Abraham Lincoln and the SJWs

Well, is anybody surprised? I’m not, it was a logical procession. Confederate statues are kind of an easy target, even if they were erected by Democrats to celebrate other Democrats, and now torn down by still more Democrats. But Lincoln is sort of an obvious target, one, he was not a radical (on either side), two, he saw through the radicals of his time and shows us how to in ours. From American Spectator by Kevin Portteus.

The Associated Students of Madison has called for a plaque to be placed on the statue, acknowledging what ASM’s Katrina Morrison called Lincoln’s “brutality toward indigenous peoples.” The alleged “brutality” involves Lincoln’s role in the suppression of an uprising by Sioux Indians in Minnesota in the summer and fall of 1862. In the aftermath of the uprising, a military tribunal issued 303 death sentences to Sioux men.

In the aftermath, Lincoln ordered a careful investigation of the tribunals, and found massive irregularities. He also carefully distinguished between those Sioux who had engaged in battles against soldiers and militia, and those who had perpetrated massacres against unarmed civilians or had committed rape. Despite enormous public pressure, Lincoln commuted 264 of the sentences, and then pardoned one of the others at the last minute. It was the largest mass execution in American history, but it was also one of the nation’s greatest acts of clemency.

These facts were acknowledged by UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank in her statement refusing to acquiesce in ASM’s demands, but they are unlikely to satisfy the SJWs. Thus, one is presented with the spectacle of activists against the Confederacy turning on the man who did more to fight that regime and erase the injustice upon which it was founded than any other man in American history. He paid for it with his life.

All very true, what Indian campaigns took place during the Civil War were horrendous, this one in southern Minnesota and another even worse in Colorado, leading to a quote on letting Indian babies live, “Nits grow into lice”. A lot of the problem was that these were militia campaigns, essentially military style posses, without the leavening of Regular officers, who were often quite understanding of the Indian’s problems. More so, it was to prove in later years, than the civilians appointed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Why? I think a lot of it was that the soldiers, treated the Indians as warriors, giving them the same respect as they would any other army, and being treated so, the Indians reciprocated. Where the BIA treated them (and still does) as children who haven’t the sense to come in out of the rain. The tyranny of low expectations.

But, about Lincoln and the SJWs…

In Lincoln’s time, these were the radical abolitionists. They condemned slaveholders in the vilest language. They burned copies of the Constitution. They publicly declared their desire to rend the Union to escape the taint of association with slavery and slaveholders. (How this would improve the lot of slaves or reform slaveholders is unclear). They refused to participate in politics, denying to themselves the very weapon that could effect meaningful change, because they did not want to take part in a system they believed to be hopelessly corrupt, lest it corrupt them.

In our own time, these are the leftist social justice warriors. They are supremely confident in their own moral superiority, and denounce everything and everyone around them with a now-familiar litany of sins: racism, sexism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, patriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism, and more. They declare that, by definition, all Americans of European ancestry are guilty of all these sins. They demand a total purification of society from all these sins, and to this end are willing to harass, intimidate, threaten, or physically harm anyone who resists them.

With this kind of radicalism there is no discussion and no reasoning. Unconditional submission of the “impure” to the rule of the “pure” is the only acceptable outcome. There is a massive danger in this kind of reformism, because a tyrannical impulse lurks beneath it. The great monsters of modern history — Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim, and Khomeini — have all possessed the kind of reforming spirit Lincoln describes. Each sought to remake man and the world in his own image, free from what each perceived as the impurities around him. Each was utterly ruthless and relentless, indifferent to the suffering of others in pursuit of his goal.

And that is why, increasingly, I see no point in attempting to engage with them, they simply need to be destroyed, at least for another generation or two.


Move the Deer Crossings

This isn’t new, if fact, I think I’ve run it before myself.

North Dakota is actually a fairly sensible part of the country, unlike say, a large part of Minnesota. but then Fargo is the Minnesota border, and there are a couple of universities in the metro area, so maybe that explains it.

In any case, it’s touching to see how much faith some people have in the government, such that they believe the deer always cross at the deer crossings, and only there.

Darwin’s Law lives, I guess.

Who We Really Are…On Father’s Day

This is based on an article from Tracie Louise Photography from a couple of years ago and wanted to add quite a lot for Father’s Day. Read her work, it made my monitor blurry, not many do that.

I had told George that I have barely looked at a photograph of my mother since she crossed over, 9 years ago this past Easter.  She encouraged me to get out some pictures and look at them, but this was my response:

… she was my best friend. If I am at all wise, or creative, or kind, or spiritual, it’s because of her. And I know exactly what she would say to this comment… if I want to see her, I only need look into my own eyes, and my own heart. And she would be right. She left her body 9 years ago, and moved onto bigger and better things. She was never that body, it just housed her for a time (way too short a time). But it was never who she really was, and looking at a picture of it, will not bring us any closer. I hope you understand what I am saying… I think I might actually be channelling it directly from her, as it seems far to wise to have come from me 

I lost my grandfather when I was 20 years old.  Pop and I had one of those special bonds… you know the ones.  They don’t require words.  There is just this “knowing” between you.  Mum taught me a great deal about life and death when my Pop passed.  She taught me that if I ever wanted to spend time with my grandfather, to look no further than my own heart.  She taught me that there was no need to visit a cemetery because I wouldn’t find Pop there.  She said that Pop would never be truly gone as long as we were around to remember him… to honour him… to live our lives in a manner that would make him proud.

Please do read Tracie’s wonderful post, Who We Really Are…..

This is exactly how I feel about my Dad, who passed in 1978. I still, in quieter moments feel him around me. One of the more unusual things in my family is that almost all of the men are built alike, right down to suit size, and going completely grey in our twenties. In fact, Dad was buried in his son-in-law’s suit because I needed the one I had for the funeral, all three of us, and most of my uncles as well could have traded clothes. Dad pretty much never lectured, he led, he taught, and he disciplined when necessary rarely was more than “I’m disappointed in you.” necessary. In truth my sister (who was 20 years older than me) said, after he was gone that he had always scared her. I understood what she meant immediately. He never did me but, he sure motivated me. I’ve said before that our family motto is “If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong,” that came from Dad.

He had a command presence in any company. Once after he retired he took a wrong turn with his motorhome in southern Georgia, near as I can tell, he ended up at the main gate of Fort Benning. He found it funny that the gate guard looked at him took a step back and snapped off a parade ground salute, I figured it was normal. He looked and acted like he was at least a colonel, in fact he acted more like a colonel than most of the colonels I’ve met.

In his professional career he was simply the best: Lineman, Project Superintendent, General Manager, and the job nearly killed him because he was also a micromanager. He knew (the bad part is that he was right) that he could do everyone’s job better than they could. He didn’t tolerate sloppiness or second-rate work. He built the house he lived in for the last 30 years of his life. I mean built with his own two hands. He told me once not long before he passed that it had always bothered him that the house was out of square. A friend of mine from college was selling one of the new laser total stations and I talked him into a demonstration one weekend. Dad was right, the house was out of square, 1/32d of an inch in 135 feet. Dad insisted he could see it.

In his career the people that he got along with best were the operations people, he was one of them, and in the time I was around they were almost all World War II combat veterans. They had the same belief system: right or wrong, yes or no. That’s where I first learned “Yes, sir; no, sir; three bags full, sir”.

He trained me as a lineman, with help from the crews, There wasn’t a piece of utility equipment I couldn’t operate (pretty well, too) by the time I was 14, He let me wire an outbuilding on my own when I was 13, he inspected it and took off some hide verbally on a minor violation of Article 250.

To this day he is there looking over my shoulder, every day. Each and everyday my first thought on a problem is what would Dad do? It’s served me very well, not so much financially, that was never the point, but every decision I’ve made, I could defend to the toughest judge I’ll ever face on Earth, Dad.

But you know the other thing about that. When I got my first few jobs as an electrical contractor, I asked him to back check me both on the plans and in the field. He absolutely refused. It hurt my feelings a lot but now I understand. He had taught me and taught me well: now it was up to me to perform. When I did with few problems, it was a huge confidence booster.

We never talked much, we Norse are world renowned for being taciturn but, you can tell just how men feel about each other when they shake hands, words are superfluous. So I know Dad always knew how much I loved him even as I knew how much he loved me. And like Tracie said, If I want to see him, all I have to do is look in a mirror.

The other thing that I realized is that I give all too often a two dimensional portrait of Dad. There was another side (several in fact). The other family tradition is music. Grampa did two things, ran the town light plant and directed the town band, both were passed down. Of the 7 brothers, 3 worked for utility companies, the other 4 directed high school bands (good ones too, even including one that toured Scandinavia and England). Which is how we got here in the first place, my Great Grampa first came to America on a band tour of Iowa and Minnesota, guess he liked what he saw.

Over at Ace’s yesterday, there was a thread about where would you go back to in history, and given the clientele of the site I wasn’t too surprised that most would go back to the old (what I often call “My”) America, usually about from 1880 to 1920 or so. I feel that way myself often. British Airways a few years ago summed up the wonder of the years pretty well with this.

And that was still another thing about Dad. He never lost his sense of wonder at the marvels we had wrought, He’d watch an airplane from horizon to horizon, had the first TV in town, (and the first air conditioner, I think), and one of the first color TV’s as well, which he built himself. I wonder what he would have thought of the internet. Actually, I don’t. He would have loved it, he loved anything that increased the knowledge and power of the average man, that is one of the main reasons, I think, that he loved and honored America, all his life.

I realize this is getting a bit long but one other thing sticks out in my memory. he married one of the prettiest and likely well-off women in his home town, although I doubt he ever took a dime from his father -in-law, he did it himself. But I don’t think he ever looked at another woman, as a woman again. I can remember commenting on a girl’s looks when I was a teenager (she was beautiful). he just looked at me and said, “I didn’t notice.” He was married to Mom for better than 50 years and completely satisfied, it may have been the strongest partnership ever.

I hope he is half as proud of me as I am of being his son. Let’s end with the quote from Tracie that set me off.

She said that Pop would never be truly gone as long as we were around to remember him… to honour him… to live our lives in a manner that would make him proud.

An open letter to bearded hipsters (Oh My)

English: A syttende mai dinner in the Three Cr...

English: A syttende mai dinner in the Three Crowns Dining Room at Holiday Inn South, Rochester, Minnesota. Plate holds lutefisk, rutabaga, meatballs, cranberries, and lefse. ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Lutefisk, fra en 17. mai-feiring i Minnesota: lutefisk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, Guys, if you’re in Norway, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, or other places where it gets completely ridiculously cold, and it snows so much that one really can justify a snow machine, it’s a day to kick back and have some lutefisk and drink some aquavit. Yep, it 17 May again, or Norwegian Constitution day. I don’t know many of us Scandis that think we need more excuse to party than that it’s a day that ends in -day, but we got one today. I wrote about it last year so if you want to know more, go here. In any case, ‘


Then there is this broad. She may be the funniest (and one of the most truthful) writers I have ever read. Not many people can write a post that I can hardly read because of the tears rolling down my face while I’m rolling on the floor. My God, she’s good. Read it follow the link, read the post that follows as well, it connects. Hell , spend the day, it goes good with Aquavit. And yes, I need to get a laptop, My desktop doesn’t like rolling around on the floor, and it doesn’t laugh worth a crap, either. Language warning: She writes like real Americans talk. If you’re easily offended, you’re in the wrong place here, and on Nicki’s site as well. You can whine in comments if you wish.

Dear Bearded Hipsters,

YOU GUYS ARE RUINING MY BEARD FETISH.  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved a man with a beard. To me, they meant strength, power, MANLINESS. Someone who could protect me. Unfortunately, you guys have turned it into a fashion statement. The beard has turned into the padded bra of masculinity. Sure it looks sexy, but whatcha got under there? There’s a whole generation running around looking like lumberjacks, and most of you can’t change a fucking tire.

Look, I get it. I really do. I understand the motivation behind your beardedness. In fact, I even pity you. Thousands of years of evolution priming you guys to kill stuff, and chase stuff, and fuck stuff….and now what? You’re stuck at a desk all day. No battles to fight. No wars to wage. So you assert your masculinity the only way you know how. You brew beer. You grow some hair on your face. I’ve seen you, hipsters, sitting in downtown eateries, with your rock chick girlfriends, dipping your truffle fries, trying not to get the aioli in your mustache. I’ve seen the quiet desperation in your eyes. I know you’re screaming into the void.

