We Don’t Need You Guys Anymore and St Barbera

1-_mzoec5laodpkm-ovxhbeaAt the Reagan National Defense Forum, former Vice-President Dick Cheney did a panel with CNN’s Barbera Starr. Pretty good stuff from one of the deep thinkers about defense. Here’s the bit we all like:

I think he needs to be careful but he’ll learn as he goes along. I think he is putting some brains and good people with him. I am a big fan of Mike Pence. I know Mike well from his 12 years in the House and I think he’s a great choice as Vice President. He’s going to play a major role. I think Mr. Trump is taking very, very seriously the job that he has gotten now. Staffing up the administration.

I think one of the reasons people get so concerned about the tweets is it is sort of a way around the press. He doesn’t have to rely upon, uh, rely upon — this is the modern era, modern technology. He’s at the point where we don’t need you guys anymore. Here’s the video

via Cheney To CNN’s Barbara Starr: Trump Took Us To Point Where We Don’t Need You Guys Anymore | Video | RealClearPolitics

And speaking of Barbera, December fourth was the feast day of St. Barbera, the patron saint of the Field Artillery. Here’s the story from War is Boring

Legend has is that Dioscorus, a wealthy fourth-century pagan living in what is now Turkey, locked his daughter Barbara in a tower to shelter her from the world.

His plan didn’t work. Barbara converted to Christianity and reconstructed a bath house Dioscorus had built for her, modifying it so its windows would form a trinity of light. In a rage, Dioscurus murdered Barbara before “he was struck down and consumed by a blinding flash of lightning,” the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division explained on its website.

Why the 11th Marine Regiment — an artillery unit — is interested in the legend of Saint Barbara, recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, is part of a curious but long-standing tradition among artillery troops in Europe and North America.

“Barbara came to be regarded as the sainted patroness of those in danger from thunderstorms, fire, explosions that is to say, sudden death,” the U.S. Field Artillery Association noted. “Given the questionable reliability of early cannon misfires, muzzle bursts and exploding weapons were not uncommon — it is easy to see why our predecessors sought the protection of Saint Barbara.”

“She has protected us well ever since.”

via: Raise a Toast to the Patron Saint of Field Artillery

In atonement, here is my favorite recipe for Artillery Punch.

Artillery Punch

by Laurie Helmich

 

1 pound sugar                    1 quart champagne

3 lemons                           1 quart Old Jamaica Rum

2 oranges                          1-quart sherry

1-quart strong tea              2-pint brandy

 

Put sugar in the bowl, add grated rind of three lemons, juice of two lemons, juice of two oranges, pour in boiling tea. Cover and cool. When cool, add rum, sherry, and brandy. Chill. When ready to serve, add champagne. Dilute with one or two quarts of soda for other branches of service.

 

The preceding recipe courtesy of the Officers’ Wives’ Cookbook, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

It is also recommended that your Aide is prepared to lead your horse home.

Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

2094I’ve been seeing stuff like this off and on most of the year and I see no reason to believe it isn’t true. After all, America got its big surge of German immigrants when the King of Prussia decided to force a merger of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany. From Gatestone Institute …

  • More than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade. — Die Welt.

  • Germany is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.
  • “We refugees… do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you…. Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!” — Aras Bacho an 18-year-old Syrian migrant, in Der Freitag, October 2016.
  • A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave Germany.
  • “I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens. … I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.” — “Anna,” in a letter to the Mayor of Munich about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible.

A growing number of Germans are abandoning neighborhoods in which they have lived all their lives, and others are leaving Germany for good, as mass immigration transforms parts of the country beyond recognition.

Data from the German statistics agency, Destatis, shows that 138,000 Germans left Germany in 2015. More are expected to emigrate in 2016. In a story on brain drain titled, “German talent is leaving the country in droves,” Die Welt reported that more than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade.

The statistics do not give a reason why Germans are emigrating, but anecdotal evidence indicates that many are waking up to the true cost — financial, social and cultural — of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million mostly Muslim migrants to enter the country in 2015. At least 300,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Germany in 2016, according to Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of the country’s migration office, BAMF.

Mass migration has — among many other problems — contributed to a growing sense of insecurity in Germany, which is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

via Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

Who gains from this? For now, likely Hungary, eventually the US as we are increasing seen to reject Multi-Kulti BS.

Also from Gatestone, there is this, although this is getting overlong.

