Sigh …

There are problems associated with being a card-carrying Republican – not, however, the kind of problem the Democrats and the media would (and do!) scream out loud about.

This is a problem of a different sort; money. Remember your Mama telling you not to feed that stray cat because it will bring all the other stray cats around and you’ll have a real mess? Not a pretty analogy, I agree, but something very similar happens when you make donations to Republicans running for office. The day the internet went down for 12 hours in my neighborhood, when I was finally able to access my email, I was confronted with 64 of them! 64! I don’t run a business, I can count my friends on one and a half hands, and I don’t have 64 outstanding orders with vendors. 62 of the emails were from Congressional and Senatorial hopefuls requesting money for their campaigns.

Ok; I get it. Fine. We want to get rid of Maxine Waters, we want to get rid of Chuckie Boy, and Pelosi needs a very extended vacation anywhere but here in America. AOC should be counting her reigning days, those two Muslim bimbos need to go back to whatever they were doing before they crawled out from under the rock and Kamala Harris should go find employment anywhere and any place other than in the US. So I support the various Republican candidates in those areas in what I hope is NOT a vain attempt to take control of the House of Representatives and maintain the Republican majority in the Senate. Just for the record, I’m not talking big bucks here, but over the course of a year, it tends to add up. Like tithes in church, you can’t buy heaven and you can’t buy Republican majority in either House; the mid-term elections proved that.

But geez Louise! Somebody has got to give it a break! The subject lines of these emails are so dark, so ‘end of the world’, I’m sometimes afraid to read them, fearing I’ll be told that President Trump is dead and Adam Gopher Face is president. They come from all over the United States! Minnesota? Utah? I live in Florida! But it’s all about us and them – we don’t like ‘them’ and we need to have more ‘us’ everywhere and you’d better contribute now or else OUR WORSE FEARS WILL COME TRUE! Jiminy Cricket! Really??? When I sit back and analyze it, I have to laugh. I’ve discovered that the further away the candidate is, the smaller the donation, lol! But I can feel assured knowing I’ve contributed to the improvement of America.

It just gets exhausting, deleting all those emails. My desk mouse gets hot, my right index finger gets tired, and even retired I have better things to do.

They continue to send. I continue to contribute. Rinse and Repeat.

Sigh …

Fighting for Freedom

We celebrated Memorial Day last Monday, and the 30th will be the traditional observance, so this seems appropriate. PJ Media’s Claudia Rossett tells us:

Not since the eve of the 1989 Tiananmen slaughter have we seen China’s communist regime more clearly girding to demolish a vibrant democracy movement. Thirty-one years ago, China’s Communist Party shut down democracy protesters in Beijing by shooting them in the streets. This time the CCP’s target is the former British colony of Hong Kong, where protesters turned out in huge numbers last year to defend the rights and freedoms that China promised them for at least 50 years after the 1997 British handover. Now, while the world grapples with the China-spawned coronavirus pandemic, China is preparing a national security law that would override Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous system. Under this law, as previewed by China’s authorities, Beijing could criminalize any activity in Hong Kong it deems a threat, and send mainland security operatives into Hong Kong as enforcers. Hong Kongers have richly demonstrated that they are a freedom-loving people, unlikely to bow down en masse and obey. The stage is set for a nightmare showdown.

Precisely how that’s likely to play out is a sickening question. Over the past year, Beijing’s quisling administration in Hong Kong has made copious use of tear gas, water cannon, threats, bans, beatings, and arrests (more than 8,000 to date). All this has failed to quell Hong Kong’s democracy movement. Is it likely that China’s dictator, President Xi Jinping, brandishing his new security law, would go so far as to reprise in Hong Kong his Communist Party’s 1989 Tiananmen tactics, and default to wholesale gunfire? Don’t rule it out.

Last year, especially among those with vivid memories of Tiananmen on June 4, 1989 (myself among them) there was plenty of worry that a Hong Kong massacre was in the cards. But perhaps it was a serious deterrent to Xi that the world was watching, bigtime, and he was in no hurry to sponsor a bloodbath so horrifying that it might end Hong Kong’s role as China’s chief financial portal to world markets.

And American authorities have indeed said that if China suppresses the freedom of Hong Kongers, both China and Hong Kong will come under American sanctions, as will their political leaders. Not a happy prospect, but what has really changed since John Kennedy stood on the platform on the east front of the Capitol on January 20, 1961, and said this:

For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

Later on, in his address, he also said this:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

And so today, as on that cold and snowy day, that I and many of you remember clearly, he laid out what it means to be “the keeper of the flame of liberty”, and that is the mission of America in this century as it was in the last.

