The Wednesday Compendium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

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

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

Freedom: Lost and Delivered

Today is a day of anniversaries, one overshadowed even as it happened, and another that lies shamefully dormant.

Today is the day that 75 years ago, US 5th Army and the British 8th Army liberated Rome. You will, of course, remember that Fascist Italy had surrendered sometime earlier but the Germans occupying Italy and the terrain itself made this anything but the soft underbelly.

This was the culmination of Operation Diadem launched on 11 May 1944. While this was the first of the Axis capitals to fall, it had essentially no impact on the war, other than perhaps reducing the stress marginally, of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France which would happen on 15 August 1944. A great victory, but overshadowed by other events.

Freedom: Delivered

30 years ago today, on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the People’s Liberation Army crushed the student’s quest for freedom, not to mention their Goddess of Democracy under the treads of their tanks. Somewhere between several hundred and ten thousand were deliberately killed by the government. It continues its bloodthirsty ways to this day, imprisoning over a million Uigher Moslems and Falun Gong in concentration camps, as well as persecuting Christians and other believers.

Tank man, as we have come to call him, a very brave Chinese, indeed, was, of course, killed by the Chinese government. But the Goddess of Democracy, whose resemblance to The Statue of Liberty moved Americans deeply, while also destroyed, lives on, I warrant, in the hearts of many Chinese and she does in a fair number of Americans as well.

(AP Photo/Jeff Widener, File)

Freedom Lost, for now.

Are There Any Men in Europe?

abuse_germanyJess’ choice yesterday to lead with Yeats’ Second Coming was in my view directly on point. I also agree with everything she said in the post. It does seem darker than the thirty’s do in retrospect, at least. For all the aberrations at Oxford then (“We resolve not to fight for King and Country”) and now (trying to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, who in establishing his scholarships had more guts than almost anybody, in specifying that colour was to have no place in selecting winners). The left has always been racist, both here, and in Europe, witness the furor from the Democrats over TR having dinner with Booker T. Washington, or Wilson’s segregation of almost everything and the institution around that time of Jim Crow. Again we see those who refuse to study history, condemning

Of course the left has always been racist, witness the furor from the democrats over TR having dinner with Booker T. Washington, or Wilson segregation of almost anything and the institution around that time of Jim Crow. Again we see those who refuse to study history, condemning themselves or their children to reliving it.

A friend of ours, Francis Phillips, writing last week in the Catholic Herald, had something to say about the comparison as well.

[Speaking of a woman who recently died, who had come to Britain in 1939 as a refugee from Germany]

Everything about her life spoke to me of an age that is past: her loyalty to her German history as well as her patriotic love for her adopted country; her reserve, her independence and the quiet inner strength that her faith gave her.

It struck me that, despite the horrors of the war, she had come to adulthood and to England during a less complex time in our history: patriotism was not a suspect stance to hold; the concept of multiculturalism, once unthinkingly vaunted, now agonised over, had not been heard of; there was no migration crisis (the post-war refugee crisis was a European phenomenon) and global terror had not been invented.

With her death and the gradual decline in the numbers of the other wartime refugees to this country, we have lost both the quiet and dignified witness of their lives as well as the high regard they had for our country’s values. We hardly know what these values are any more. Paradoxically, the times seem darker now than in 1939.

It’s true, I think, they do. And while Jess’ points are very valid, there something else as well.

Are there any men left in Europe?

In you missed it, there was a row over the weekend between the Kremlin and Berlin, about a 13-year-old girl who disappeared for 30 hours and then claimed to have been held by ‘southern appearing aliens’, and sexually abused, not to say gang-raped. Somehow the story only got public by means of social media in the Russian émigré community. The authorities now say she recanted the story to ‘professionals’. Maybe so, it wouldn’t be the first time that a kid lied to stay out of trouble. But it’s troubling that Russia apparently doesn’t believe it, and that a good number of Americans don’t either.

Patterico had something to say about this (specifically New Years Eve) as well.

[A]t the risk of sounding old fashioned, and not jumping to any conclusions, note that I am simply chewing things over in my mind. Given that, as I read reports from Europe and the US about the horrible events that night, I am having trouble finding any mention of German men fighting back against the assailants. I did find this as yet unverified report from a doorman at a luxury hotel in the area. It speaks clearly to the horrific events and the utter terror these women experienced:

“Throughout the evening again and again women came to me and asked if they could just stand next to me so I could look after them. I still didn’t quite know what that was all about. They told me they were chased by these guys”.

The men who had chased the girls then attempted to attack again, but martial arts expert Jurevic was ready: “These guys that chased them, then they really tried to attack me. I’ll have to be honest, I beat them all up.

“I’ve never witnessed something like this, I always thought this stuff would be some sort of right wing propaganda. But it was real!”.

Aside from that, and the passing mention of two men who tried to protect their female companions and one’s daughter, I’m not seeing where German men came to the defense of the throngs of women being victimized that night. It’s strikes me as odd given that large numbers of women were forced to walk through gauntlets of Muslim males upon exiting the train station and elsewhere in the square:

When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group we met, which was made up only of foreign men … We walked through the group of men, there was a tunnel through them, we walked through … I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and hit them, they men didn’t stop. I was horrified and I think I was touched around 100 times over the 200 metres.”

Via: Where Were The German Men During The Cologne Attacks?

I may be old-fashioned here, or even a fish’s bicycle, but I was raised with that old Irish adage (even if I am Norwegian-American). “The first duty of the strong is to protect the weak“. That’s been true since, as John Ball had it, “Adam delved and Eve span”.  If it’s no longer true, then most likely our civilization is doomed, and we’ll see the denouement of Yeats poem.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Of Men, Freedom, and God

English: Wallace Monument In memory of William...

