The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

There’s a wonderful young man who has a YouTube channel, Jamel a.k.a. Jamal, who does ‘reaction’ videos to music. He’s just a sweetheart and really nice guy. I subscribe to his channel and always look forward to his reactions to the music of my youth. I just watched a video of his reaction to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot)

I was 24 years old (do NOT do the math!!!) when the song came out and I just loved it. I thought it was a great story and wasn’t Lightfoot clever to have thought it up. I was even impressed that it had an old sea chanty sound to it. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned it was a true story. Which fact, of course, brought a greater appreciation for the song and its story.

While listening to the song this morning with my buddy Jamel, I started reading the comments and was moved by the remarks of so many people. For many of the folks, the event and song are part of their personal history because they grew up in the areas of the Great Lakes. Some folks know “the wives, the sons, and the daughters”. Quite a few were recreational sailors, some were U.S. Navy. Many tears from many people who are touched by the tragedy.

One of the commenters suggested watching this particular video. The opening gave me chills. The lighthouse made me cry. I found this documentary that relates the harrowing experience.


I am reminded of this Psalm.

 23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

We tend to feel sorry for the folks ‘from there’; it couldn’t have an effect on us ‘here’. Imagine my surprise and shock to find out that one of the hands was from Bradenton, Florida – just over the bridge from me; and one was from Clearwater, Florida, the second town north from me. But we have since learned, because of September 11th, 2001, that events are usually more than ‘from there’ – it wasn’t just a New York thing, or a U.S. thing. How many countries were affected by that event?

The youngest hand on the Edmund Fitzgerald was 20 years old.


I live in Nebraska and sometimes dream of moving back to Indiana. But my heritage is the upper midwest, where I feel at home from western Minnesota to the Continental Divide, usually within about a hundred miles of the Canadian border. My family is from northern North Dakota, and my dad told stories of marching in the Canada Day parade in Fort Garry (Winnepeg now). Pretty much all my life I’ve known Canadians, and you know, it’s really hard to tell them from Americans eh.

Maybe that’s why this story struck me.  Canada is having the same battle we are, between the takers, mostly on the coasts, and the makers, in the heartland, only more so than we are. Brandon J. Weichert writes in American Greatness

Canada is a huge country geographically—the world’s second-largest behind Russia—but it’s internally disconnected and highly integrated with its American neighbor. Since vast swaths of the country is uninhabitable, most of the population lives within a two-hour car ride of the U.S. border. As time progresses, Canada’s geopolitical situation will make even less sense than it does now. Its demographics are working against the country’s long-term economic well-being.

More importantly, as the Arctic Circle becomes a zone of strategic competition, the United States will be forced to develop and better defend the territories to its north (just as it did with its Western territories in the 19th and early 20th centuries).

Which makes Alberta an attractive place.

Alberta is an energy-producing giant; the “Texas of the North,” according to the popular saying. Of Canada’s 10 provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan provide the bulk of the economic heft for Canada. Albertans already enjoy the second-highest income of any province in the West. Yet Canada’s central government in Ottawa has made every effort to alienate Alberta.

For years, Albertans have chafed under the high-tax policies of the central government. It’s no wonder. Alberta is a highly productive economic zone and its citizens, understandably, resent having to bear a disproportionate tax burden to help prop up the less productive provinces.

Alberta’s demographic and economic profile is the inverse of many of the other provinces in Canada. Observes Peter Zeihan in his 2014 magnum opus, The Accidental Superpower: “As Canada’s—and Ontario’s and Quebec’s—population continues to age, a far worse than a disproportionate share of [national taxes] will be loaded into the Albertans’ national tax bill.”

This is a classic example of “no taxation without representation.”

Alberta and neighboring Saskatchewan are being taxed for their prosperity—just as the United States was by the British in the run-up to the Revolutionary War. Plus, Alberta’s essential oil and natural gas industry is entirely linked to and dependent on the larger U.S. economy. As time progresses, Albertans understandably will become less interested in being a part of a country that they are underwriting without also enjoying extra benefits for the privilege.

A Western Canada exit—WEXIT—has become a mantra among many Albertans and Saskatchewanians. A few years ago, the Wildrose Party, which began as an Albertan separatist movement but has since merged with another group to form the United Conservative Party, won plaudits from voters by highlighting the growing tensions with Ottawa. Although current polls suggest a majority of Albertans do not favor separation from Canada, support for secession has increased to historic highs (up eight points since the last Ipsos poll was conducted in 2018).

As time progresses, the United Conservative Party naturally will become more powerful as Albertan voters rightly view them as the only thing standing between their hard-earned wealth and a redistributionist government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

OK, I admit it, to me this makes all the sense in the world. It would be excellent for the US if Alberta and perhaps Saskatchewan joined us. Culturally they long since have anyway. For them, it would be a huge improvement. Yes, they, like us would get to support the ne’er do wells in California (and elsewhere), but there are a lot more producers to help in the US, rather than these two provinces carrying all of Canada, most of which is not doing well at all, and for all our problems, we do tend to see reality a bit better.

Adding at least most of Canada’s 3.6 million barrels/per day of oil (most of which goes to market through the US, anyway) to our 15 million barrels/day (around 18.6 mm bbl/day total) gives us an enormous lead. Russia is second at 10.8 million, so nearly double number two.

It also gives those provinces a far greater measure of control of their government, and make no mistake, Canadians are just as fond of self-government as Americans. Not to mention a much better tax structure.

There is also something else, competition is heating up in the Arctic for oil, minerals, and maybe other things. While Alaska is a great bookend, these Provinces give another, a perhaps better route into the Arctic.

That said, it’s not something that America can promote, but we can surely quietly tell our northern cousins that if they so decide, we’d make them quite welcome.

Don Cherry and the Mob, Canadian Style

Have you seen this picture? It’s been circulating around Canada in particular.

I have no particular problem with the sentiment, but there is a problem. That is a Red Army soldier carrying a PPSh-41 submachine gun, and as such he definitely was not at the Normandy invasion. He might have been at the suppression of the Hungarian people in 1956, or he may have fought bravely in World War II but he was not at Normandy. That was the British, Americans, Canadians, Polish, and Australians.

The Allies which did include the Soviet Union went on to unconditional victory, destroying Nazi Germany in April of 1945, thereby freeing (as it turned out) half a continent, the other half would be freed in 1989 when the Soviet Union fell. Again because of the Americans, British, Canadians, and Poles. That’s history, which many of us lived.

Don Cherry, a Canadian hockey commentator, recently laid a bit of truth out for the gimmiegrants flooding Canada (as they are the US and Britain) saying:

“You people,” Cherry said on a recent broadcast, talking about recent immigrants he regarded as ungrateful, “you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Damned straight they did. He’s talking about people like this.

And a personal note, the American Poppy campaign seems to have died our, sadly, but Don is correct, it’s not much effort to show some respect. Last year I purchased a couple of the British Poppies from the British Legion, I suspect the Canadian equivalent will take care of you also. It’s a small gesture, but important, I think.

In April of 1945, for example, troops from Canada’s Eighth Reconnaissance unit liberated 876 Dutch Jews from the Westerbork camp in Holland, where they awaited shipment to Auschwitz and other death camps.

I’ve said before that the Canadians are perhaps the best warriors of all the English speaking peoples. They have surely always been in the running. Solid, steadfast, and unyielding, they have proved themselves in two world wars. They are a large part of why North America is as peaceful as it is. But.

What Jim and other veterans used to say about the gutless “Zombies” like Pierre Trudeau, who failed to serve, makes Cherry’s comments look mild. The notion of  Soviet soldiers storming the Normandy beaches would have drawn a comment that included the word “bullshit” with a few modifiers for good measure. As Jim knew, the Canadian establishment is another source of ignorance about “those guys” and the war they fought.

Back in 2002, Defense Minister John McCallum managed to confuse Vichy, seat of the French government of Nazi collaborators, with Vimy, the World War I battle of Vimy Ridge. The current establishment under the Zombie’s son Justin Trudeau knows even less, and the last Canadian Prime Minister with actual combat experience was Lester Pearson, who left office in 1968.

If people on the left know about the Stalin-Hitler Pact and the Soviet invasions of Poland and Finland, they are never eager to talk about it. For this crowd, as George Orwell noted, ignorance is strength. Like the cowering 18-year-old in the photo, words hurt their feelings, particularly when those words are the truth.

“Those guys” did pay the biggest price, as Don Cherry said. As the national anthem explains, they stood on guard for thee, and their victory was one of those plus brillants exploits. The current establishment is not worthy to carry their shoes, and those guys deserve respect, particularly from new arrivals. But no surprise that on Monday, Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States, Canada’s Sportsnet fired Don Cherry, a former coach of the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

Typical of the idiots in all our governments, and many of our businesses all over what we used to call the free world. Well, the Canadians are pretty quiet, but they’ll take care of it eventually, I suspect. As both we, and the Brits, will with a lot more noise. Meanwhile, the treatment that Cherry received is pretty much unforgivable.


And I read that Don Cherry, good man that he is, is sticking to the truth, refusing to grovel to the mob. Good on him.

The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,

Sunday Funnies: Buffoonapooza

What a stupid week. No one could make this up. I stole the term Buffoonapooza from PowerLine because it’s perfect for the week. I thought it was going to be almost all Beto, even Biden and Corn Pop couldn’t top him, and then along comes the New York slimes and their Kavanaugh fake news, and then to top it all, here comes Justin Trudeau. I haven’t a clue what more could be in store for next week. Well, might as well get started.

The whole thing leaves you wanting to know what store sells this:

And, of course


Video Thursday, Anglosphere Edition

Apropos of nothing much else I will say today, this is former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, holder of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart from his time as a Second Lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Division in the Second World War. Senator Dole was wounded badly by machine gun fire in Italy in April 1945 and now at 95 years old is unable to get out of his wheelchair, but he did, to salute his comrade, and his friend, President George H.W. Bush, in the Capitol Rotunda the other night. President Bush who was a Naval Lieutenant, and an aviator who flew 58 missions against the Japanese, and is a holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and a Presidential Unit Citation.

Whatever your politics, these men are great Americans, who need to be honored. Indeed it is men like Lieutenants Dole and Bush (and millions more) who earned their generation the title of ‘The Greatest Generation’.

And it also ends the presidents who served in that now distant war, George H.W. Bush, who was a Lieutenant, who enlisted on his 18th birthday will be the last of a line that started with General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. All good men and true, whatever their politics. We are already missing them.

We damned well don’t do PC here, which you know, and so we will not be told what songs to listen to. From Neptune’s Daughter the original version of Baby, It’s Cold Out There. Enjoy

Then there is the UN Migrant Compact. The US and Australia, having a decent respect for their citizens have said that they will not sign it. The Canadian and British governments, who do not, say they will. Not much surprise, both are globalists nonentities, who apparently are merely in politics for themselves. In truth, my British patriot friends use much, much stronger language. I agree with them.

Sometimes we forget, the Canadians are some of the best and bravest people on earth. But they do elect the most detestable people sometimes.

Mark Levin, Heather MacDonald, do I really need to say more?

Well, I try to remember that the world has been going to hell in a handcart since the year 00, sometimes it doesn’t help much.

Allies and Protectorates

Carolyn Glick has an article up on her site, comparing how Netanyahu and Trudeau deal with Trump. It’s, as usual for her, factual and thought-provoking.

She starts by debunking the obviously flawed comparison of Kim Jong-un and Trudeau. One is obviously an enemy and the other an ally, however tense at the moment.

A much more apt, and enlightening, analysis would be to consider Trump’s disparate treatment of two allies — for instance, Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Both Trudeau and Netanyahu lead U.S. allies. But whereas Trump and his advisors sharply rebuked Trudeau for his angry assault following the G-7 summit last week, Netanyahu and Trump enjoy close, intense, and mutually supportive ties. Far from attacking one another, Trump and Netanyahu consistently back one another up in their public statements.

What accounts for the disparity? More broadly, what does the disparity in treatment tell us about Trump’s expectations from foreign leaders? What does it teach us about his foreign policy outlook more generally? […]

Rather than side with Israel in its war against the Hamas terror regime, as all of his predecessors had done to varying degrees, Obama sided with Hamas and its state sponsors, Qatar and Turkey, against Israel.

Obama insisted that Netanyahu accept Hamas’s ceasefire conditions and walk away with no guarantee that Hamas would end its rocket and missile offensive against Israel.

Obama’s embrace of Iran and effective alliance with Hamas through Turkey and Qatar were the last straws for Israel.

But Obama’s behavior had not come as a surprise. Sensing, earlier on, where the wind was blowing, Netanyahu had already been working to sidestep Obama by developing an alliance with America’s other spurned Middle Eastern allies: Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. Like Israel, these three regimes were mortally threatened by Iran. Like Israel —  indeed, to an even greater degree than Israel — these regimes viewed the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies and offshoots, including Hamas, as existential threats.

Like many (most probably) Americans I support Israel, which is no surprise to anyone here, nor will anyone here be surprised that his opposition to Israel had a considerable amount to do with my disgust for Obama. My support for KSA and Egypt is not on that level, but they are much preferable to the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran. Continuing:

As Obama insisted Israel accept the Turkish-Qatari ceasefire offer – that is, Hamas’s ceasefire conditions — Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all sided with Israel against Hamas – and Obama. They rejected Hamas’s ceasefire conditions and embraced Israel’s positions entirely. Their stunning public support for Israel compelled Obama to walk back his pressure on Israel.