  • With his initiative for tighter gun laws, to prevent weapons getting into “the wrong hands,” Justice Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

  • As the German newspaper Bild describes the law proposed by Maas, “a 13-year-old child bride would have to testify against her husband, saying that her well-being as a child is under threat. If neither the child nor the Child Welfare Service lodges a complaint, for all practical purposes the marriage would be declared legitimate.” This law clearly does not take into account the possibility of private coercion against a child, let alone the blinding likelihood of outright threats.
  • Justice Minister Maas evidently cares more about “gender image” than he cares about truly oppressed women and vulnerable children. In a recently drafted new law by his ministry, Mass refused to ban child marriage.
  • With both France and Germany going to polls next year, there is the possibility of a democratic, peaceful “European Spring.”

In her first message to President-elect Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lectured him on gender, racial and religious equality. As the New York Times put it, Merkel “named a price” for Germany’s cooperation with the Trump-led administration, namely the “respect for human dignity and for minorities from a man who has mocked both.”

If this was anything more than political posturing, and Chancellor Merkel truly cared about “human dignity” or the rights of those most vulnerable, she might have started closer at home.

After a year-long investigation into the mass-sexual attacks in Cologne, where an estimated 2,000 migrant men — mostly from Arab and Muslim countries — molested at least 1200 women, almost all the men have managed to walk free.

Last week, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jäger, confirmed this outcome when he said that “most of the cases [of rape and sexual assault in Cologne] will remain unsolved.” Similar coordinated sexual assaults by migrants also took place in other German cities, including Hamburg, where over 500 such cases were reported. They are expected to remain “unsolved” too.

Merkel, who lectured Trump on gender, did not even bother to visit the women who were raped and assaulted in Cologne or other German cities — even though these women were victims of her own failed open-border policy.

As New Year’s Eve approaches again, Merkel’s “Multikulti” paradise looks more and more like a police state. According to leaked, confidential police reports published by Germany’s Expressnewspaper, Cologne will be turned into a fortified city to avoid a repeat of last year’s mass sexual assaults. Security forces will monitor the streets with helicopters, surveillance cameras, observation posts and mounted units. The city of Hamburg has also reportedly taken similar steps.

While the Merkel government arms the police, efforts are underway to tighten gun laws for the citizenry. As the German state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on November 28: “Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for tighter weapons laws to prevent guns from falling in to the wrong hands.” With this latest initiative, Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany and the rest of the Western World, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

via Angela Merkel: False Prophet of Europe

Look, you don’t need me to analyze this stuff for you, it’s about as clear as who was going to win World War II in Europe on 01 April 1945. Hint: It wasn’t Germany, it isn’t now either. There likely is a reason why NATO is increasingly seen as weak, and that reason isn’t Donald Trump. If NATO is to defend Eastern Europe, Germany which sits dead middle, is essential for communications and logistics. So a lot depends for all of us on the French and German elections happening next year. I’m not very hopeful, but I’ve been wrong a lot, maybe I’ll be again.

Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins |

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

Well, well, well, look at that, Carrier with all the noise about domestic manufacturing jobs decided it would be a good idea to stay in Indianapolis. Undoubtedly they are correct. From the NY Times

From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump and Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and the vice president-elect, plan to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis factory to announce a deal with the company to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state, according to officials with the transition team as well as Carrier.

Mr. Trump will be hard-pressed to alter the economic forces that have hammered the Rust Belt for decades, but forcing Carrier and its parent company, United Technologies, to reverse course is a powerful tactical strike that will hearten his followers even before he takes office.

“I’m ready for him to come,” said Robin Maynard, a 24-year veteran of Carrier who builds high-efficiency furnaces and earns almost $24 an hour as a team leader. “Now I can put my daughter through college without having to look for another job.”

It also signals that Mr. Trump is a different kind of Republican, willing to take on Big Business, at least in individual cases.

And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. If Barack Obama had tried the same maneuver, he’d probably have drawn criticism for intervening in the free market.

via Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins |

The Times goes on with comments from Robert Reich and such. I don’t disagree, part of the reason it worked this time for Trump/Pence is that pence is Indiana’s Governor, and Trump speaks business. I suspect part of it is also that Carrier is owned by United Technologies, one of the big defense contractors, who undoubtedly don’t want any troubles with the administration, if they can help it.

All that said, it’s good news, and it goes to the point that relocating to Mexico is a rather marginal cost-savings, usually. I can remember when we had a Monroe shock absorber plant here, it was the old Rancho suspension plant, built in the 50s or 60s, a few years ago it moved to Mexico, now it’s off in Asia somewhere. Apparently, the Mexicans didn’t work cheap enough either. By the way, they couldn’t get the plant sold, so a few weeks ago they bulldozed it, it ain’t coming back. The tax breaks weren’t good enough, likely.

He won’t win them all, but it’s a good start: when you can save 1000 jobs in December before you are even inaugurated. That’s a thousand jobs that Obama couldn’t have saved.

