The Wednesday Compendium

Richard Gere visited that refugee ship that the Italians are preventing form landing its passengers (good for them, in my opinion). Weasel Zippers tells us this.

He [Gere] compared the political situation in Italy, where League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly refused requests by migrant ships to dock, to that of the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

“We have our problems with refugees coming from Honduras, Salavador, Nicaragua, Mexico… It’s very similar to what you are going through here,” he said, accusing politicians in both Italy and the United States of demonising migrants.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini came very close to winning the internet with his response.

“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.

Well done, Minister Salvini. Sounds like something we’ve all thought, and perhaps said, more than once, doesn’t it?


National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in London, talking to the British about Brexit and how it will affect our relationship. According to Guido, he said this:

He makes clear the US would “enthusiastically” support the UK if it left with no deal:

“If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

Which is exactly what I’ve wanted ever since British Independence Day back on  23 June 2016. That it has taken over three years to finally get to this point makes it clear that Theresa May was the worst Prime Minister since at least Lord North.  As somebody said, Lord North only lost America, Theresa May did her best to lose Britain itself. Thank God for Boris Johnson, and may he steer a proper course back to independence. Somebody, back in some dangerous time, signaled, “England expects that every man will do his duty” Nothing much has changed in that regard since 23 October 1805.

This is part of the reason it is so important. From Mr. Bolton.

“The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

Bolton, like many in the Trump administration, is an ideological supporter of Brexit as well as a pragmatic one. Remainers can complain all they like but it’s not a bad thing to have in your closest ally at this moment in time…

There are a lot of Americans (including me) who think that way, and some 16.7 million Britons as well.


Over at American Thinker, Eileen F. Toplansky wants to know why blacks are relinquishing their birthright. It’s a good question. Here is some of her article.

The Democrat Party knows only one way to reach the Black population in this country. They race-bait; they lie; they foment change that never actually helps Black people. They engage in covert racism against the very people they claim to want to help.

Cities that are Democratically-controlled have an abysmal record of assisting Black citizens. Yet, when election time comes around, the Democrats swoop in with their promises only to leave when the television cameras cease running.

She then talks about The Freedmen’s Bureau established in the War Department during Reconstruction.

On April 19, 1866, former slaves Benjamin Berry Manson and Sarah Ann Benton White received an official marriage certificate from the Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The Wilson County, Tennessee couple had lived as slave man and wife since October 28, 1843, and for the first time in more than two decades their marriage had finally received legal recognition. The Freedmen’s Bureau — established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 … provided freed people with food and clothing, medical attention, employment, support for education, help with military claims, and a host of other socially related services — including assisting ex-slave couples in formalizing marriages they had entered into during slavery.

For the Mansons — who had lived intermittently on separate farms — the marriage certificate issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau was more than a document ‘legally’ sealing the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. Listing the names and ages of 9 of their 16 children, it was for them a symbol of freedom and the long-held hope that they and their children would one day live free as a family in the same household.

Benjamin and Sarah Manson were not alone in their quest to put their slave marriage on a legal footing. When freedom came, tens of thousands of former slave men and women — some seeking to marry for the first time and others attempting to solemnize long-standing relationships — sought help from Union Army clergy, provost marshals, northern missionaries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

We don’t talk enough about how we tried to help the former slaves and accomplished quite a lot.

Regarding education, how is it that so many black students are not excelling in school?  Frederick Douglass innately understood that slavery and education are incompatible because ignorance is one way slave-owners kept their slaves manageable.  Why aren’t black students demanding that they be taught the basics and not a slew of left-wing indoctrination meant to divide people and keep them down?

While no one is in actual iron chains, the Democratic Party keeps black people manageable because they have been denied the tools to succeed in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  If you can barely read, you are ripe for the indoctrination and emotional angst the Democrats whip up.  If you are praised when you speak street talk in an effort to avoid appearing educated, what kind of gift is that?  If Democrats — now diehard leftists — use “white privilege” arguments in order to lure in naïve black students, these students have become useful tools to the left-wing Democratic Party.

As Thomas Sowell has written, “[d]uring the half century following the Civil War, an estimated $57 million was contributed from the North to educate black students in the South and blacks themselves contributed an additional $24 million.  But the Southern states dragged their feet on creating schools — and especially high schools — for black children.”

In fact, it was the Southern Democrats who were determined not to let black children realize their full potential.