As for Iran, the Israel-Sunni operational alliance was important for two reasons. First, it empowered Netanyahu to defy openly Obama on the Iran nuclear deal. That defiance was expressed most powerfully when Netanyahu detailed the problems with the nuclear deal in an address to a special joint session of Congress in March 2015. Second, the operational ties between Israel and the Sunni Gulf states facilitated Mossad and other operations against Iranian plans and capabilities.

As Entous notes, in Netanyahu’s first meeting with Trump, which took place in September 2016 at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer presented then-candidate Trump with Netanyahu’s vision of a new U.S. regional posture in the Middle East. Such a U.S. posture could be based on the U.S. leading the operational alliance that Netanyahu had developed with the Sunnis.

Entous writes that Trump’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, was “blown away” by their presentation. A former Trump advisor told Entous that the two Israelis “had thought this through – this wasn’t half-baked. This was well articulated and it dovetailed exactly with our thinking.”

According to Entous, the “advisor credited Netanyahu and Dermer with inspiring the new administration’s approach to the Middle East.”[…]

Trump’s close relationship with Netanyahu owes, then, to two things. First, by developing Israel’s ties with the Sunni Arab states, Netanyahu demonstrated that he is capable of acting to defend Israel and shared U.S.-Israeli interests, even without U.S. assistance. That showed Trump that Israel is an ally, not a protectorate of the U.S. — and that Netanyahu is a partner, not a burden, for the U.S. in the post-Obama Middle East.

Look what we have here; an American ally, actually several of them, taking the lead on a local problem, committing themselves to a solution, that they think acceptable to America, and asking us to help and perhaps lead while contributing substantially to their solution. And so they present a solution to Trump, which is not free of danger but is clearly thought through, workable, and a reasonable risk for America. That is a good ally.

Then there is Trudeau.

During the 2016 campaign, although Trump made abandoning Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem key foreign policy goals, updating international trade deals was a much more significant campaign issue. And one of Trump’s central pledges to his voters was his vow to improve, or walk away from, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Bill Clinton had signed with Canada and Mexico. […]

Instead of seeking compromises that could advance the interests of both countries, or at a minimum limit the damage that new U.S. trade policies would cause the Canadian economy, Trudeau pretended away the issue — hoping, apparently, that Trump would disappear if Trudeau just ignored him.

Consequently, rather than engaging seriously with American negotiators — as the Mexicans are — Trudeau has added insult to injury by slapping progressive social engineering provisions regarding indigenous, gender, and worker rights onto Canada’s trade policies. Trudeau is apparently attempting to use bilateral trade to dictate the Trump administration’s social policy.

In other words, Trudeau has embraced posturing over substantive policymaking. Rather than presenting Trump with a deal that could make sense for the U.S. and Canada, Trudeau has presented himself as a progressive hero, standing up to the Left’s greatest enemy.

Given Trudeau’s behavior, it was just a matter of time before trade talks between Washington and Ottowa blew up. Canada’s leader offered Trump no alternative to confrontation.

The disparity between Trump’s treatment of Israel and Canada tells us two important things.

First, when Trump criticizes American allies for expecting the United States to defend them and pay for the privilege, he isn’t doing it to blow off steam. Trump believes that for alliances to be meaningful, they have to be alliances between independent states that come together to pursue common interests.

Yep, and quite a few American allies, including the UK, would be very wise to take heed of what is said here. This is a good read on Trump’s policy, and it is one backed by just about all of red state America. We are practical down-to-earth people. We have built the world’s most powerful economy backed by the world’s most powerful military in about 200 years, and we are proud of both and are unwilling to see our work undone.

I’d guess that if things do not change soon, America’s emphasis in Europe will change to the Visegrad countries and the Balts, to the detriment of western Europe and possibly NATO itself. Americans don’t really believe in the welfare state, still less do we believe we owe Europe much of anything. If anything, we resent that three times in the last hundred years, we’ve had to help save Europe from enemies of their own creation. “The Long War” some (not inaccurately) call it.

As long as the EU and Germany want to posture like world leaders while antagonizing we who pay the bills that allow them to do so, well, they can expect chilly weather in Washington, just like Trudeau can.

We like allies, we’re not that fond of unruly protectorates.

Carolyn sums up with this:

Trump’s actual doctrine is that the U.S. will help its allies and foes when they pursue goals the U.S. shares. And the U.S. will spurn allies – and enemies — who expect America to do their bidding as they mistake posturing for policymaking, and attitude for work.


Do read her article at Unlike Netanyahu, Trudeau expects America to work for him. There is much that I didn’t cover.



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