English: Wallace Monument In memory of William Wallace, one of the leaders of the Scots army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Let Italy boast of her gay gilded water


Her vine and her bowers


And her soft sunny skies


Her sons drinking love


from the eyes of her Daughters


Where freedom expires amid


Softness and sighs


Recognize that poem? If you’re a regular here you saw it on New Years Day. It’s the first verse of this song, which is very famous in the English speaking world.



I have read that when the English came onto the field of Stirling in 1297, the Scots were at prayer. The Lord Treasurer Cressingham is supposed to have remarked to Lord Henry Percy, “They kneel.” Supposedly Percy replied, “Aye, to God, not to us.” Because of the parsimoniousness of Cressingham, the English charged on into the trap, and were cut to pieces. Supposedly William Wallace had a sword belt made from Cressingham’s skin.


The “Ladies from Hell” have a message for us, and it’s the old one: Freedom is hard.


But we know that, we also included the hymn Chester on New Years Day. Did you catch these lyrics:


Let tyrants shake their iron rods


Let slavery clank her chains


We’ll fear them not


But perhaps we’ve gotten too soft to maintain our freedom.


But the Welsh remember as well, remember this one.



But you know as well as I, we have built our own history of fighting for freedom, here’s one of the most famous



The history of the citizen-soldier written very large. But you know, there were lots of Irish in those armies, so much so that one of our most famous marches is Irish as well.



But there is something else those fighting men believed in, and gave them strength, they believed they were doing God’s will



And so, as it seems many of our ancient rights are under attack, perhaps we need to remember who we are



Or perhaps we will find that we are too late and Cavafy will prove to be right.


Honor to those who in the life they lead
define and guard a Thermopylae.
Never betraying what is right,
consistent and just in all they do
but showing pity also, and compassion;
generous when they are rich, and when they are poor,
still generous in small ways,
still helping as much as they can;
always speaking the truth,
yet without hating those who lie.


And even more honor is due to them
when they foresee (as many do foresee)
that in the end Ephialtis will make his appearance,
that the Medes will break through after all.


Hattip to Chalcedon451 at All along the Watchtower  for introducing me to Cavafy


The Devil’s Brigade

English: Shoulder sleeve patch of the 1st Spec...

Image via Wikipedia

This report is from Stars and Stripes. You know the military newspaper that dates back to World War Two and has had such contributors as Bill Maudlin.

Some years ago, Hollywood made a movie, “The Devil’s Brigade,” about a U.S.-Canadian commando force during World War II. Now an effort is underway in Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to that elite strike force.

Legislation to award the nation’s highest civilian honor to the First Special Service Force has been introduced in the House and Senate by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The Canadian Embassy in Washington plans to call attention to the effort next week by screening the documentary “Daring to Die: The Story of the Black Devils” with at least five members of the dwindling force in attendance, along with government and military officials from both countries.

For those of you too young to remember it, here’s a scene from the movie:

To continue:

John F. Mulholland Jr., commander of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command, has endorsed the effort to recognize the force, noting in a letter to Baucus that its members “earned a reputation for being able to take impenetrable objectives when no one else could.’’

The force participated in invasions in the Aleutian Islands, at Anzio Beach in Italy, and in southern France. They led the Allied liberation of Rome and wiped out Axis positions on scores of French and Italian mountains.

They specialized in high alpine combat, covert amphibious landings, airborne operations and other unconventional operations, with more reinforcements being added after the force suffered significant casualties in battle. Ultimately, the force suffered 2,314 casualties; however, it also captured over 30,000 prisoners.

Here’s the link to the full article.

If awarded they will join the Tuskegee Airmen; the Navajo Code Talkers; the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs; and Japanese American members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, a most worthy and honorable (honourable for you Canucks) group.

The Euro, The Dollar, and Weimar

The government surplus/deficit of Portugal, It...

Image via Wikipedia

While I know we tend to be focused on political events these days, we need to pay attention to the economy too. Yes, things have been looking a little better here lately, giving Obama hope but, all is not well.

Europe is having major trouble trying to stabilize the Euro, we all know the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) are exerting pressure on it due to their sovereign debt problems (and their socialist policies). According to this report it is starting to affect even the supposedly rock solid German Banks. I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about this but, I do know that European problems will spread here, very quickly.

I’m going to pass you along to these guys you seem to have a pretty good handle on it. I’ll also note that even the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) seems to have given up on it.

The euro is a dying currency.  On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell below 1.28 for the first time since September 2010.  In fact, as I write this the EUR/USD is sitting at 1.2791.  Back in July, the EUR/USD was over 1.45.  But this is just the beginning.  The euro is going to go a lot lower.  At this point, there are several major European nations that are on the verge of default, the European financial system is overflowing with debt and toxic assets, and most major European banks are leveraged about as badly as Lehman Brothers was when it collapsed.  Most Americans simply do not grasp the gravity of what is happening.  Just because the Dow is sitting above 12000 and a few U.S. economic numbers have improved slightly does not mean that everything is going to be okay.  As I wrote about recently, the EU has a bigger economy than we do and they have a bigger banking system than we do.  U.S. banks are massively exposed to European sovereign debt and European banking debt.  When the financial system of Europe collapses and the euro falls apart it is going to rock the entire planet.  So you better look out below – the euro is coming down and it is coming down hard.  After the euro implodes, nothing is every going to be the same again.

So how far are we going to see the euro decline?

Julian Jessop of Capital Economics expects the euro to fall much further….

Read the whole story.

If they are right, and I suspect they are, this is going to have major repercussions here as well (dare I say depression) not excluding serious inflation.

Why is Weimar in the title? Because in the early thirties during the depression, people in the Weimar (German) Republic were paying with wheelbarrow loads of Deutschmarks for a loaf of bread. Can that happen here? I don’t know and don’t want to find out.

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