Veteran’s Day

These are the men that have kept us free.

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 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 any place 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 that 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.

A few years ago, Jessica reminded us that there are other victims of war besides our soldiers, here is that article:

Thin red line of heroes?

I don’t know how it is in the USA with civilian/military relations in everyday life, but, as ever, Kipling in his Tommy still sums up the British attitude:

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

As a sometime Army wife, I know this all too well.  For a long time, thanks to IRA activity, British soldiers were advised to wear civvies when off duty, and it is indicative of something bad that the first reaction of some of the Top Brass to the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was to suggest that soldiers might want to revert to that; it is indicative of something right that our soldiers give the old two-fingered saute to such nonsense.

But there’s bound to be a divide between civilians and the military in times of peace when you have a professional army. Although the analogy with Monks might raise an eyebrow or two, there is a parallel (no, not that one).  Soldiers live a life apart. They are trained to do things which ordinary people don’t do, and probably don’t want to do.There has to be a high level of commitment, and at times the dedication to duty means that a soldier puts everything else to one side. Although no soldier’s wife worth her salt would dream of saying so, we all wait in terror for the knock on the door or the telephone call from the CO. Every time we kiss and wave good-bye, we know that for at least one of us, it is the final good-bye. And if your marriage doesn’t come to that honorable end, well the stress and strains on your man and marriage may make it come to another sort of end. The price soldiers pay to serve us all is huge.  But they also serve, who only stand and wait – and love.

Yes, here in the UK on 11 November, Armistice Day, we all remember our armed forces and the glorious dead, and we have pubic ceremonies where we celebrate and congratulate out Armed Forces; but what about the other 364 days? Well, unless there is a particularly horrible series of death, we forget – the ‘we’ being the vast majority of the population who know nothing and care less about our soldiers sailors and airmen.

I don’t know whether it is different in the US, but here, the armed forces are very much the Cinderella services – except when they are needed. Kipling, as ever, said it best:

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

But how thin does that red line have to be before it breaks?

This is part of that Honor

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Fundamental Concepts: Features and Benefits: Part 1

flag-united-states-industrial-power-national-america-american-industry-57691837Let’s get right into this, even divided into two posts, today and tomorrow it’s fairly long. But it really is fundamental, and why I support Ted Cruz, as well.

When people have a product or service that they want to sell you, they will spend an inordinate amount of time telling you about all the features that they offer. They think that this is a good thing, and it is; but what is important to the listener is not what features are offered, it’s how each of these features would benefit the user. […]

[…] I’d like to turn to something that Ted Cruz is doing in this campaign, and analyze how he needs to do it better. Cruz speaks about recreating the “Reagan coalition”, which is mostly code for getting the votes of blue collar workers. He needs their votes, because these people have been hammered by globalization and they are flocking to the pablum that Donald trump is peddling in droves. Cruz is in the ballpark, but he’s still out in left field talking about features (a very lawyerly thing to do). Reagan’s gift was that he was able to bring it home for voters by showing them the benefits of the policies he proposed. Ted needs to figure out how to do that. It might look something like this:

“I talk to Americans every day as I travel across this country trying to earn your vote for President, and I have to tell you that there is a common theme I hear coming from almost all of them: Economic uncertainty. America’s working men and women and women have been hammered by the last 7 years of Obama’s no-recovery recovery, and they’re nervous. Nervous that they might wake up one morning and find that the jobs they’ve been doing for decades are moving overseas. Nervous that they might not be able to feed their families and raise their kids in the environment that they aspire to. Nervous that even if their job doesn’t go overseas, they might be given to lower skilled workers with lower salaries. Nervous that they might even be forced to endure the indignity and insult of being required to train their replacements! You know what? Under the current administration, and under a Hillary administration, they’re right to be nervous; in fact, they should be downright terrified.

“So what will a Ted Cruz administration do differently? Well, first of all, of all of the candidates in the race, I’m the only one who is absolutely committed to building the wall and enforcing our existing immigration laws. You know, Donald Trump likes to tell you that he’s going to build the wall, the biggest, most luxurious wall the world has ever seen. Every time someone challenges him for details, he just roars “The wall just got higher!”. I think in Donald’s mind the wall reaches to Mars by now. What Donald also says, something that the media has taken great pains to hide, is that his wall also has a great big door in it, the biggest, most luxurious door you’ve ever seen. This is called ‘touchback’ amnesty and it’s about as stupid as it sounds. Would you build a dam with a great big hole in the middle of it? Of course you wouldn’t. Touchback amnesty makes about as much sense.

