Video Tuesday

Go Air Force

And Ben Franklin

Conservatism in real life. From The Federalist

Eliminate the politics and nearly everyone of any partisan stripe idealizes conservative principles without realizing it.

How? Consider the world of sport and fitness. It’s nearly always a fantastic encouragement of individual expression and ability while also promoting a positive community at large. Those hard working, disciplined, don’t-give-up mantras have become more prominent in the last few years as America’s athletic personality has swelled with amateurs.

Mentally tough and intuitively conservative-minded concepts of hard work and personal responsibility accompany these ventures.

Continue reading What Fitness Tells Us About Conservatism’s Appeal

A civilized society, not

This one is serious, because we do seem to be going there. If you work in law enforcement, you must (actually you should have always) think about this, because she is exactly right.

Because remember, you took an oath, not to obey the President, the Governor, the Mayor or any other man, but to defend the Constitution, from all enemies. We count on you to do the right thing. Just before crossing the Delaware 237 years ago this month, General Washington said this to the Continental Army

The time is now near at hand which will probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves, whether they are to have any property they can call their own, or whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed and they consigned to a state of wretchedness from which they cannot be delivered. Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance or the most abject submission.

We are not yet at that point, and God willing we will never be. But that is sometimes what liberty demands. Do not let us down.

And Bill Whittle

Or the rest of us, for that matter.

 

Midway

English: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Yo...

English: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) in Dry Dock No.1 at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 29 May 1942, receiving urgent repairs for damage received in the Battle of Coral Sea. She left Pearl Harbor the next day to participate in the Battle of Midway. USS West Virginia (BB-48), sunk in the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack, is being salvaged in the left distance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mentioned yesterday that we are going to do quite a bit of history this week, I wasn’t kidding. This is a week that plays host to several battles that changed the course of history, or didn’t, which can, of course, be as significant. Yesterday was one of those. because of the British (plus Canadian and Australian) strategic win at Jutland, the English speaking peoples continue to this day to rule the oceans and guarantee free trade and work for freedom everywhere.

Today we go halfway around the world and twenty-six years forward in time.

Here’s the situation: On 7 December 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy struck at Pearl Harbor disabling the US Pacific Fleet‘s battleships, and destroying most of the airpower in Hawaii, Shortly thereafter they struck Clark Air Base in the Philippine destroying the largest concentration of American strategic airpower outside of the continental United States. Shortly thereafter the Japanese invaded the Philippines, Singapore and elsewhere. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse were sunk off Singapore and the fortress (which had no rear) surrendered..

It was a busy spring, on 18 April Colonel Doolittle mounted his raid on the Japanese Home Islands from the deck of the USS Hornet. Between 4 and 8 May the United States Navy and the Australian Navy, under Frank Jack Fletcher fought the first naval battle between aircraft carriers where surface units never saw in each other against Shigeyoshi Inoue of the IJN. On 4 May the Japanese took Tulagi  but were surprised by airstrikes from the USS Yorktown.

On 6 May Lt. General Wainwright surrendered all Allied forces in the Philippines to the Japanese army.

Back in the Coral Sea, the Americans on the 7th sank the light carrier Shoho, on the 8th the Shōkaku was heavily damaged while the Americans had the Lexington critically damaged (it was scuttled) and the Yorktown was damaged. Both sides lost a lot of aircrew as well. And the invasion of Port Moresby was deferred.

In the meantime, American signal intelligence people were trying to figure out what the Japanese were planning and by doing a bit of trickery they deduced that the Japanese, who were pretty ticked off by the Doolittle raid, had a plan to invade Midway, and mount at least a raid in the Aleutians. Midway is about 1200 or so miles northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands and was mostly a military outpost. later it would become the main submarine base for the war on Japan. But not today.

Today, one of those amazingly complicated Japanese plans began to unfold, as the carrier air strike came in against Midway, there was adequate warning because of the radar installations and a return strike by army B-17s and B-26s was ordered reinforced by nearly every other combatant aircraft on the island. To very little effect, except that the Japanese strike commander radioed that a second strike was needed.