But today, many of us see much of America in the same position as the Hong Kongers, beset by totalitarian administrations. Well, we’ve been there before too. The first time against the foremost empire in the world, and with God’s help we won through.

And so, perhaps, we look weak to China and others, but what I see our citizens doing, even as the Hong Kongers are, is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength that will win through

This post will continue in a day or so, but Bruce Springsteen has a very clear idea of how freedom is won.

Some say freedom is free, but I tend to disagree
I say freedom is won through the barrel of a gun
Had a brother in Iraq, he didn’t come back
I ask why oh why do soldiers gotta die
Some say freedom is free, but I tend to disagree
I say freedom is won through the blood of someone’s son

Some say freedom is free, but I tend to disagree
I say freedom is won through the barrel of a gun
Daddy died in Vietnam, he was killed at Khe Sahn
I ask why oh why do soldiers gotta die
Some say freedom is free, but I tend to disagree
I say freedom is won through the blood of someone’s son

Some say freedom is free, but I tend to disagree
I say freedom is won through the barrel of a gun
Had a brother in Iraq, he didn’t come back
I ask why oh why do soldiers gotta die

Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm, hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm.

From an excellent article at: The Imaginative Conservative.

Sunday Funnies; Liberate America

Interesting that some of my English friends, especially in the original rebel province, East Anglia, went out of their way to tell me how much they enjoyed yesterday’s video. Well, Norfolk is sort of a prototype for the great plains, and it always amuses me that we have many buildings here in Nebraska built to English specs. What’s that? No the control towers on many of our airports are of a Royal Air Force design, and the aircrew that trained there, well many of them went on to Norfolk, to help free Europe. Many are still in England and we’ll remember them this weekend.

Now that is a proper salad bar.

Hi Tina!

And, of course

Special bonus video from Audre

Reliving History

A few years ago a British American wrote something. In it he said this:

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

If you are a properly educated American, you will recognize these from the ‘Bill of Particulars’ against King George III written by Thomas Jefferson into our Declaration of Independence. I think at least half of our governors need a refresher course. Because they appear to think we didn’t mean it. From Issues and Insights

Weary of more than two months of lockdowns, lost jobs, vanished income, and emotional distress, Americans are practicing a bit of Irish Democracy, shopping, dining out, gathering, and trying to carry on as before the pandemic arrived without approval from authorities. It was bound to happen. […]

We hate to use a cliche, but politicians have been moving the goalposts. Flattening the curve isn’t good enough. They want to keep people home until there’s a vaccine; or science, which has sadly become a loose term that means whatever the user wants it to, has established an effective treatment; or maybe until there are zero coronavirus cases.

You may have noticed this, I surely have.

Meanwhile, Michiganders are chafing under the boot of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has issued arguably the harshest lockdown orders in the country, and has even extended to May 28 her initial closure order for some businesses. The capital in Lansing has been the site of demonstrations by some deeply restless, and in many cases angry, protesters.

We haven’t had any bloodshed yet,” one member of a Facebook group called Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine recently wrote.

Note that ‘yet’. It is no longer inconceivable as it has been since 1865 for there to be an armed rebellion in the United States, against several of the states.

By the way, Gov. Whitmer has ruled that while a gay sex club is essential, church is not. And she, like Governors Cuomo (NY), Murphy (NJ), Wolf (PA), and of course  Newsome (CA), and perhaps others, have taken the responsibility to kill thousands of elderly Americans by forcing them to live in close quarters with Coronavirus positive people, when they forced nursing homes to admit the contagious without testing or quarantine.

America has never been a safe space. We, all of us, take our chances, we always have, for we know that without risk there is no life. We are the people who believe (or once believed) that “the weak never started, the sick died along the way”. This country was built and maintained by people willing to risk ‘our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor’. all in the cause of Liberty. Many, perhaps most, of us still are

I fear that soon, we will hear, with Governor Patrick Henry:

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

In the war that came after that speech, this was one of the Hymns used as our national anthem.

Commencement and the ‘Pseudo Elites’

The other day, Purdue’s president, Mitch Daniels gave a noteworthy commencement address, which came to me via Emily Jashinsky at The Federalist. Let’s check it out but do read it all.

Purdue celebrated its own landmark this year, our 150th anniversary. Since it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by our most famous alumnus, Neil Armstrong stories were abundant. My favorite claims that, later in life, Commander Armstrong took to telling corny, lame jokes about the moon, and when nobody laughed he would say, “Well, I guess you had to be there.”