Read it all. She is completely, thoroughly, and unequivocally correct. It’s a shame that Johnson and his heirs have so suborned the blacks that they actually do believe that their oppressors are their friends. I suspect than when the scales drop from their eyes, there will be hell to pay. I hope it comes soon because the longer it takes, the worse it will be, both for them now and for us all later.

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And that applies to all three stories we have here today.

The Special Relationship

Michael Curtis over at American Thinker was musing on the state of the Special Relationship last week. It’s pretty good.

The term “Special Relationship” (SR) between the U.S. and UK was devised by the half-American Winston Churchill. Always conscious of the link between his two countries when he said on February 6, 1944 that it was his “deepest conviction that unless Britain and the United States are joined in a special relationship …another destructive war will come to pass.” In November 1945 he stated, “We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb.”

After World War II, Churchill uttered the phrase a third time when, in his majestic “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946, he asserted that the U.S. stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. Churchill declared that “Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples… a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”

Churchill was optimistic about the growing friendship between “our two vast but kindred systems of society.” Included in this were intimate contacts with military advisors, possession of similar weapons, interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges, continuation of present facilities for mutual security.

That is how it officially came to be but there is something else. In that war, almost two million Americans were either stationed in or passed through Great Britain. The East Anglians (where most of the 8th AAF was) sometimes refer to it as “The Friendly Invasion”. They are correct, our peoples found that for the most part, we liked each other. I simply can’t imagine the old joke from that time applying anyplace but Britain. You know the one, about Americans being “overpaid, oversexed, and over here” with the rejoinder that the Brits were “underpaid, undersexed, and under Ike”. Mostly good-natured, except maybe at closing time at the pub. In any case:

The UK, like the Trump administration, wants to avoid military action against Iran, but both uphold the principle of freedom of navigation, and keeping the Strait of Hormuz open to all shipping. The extent of collaboration between the two countries on this and other issues has to be revaluated in view of the Conservative politician Boris Johnson, elected on July 23, 2019 to be leader of the Conservative party, by two to one majority, and in a few days to become prime minister.

By curious coincidence Boris, like Winston Churchill, is half American, since he was born in Manhattan in 1964, until he renounced his American citizenship in 2017, largely over capital gains taxation. Johnson had the comfortable family background, elite educational training — Eton, Balliol College Oxford — and after some years as a journalist, held political positions including M.P., mayor of London, 2008-2016, foreign minister 2016-2018, and is a supporter of Brexit.

In some characteristics he resembles Trump — a brash, entertaining, theatrical manner, somewhat unfocused, unconventional, unpredictable, problems with extra-marital affairs. Like Trump’s aversion from the media, Johnson terms the BBC the “Brexit Bashing Corporation.” Johnson is the life and soul of the party, but you would not want to drive him home. Charismatic, he is, as one friend said, the stardust of British politics.

Well, time will tell, but unless Britain succumbs after a millennium to Europe, I think it goes on. Britain needs, I think, to damned well Brexit already, and fix their relationships with the Commonwealth. That’s who really got screwed when they went into the EEC, and I suspect they are still a bit miffed. Probably why some, like Australia, have moved closer to the US in recent years

But in the main, Britain, like the US, is Oceania. We are both worldwide maritime nations. In truth, Britain was the first superpower, able to exert great power anywhere in the world. In the full definition of the world, there are perhaps three, if one counts Imperial Rome, the US is the third. Because there is a lot more to being a superpower than being able to destroy the world. Both Britain and following her, the US have measurably improved the life of the world.

And, if we are honest, the US would have developed much differently if Nelson had not won at Trafalgar. In many ways, the British held the ring, allowing the New World to develop as its people chose, without interference from the Old.

And for us both, one of the keystones of the whole thing is freedom of the seas. I’ve spoken of this many times, perhaps most cogently here. After the 8 years of the Obama misrule, we are short of lots of military stuff, although it is improving. Britain too has had a succession of governments that have starved the military, in addition to persecuting their warriors, as opposed to the malignant neglect much of our elite have shown ours. Remember what Sir Walter Raleigh wrote so long ago:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

Since that day back in 1588 when Sir Francis saw off the Armada, that has been first: England, then Great Britain, and then the United States. The world we live in is the result of that.

And that is what really keeps the special relationship (indeed the entire Anglosphere community) together. It’s in our common interest. For countries, as for us, common interests make for better friendships. But with leaders on both sides who admire Winnie greatly, we should start to get along better, although like all families, the Anglos Saxon tribe will always have our spats.

