Really, Ireland?

Hard to understand just what the Republic of Ireland is thinking. A few months ago they installed a picture of Che Guevara as somebody of Irish descent who had made a difference in South America. Well, I suppose one could say that if one allows that murdering thousands of innocent fellow citizens is making a difference. In that case, the Cuban population of Miami was enraged and soon it was gone. And the Irish government apologized. Good.

But I wonder if they mostly apologized for getting caught, it seems so, if nothing else, these fools are persistent. Irelands Post Office has issued a €1 stamp commemorating this murderous thug. Who as Jay Nordlinger reminds us.

The fog of time and the strength of anti-anti-Communism have obscured the real Che. Who was he? He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served as Castro’s primary thug. He was especially infamous for presiding over summary executions at La Cabana, the fortress that was his abattoir. He liked to administer the coup de grace, the bullet to the back of the neck. And he loved to parade people past El Paredon, the reddened wall against which so many innocents were killed. Furthermore, he established the labor-camp system in which countless citizens–dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals–would suffer and die. This is the Cuban gulag. A Cuban-American writer, Humberto Fontova, described Guevara as “a combination of Beria and Himmler.” Anthony Daniels once quipped, “The difference between [Guevara] and Pol Pot was that [the former] never studied in Paris.”

Maybe it’s because Pol Pot didn’t have ancestors from Galway. A bit more from that article of Jay’s…

And yet, he is celebrated by “liberals,” this most illiberal of men. As Paul Berman summed up recently in Slate, “Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice. He stood for the ancient rigidities of Latin-American thought, in a Marxist-Leninist version, and he has been celebrated as a freethinker and a rebel.” Those who know, or care about, the truth concerning Guevara are often tempted to despair. The website of our own National Institutes of Health describes him this way: an “Argentine physician and freedom fighter.” Guevara was a physician roughly like Mrs. Ceausescu was a chemist. As for freedom fighter … again, the temptation to despair is great.

I don’t know, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’m appalled and sickened at this hero worship of a man who murdered thousands of his fellow citizens, often for no reason at all. You go right ahead Ireland, there’s plenty of other places to visit, and it will be quite easy that day in March, to drink Norfolk whisky instead of Jameson, and I already have an Orange shirt.

Simply deplorable. Bad enough if they don’t know enough history to know what this man was, worse if they do, and still idolize him.

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Iran, Hubris, Appeasement, and Despotry

Jonathan S. Tobin had some thought on the Iran treaty, they’re good thoughts, well presented, so let’s look in on them.

Following through on its strategy of trying to make Congressional approval of the Iran nuclear deal irrelevant, the Obama administration pushed through a resolutionimplementing the agreement today at the United Nations Security Council. Both Congressional Republicans and Democrats attacked that move, but that did not deter the president and his foreign policy team from following through on their plan to make an end run around Congress. This arrogant slight to the legislative branch will add fuel to the fire of critics of the Iran pact as they push to shame Democrats into making good on their past promises to insist on an agreement that would, at the very least, live up to the administration’s past promises about inspections and transparency. Yet even in the face of this presidential chutzpah and staggering betrayal of principle, the odds still heavily favor his effort to get the necessary votes from his party to sustain this strategy. Thus, while those Democrats who view their campaign pledges about both the Iranian threat and the security of Israel as still binding should be focusing on the gaping holes in the agreement, they should also ponder the presidential hubris that is at the core of this effort to marginalize their Constitutional obligation to weigh in on the most important foreign treaty signed by the United States.

That arrogance was on display yesterday as Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows. Their blithe assurances about the deal make the U.S. safer could be dismissed as mere hyperbole but their insistence that there is “no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere,” inspections of nuclear sites is not only a lie. It is also a direct contradiction of their past pledges on the issue. Indeed, Moniz specifically said, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access” to Iranian military sites in April during an interview with Bloomberg.Kerry has been navigating a similar zigzag course on a host of other issues regarding the deal including that about Tehran coming clean on past military nuclear research.

Continue reading Presidential Hubris and Arrogance Drive Appeasement of Iran.

I have no argument with anything he says here, but some extension may be in order.