Queens and Presidents, and Duty

6741670-3x2-700x467Melanie Phillips wrote in the £ Sunday Times about how the Queen Elizabeth II has to subsume the woman in the duty of the queen. It’s not a new theme for us, we spoke of her mother’s sense of duty owed to people and God in Duty Is the Rent You Pay For Life. It is something that also runs deep, in soldiers, it was Robert E. Lee who said,

Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things.

You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.

And yet, that is asking an awful lot of a man, or a woman. Not many make the grade, and it strikes me that none of those that make it, rely on their own strength. Lee was a serious Episcopalian, his quotes about God are nearly as numerous and intertwined with his quotes about war and the army he loved. Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England, and as Melanie says, she has often gone against her own desires to fulfill her duty to her people, and her God, from whom her reign comes.

Yes, that is a difficult concept for Americans to grasp, she is queen by the grace of God, but her duty is twofold, to God and people, simply because she is not accountable to the people. In a very real sense, the British have to simply trust her to do the right thing, and because of her sense of duty, she nearly always has.

[Speaking of the Netflix series The Crown] It’s rather that, most unexpectedly in this age of sneering secular utilitarianism, the series pivots around the key but largely disregarded point of the monarchy: that the wearer of the crown is consecrated to God.

That’s why the monarch is crowned in an abbey and anointed rather than appointed. The coronation is a near-mystical act of transfiguration. As King George VI says in the drama to his young daughter Elizabeth: “When the holy oil touches me I am for ever changed, brought into contact with the divine.”

The paradox is that the monarch is bound by an unparalleled duty to the people precisely because the wearer of the crown does not answer to them. As Queen Mary tells the new, young Queen: “Loyalty to the ideal you have inherited is your overarching duty because it comes from God.

Monarchy is God’s sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth to give ordinary people an ideal to strive toward. You are answerable to God, not the public.”

It is this sacramental bond of duty that places the monarch on a superior plane altogether from any prime minster or president.

That mystical place beside God has been held by the Constitution and the flag for most Americans through history because that mystical place must be filled, or we are simply brutes competing by whatever means for our individual gain. That is why so many on the left accuse us of doing exactly that because they have no conception of a higher power to which duty is owed. That is what doomed the Duke of Windsor, that he put his personal benefit above his duty. It is a large part of why Hillary Clinton was defeated in the election.

The Queen is portrayed as someone who takes this absolute duty to heart, with often devastating consequences for all the flesh-and-blood people who carry this burden.

The Queen’s identity is split down the middle. There is the human Elizabeth, the wife, mother and sister; and then there is Elizabeth Regina who, when these identities come into conflict, has to override the human being involved.

That is obviously true, but it is also true of her entire generation, this is the wellspring which has made them, British, American, Canadian, and Australian (and the rest as well) our greatest generation.

via Royal sense of duty may die with the Queen | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times Do read the whole thing™.

Merkel Backs Crackdown on Free Speech On Social Media Sites

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) nimmt am 14.08.2013 auf dem Theaterplatz in Ludwigshafen (Rheinland-Pfalz) an einer Wahlkampfveranstaltung zur Bundestagswahl 2013 teil. Foto: Uli Deck/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

One of the things I have noticed in the last few months, as a percentage, people other than Americans and British (especially Niederlanders) have increased rather dramatically. That pleases me, and I hope they are finding what they want. Since, as far as I know, none of them have commented, I just assume that they do.

But since I want them to know they’re welcome, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what somebody is saying in anything but your first language, I was pleased yesterday when WordPress announced a translation widget for those of us running WordPress.com blogs. The algorithm is Google Translate, which as we all know is not perfect, but it’s surprisingly good. You’ll find it on the sidebar, just above my Twitter feed. If I remember it does something like 103 languages, so it should cover the common ones. Enjoy


One of the things most worrying, everywhere, but especially in Europe, is a tendency to restrict free speech, often by way of so-called ‘hate crime legislation. While America, and to some extent Britain have a pretty strong cultural bias against almost any infringement of our rights, this is one of those areas where an attempt anywhere diminishes them everywhere.

Germany is becoming one of the worst offenders here, and I’m not the only one noticing. Jonathan Turley noted yesterday:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel long ago established herself as a menace to free speech, particularly in her decision to first apologize to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a satirical poem and then approve the prosecution of the comedian is a shocking and chilling disgrace. Now, she is throwing her support behind a crackdown on “hate speech” on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — radically expanding the already broad scope of government regulation of speech.

Merkel declared “I support efforts by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere to address hate speech, hate commentaries, devastating things that are incompatible with human dignity, and to do everything to prohibit it because it contradicts our values.”

via Merkel Backs Crackdown on Free Speech On Social Media Sites | JONATHAN TURLEY

As Professor Turley notes, It would maybe be borderline acceptable, except it is completely impossible to provide an objective definition of “incompatible with human dignity”. That leaves the definition completely in the hands of the government, to use as they will. That is simply unacceptable in a free society.

