Giants Were in the Earth

I think a quick detour into the culture war is needed. Not the one on the streets with Scoldilocks and Extinction Rebellion, both are mere symbols of a discredited left, hopefully soon to die. But real culture.

The Unit yesterday called my attention to an article by Victor Davis Hanson in Townhall. Even for him, it’s exceptionally good. It’s titled: Members of Previous Generations Now Seem Like Giants.

Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.

Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.

We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.

Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

Think about that, they built a railroad in six years, from Omaha to San Francisco, using shovels, horses, gunpowder, and their backs. The most powerful machine they had was a steam locomotive that probably had less power than the last semi-truck you saw.

Then think about California this week, over a million people do not have electricity because PG&E is not allowed to trim trees but is required to pay for fires caused by not trimming trees and clearing underbrush.

In my youth, I knew men, and my own father was one of them, that built entire electrical distribution systems, in the midst of the depression, training farm boys to do the work, and working with mostly hand tools. Their work is one of the hidden reasons we won the Second World War, both because of the increased food available, and the reduced workforce necessary on the farms. One of his contemporaries built the entire Investor-owned gas and electric utility that serves Northern Indiana in that same time frame.

There were indeed giants in the earth.

Could we do any of these things now? Frankly, I doubt it. Yesterday someone commented that we are perhaps approaching the fourth turning. One hopes so. If you don’t know, the short form of that is this:

“Hard times create strong men.

Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men.

And, weak men create hard times.”

Well, we, or at least you young folks, will see.

In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today’s high-school graduate even finish “The Good Earth” or “The Grapes of Wrath”?

True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal.

Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.

“Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?”

In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.

These men:

THE Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains, ” Be ye removèd” They say to the lesser floods ” Be dry.”
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd – they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill tops shake to the summit – then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden – under the earthline their altars are
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city’s drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to leave their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s days may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that !
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd – they know the angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons !

Rudyard Kipling

That pretty much says it all, I think. But you should read the whole article.

 

Political Realignment and the Uniparty

Over at American Greatness, Edward Ring says politics is realigning. I say he is correct. Read on.

Just over three years ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking at a fundraiser in New York City, characterized half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” […]

It might be tempting to return the favor and hate back. That not only would be a tactical mistake—since you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar—but also inaccurate targeting. There are a surprising number of liberals, progressives, and even socialists, who are not only anti-Clinton, but are begrudgingly, and increasingly, capable of seeing the positive side of the Trump presidency.

A very early indication of this came in October 2016, when John Pilger published in the London Progressive Journal an influential article titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump.” Pilger, notwithstanding his socialist leanings, is a world-renowned journalist and filmmaker of undeniable courage and integrity.

He’s not alone, either in Britain or the US. They’re starting to pop up everywhere, in the trade unions, the leftist parties. There’s a full-on Marxist that is an elected Brexit Party MEP. So what’s going on?

The political universe is realigning, the left-right divide that has sufficed since the French Revolution no longer does.

Many Trump supporters cheered his election not because of his pugnacity (about time), or his policies (also about time), but because when you hate the china shop, you love the bull.

Trump has exposed the Democrat versus Republican, Right versus Left, liberal versus conservative paradigms as, if not obsolete shams, then at least models that have lost most of their dialectic vitality. They remain real and represent important differences, but they are overshadowed by a new political polarity, worthy of urgent and vigorous dialectic—globalism versus nationalism.

Until Trump came along, the globalist agenda crept relentlessly forward under the radar. Issues that now can be framed explicitly as globalist versus nationalist—immigration, trade, foreign policy, even climate change—found deceptive expression when shoehorned into the obsolete paradigms.

It suited the uniparty establishment to engage in phony, ostensibly partisan bickering to keep up appearances. It suited them to pretend that immigration and “free” trade bestowed unambiguous global economic benefits, while claiming that to oppose it was economically ignorant and “racist.” It was convenient to pretend ceaseless foreign interventions were based on moral imperatives, while silencing the opposition as “isolationists.” It was easy to get away with promoting climate change policies based on supposedly indisputable scientific evidence, while stigmatizing opponents as “deniers.”

Suddenly all of that is revealed as almost Ptolemaic in its contrived complexity. Here is Trump’s Copernican breakthrough: if you want open borders, absolutely free movement of capital and jobs, and an aggressive international “climate agenda” enforced by the American military, you are a globalist. If you do not, you are a nationalist.

The impact of the globalist agenda has been felt acutely in America already, but the pain is spreading and intensifying.

Unskilled immigrants are taking jobs away from the most vulnerable Americans, and every year, they continue to arrive by the millions. Manufacturing jobs which are vital to America’s economic vitality are being exported to any nation with cheaper labor, costing Americans still more jobs. Policies that are supposedly designed to save the planet have made it virtually impossible to build anything cost-effectively—houses, roads, reservoirs, power plants. In states where the globalist agenda is well advanced, the gap between rich and poor is at record levels, and the cost-of-living is prohibitive.