I usually don’t refer to this mess as appeasement, and for a reason. Chamberlain was a good, decent, and honorable man. He sincerely believed perhaps that Munich would work, and he knew that Great Britain was not ready to fight the war. The analogy I use is that Britain at the time of Munich, was in much the same spot as the United States was at the time of the Argentia Bay meeting, just starting to spool up for the fight, and with a very divided population, just coming to grips with the fact that Hitler wasn’t the comic-opera figure that they had been making fun of since at least 1933.  See Charles Utley for the best explanation of the kerfluffle of the (6-year-old Queen’s Nazi Salute). Like him, my first thought was that quote from the blitz.

When she was advised by the Cabinet to send her children (Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose) to Canada to avoid the blitz she gave a straight forward answer: “The children won’t go without me, I won’t go without the King and the King will never leave.”

That tells you all you will ever need to know about the royal family.

Iran is a completely different case, the United States can eliminate Iran whenever we care to exert ourselves, I’m rather amazed we haven’t, given the provocation. There is simply no great power contest here as there was in 1938. This is a simple sell-out of American principles (at least since 1945), and the hubris of attempting to use the UN to override the Congress is simply a continuation of Wilson’s attempt to sell off American Sovereignty to anyone but America, combined with what has become traditional for this administration, a blatant disregard for American Constitutional law.

This administration has always and continuously followed those precepts, to denigrate America in the world, and to subvert the checks and balances that have served us so well. That the current Democratic Party has gone along with this is no surprise. It has been their policy since 1972. But the feckless, mendacious, acquiescence of the rest of Congress, to their own detriment, is hard to understand, and even harder to stomach.

We have about a year and a half of this despicable president left, and then, hopefully, a major rebuilding job, if, and only if, we get our heads out of sand (or other less pleasant places) and elect people who know what it means in the modern world to lead, to have principles, in other words, to be an American. If we don’t, America, and Western Civilization itself, are likely doomed by 2020, since Europe has surrendered, and the UK seems to have lost whatever principles it ever had. It’s hard to believe Cameron has the same job as Chamberlain, let alone Churchill, he’s such a mealy-mouth cretin. And in any case, as Nigel Farage said last Friday, the EU will bleed Briain dry supporting the ones who will not work in southern Europe. A sad end for a people who have been prosperous since King Alfred the Great established the very first nation-state.

And those are the stakes, for Congress right now, and for us as citizens in the next year. Is America to continue, dragging civilization along, or simply sink into the abyss with Rome and the others. It’s up to us to decide.

Cascade Effects: 13 Days in September

Laughing Wolf has a post up on cascade effects, you need to read it, and I’ll say here that I agree with him completely

BLACKFIVE: Cascade Effects

No, I’m not talking physics, but something that can make basic physics seem easy. It is something we see every day in the corporate, academic, and military worlds and it can have profound effects on people and institutions. Let’s take a hypothetical look at a situation.

You are in a telecon, with people scattered around the country. Leading the telecon is a manager that is known to be ambitious, somewhat unscrupulous, well-connected, and not terribly connected to reality in terms of consumer wants, needs, and buying habits. He has a plan to advance sales (and market share), and is somewhere between announcing it and trying to sell it to other managers and offices. To his mind, the plan is a slam-dunk that no one of any intelligence can not see as a slam-dunk.

Problem is, none of the other managers and offices were consulted. They were told a plan was in work, but none were truly brought in to the development process. Marketing research had been asked to provide specific data sets and analysis of those sets, but that was all. This fact, but not the reasons behind it, are known to those taking part in the discussion. There are some other considerations in play, but this is a hypothetical.

Mr. Manager launches into his pitch, and is asked a question by the manager for Northeastern sales, who is from and residing in Maine. Mr. Manager is a touch thin-skinned (to be polite), and so answers the question with a retort rather than an answer, using a phrase common in the Southwest where he is from. That phrase has the meaning there of “shut up the answer is coming” but has a much stronger meaning in Maine.

Out of the almost infinite range of possibilities, we really have three probable responses that are going to take place. First, in the ideal world, the Maine rep will sit back, be a professional, and objectively analyze what is to come before making any decisions or even speaking again. Second, the Maine rep is going to respond immediately, but both sides will call a truce and get information and facts out, though the process will not be fun for anyone. Third, Maine will respond and Mr. Manager will take it personally, and things will go downhill fast.

Cascade effects.

– See more at: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2013/08/cascade-effects.html#sthash.O9HwZQ8W.dpuf

I will only add his penultimate sentence here.

I will also remind you of a truism (that is true) in regards war and CBN war: we are all hostage to the least stable person involved.

And that is the problem, what happens when a Tomahawk lands on the wrong target. say a Russian naval vessel.