This is a very troubling trend, and we must do our best to stop it in its tracks, In Germany, In Britain, across Europe, and sadly yes, here in America, as well.

The Individual in the West

marcus-cicero-freedomBookworm went on the National Review cruise this year, and how I envy her! What a glorious opportunity. She’s written a series of posts about it, which you should read. In any case, she wrote a post that she called National Review cruise — let’s talk about the individual in the West. The whole post is well worth your time and is linked below, don’t miss the comments, either, but I want to focus on something she said here.

I’ve been reading Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy, a book I highly recommend, not just for those interested in learning about all things Jewish, but also for those anxious to reconnect with Old Testament knowledge and interesting corners of world history. I especially enjoyed his Biblical discussions, because it’s been some years since I sat down and read the Torah.

What’s so striking about the Torah, of course, and what I believe has kept it the most vibrant book in the Western canon, is that it’s not a book about mass movements or ideological theories. It’s a book about people. Abraham who upends his family to follow a God, Sarah who laughs at that God, Jacob who wrestled with that God, Moses who argued with that God, David who fought for that God, and all the individually-named prophets who spoke for that God. Each person we meet in the Torah is someone we can imagine walking through our own communities today.

The same is true for the New Testament. Jesus is a vividly rendered personality, but so are the others who appear with him. Through their writings, we know Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Apostles are real people grappling with the burden of a living Messiah whom they know will soon die, only to live again. And Paul — oh, my goodness! Through his letters he is one of the most vibrant people in world history.

But the West’s recognition of real people living in different times doesn’t end with the Bible. We discuss Roman history, not just in terms of battles and empire, but in terms of the personalities whose ambition, honor, greed, etc., made that history happen. When reading Christian-era Western history, names with vivid attached personalities tumble off the page: Charlemagne, William the Conquerer, Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Cardinal Richelieu, each and every Borgia or Medici, Marie Antoinette, Lord Nelson, our Founders about whose personalities we are intensely interested, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and even Barack Obama. In all cases, we want to know who they are and what drove them to take actions that are hinge points in history.

This is a remarkably different approach to the past and the president than under statism regimes, which seek at all levels to erase the individual. And I do mean all levels. The cults of personality that totalitarian societies cultivate, as in North Korea, have nothing to do with the real person. They are slickly enameled fakes that are meant to obscure rather than reveal the individual holding such immense power.

I have a theory that this individualism is part of what propelled Trump into office (along with voters’ desperation for a candidate who, no matter how personally tawdry, didn’t have the stink of “business as usual” in Washington). Hillary, as we know, has been endlessly re-packaged and re-presented to the American people.

The reality, as Americans understand, is that with her rigid hair, botoxed face, expensive Mao suits, and prepackaged Leftist rhetoric, she’s just another statist cipher. Her years in the public eye have revealed that the personality behind the presentation is a corrupt and ugly one, but the important thing is that we’re endlessly being sold someone whose public identity is as fake, unrevealing, and poll driven as any cult leader in a totalitarian society.

And then there’s the Donald: Mercurial, defensive, grandiose, self-confident, intuitive, vulgar, quite kind (according to many who know him), unfiltered, and, above all, absolutely real. Yes, there’s definitely a “reality TV” persona, but the overlap between the public and the private Trump is apparently quite strong. With Trump, we don’t get a poll-tested, campaign-consultant-created generic politician. For better or worse, he is an individual in the historic mold.

I think, therefore, that Trump represents something unique to Western Jude-Christian culture: Starting with Abraham and going right up to Trump, individualism matters. We, The People are not movements, we’re not ciphers, we’re not symbols. We are real beings, with individual characters, and we seek that same quality in those who lead us.

via National Review cruise — let’s talk about the individual in the West

She’s on to something here, and it’s important. When the progressives were taking over the academy they ridiculed the so-called ‘Great man theory of history’ propounded by Macauley, by Bancroft, even by Mahan, preferring to denigrate the great captains of history. This suited their revisionist souls but did a disservice to their craft. Bookworm is right, we can walk with the ancients, but we are not mindless ciphers being acted on by indifferent forces. We, the people know that to lead us, we need people who can lead with vision, not simply tell us what to do. Can it be overdone? Of course, it can. We are individuals in a community, one man believing something is usually a crank, but groups of people, acting for their individual and groups benefit are what has driven history, and freedom. Where would we be without a William Marshal, an Oliver Cromwell, a George Washington, A Lord Nelson, an Abraham Lincoln, a Winston Churchill, even a George Patton, or yes, a Donald Trump?

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