I think he’s spot on, and even more than the US, the situation in Britain makes it pretty obvious, does one want to join the globalist empire or not? Could hardly be clearer, and that’s why at least for the moment the old designators don’t work. Most of my British friends refer to LibLabCon, which refers to Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative, a short form meaning they’re all the same. Pretty much true at this point, there and here.

Interesting times, but at least half the battle is recognizing the enemy, and it is becoming clearer by the day. Press on.

Brexit and the End of Democracy

Our British cousins are now in a full-fledged constitutional crisis. Their Supreme Court has hijacked all power in the realm, from the people, the Parliament, the Prime Minister, and even the Queen.  As long as this lasts, the United Kingdom cannot really be considered a democracy, it is an oligarchy of 12 people. Maybe it would be more honest to call it simply the Politburo. This, of course, is the fact of finding the prorogation of Parliament to be unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, or maybe fattening. Who knows, they simply made it up out of the whole cloth without any justification in law whatsoever. It is an ancient right of the government acting with the crown. I’m no lawyer, nor am I an expert on the British constitution, so, although that much is obvious, let’s let someone who knows a lot more tell you about it. That would be Titus Techera, writing in Law and Liberty.

In America, the Democratic Party that lost the 2016 elections at every level simply decided that the people do not have a right to the president they elected, in this case a Republican. So, partisans of the Left have since been trying everything they could think of to overturn the legitimate results of that election.

Yes indeed, and that’s one thing, and the President is doing a pretty fair job of upholding the Consitution, and as he says, there will be elections next year. In Britain, it is much worse.

So thank God for the Constitution, or Official Washington might simply attack elections instead of the elected. This is now happening in Britain, and it urgently demands our attention. Brexit has finally become what it was always going to be, a full constitutional crisis. This week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, an institution younger than most people now alive in the UK, has suddenly declared its authority over Britain’s ancient constitution and actual political institutions.

This is a textbook example of judges hijacking politics. The UK Supreme Court was created when then-Labour PM Tony Blair passed the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005, explicitly in order to subordinate British politics, and especially its justice system, to the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. You might not think the UK’s leadership would make it their job to subject themselves and the people they swear to represent to foreign authorities, but you’d be wrong.

Thus, in 2009, the UK Supreme Court sprang forth like Athena from the skull of Zeus, fully-grown and armored for battle. And in 2019, it has unanimously decided that it, rather than the people or their elected representatives, will decide whether the Queen and the Government can prorogue Parliament. Twelve justices put a stop to British politics with the sole purpose of preventing elections where the people could choose their representatives.

The character of British law itself is therefore in question now, however hard it may be for the press to say so, or for people to realize this, as they’re facing a baffling, unprecedented, highly arcane institutional ruling. Previously, we had believed that the oldest constitutional regime in the world was dedicated to representative government. Now, we are told that power must be arbitrary and administrative rather than representative, and only official experts to whom the people never consented through elections must decide the most serious political questions.

Let us therefore present the issue in its clearest political form. Boris Johnson became Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister this summer after his predecessor’s resignation. He was committed to implementing Brexit, because the British people voted for it in a referendum in 2016. But the Parliament has since decided that it will not do so and, instead, that European unelected officials should decide Britain’s fate against the will of the majority.

The Parliament faces an easy choice, if it understands itself as bound by the consent of the governed. If it does not trust PM Johnson, it can easily hold a vote of no confidence, since he no longer has a majority in the House of Commons. That would lead to elections and the people would choose which party they want to run the government. This is what PM Johnson wants, so he asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament and have a new election.

Prorogation is used with some frequency in British politics, but rarely for such an extended time. The truth remains that rather than some extreme measure, is a simple and recognized procedure used to suspend Parliament. The reasoning of the PM is sound and democratic. If the Parliament refuses to implement the Government’s policy, then politicians must turn to the people for their choice. Since Parliament refuses to turn to the people, the Prime Minister may have to do it for them and save democracy.

Do read it all, and yes, I do agree with him.

And just for additional flavor, this is the longest session of Parliament since the Long Parliament, the one that, after Pride’s Purge, executed Charles I, and installed Cromwell as Lord Protector. It also passed a law that it had to consent to its own dissolution. Eventually, Cromwell had enough of what was then called the Rump and closed it down saying:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,

which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

Say what you want about Cromwell, mostly I’ll agree, but in this case, and again today, he was both correct, and eloquent.

Looking over the Parapet

Some interesting news, for the first time in almost 50 years the British Royal Navy has two strike carriers at sea. The Queen Elizabeth is in the western Atlantic learning how best for her to operate strike aircraft and defend herself as the centerpiece of a carrier strike group. Now comes word that the Prince of Wales her sister ship has sailed for the first time from the Firth of Forth to begin her own workups, which likely won’t take as long as the QE because she is in the process of writing the book.