Sunday Funnies: As Mueller Time Ends

Finally, we seem to have run the clock out on Mueller, and I see signs that Trump is a bit angry. I don’t think the Dems are going to like angry Trump, but we’ll see. Meanwhile.

 

My Favorite Headline of the week.

Not sure of the point – but I approve

And the Brits take some more joy out of life – The new James Bond

Here’s someone no one ever ruined/

Kavanaugh, the Tories, and Brexit

If you haven’t heard the FBI report is in, the Senators will be reading it today (or not, given that a fair number just don’t care), McConnel has called for cloture, which vote will happen tomorrow, and the confirmation vote over the weekend. Good. That doesn’t mean we can relax, in less than five weeks, we vote, and we have the option to continue “draining the Swamp”. Use it.

How about some videos today, they just keep on accumulating.

This week, while we have been immersed in the witch hunt of Brett Kavanaugh, the Tory party in Britain has been holding its annual conference. The Tories are quite reminiscent to me, at least, of our Republicans circa 2012. No, that is not a compliment, no matter what Mitt Romney thinks.

But they are what they are, and what they are is the best chance for the UK to again become a sovereign nation. Three speeches: the first from the Attorney General, who, I know little about except he gives a good speech.

Then there was the Prime Minister.

Meh. It’s a good, well-crafted speech, congratulations to her speechwriters. Does she really believe a word of it? I have no clue. My considered opinion of her is that she is an overpromoted bureaucrat, not really a bad person, but well beyond her level of competence. Not unusual here, either, of course. In fact, not far from my assessment of Barack Obama.  Maybe she missed her calling as a backup dancer for ABBA. In short, far better than Jeremy Corbyn, but Britain needs so much more.

Then there is Boris Johnson.

Well, what can one say, he is neither Churchill nor Trump. But Trump did say when he was in England that he’d be an excellent PM. I think so too. My small ‘c’ conservative friends in England keep talking about UKIP. I’m sympathetic, I like what Batten is doing with the party too. But, and it is a huge but, Brexit needs to happen in six months, and likely without a general election.

That means it is up to the Tories, helped by the DUP. In my opinion, May will not get the job done, not least because she doesn’t want to get the job done. Boris likely would. Yes, he lacks gravitas, whatever that chimerical quality is, yes, his past is checkered, yes he’s a bit of a loose cannon. All are just as true of Trump

So what? The mission is Brexit. The mission is not to have a dignified quiet Prime Minister. Nor is the mission to build UKIP, desirable as that might be.

The Mission for our cousins is Brexit.

To resume their proper place in the world.

My advice to the cousins is to ditch May, now, not next week and put Boris in. Along with a team, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, and others who believe in Brexit, and get the job done. And you know, he was a pretty decent mayor of London, not many other Tories can say that.

Long term, I would support UKIP, because unless the electorate has gone as nuts as our left wing has, Labour has had its day, and an opposition party is necessary.

And since we don’t know all that much about it, how about Jacob Rees-Mogg on the European Union at Oxford.

Sir Roger Scruton on Burkas and Letterboxes

I picked this up somewhere, in the last week or so, as a comment on something. I’m reasonably sure that it is authentic, beyond that I know little about it, except that it is quite current.

It is also indubitably correct, so enjoy the words of a very wise man.

“The emerging witch-hunt culture would be an object of half-amused contempt, were we still protected, as we were until recently, by the robust law of libel. It is still possible to laugh at the absurdity of it all, if you sit at home, avoiding contact with ignorant and malicious people, and getting on with real life – the life beyond social media. Unfortunately, however, ignorant and malicious people have discovered a new weapon in their unremitting assault on the rest of us, which i s the art of taking offence.

I was brought up to believe that you should never give offence if you can avoid it; the new culture tells us that you should always take offence if you can. There are now experts in the art of taking offence, indeed whole academic subjects, such as ‘gender studies’, devoted to it. You may not know in advance what offence consists in – politely opening a door for a member of the opposite sex? Thinking of her sex as ‘opposite’? Thinking in terms of ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender’? Using the wrong pronoun? Who knows. We have encountered a new kind of predatory censorship, a desire to take offence that patrols the world for opportunities without knowing in advance what will best supply its venom. As with the puritans of the 17th century, the need to humiliate and to punish precedes any concrete sense of why.