A year or so ago, a major national journalist visited our campus and later wrote a gracious, complimentary article about what he saw here. While I enjoyed his accounts of the progress and successful results he thought he had witnessed, my favorite part of the column was a single phrase, basically a throwaway line. He described Purdue as “a happy place.”

That got me wondering how many college campuses these days would strike a visitor quite that way. I hope it’s been that kind of place for you.

That strikes me. Most of you know that while I am a Purdue Alum, I didn’t graduate. Mot Purdue’s fault other duties just intruded more than was compatible, but for all that, while I never considered going back, it does remain a happy memory for me. Like so many of us, it was my first chance to live on my own, and I loved it. A happy place indeed, even while the Vietnam war was disrupting so many campuses.

But one thing I never expected to worry about, but now do a little, is your being lonely. I have known you and met thousands of you personally in an environment that, despite our size, does a pretty good job of getting people together, creating bonds among them. A thousand clubs. Dozens of faith-based organizations. Our Greek system and, maybe our best examples of true communities, our co-op residential houses, where students not only live but cook, clean and do repairs together. And, most recently, the “learning communities,” where thousands of Boilermakers live in mutual support with others who are studying the same subject matter.

But elsewhere, the academic journals and lay periodicals are now filled with research about the “epidemic of loneliness” in our society. Surveys report record numbers of Americans living alone and suffering from strong feelings of isolation. Many view it as a new public health crisis, linked to rising rates of depression, anxiety, even suicide. A lack of strong social relationships has been found to raise the risk of premature death by 50%.

Obviously, the last few months have really made this worse, and while the liberty-loving people of America are fighting for the right to again associate with others, we have not got it done yet. But it is a real problem, too many of us live our lives staring at our screens. I know I do. But right now, as Audre alluded to yesterday, it is a lifeline, the ability to associate with others like ourselves pretty much anywhere in the world. But I, and I suspect a lot of you, miss the touch, feel, the smell of others, let alone a smile of welcome at our arrival. Soon, I hope.

One of the things Mitch is warning against here is something that  J.B. Shurk wrote about in American Thinker the other day …

When Governor Gretchen Whitmer or J.B. Pritzker or Jay Inslee or Gavin Newsom opens his mouth or any of the exhausting municipal Marxists like Bill de Blasio and Lori Lightfoot starts barking orders, more and more Americans only hear “womp, womp, womp.” That’s a good thing. When elected representatives confuse their “public service” with titles of nobility giving them license to make demands beyond their delegated authority, Americans have a duty to just “walk away.” America is a “safe place” from entrenched aristocracy. We rule ourselves here; elected “servants of the people” are meant to take care of the public chores we’re too busy to perform ourselves. We pay them for this. In America, we’re our own feudal lords and ladies.

For all their talk of the “little guy,” the left sure does gravitate toward nobility and special classes with extra-special privileges. It’s not just their obvious devotion before the altar of celebrity or fashionable “groupthink” causes. They are transfixed by titles of any kind. Because we kicked all the dukes and duchesses, barons and baronesses, earls and countesses back to the other side of the pond, the left confuses education with the “right to rule.” Affixing “Dr.” before their names has become the only opportunity for them to separate themselves from a sea of commoners. And after having spent decades trying to wean society from signaling simple respect by addressing each other as Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms., they are now often the only ones who demand verbal recognition of their special status. We have become a nation flooded with so many meaningless and laughable Ph.D.s, it seems, [interestingly at Purdue in my day, it was averred that Ph.D stands for  ‘Piled high and Deep’, something I still believe almost always] not because their holders consider education a path toward greater enlightenment, but so that they can become new members of a noble peerage class entitled to demand newfound privilege and respect nowhere else due.

He makes a lot of sense to me, so I think you should read it all.

And so, Hail Purdue, and our new Alums, and Liberate America.

What Do You Think?

I have a dear, dear friend in England who is going through a very rough time right now. Add that to the ‘lockdown’ in England and it’s almost too much to bear. To ease her mind and distract her aching heart, she is watching the Ken Burns documentary Civil War. She shared this video with me this morning https://youtu.be/ZeYjtfsK338. I explained to her how sad it was, brother against brother and father against son but that without that war, we wouldn’t be the country we are now.

But I wonder; am I right? So I’ve come here to ask you that question. Would we be the America we are if the Civil War had never been fought? Thanks for your help – I’m looking forward to your replies.

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