In the meantime, Midway reported the position of the various fleet units that they had sighted to Pearl Harbor where Nimitz was able to relay the information to the fleet, as opposed to Yamamoto sitting on the Yamato hundreds of miles from the battle observing radio silence. If you remember Yorktown had been damaged fairly badly at the Coral Sea a month ago, by herculean efforts the Pearl Harbor base had got it usable for this battle. So the Enterprise, the Hornet, and the Yorktown would be available for the battle against the IJM with four carriers.

And so Admiral Spruance, filling in for Halsey who was on the beach with a skin ailment, found out where the Japanese carriers were and ordered a strike. The range was long and it seems at this distance that Halsey’s staff wasn’t all it could have been. Because the aircrew were told to look for the fleet where it wasn’t [I'm skipping a lot here, more than a few books have been written about this day] Spruance decided that assembling the strike was taking too long (and burning too much gasoline as well) and ordered a general attack. The dive bombers went down the wrong track, but the torpedo bombers, which were the most effective anti-ship weapons but very slow and vulnerable, found the Japanese first.

Ensign George Gay

In a heroic effort three torpedo squadrons were wiped out, VT-8 had a single survivor, ensign George Gay of Valparaiso, Indiana.

This is the high water mark of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They had just destroyed the American Schwerpunkt, and were in position to resume the offensive. Or were they? The scout plane from the cruiser Tone had reported the American fleet although it took a while to establish its composition, and the Japanese were rearming the aircraft for a maritime strike instead of a second strike on Midway. And then Wade McClusky, leading the dive bombers spotted a Japanese destroyer making high speed and followed its lead and found the carriers. When the torpedo attacks were coming in the Japanese combat air patrol had come down to combat them and hadn’t regained altitude yet, when the dive bombers appeared.

They attacked into the undivided attention of every gun in the Japanese fleet. In the next 5 minutes the Imperial Japanese fleet lost three carriers, and would lose the fourth as well. The return strike would cost the Americans the Yorktown. The Japanese could not replace the carriers and even more they could not replace the trained airmen. After this battle the Japanese would never again be on the offensive, and soon they would face overpowering odds, as American production started to get into high gear.

This was the day, only 71 years ago when the United States Navy both won World War II in the Pacific, although never doubt that there was an incredible amount of desperate fighting to come, and secured the control of the sea down to our own day.

Military historian John Keegan called it “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.” It was Japan’s worst naval defeat in 350 years.

Thus we see the twin thrusts of American leadership once again, the daring gamble leading up to and through Midway, which served to keep the cause alive and then the massive firepower which began to completely overwhelm the Japanese. To the point that in 1945 there was disagreement on whether to invade Japan or just starve the entire country to death, all sides should thank their God(s) that the atomic bomb offered a third way.

The World Changed that Day, in Thirty Minutes, on decisions made by men probably in their 30s

 

Westward look, the land is bright?

4021828787As we come to the end of 2013, conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic could be forgiven for not wishing each other a happy New Year. On my blog, my co-author, Chalcedon has penned a philippic about the shortcomings of conservative politicians which amounts to saying they aren’t worth voting for.

I’m not a politician or an analyst, but I am instinctively conservative on social norms, at least by modern standards. My instincts are those of a Christian: I loathe abortion; I am not a fan of contraception (although see where it can be useful); I dislike the ways in which easy divorce is leading to generations of children without fathers; and I am in favour of the traditional family and see it as the bed rock of social unity. So I tend to vote for any politician who also seems to favour these things. Were I fortunate enough to be an American, I should have noted Republican last time; and I would have done so without great enthusiasm, as I know many of you did. I would have been downcast at President Obama’s victory, as I would have been at the disorganised nature of the Republican opposition to him.