There’s more there, but that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? And that is how you ethically sell something. You talk about the benefits to the purchaser. I can talk all day about how a $5 light switch is better than a 50¢ one is, but I’ll never sell one. But how about if I tell you (truthfully) that it will lower your light bill by $x per month and last your lifetime. Depending on which $5 switch we’re talking about, that’s entirely possible. That’s enough immigration, I think, but how about jobs moving overseas:

[…] American labor is expensive, and why shouldn’t it be? American workers produce the highest quality goods in the world. There is a reason that “Made in America” means something around the world. If you want quality work, you have to pay for it, and honestly, would we want it any other way? The dream of America has always been that this is a place where you can work hard and make a good living, leaving your kids better off than you were when you started. My father came to this country and worked washing dishes for $.50 an hour, and now his son is running for president. Is this a great country or what? We have to preserve the American Dream for ourselves and ensure that it will still be there for our children.

“What you’re missing, however, is that labor is only part of the picture. There are many reasons for a company to decide to locate itself in any given location, but there are five big ones: Stability, infrastructure, energy cost, labor and regulatory expense. The United States of America has an unquestioned advantage over the rest of the world in the first three categories.

“Stability: Ask any businessman what the foundation of running a successful business is, and he’ll tell you it’s the ability to reasonably project what the future will bring. The United States has been a free market republic, based upon rule of law, for 240 years. If you were starting a business, would you do it in Venezuela? Labor costs are dirt cheep down there, nobody has a job, but anyone who tries to build something immediately has it taken away from them by the government. I’d stay here if I were you.

I highly recommend that you read it all™ at Fundamental Concepts: Features and Benefits [Weirddave].

Emphasis mine.

Here is the reason, why first Britain and then America became and continue as economic superpowers, especially the rule of law. That means that your company will not be seized by the government (unless you break the law). When did Britain start to slide into mediocrity as an industrial power? After World War Two when the Labor Government began and continued nationalizing whole industries, like steel, railroads, and health care. When did it start recovering? When  Maggie Thatcher privatized industries. The market is always, always more efficient than the government. More honest too, when it is let alone.

That’s likely enough for today, we’ll continue tomorrow.

Saturday Links

Well, I’m more or less recovered, but there is a mass of stuff I read (and archived for use) while I was ill. So how ’bout some links today to help you (and me) catch up?

Hillary Clinton & Double Standards on the Left

The Flint Water Scandal

The Tribal War with Islam

This refers to much the same thing I said yesterday.

Obama’s Middle Eastern policy is a bad replay of Woodrow Wilson’s post-WWI efforts (and we know how that ended)

What we really need to talk about after Cologne

Europe Braces Itself for Terrorism as Germany and Other Countries Experience Sexual Jihad Firsthand from Rapefugees

Are there really two popes?

Affirming Anglicanism

The one thing most people think they know about economics is wrong

Sell everything ahead of stock market crash, say RBS economists

Oil could crash to $10 a barrel, warn investment bank bears

Project Fear: how Cameron plans to scare us into staying in the EU

The Brexit vote: it’s neck and neck

Why farms die and should die

And finally, only marginally suitable for work, but an example of “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”.

How To Use A Thong

Well that cleans up some of my archives, and there’s something for nearly everyone there! 🙂

 

Veteran’s Day

For the first time as we observe Veteran’s Day, there is 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 Lynne. 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, yesterday we talked about how the Unknown British Warrior was awarded the American Medal of Honor. Today I’ll note that five Americans, ranging from Ordinary Seaman to Lieutenant Colonel have won the Victoria Cross, plus the Unknown Soldier buried at Arlington, by order of the King.

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 has been remarked the common bravery of American troops in every case in all the wars of these Planetary soldiers.

As probably every one 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 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 that, 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

The Common Defense

English: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

English: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start with some basics, way back when, we instituted local government amongst ourselves to protect our group (family, clan, hunting party, whatever) known as us, from everybody else, known as them. Later on, we combined our group with others who thought more or less like we did and combined our power. this is where state (State, federal, whatever) power comes from.

So you see, the first and overriding job of government is to protect us from them. In theory, it’s pretty simple, not always so in practice, but it has worked as a mission since before there was history and still does, where practiced mostly honestly. Here how James Madison put it.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

But that is true for all legitimate government, even the farce of democracy that is the EU. In this sudden refugee crises, I think they (and we) would be wise to make sure we are not being exploited. Because something just doesn;t smell right here.  Bret Stephens wrote in The Wall Street Journal the other day ( link, permeable paywall.)