I know that I’m older than most of you and have memories of times you do not. My thinking is increasingly on those 13 days in October of 1962, when Khrushchev had decided that Kennedy was a weak president, and had gone ahead and emplaced intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba. Because Kennedy was wise enough to leave a path open, and the Soviet Union was a closed society, we managed to avoid destroying the world but, all accounts agree that it was very close.

But the weapons in Cuba were under direct Soviet control. What would have happened if a shaky Cuban officer had fired one of them.

In some ways, I suspect it’s not fair to Obama, when he ran for President, I’m quite sure that he never gave global thermonuclear war a thought. After all Reagan had ended that threat for all time, so the pressure was off.

Yet here we are, old spectres back from the grave to haunt us. World peace depends on not knocking the chocks out, on purpose or by accident, in an arena where the players have no good means of talking to each other, and/or may or not be completely rational. In addition they are in the middle of a civil war.

If it fits your beliefs, it is a very good time for prayer

[Update. I note that Obama has said he will consult with Congress before acting. That is very good news. Hopefully Congress will do the right thing.]

Democrats: Conflicts, and Debates

U-2 Aircraft

U-2 Aircraft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

50 years ago this week, a Democratic President guaranteed the end of the Soviet Union.

You see in October of 1962 the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was installing medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba. This was unacceptable for at least two reasons, first we were not amenable to Cuba having nuclear weapons (we still aren’t, non-proliferation is a good thing) and second it is a clear violation of the Monroe Doctrine essentially turning Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union.

President Kennedy after the screw up at the Bay of Pigs was perceived by Khrushchev as weak, he was by many Americans as well. So the Soviets thought they could pull this off.

There is an old rule of great powers that a continental power (like Germany or Russia) can strike hard but not far, a maritime power like Japan or Great Britain can strike far but not really hard, but a superpower (like the United States, or Britain before the Second World War) can strike both hard and far. This was the Soviet Unions bid for superpower status. They failed.

In a situation that had the United States at DEFCON 2 for days and almost the entire Tactical Air Command, concentrated in the southeast as well as Army and Marine units preparing an invasion, we came very, very near to a general thermonuclear war. Khrushchev backed down. Mostly because he knew he would lose. I can barely remember it but, it was a very scary time.

But the lessons were these, the United States would go to war to defend its allies, this was the month when our allies found out beyond a doubt, whoever the President was, that we would defend them, even at the risk of the destruction of America. The Soviets also drew this lesson, and we know, in retrospect, that from that day the risk of general war was immeasurably reduced.

From the day that Khrushchev ordered the missiles removed from Cuba, the doom of the Soviet Union was written, nobody could relax and the forces had to remain ready but, it was all over but the death throes, when the proper leaders arose, Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul, the decrepit edifice of the Soviet slave state came tumbling down.

A very tense month when America got it right.

Then there is this mess in Benghazi

From the Anchoress:

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is committing journalism regarding Benghazi, on behalf of a citizenry that is entitled to know what the hell is going on:

Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options. . . Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.

“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

Let that last line sink in for a minute. Ann Althouse did and then she asked:

The attack went on for hours. Why didn’t/couldn’t our military go in? Was it for the same reason that no military was there to protect them in the first place, that the Obama administration did not want the appearance of a military presence? Were they watching, thinking the attack should quickly succeed, allowing them to say it all happened so fast… and then it wasn’t fast?

Continue reading Benghazi Travesty: 7 Hours, 4 Lives: No Scheisskopf, Please UPDATED

Go ahead and read it, I have to go throw up, these clowns are sure no Profile in Courage are they?

Oh, the debate last night.

Romney Came, Romney Saw, Romney Conquered.

Obama looked like a first time candidate for city-council, Romney looked and sounded like the President of the United States of America, in the line of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan.

In 14 days we have the opportunity to begin the restoration of America, let’s ‘git ‘r done’.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Today in History

The crew of the Apollo 13 mission step aboard ...

The crew of the Apollo 13 mission step aboard the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the mission, following splashdown and recovery operations in the South Pacific. Exiting the helicopter, which made the pick-up some four miles from the Iwo Jima are (from left) astronauts Fred. W. Haise, Jr., lunar module pilot; James A. Lovell Jr., commander; and John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot. The Apollo 13 spacecraft splashed down at 12:07:44 pm CST on April 17, 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth.

On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.

Continue reading.