Over here we have a Coalition Government in which the Conservatives have a large majority of seats, but which is hell-bent on pushing through an act to legalise gay marriage. It is content to allow Courts to rule that Christians have no protection against being made to work on a Sunday, or to abstain from having to perform civil partnerships in Registry Offices.  I am sure it differs in some significant way from the other parties, but perhaps it needs to enlighten me as to how.

But perhaps we need to remember that, at least for the Christians amongst us, politics are not the most important thing. Jesus and the Apostles were not, whatever some of our church leaders think, involved in social activism and political reform. For us, nothing is more important that witnessing to the Gospel message of love and repentance. Jesus knew what our politicians of all types don’t  - that the only change that actually effects the world’s problems is a change of heart.  Real change, unlike President Obama’s mantra, only comes from a supernatural rebirth of the corrupted human heart. From that personal transformation comes other tranformations – of the family, the community and the nation. America’s Founding Fathers understood that – ‘One Nation – under God’.

So, call me Pollyanna, and I’ll put my blue dress on and put my hair in plaits, but I cannot get myself worked up about conservatism and its plight. The politicos will continue to play their games, and what we really need are more like dear Rebecca Hamilton. If I lived in her District, I’d be voting Democrat, because of her, not because of anything that party does. And perhaps that is where the real fight back begins? Not with labels, but with people. Get the right people willing to do what Rebecca does, and we can say, as Churchill (http://youtu.be/mdImjJzAAIs) did:

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
 

 

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
ln front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.

Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism? | Catholic Lane

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d....

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d. 14 June 1936), English writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like, many of you perhaps have the benefit of the so-called education we get here in the United States. Around here G.K. Chesterton comes up fairly often in several contexts and it stuck me that maybe some of you don’t know who he is. So from Wikipedia:

Gilbert Keith ChestertonKC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer. He wrote on philosophyontologypoetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox”, The Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.”

Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy andThe Everlasting Man.[3][2] Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on bothprogressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”[4] Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify such a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting toRoman Catholicism from High ChurchAnglicanism.

Here we are going to talk about some of his thinking on economic theory. He has a point, although I think he has some wrong premises, which make his conclusions wrong in at least theoretical constructs. here’s an article  by Thomas Storck from Catholic Lane. Go ahead and read it all and then we’ll talk a bit about it.

There is a saying of G.K. Chesterton’s about economics that one finds frequently quoted, but often it seems with little attempt to understand what Chesterton meant or might have meant, especially in the context of his entire economic thought. Now most people know that Chesterton was a Distributist, but since there is some confusion in many minds about what Distributism really is—some mistakenly thinking that it is a form of capitalism or even of libertarianism—it is not surprising that the remark of Chesterton’s that I refer to generates some confusion when isolated from the rest of what he said about economics. Now the remark in question, as usually quoted, is this: “Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” Taken in isolation this assertion might legitimately be difficult to understand, especially if one does not know what Chesterton means by capitalism or by capitalists, or neglects to consider Chesterton’s often compressed and aphoristic style. So let’s look at this statement again, but in context, and then in the light of what Chesterton said elsewhere on the same subject at greater length and with more clarity.

In the first place, where does this utterance of his appear? That is more in doubt than one might think. If one searches on Google, he will find the statement quoted often enough, but usually with no source given, since apparently many people simply repeat quotations with little care about their source or even their authenticity. But where a source for this quote is given I found it attributed to either of two of Chesterton’s books, Tremendous Trifles or The Uses of Diversity. But I do not think it can be found in either book, at least I could not find it in either. Possibly it is there, and if a reader can find it in either one, so much the better for his research. Please let all of us know below. But where it definitely does appear is in another book of Chesterton’s, The Superstition of Divorce, chapter 3. In this book, however, it forms not part of an extended discussion of economics, but is found in a paragraph richer even than usual in Chesterton’s ability to jump from subject to subject, in a jumble of words that generally comes out at the end in a triumphant statement of a truth. In this particular case, earlier in the paragraph he had spoken of the Primrose League, of those “who are blamed for the bigotry or bourgeois smugness of their marriage conventions,” of the practice of Irishwomen pouring boiling water on those attempting to evict them from their homes, of shields and of escutcheons. And he ends the paragraph thus:

For that is true of pedigree which is true of property; the wrong is not in its being imposed on men, but rather in its being denied to them. Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists; and so aristocracy sins not in planting a family tree, but in not planting a family forest.

