wayne could protect his brand by not having to say a word. All he had to do was continue about his business in a way that silently said “Screw you” to Hollywood and the political left, and let his brand speak for itself.

The beat goes on. Because Americans demanded such heroes, he and Coop were succeeded by others, men such as Clint Eastwood, who began his Dirty Harry franchise in 1971 after a string of spaghetti Westerns had established him as a quiet but deadly gunslinger. Over the years Eastwood’s “brand” also grew as an anti-liberal, law and order patriot, and is still an icon today.

Yep, an icon and an ideal, still for so many of us. For me growing up, dad was my hero, but you know, he represented almost the very same things that the Duke did. He just had never had time for the movies and so I wasn’t much on them either. But when I started watching some, it was John Wayne, because I already knew him.

They weren’t all guys though, how about this.

I think I might know a few women who might have said this!

Maureen O’Hara, from Ireland, was discovered by Charles Laughton and landed her first Hollywood role in 1937. By that time the “casting couch” was a fixture of the template for getting ahead there. Everyone knew. And The Harvey Weinstein-type producer-director was the template, not the exception, for Hollywood executives. But Maureen O’Hara considered this an occupational hazard and charted her course accordingly. She refused to allow directors and producers to lay a hand on her, (“to be pawed”, her words) until they finally quit trying. She threatened to quit several projects, and eventually earned the reputation of a “cold fish”, black-balled by some studios and producers. Like Wayne, she ended up being type-cast, as a strong woman figure, fiery temperament, but honorable and noble, a heroine. Just not one who would wear a pink hat in a protest march. Like Wayne, she liked her image, and with friends like Wayne and Gary Cooper was able to established an incredible brand without ever once having to lift her skirt or run off to the front office or media with an assault charge.

I’m sure it cost her some fine roles, but she didn’t like slutty roles anyway, which earned Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda both Oscars. In the 40s Joan Crawford was always there to pick those up, anyway.

Like John Wayne, Miss O’Sullivan also realized her brand was immeasurably larger outside Hollywood than inside it. So “screw ’em”.

I can remember trying on the old “Everybody’s doing it” when I was a kid. I was swiftly informed that one: I wasn’t everybody, and two, I wasn’t doing it. So were the Duke and Maureen, and they didn’t, so nobody had to cower before the bullies, but they did. Well, those people always exist. We call them victims, and we pity them and then forget them. They too made their own beds and get to lie in them.

Every encounter between two people is always different, but something I’ve learned and relearned over the years, people who want to take advantage of you, in any manner, whatsoever, are bullies, and more or less evil. Many will rationalize letting them have their way, but that is your choice. You may not get the part, you may not be the most popular guy in school, but over time, things will come, and they will be due you. Because you did it, not so much ‘my way’, as the right way.

America is like that, always has been. That’s why John Wayne symbolizes America to the rest of the world. The closer we run the country to that image, the better it is for America, and Americans, but here’s the catch, the better it is for the people (although often not the government or elites) of those other countries. That’s why all those people we thought were our friends last week voted against us in the UN. It’s not their people, most of whom, if they know us, like us. Rather like the Duke and Maureen were great friends, because they are like us, trying to feed the family and do the right thing. The people that have usurped control of their countries away from the people, well they are not like us.

As the Duke would say, “Screw ’em”. And don’t get me started on what that fiery redheaded Irishwoman would do to them.

And Vassar is right, Clint Eastwood picked up the gauntlet when he started playing Dirty Harry. In fact, I’ve read that the Duke turned down the role, clearing his path.

So I guess the elites are going to have to answer that All-American question,

“Do ya feel lucky, punk?”

You’ll shoot your eye out.

This from JT Young writing American Spectator’s: The Nation’s Pulse nails it.

Ah, Christmas, when America gets to unwrap its beloved, politically incorrect present. When more and more things qualify as guilty pleasures, and involve more and more guilt, Jean Shepherd’s Christmas Story does neither. Therein lie this movie’s unabashed beauty and our desire to welcome it back more heartily every year.

Oh my goodness gracious, Yes, indeed. How I love this movie!

Only liberals could not love this movie — and undoubtedly do not — but no matter, it is now a classic and untouchable. A simple story, wonderfully and meticulously told, it follows nine-year old Ralph Parker’s tunnel-vision Christmas pursuit of a Red Ryder BB-gun. “Ralphie’s” memorized rapid-fire entreaties to Mom, teacher, and even Santa himself are met with the same patronizing retort: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Interspersed are subplots, each as rich and entertaining as the quest itself. Like the main plot, they are short stories from Shepherd’s collection about growing up in northern Indiana. Together, they make A Christmas Story folk art, a gorgeous patchwork quilt of Middle America Americana. […]

I venture America’s ever growing love affair with Christmas Story springs from the movie’s increasing separation from political correctness. Shepherd himself would revel in this, as any perusal of his books confirms. However, we need look no further than the movie: All its elements are politically incorrect.