It should be noted that there is nothing afloat that is as powerful as these new ships, with the sole exception of US Nimitz class carriers and someday the new US Ford class. Bravo Zulu! More at The Thin Pinstriped Line. Oh, why not?

Just make sure you don’t let them fall under EU command.


Staying in Britain for the moment, for the first time ever, the Israeli Air Force is exercising over England along with the RAF, the USAF, The German Air Force, and the Italian Air Force.

Israel  sent several F-15s as well a Boeing  707s refueling planes and C130s and C130J’s

This is taking place over Lincolnshire and is known as Cobra Warrior, It is said that the RAF may take part in Israel’s Blue Flag exercise next year, which they have observed before.

Good job to all hands. More at Warsclerotic. I wanted to call those tankers C-135s since the use the flying boom that the USAF developed early in the cold war, but if you carefully at the picture you’ll notice that these aircraft have windows, KC135s co not.


If you pay much attention to either British history of British history on TV, you’ll know the name, David Starkey. He’s an excellent historian and an honest man. Here he explains the significance of Brexit and horrendous mess that May and Bercow have made. Do watch it.

You’ll not be surprised that I agree with him completely, and strongly commend him for doing this, because there is no way in hell that this would ever appear on the Fake News BBC.

Interestingly, towards the end, he speaks a good deal about the parallels between Brexit and the English Reformation under Henry VIII (his specialty, if I recall, is the Tudors). Well, maybe I’m about half as smart as I think, because I’ve always seen twp parallels in Brexit, one is the Reformation in England, and the other is the American Revolution.  Ever since the Anarchy in the thirteenth century, there has been a longing in the English to return to “the good old law”. In large measure that is what an8mated the American founders, and while we ended up starting over, not much of the good old law went into the discard.

My friends at The Conservative Woman suggest that this is also worth watching. They’re correct, so watch it too. (and it ‘s short).

Manic Monday

U.S. Soldiers from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe and members of Romania’s 21st Mountain Division assess an area of land. (U.S. Army photo by Christopher S. Barnhart/Released)

Manic Monday again, I see. Britain has gotten itself into a constitutional swamp underlaid with quicksand, and in America, the government has so far refused to police the police. In both countries, there is a growing feeling that the government is out of the sovereign people’s control, and the rule of law itself is endangered. Not to mention the suspicion of many that a large part of the civil service (on both sides of the pond) is at best seditious, if not quite treasonous. So, it’s not like I have nothing to write about, it’s that I don’t really want to.

I also suspect you’re as tired of the mess as I am, and, like me, suspect there is not a lot we can do about it anyway. So how about a breath of fresh air.

But we can always feel better when we look around. From Hong Kong where protestors have been carrying the old colonial flag (how unPC) and the British union flag and our own star-spangled banner to Venezuela people always look to us with a longing in their hearts, for most people do wish to be free. Our countries remain the best and almost only hope for truly oppressed people everywhere in the world, and the better thay knew us, the more they wish to be with us. Far smarter than our own elites, I say.

Then there are our military people. I’ve been known to get emotional in my admiration for them, but others have noticed as well. Like a Frenchman, yeah that’s what I said, a Frenchman had something nice to say about American soldiers. Very nice, in fact. Via American Thinker.

Blogger and veteran Wes O’Donnell has translated an editorial in a French newspaper from a French soldier serving with a prestigious U.S. infantry battalion. I recommend reading the whole thing. Here are some excerpts:

US soldiers are in top physical shape compared to the French, and it appears much better in infantry tactics. The soldier notes:

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins, and creatine — they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them — we are wimps, even the strongest of us — and because of that they often mistake us [the French] for Afghans. [snip] Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seems to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest.

In combat, US soldiers go on the offense in every encounter with the enemy in contrast to soldiers of other nations who have been taught to first defend and await orders:

And combat? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all — always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks: they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting: they just charge! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later — which cuts any pussyfooting short.

And finally:

To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers.

Something from the original post struck me:

Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location: books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste, etc. In such a way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission.

And that is something almost uniquely American, and one of our great strengths. And it’s remarkable in a country that less than 250 years ago so despised professional soldiers that it abolished the army. For most of us, what we used to call ‘the Big Green Machine’ is nearly the only part of the American government that we trust.

“This we’ll defend”, indeed. I hope we prove to be worthy of them.

Sunday Funnies: Dodging Dorian

And so, welcome to September, and Hurricane season. As our Florida (and other southeast) readers hunker down, there are some things to laugh about. So lets.

A portrait of Dimmocraps, Lieborats, Never Trumpers, and Remoaners has emerged

Meanwhile, we should go to the beach

 

And, of course

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