As I said, the whole paragraph is rich in thought and highly allusive. But what does he mean by the quotation anyway? Is it a backhanded way of saying that Distributism is really capitalism, that the fault of capitalism is that it is not capitalist enough, that Chesterton, for all his gibes at capitalism, really was among its ardent supporters?

Continue reading Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism? | Catholic Lane.

My first disagreement here is with (like Storck) is with GKC’s definition of capitalism. In my view, and in truth all we’ve really ever done here in the States fits his definition but what it really is, is crony-capitalism. As great as our railroads were and are, they were always in some sense in cahoots with the government for charters, land grants, and in myriad other ways, including the suppression at one time and later the supremacy of organized labor.

And now it has gone to an extreme, if you look at big business, big banks, and big labor, you will find a group with a myriad of overlapping interests with big government, and little incentive to accomplish anything on their own in business. It’s no longer about building that legendary better mousetrap, it’s about using the government to outlaw all other mousetraps.

In real capitalism the restraint Chesterton talks about come from the objective marketplace, if you build garbage, cheaply, people will eventually realize it and quit buying, if you treat your employees badly, eventually no one will work for you. But what we’re doing now is making it so difficult to accomplish anything because of lack of capital, and the burden of regulatory requirement imposed by a government owned by big business cronies, that the time is coming soon that Americans with a drive to succeed are going to leave the country, in truth it’s already happening. How do I know? Because I’m, for the first time in nearly sixty years, feeling the allure of faraway places with strange sounding names. I’ll have more to say on it soon.

Recessional

English: Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.

English: Vexilloid of the Roman Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, we did our best, my friends.

I could, I suppose,  be like everybody else and analyze the results but, I don’t feel like it, at least now.

Let’s look at where we are going to go. I think this election tells us that we have passed the tipping point. We all knew this was probably our last chance to bring back the exceptional America. I think it was. I have no fault to find with Romney or anybody else, except maybe the Republican party itself, he ran a pretty good race. By 2016 we will still have the high unemployment, and the high welfare rate will be even higher. It will stop only when the Chinese shut off the money. And we will have still another four years of half-educated kids voting for short-term gain. Undoubtedly we will go on our merry way, murdering children, and euthanizing the sickly and elderly. Obamacare, of course, will go on, during this term I expect at least a couple of Supreme Court Justices will be replaced, putting an end to any chance of return. The Constitution, of which we’ve been so proud, was repealed tonight, in any case. Did the Democrats steal the election? Perhaps. Does it matter? No. There’s no chance of investigation let alone prosecution.

America the exceptional is over, we now become America the mediocre. If you have been a staunch ally of America, you would be well advised to figure out how to defend yourself. We all like the comparison with the Roman Empire, if it’s valid, it’s about 300 AD.

But you know, the English speaking peoples had a good run, we’ve been in the ascendant since the Spanish Armada, and we held it together long enough to defeat the Soviet Union. Not a bad record, 400 years and we have done a lot to improve the world. And we’ll be around for a while, even as Rome was.

This is one of those nights when I’m glad I’m as old as I am and that I missed the wonder of having children.

We are just another has-been, the torch of world leadership now passes to China or maybe Iran. Sorry.

I think Daniel Hannan has the best commentary on the day. Go read it.

There is no force on Earth like American democracy – Telegraph Blogs.

And in a while, I will agree with Michelle Malkin as well: Obama gets his “revenge,” but conservatives must stand tall

In other news, the sun came up in the East today.

 

American Recessional

Why that title? Because it seems that America is consciously retreating from our traditional stance in favor of freedom. Terrorist attack our embassy and our government instead of defending itself, and as somebody said the other day, the passengers on United 93 didn’t have a week to make a decisions whether they had enemies aboard, mumbles about how terrible a film no one has seen is.