The title alone reveals it. Today, it would have to be A Holiday Story, in order to be inclusive.

The movie’s central subject is a gun. The very reason Ralphie wants the BB-gun is the danger it exudes. Even the author, narrating as an adult, still feels his adrenaline surge despite the years.

There is also the fight. Scut Farkas, the bully, and Ralphie do not “dialogue” or reason out their differences.

Of course, there is the notorious leg lamp. Symbolizing victory to his Old Man, (and bad taste to his mother), it is electric sex symbol to Ralphie.

So many memes based on this movie (“You’ll shoot your eye out”) and so much of how so many of us remember growing up. Jean Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana, not very far from where I did (not all that far off in time either, I suspect). Hammond isn’t, and wasn’t, anybody’s idea of a small town, but he nails it. This is what growing up in mid-century America was like.

No, America does not love A Christmas Story in spite of its politically incorrect elements, because that is all there is. And this leads to the obvious conclusion: America adores this movie because of those elements. America’s infatuation only grows deeper as political correctness encroaches further.

Breaking out of the saccharine straitjacket of self-censorship, this movie sends today’s taboos crashing like a bull in a china shop. And America goes blithely along for the wonderfully liberating ride.

Political correctness and this movie are diametrical opposites. It is symbol versus substance. Political correctness is all symbol, continually creating new ones in order to overturn conventional substance. It is a contrivance — merely means to an end. When it uses humor in spite of itself, it always uses it in spite.

A Christmas Story is all about substance over symbol. No symbol is off limits for its skewering humor. However, it is all good-natured, which all the characters in the movie — and we in the audience — innately understand. Beneath its jesting rejection, it embraces the true substance.

He got a very good point, and it is germane to so many things. Americans are quite good at telling various bullshit regulators to bug off. Yes, I am being polite here, it’s not what we really say! 🙂 But that insolent, rambunctious, but quiet and insidious American contempt for silliness shines through here. It’s been the despair of everybody from Kaiser Bill to Barack Obama. We simply do not tolerate chickenshit for long.

It’s a large part of who we are as Americans, any American, white, black, poor, rich, yellow, green, whether they are wearing a teeny=weenie yellow polka dot bikini, a Stetson, jeans, or a Brooks Brothers suit. It’s that unwillingness to suffer fools that makes us what we are, and America what it is.

Maybe it’s why we got Trump, and nobody else has even a pale imitation of such a leader. It’s purely American. I might even say, it’s part of what made Churchill so remarkable.

Watch the movie – several times, I will be. Don’t overanalyze it, simply glory in Ralphie’s triumphs, because they are all of ours. And be careful with that Red Ryder; “You’ll shoot your eye out.” But what’s life without a bit of danger

Veteran’s Day

On 2012 for the first time as we observed Veteran’s Day, there was no one to take our salute. Florence Green, a member of the Women’s Royal Air Force, died on 4 February 2012 two weeks short of her 111th birthday, at King’s Lynn. She was the very last veteran of World War I.

And now they’re all gone, the doughboys, Tommies, the Diggers, the Canucks, and the Kiwis. And the men of the Second World War are following swiftly.

These are the men that have kept us free. For this holiday is about brave men.

The Great War, of course, is when the United States made its debut as the great world power. From our entry in 1917 until today is fairly termed “The American Century” for as the Pax Britannica ended in 1914 and chaos ensued between the wars as we hid in our continent and from 1945 the Pax Americana has been in place.

It could be fairly said that the wars of the 20th Century were the “Wars of Freedom”, for more people have been freed from tyranny by the United States and our allies than at any other time in history.

The legend of American bravery is known worldwide, from the Marine sergeant, who lead the charge at the battle of Belleau Wood, who led the charge with the command, “Come on you sons-of-bitches, do you want to live forever.”( Noting that it is now “Bois de la Brigade de Marine“, in their honor) to General McAuliffe’s response to the German demand to surrender at Bastogne, “Nuts” to the Admiral Nimitz’s comment on Iwo Jima, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Thus it has been remarked the common bravery of American troops in every case in all the wars of these Planetary soldiers.

As probably everyone reading this knows, the average American idolizes American soldiers, they have gone from being the unwanted stepchildren of the revolution, because of the mistrust engendered by the occupying British regulars, to by far the most trusted of American institutions, trusted by over  80% of Americans. They have earned it and earned it the hard way by blood, toil, tears, honor, integrity, and sweat from Lexington Green to Afghanistan they have become a legend, at one and the same time, “America’s Army” and the “Army of the Free”. The Armed Forces are the best of America. If you were to ask the common people of anyplace they have been, you will find their fans, maybe not the government, but the people remember.

If you don’t happen to know, those streamers on the service flags are called battle streamers, each of them remembers a battle going back to Lexington Green. It has been a contentious life we have lived, and freedom always has enemies.

But they have done other things, they are often the first humanitarian aid anywhere in the world after a natural disaster, the mapping of the United States was done by the Army, your GPS system is courtesy of the Air Force and the Internet you’re reading this on was started by the US Department of Defense.

But let us not make the mistake many do, it’s not technology that wins wars, it’s men, and now women as well, women like these:

What do you think goes through the minds of women in the parts of the world that don’t offer women equal rights when these women show up in their midst as American officers and warriors? Think maybe some get the idea that women are equal to men.

I’d say things like this have done more to advance women’s rights than all the feminists yelling in the last fifty years. It was the same when the military integrated in 1948, that’s where it was all proved, although we already knew it, really, blacks have served bravely and well ever since Crispus Attucks was killed at the Boston Massacre.

But you know, it’s always had a cost, often a very high cost and a wise people don’t forget, no matter the technology, it has to be operated by people and by brave people, from the rifleman to the man who may have to turn the key to unleash Armageddon itself. And in American history, the military has never failed us, even when we and our political leadership has not been worthy of them. Many of us use as a catchphrase a rewording of the last line of our national anthem, instead of  “the Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave”, we are wont to say “The Land of the Free because of the Brave.”

We are also quite content, while not resting in our quest, to be known by the friends we keep.

But sometimes the brave are lost and then we honor our fallen countrymen, as they deserve. Bill Whittle a few years ago had something to say about American Honor, and I’d like you to read it.

On October 7th, 2002, I returned to Los Angeles from Arlington National Cemetery where we’d interred my father, 2nd Lt. William Joseph Whittle, who died from what may have been sheer joy during a fishing trip in Canada.

My dad served in the US Army in Germany, from 1944 through 1946. He was an intelligence officer, and was responsible for recording the time of death of the convicted War Criminals at Nuremburg after the war. He saw them hanged — he stood there with a stopwatch. He was 21 years old.

My father spent two years in the U.S. Military. He spent a lifetime in the corporate world. After twenty years as a world-class hotel manager, turning entire properties from liabilities into assets, he was let go without so much as a thank-you dinner or a handshake. Twenty years of service. He was a four-star general in the corporate world for two decades, and that was his reward.

Monday afternoon, at 1 pm, I stood underneath the McClellan arch at ANC. There were 13 family members there. There were also 40 men in uniform. I was stunned.

They took my dad’s ashes, in what looked like a really nice cigar box (what a little box for such a big man, I thought at that moment), and placed it in what looked like a metallic coffin on the back of a horse-drawn caisson. His ashes were handled by other twenty-one year old men, men as young as he had been, men whose fathers were children when my dad was in uniform. Everything was inspected, checked, and handled with awesome, palpable, radiating reverence and respect.

As we walked behind the caisson, the band played not a dirge, but a march… a tune that left me searching for the right adjective, which I didn’t find until the flight home. It was triumphal. It was the sound of Caesar entering Rome; the sound of a hero coming home. It was the only time during the service that I really began to cry.

Continue reading Honor

This is part of that Honor

Conservatives Rising

Kurt Schlichter lays it out on Townhall just in case any of our so-called representatives would be interested in what the people that elected them think. I admit it’s unlikely, the gravy train and cocktail circuit in Washington is so much more fitting to their self-image. Here be ground truth or if you’re a Washington insider, monsters on the horizon, and they may be closer than you think.

I guess now we’re not supposed to be fighting culture wars anymore – man, it’s so hard to keep up with these ever-changing new rules! I’m old enough to remember way back to 2016, before Trump got nominated, and I could have sworn Conservative Inc., was gung-ho for the whole culture war thing. But then Trump actually fought it, taking on the big, soft target that is the spoiled, semi-literate athletes who like to rub their contempt for the flag we love in our faces in the guise of woke wokedness. Now we suddenly discover that fighting back is horribly uncouth and déclassé and “Oh, well I never!

Gosh, I would have thought from all those cruise panels about how our crumbling culture is slouching toward Babylon and the need to resist the liberal onslaught that maybe we ought to actually resist the liberal onslaught, but see, that was my mistake. I took it seriously when Conservative, Inc., promised to fight the leftist blitzkrieg against normal Americans. It was all a scam, a lie, a pose for us rubes. The Tru Cons didn’t actually mean it.

Jokes on them though, we meant it when we elected them, they’re replaceable, and I think some (maybe not enough) will be. We’ll find out soon enough. Yesterday, Alabama voters told us what they think.

Conservativism forgot about the real world conservatives we expected to line up behind us. While we were talking about free trade, we were ignoring that GOP voter who fought in Fallujah, came home, got a job building air conditioners, raised a family, and then one day watched the video of the oh-so-sorry CEO – who looked remarkably like Mitt Romney, because all these guys look remarkably like Mitt Romney – sadly informing his beloved employees that their jobs were getting shipped to Oaxaca. And our response to the 58-year old Republican voter who asked us how he was going to keep paying for his mortgage and his kid in college? Pretty much, “Well, that’s how free enterprise works. Read some Milton Freidman and go learn coding.

That’s not a response, not for a political party that requires people to actually vote for it. That’s an abdication, but what did Conservative, Inc., care? Priorities! “There’s this new tapas place in Georgetown everyone is talking about – the other night, my buddy from the Liberty Freedom Eagle Institute for Liberty, Freedom and Eagles saw Lawrence O’Donnell there getting hammered!

How about the guy who wanted to be a roofer in Fontana but he couldn’t because the contractors were only hiring illegals? What was our answer to him? “Oh well, the big corporate donors need their serfs, and if some pack of tatted-up MS-13 dreamers gang-rapes your daughter that’s just a price we’re willing to pay!

They try to crush our religion and Conservative, Inc., cowers because Apple’s CEO might say mean things. “Just bake the cake,” they say – it’s not worth the fight! They demand our tax money to kill babies and Conservative, Inc., passes the spending bills – “Gosh, we can’t risk the WaPo saying we’re mean!” They diss our National Anthem, we react, and Conservative, Inc., wags its soft, spindly fingers – “So, so very unpresidential! My word!

You know what is (not very) funny? I’ve got a lot of British friends who feel exactly the same way about the Tories, especially as led by Mrs. Dismay. You should hear them, some of them make Col. Schlichter sound very mild, indeed. They envy us though, because they’ve known enough Americans that they know we’ll do something about it, one way or another, and that we have the tools, and the experience, and yes, the guts to actually do it, not talk about it. I’m not calling them wusses, mind. They’d walk through fire for a conservative government that would tell the Frogs and the Krauts, not to even mention the Islamic terrorists, to sod off. That why they voted for Brexit. They envy us Trump, as well, and can’t see how such a figure could get to be their Prime Minister. Sadly, they have much right in that belief.

What’s coming after is militant normalacy, the not-so-polite demand that the lackwits and failures who style themselves as our betters stop dumping on us normal Americans who work hard and play by the rules (Gosh that sounds familiar, like it used to be a winning electoral recipe, if only I could remember where I heard it before).

Who are the normals? The Americans who built this country, and defended it. When you eat, it’s because a normal grew the food and another normal trucked it to you. When you aren’t murdered in the street or don’t speak German, it’s because a normal with a gun made those things not happen. We normals don’t want to rule over others. We don’t obsess about how you live your life, but also we don’t want to be compelled to signal our approval or pick up the tab. We are every color and creed – though when someone who is incidentally a member of some other group aligns with normals, he/she/xe loses that identity. The left drums normals who are black out of its definition of “black,” just as normal women get drummed out of womanhood and normal gays get drummed out gayhood. In a way, the left is making E pluribus unum a reality again – to choose to be normal is to choose to reject silly identity group identification and unite. Instead of saying “normal Americans,” you can just say “Americans.” [..]

That’s why the shameful abdication of Conservative, Inc., in the cultural fight is both important and irrelevant. It demonstrates that the first loyalty of many folks in the conservaracket is to the ruling caste to which they belong, and it also demonstrates that these wimps’ absence from the battle means nothing. […]

But we’re not giving up, and we’re not going to sit back and just take it. Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore. We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect. But if you leftists veto that option, that leaves us either a society where you rule and oppress us, or one where we hold the power. So let me break this down, both for the left and for their fussy Fredocon enablers: You don’t get to win.

Not for nothing did General Creighton Abrams, back when he was a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 37th Tank Battalion, in the 4th Armored, as it led Patton’s 3rd Army to the relief of Bastogne, when he was informed that Bastogne was surrounded, say,

“They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor Bastards” 

 

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