I recall the extraordinary case of Boris Johnson and the burka. In the course of discussing the question whether the full facial covering should be banned here, as elsewhere in Europe, Johnson humorously remarked that a person in a burka has a striking resemblance to a letterbox. He was right. A woman in a burka resembles a letterbox much as a man in white tie resembles a penguin or a woman in feathers resembles a chicken.

It was obvious to anyone with a smattering of intellect that Johnson had no intention to give offence. However, there was political mileage in taking offence – so at once offence was taken. One ridiculous Lord (a Cameron creation) told us that the party whip should be withdrawn from Boris; MPs and public figures fell over each other in the rush to display their shock and distress that our Muslim fellow-citizens should have been so grievously offended; even the Prime Minister ste pped in to reprimand her former Foreign Secretary. Virtue-signalling was the order of the day. A kind of hysterical fear swept away all the important considerations that Johnson was putting before his readers, so that everyone, friend and foe alike, ran for shelter. We are not guilty, was the collective cry of the time-servers and wimps that govern us.

In reaction to this madness I ask myself who it is, in the matter of the burka, that habitually gives offence, and who it is that strives not to take it. We live in a face-to-face society, in which strangers look each other in the eye, address each other directly, and take responsibility for what they say. This custom is not just a fashion. It is deeply implanted in us by a thousand-year old religious and legal tradition, by the Enlightenment conception of what citizenship means, and by a literary and artistic culture that tells us that we are in everything duty bound to see the other as on equal terms with the self. Being face t o face with strangers is at the root of our political freedom.

I was brought up in that freedom. I cannot easily accept that people should appear in public ostentatiously concealing their face from me. The British believe that strangers deal openly with each other and are accountable for their looks and their words. It is natural for them to take offence at those who brazenly hide their face, while nevertheless claiming all the rights and privileges of citizenship. I certainly feel awkward in the presence of such people, and suspect that they are abusing the trust that we spontaneously extend to strangers. Nevertheless, it seems to me a singular virtue in the British that they strive not to take offence, when standing before a black letterbox, wondering where their message should be posted.

No sensitive person, however ignorant he might be of the Muslim faith, would fail to take off his shoes when entering a mosque – not because he feared the reaction of the worshippers, but because he knew that long-standing custom requires this, and that not to observe that custom is to show disrespect for a sacred space. Somehow we are supposed to forget that principle when it comes to long-standing customs of our own. For us too there are sacred spaces, and the public square is one of them: it is the space that belongs to others, not to you, and where you meet those others face to face. When we encounter those who refuse to accept this we are supposed to think that the entitlement to take offence rests entirely with them, and the tendency to give offence entirely with us.

Is it not time to get this whole matter into perspective, and to recognise that we must live together on terms, that Muslims must learn to laugh at themselves as the rest of us do, and that the art of taking offence might be a profitable business to the experts, but is a huge loss to everyone else?”

Roger Scruton

I would only add that while Sir Roger is speaking of the Moslems learning to laugh at themselves, an appropriate comment in contemporary Britain, it is also true for almost the entire left.

We have commented before on the death of comedy, and this is why. If one can’t laugh at oneself, one cannot laugh at anyone. And almost all of life, even our misfortunes, is at some level funny, and we’ll be much healthier if we can see it.

Video Monday

Well, I don’t know, how about some Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to start the week off right. Sounds good to me.

Making fools out of Senators, of course that is low hanging fruit.

 

When he resigned as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson prettyymuch took apart Theresa May’s government with very faint praise. Here it is.

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My friends over at The Conservative Woman found this a couple of weeks ago

It’s pretty good, although long. But I do agree with Fionn when he says:

Sam Harris is one of the ‘four horsemen of atheism’ with Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins.

Jordan Peterson has a more ambivalent view of Christianity, talking about its wisdom and the necessary meaning it provides. However, he adopts a Jungian, metaphorical view and seems to believe there is truth, but not that it is the Truth.

Douglas Murray holds a similar view, concluding that Christianity is the best bulwark against Islamism and the progressive madness. Murray made a similar comment to the one I made here, that new religions are being formed by the day as we enter a new era of paganism and what will come may be worse than what was.

Heartening as it is to hear brilliant minds speak highly of Christianity, such an instrumental view of the faith will not survive. We cannot have Christianity without Christ, a religion founded on our (justifiable) hatred and fear of some things – nihilism, Islamism and progressivism – rather than our love of God.

Have a good Monday.

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