On April 17, 1790, American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at age 84.

Born in Boston in 1706, Franklin became at 12 years old an apprentice to his half brother James, a printer and publisher. He learned the printing trade and in 1723 went to Philadelphia to work after a dispute with his brother. After a sojourn in London, he started a printing and publishing press with a friend in 1728. In 1729, the company won a contract to publish Pennsylvania‘s paper currency and also began publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette, which was regarded as one of the better colonial newspapers. From 1732 to 1757, he wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanack, an instructive and humorous periodical in which Franklin coined such practical American proverbs as “God helps those who help themselves” and “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Continue reading.

The Bay of Pigs invasion begins when a CIA-financed and -trained group of Cuban refugees lands in Cuba and attempts to topple the communist government of Fidel Castro. The attack was an utter failure.

Fidel Castro had been a concern to U.S. policymakers since he seized power in Cuba with a revolution in January 1959. Castro’s attacks on U.S. companies and interests in Cuba, his inflammatory anti-American rhetoric, and Cuba’s movement toward a closer relationship with the Soviet Union led U.S. officials to conclude that the Cuban leader was a threat to U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere. In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to train and arm a force of Cuban exiles for an armed attack on Cuba. John F. Kennedy inherited this program when he became president in 1961.

Continue reading.

Heavy eruptions of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia are letting up by this day in 1815. The volcano, which began rumbling on April 5, killed almost 100,000 people directly and indirectly. The eruption was the largest ever recorded and its effects were noted throughout the world.

Tambora is located on Sumbawa Island, on the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. There had been no signs of volcanic activity there for thousands of years prior to the 1815 eruption. On April 10, the first of a series of eruptions that month sent ash 20 miles into the atmosphere, covering the island with ash to a height of 1.5 meters.

Five days later, Tambora erupted violently once again. This time, so much ash was expelled that the sun was not seen for several days. Flaming hot debris thrown into the surrounding ocean caused explosions of steam. The debris also caused a moderate-sized tsunami. In all, so much rock and ash was thrown out of Tambora that the height of the volcano was reduced from 14,000 to 9,000 feet.

Continue reading.

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Ford Mustang, a two-seat, mid-engine sports car, is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, on April 17, 1964. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Named for a World War II fighter plane, the Mustang was the first of a type of vehicle that came to be known as a “pony car.” Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations.

The Mustang was conceived as a “working man’s Thunderbird,” according to Ford. The first models featured a long hood and short rear deck and carried a starting price tag of around $2,300. Ford general manager Lee Iacocca, who became president of the company in October 1964 (and later headed up Chrysler, which he was credited with reviving in the 1980s) was involved in the Mustang’s development and marketing. The car’s launch generated great interest. It was featured on the covers of Newsweek and Time magazines and the night before it went on sale, the Mustang was featured in commercials that ran simultaneously on all three major television networks. One buyer in Texas reportedly slept at a Ford showroom until his check cleared and he could drive his new Mustang home. The same year it debuted, the Mustang appeared on the silver screen in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger.” A green 1968 Mustang 390 GT was famously featured in the 1968 Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt,” in a car chase through the streets of San Francisco. Since then, Mustangs have appeared in hundreds of movies.

I think they got a bit confused here, the Mustangs I saw were front engined and 4 passenger but, it was still a sweet ride. Thanks, Lee Iaccoca.

And from the soundtrack of my life,

Continue reading.

On this day in 1976, Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies hits four consecutive home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs. Schmidt was only the fourth player in the history of Major League Baseball to accomplish this feat.

After attending Ohio University, Schmidt was drafted by the Phillies as the 30th overall pick in the 1971 MLB draft and made his big-league debut on September 12, 1972. In 1974, he led the National League in home runs for the first of what would turn out to be eight times in his career. In 1976, Schmidt, who became known for a batting stance in which he practically turned his back to the pitcher, knocked out a record 12 homers in the first 15 games of the season. Included in the dozen round trippers were the four in a row he hit on April 17 of that year to help the Phillies defeat the Cubs in 10 innings, 18-16. Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters was the first player on record to hit four home runs in a row, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 30, 1894. He was followed by Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees on June 3, 1932, in a game against the Philadelphia Athletics. On June 10, 1959, Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians knocked out four straight homers against the Baltimore Orioles.

Continue reading.

One other event occurred on this day in history that is kind of important, to me, at least: I was born. You guys hold the fort, I’m gonna go play.

 

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