In 2003 the political theorist Robert Kagan wrote a thoughtful book, “Of Paradise and Power,” in which he took stock of the philosophical divide between Americans and Europeans. Americans, he wrote, inhabited the world of Thomas Hobbes, in which “true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.”

Europeans, by contrast, lived in the world of Immanuel Kant, in which “perpetual peace” was guaranteed by a set of cultural conventions, consensually agreed rules and a belief in the virtues of social solidarity overseen by a redistributive state.

Sadly, our President (and a lot of our ‘elites’) thinks like the Europeans, and the result is the catastrophe enveloping the world. The next decade may make the 1940s look like the good old days.

In any case, about those ‘refugees’. I can accept that they have no paperwork, I can accept that conditions are bad where they are from. I can accept many things, and feel much sympathy for them, just as the Europeans do. But there is this nagging little voice in the back of my ear, that wonders why refugees would be so insistent that only Sweden, Germany, or maybe the UK, are good enough for them. Is it a coincidence that these three have some of the highest welfare rates and payments in Europe? If I was a citizen of one of those countries, I’d be doing some thinking. And there is this, from Great Satan’s Girlfriend.

According to the United Nations, 49 per cent are non-Syrian. As to whether they’re refugees, well, usually, refugees flees as families. Yet here, from those UN statistics, is he breakdown of those “refugees”:

13 per cent children
12 per cent women

75 per cent men

That’s not the demographic distribution of fleeing refugees, but of an invading army.

 

Speak Free or Die

2015-05-07T205221Z_1_LYNXMPEB4611E_RTROPTP_3_USA-SHOOTING-TEXASMostly, as you all know, I do reasoned argument here. It’s what I’m best at, and above all, I believe in a rational society, where we take our differences and reason out to a rational conclusion, somewhere in the middle. But there is a point where that stops.

That stops where one side or the other attempts to control what I say and therefore what I think. If you look at the aftermath at Garland, TX the other day, we have reached that point. And when we reach that point, rational discussion becomes less useful, although we still need to define what we believe.

Then it becomes time for the warriors, the Pam Geller’s, and above all time for the men like Kurt Schlichter, who combine the warrior with the pen. Mr. Schlichter had a few things to say the other day writing on Town Hall. I shouldn’t have to say that I agree with him, but I will, and I do.

I damn sure didn’t go to war for this country twice to come home and be told by a bunch of homely chicks with daddy issues, effete literary fops scandalized by the notion of resistance to Third World pathologies, and nimrod sons of politicians playing at journalism what I can and can’t say. And I don’t think most Americans are ready to have everything they speak, write, or think perused for possible hate criminality by these same goose-stepping creeps. […]

After Garland, they went too far. They showed their hand and their goal, a world where they decide who gets to say what. Imagine the same hysterical social justice drama queens who shriek about microaggressions getting to decide what you can and can’t say. Just understand, you fascist bastards, that if you want to be Nazis, you’ll need to do what the Nazis did and find some armed thugs – yeah, I’m using the word “thugs” whether you like it or not – to come stop us. Tell them to wear Kevlar.

Garland and the sorry aftermath of terrorist apologetics that followed were a warning to every freedom-loving American, as well as an illustration of what one freedom-loving American with training and a Glock can do against the forces of totalitarianism. These jihadi savages tried to silence and intimidate all free Americans. They failed.

Progressives mutter without conviction about how they can’t support violence, but … but … but, in fact, they do support violence. It’s not just their chilling with bomb-planting guys around the neighborhood and free passes for the looters in Ferguson and Baltimore. They support whatever it takes to silence us. […]

Those miserable losers in Garland weren’t just a couple of carcasses. Shot down in the street by a free American who was not intimidated, who was not afraid, who absolutely, positively was not going to back down even when outnumbered and outgunned, their dead bodies are a symbol. They are a symbol of our resolve, proof that we will not surrender, we will not submit, and we will not allow our God-given rights to be stolen from us by anyone, not Seventh Century savages, not Gucci-wearing liberal narcissists, and not twisted social justice warriorettes taking out on the rest of humanity their lingering disappointment that no boy wanted to be seen with them at the prom.

There is more for you at Speak Free or Die, and I recommend you read it all. But understand this, and understand it well: Schlichter does speak for me, and for many like me. Our politicians used to know this before they became devotees of power and governance. Remember how John Kennedy put it?

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge–and more.

I assure you that for me, and for Kurt Schlichter, and for millions more like us, nothing has changed.

The boots I wear these days say Red Wing instead of one of the sexy names like Lucchese, but they’ll serve quite well, as they have for generations, to live in and if necessary to die in as well.

As the old Texians were wont to say:

Gonzales Flag

If you dare!

 

 

 

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