But I still hate you for it. You’re confusing me. It’s now on me to suss out who is the real man and who is the poseur. Sadly, I fear most of you are the latter. Before this explosion of whiskers on trendy men everywhere, if I saw a bearded man it was safe to assume certain things about him. Like, he probably owned a hammer. Or washed his hair with a bar of Irish Spring. His beard was probably scented with motor oil and probably had remnants of last night’s chili in it.

via An open letter to bearded hipsters « The Nicki Daniels Interview.

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High Water Mark

Monument to the 1st Minnesota Infantry at Gett...

Monument to the 1st Minnesota Infantry at Gettysburg National Battlefield, Gettysburg, PA, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four score and seven years (minus one day) after these United Colonies declared their independence from the greatest empire of the age, two conceptions of that heritage met upon the greatest of American battlefields. This is part of that story, the story of men (and women) who cared enough for their freedom to kill, and to die for it, in wholesale lots. This battle was the most costly ever fought by American arms until the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two. At Gettysburg 55, 000 American Soldiers died in 3 days combat, and created a legend for us to try to live up to. 

This afternoon, a scant 150 years ago, the most costly battle ever fought in North America raged. For today is the day that the Confederacy reached its high water mark. It did so in the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Since the armies found each other there on the 1st of July, the Federals had been driven out of town, on the first, had held on the left and right flanks on the second, and now, today, would come the climax, of many things.

As I write this the cannons are speaking, mostly without effect, because of the smoke, and defective fuses in the Confederate shells. But 150-170 Confederate guns are speaking, the most ever, and soon about 80 federal guns will reply.

And so, at about 3 pm local time, General Longstreet, commanding Pickett’s Division of Virginians, plus six brigades from Hill’s Corps this day, will mount the charge that will forever be known as Pickett’s Charge.

Link here  embedding disabled but do watch.

And so for the very last time in history, a charge was mounted in the style known by Winfield Scott, and Washington, and Gage, and Wellington, Marlborough, and Cromwell, Caesar and the Spartans, and Alexander, himself.

The high water mark of the Confederacy was right there when you saw General Armistead ask about his friend General Hancock. Around 12,000 men were in that charge, roughly half of them survived. When General Lee told General Longstreet to put his division in order for defense after the charge, he is reputed to have replied.

“General Lee, I have no division.”

But the Rebels weren’t the only brave men there. On the other side was the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, another one of the fairly rare western regiments in the Potomac army. From the Mankato Free Press and quoted by the Power Line Blog

“There was a mystique to the Minnesota men — the character they had compared to what I call the ‘city boys’ out east. The ones who came out here in the 1860s, they were farming, logging, surviving, shooting guns. All these pioneering traits made them stronger and better soldiers.”

Jorgenson said the 1st quickly attracted attention from the generals, who often dealt with high rates of desertion and panic during battle. The unit’s actions at Bull Run, which deteriorated into a haphazard retreat, particularly caught attention.

“It was how they carried themselves. At Bull Run they were one of the last ones pulled out of battle and they retreated orderly, not running off pell-mell. That impressed the generals. They never once lost their flag and they never broke and ran.”

That reputation for toughness was put to bloody use at Gettysburg. The 1st Minnesota was being held in reserve to fill gaps if trouble arose. When Confederate soldiers threatened to take Cemetery Ridge and break the Union line — perhaps turning the tide of the battle — some 260 1st Minnesota soldiers were sent into a force of 1,500 to 1,800 Confederates. The unit was decimated, but the time they bought allowed the Union to hold its lines.

Continue reading Last Full Measure

Actually the paper is using the sloppy modern definition of decimated, which actually means to lose 1 in 10 or to take 10% casualties. At Gettysburg, the 1st Minnesota took 82% casualties, far worse than being decimated, nor were they alone, it was not all that uncommon on either side of the lines, and is part of the reason Americans hold both armies very close indeed to their hearts.

Something else happened a 150 years ago today as well, a few hundred miles from Gettysburg. Down in Mississippi, General Pemberton was deciding that he must surrender the city to General Grant. Today he sent a note through the lines to General Grant who was at first inclined to demand unconditional surrender, but who realized that he didn’t really want to feed 30, 000 PWs and agreed to accept their parole, because the Confederate government did not handle this honorably, it was the last general prisoner exchange for the duration.

The official surrender was on the 4th, and practically, and as has been typical for a long time in American war making, there was no victory celebration and nearly the first thing into town were the commissary trains, to feed the starving inhabitants.

Civil War Train (at Petersburg)

Civil War Train
(at Petersburg)

Never again would the Confederacy look viable, we are now entering on the part of the war that was fought, and fought very hard for honors sake.

Mother’s Day /Every Day

I really enjoyed hearing Jess talk a bit about her mother this morning, and decided it wouldn’t hurt if I did as well.

One of the things that brought Jess and I together originally is that our parents were older, her views of life are more like mine, and mine are more  like a pre-baby boomer than would be expected. And also like her, I have little left of my family, she has a half-sister and I have a brother-in-law (and we each have some nieces).

It is funny though, Jess (as usual) is correct, I can’t remember not knowing right from wrong, of course, I don’t remember learning to walk either, I must have learned them about the same time.

I idolized my dad, which is not unusual for a boy, I still do, really, In my 60 years on this earth, I’ve never met a better man, a few, like Jimmie Doolittle, have come close, but they were very similar, really.

If you’ve never dealt with us Scandinavians much, something you have to get used to is, most of us rarely yell, and storm around. if you anger us, we’re likely to just get quiet and withdraw, and decide that whoever or whatever angers us just isn’t worth messing with anymore. It’s not limited to strangers either. I can remember dad not speaking to one of his brothers (one of my favorite uncles) for about 15 years. And, yup, I inherited that too.

In junior high and high school, I worked summers for dad, at the company he ran, and at home we were restoring an old windmill that a neighbor had given us. Given that I was about 15 dad said a lot of stupid things, and we were working on it when he did it again. I dropped my hammer in disgust, it went clang. Dad looked at me and said, “If you don’t want to do it my way, just go in the house.” So I did. It was six weeks before we spoke again. And, yes, it was a bit awkward at work. Good thing was, the rest of the employees understood, they’d been there, as well, and respected me for standing up like a man.

But you know, who always got in the middle of these? Yep, Mom did. She was plenty strong-willed herself but she managed to mediate between all of us, and keep us all alive and reasonably healthy, when dad and I wouldn’t talk or when one sister cracked the other upside the head with a cast iron frying pan or whatever else. The mediator.

But that’s the thing, she was easily the equal of any of us. In an age when most schoolteachers had a year or so of college, she had a BA in English. In fact she commented one time that I spoke good English till I went to school. Her dad was a somewhat big wheel in the Minnesota DFL, and a highly respected man, all the brothers and sisters were successful by their standards, and often prizewinners from others as well.

But, unlike Jess, she detested housework, there were stories up in Minnesota about how good she was at grinding the valves on a Model T, and working on the farm in general, and I can easily remember how much she preferred mowing grass to cleaning house, or even making lunch. She was a good cook, of course, in the somewhat limited sense of a traditional Norwegian menu, of white food on a white plate. She made the only Lutefisk I could choke down.

After college I ended up living at home mostly because dad wouldn’t do much of anything if I wasn’t around, and obviously there were no real rules anymore that I had to follow (like curfews and such) but when I’d get home at night, she’d be sitting there, playing solitaire. She said, and meant it, the only reason she didn’t go to bed was that she wouldn’t go to sleep, there was no reproach if it was 2 am and I was half drunk. But you still got up about 6:30 and went to work! No slackers.

But you know the story I always wanted to know more about was how she and dad got together. You see every once in a while when they’d go back to Minnesota, they’d stop and see a very nice lady named Amy, I think I met her twice and liked her considerably. I found out later she’d been mom’s roommate at college. But the other thing is, mom met dad when Amy brought her date to the dorm! Good thing they didn’t hold grudges, but I still wish I knew how dad pulled that one off.

And it strikes me as significant that when dad was about the age I am now, I was paying a fair amount of attention to girls, and I commented a few times to him about some girl being pretty (or something similar), his comment was, “I didn’t notice.” I believed him, I don’ think he ever noticed another woman’s looks in his life. He (and she) had found everything they needed for better than 50 years in each other. How I wish I could say that some day.

Mom, like dad, passed over quite a few years ago now, and as I get older some of the memories fade but, you know, not very much, and like dad, although in a quieter sort of way, she’s always there in the back of my mind. I think with her love of English (reasonably well used) she’d like that I have come to do a fair amount of writing, and I hope in general that she’d be as proud of me I was and am of her. Thanks Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day

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