We no longer acknowledge that we have the right to offend anybody in public, there are now protected classes. In a Orwellian twist a crime becomes worse if it is committed on a protected class and pretty minor if committed on an unprotected class. The following article is from the Daily Beast and details some other problems this administration is causing.

Four years ago John McCain was campaigning on his foreign-policy experience when along came a financial crisis that killed his chances. This time around Mitt Romney has been campaigning on his economic experience. Now along comes a foreign-policy crisis. Will it kill his chances, too? Or can the Republicans finally land a punch on President Obama?

Obama

In June 2009 President Obama called for a ‘new beginning between the United States and Muslims.’ (Pete Souza / The WHite House via Corbis)

They really should be able to. Because what is unfolding in the Middle East has the makings of the most perfect storm in American foreign policy since 1979. You may recall what happened then. Another Islamist revolution. Another attack on a U.S. Embassy. Another Democrat in the White House.

This is what Jimmy Carter said in a speech on Feb. 7, 1980, as the Iranian hostage crisis entered its third month: “I have been struck … by the human and moral values which Americans as a people share with Islam. We share, first and foremost, a deep faith in the one Supreme Being. We are all commanded by him to faith, compassion, and justice. We have a common respect and reverence for law … On the basis of both values and interests, the natural relationship between Islam and the United States is one of friendship … We have the deepest respect and reverence for Islam.”

Remind you of anything? Try this: “I’ve come here … to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings … Let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America.”

That was from a speech given by President Obama in Cairo on June 4, 2009. Funny how small a difference 30 years make. Same old pious hopes for respect, reverence for law, and tolerance. And, in return, the same disrespect, illegality, and intolerance. The embassy in Tehran then, the consulate in Benghazi now.Here’s what happens to American presidents who look to be loved in the Middle East. In 2008, the year Obama won the presidency with his pledge to end George W. Bush’s wars, 75 percent of Egyptians had an unfavorable opinion of the United States. Today it’s 79 percent. Four years ago, that was the percentage of Jordanians with a negative view of the U.S. Now it’s 86 percent.

“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli teaches us. Today America is neither. Consider the wider ramifications of the Middle Eastern crisis. Revolutions have succeeded, with halfhearted American support, in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Among the beneficiaries have been staunch anti-American organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States continues to give Egypt more than $1 billion a year in aid, roughly the price of the two attack submarines the Egyptians are buying from Germany. The country was once America’s ally. Last week the president conceded it is now neither our enemy nor our friend.

America’s most dependable ally in the region is Israel. Repeatedly this year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pleaded with Obama to draw a “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program rather than give a “red light” to preventive military action. Last week the White House declined even to meet with Netanyahu when he visits the United States later this month. Even Haaretz (no fan of Bibi) regards this as a mistake.

Maybe you think George Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a worse mistake, though it gave that country democracy, showed Arabs that dictators can be toppled, and turned an enemy into a potential ally. But consider the consequences of this president’s decision to pull out of Iraq. Two months ago, at least 100 Iraqis perished in a wave of bombings and shootings by al Qaeda in Iraq, which aims to overthrow the Shia-led government of Nuri al-Maliki. Last week the country’s Sunni vice president was sentenced to death. Meanwhile, Kurdistan is acting like an independent state (or, rather, a satellite of Turkey). Iraq is falling apart.

As for Syria, while Obama fiddles, its cities burn in a civil war that could soon eclipse Lebanon’s in the 1980s.

The president who was once a foreign-policy neophyte now makes much of his experience. That claim depends heavily on a program of targeted assassination that liberals would have denounced if it had been pursued by his predecessor.

If Mitt Romney wants to be Barack Obama’s successor, he urgently needs to launch a metaphorical drone strike of his own—against a Mideast policy that is flaming out.

Niall Ferguson: Obama Fiddles as Mideast Burns – Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

%d bloggers like this: