God bless fracking! and Teaching our History

Look at this – Hard.

The environmentalists and the left and the Democrats1 would have us believe that fracking is evil, evil, evil! but I, as a working man, sure have seen the benefits. The chart shows what I had to pay for heating oil last winter, in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, compared with what I paid for a delivery on Wednesday.

The great increase in domestic oil production, coupled with OPEC’s decisions to not cut production, has driven the price of oil down, and that’s a real benefit to working families in the northeast.

Source: God bless fracking! | The First Street Journal.

Now tell me again why you oppose this safe method of obtaining oil, which is even environmentally friendly!


We talk a good bit here about education, and we try to do more than ‘scream and shout’ but look at things that don’t work, or might, or do. Well, you all know how much I love history, and how horribly it’s taught these days. Suzannah Lipscomb talks about it a fair amount as well, and with a far better grounding than I have. Here’s a bit of her latest.

On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, in July 2003, Tony Blair told the US Congress: ‘There has never been a time when … a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day.’ The aftermath proved how wrong this hubristic judgment was and it is a sentiment that few in the public eye would dare to voice today.


Much of the concern about the curriculum hinged on a perceived choice: that versions of history must either tell a traditional story of the great and the good, a national narrative of Whiggish heroes, or, by incorporating the histories of women and racial, religious and ethnic diversity, they will tell a politically motivated history that fragments our treatment of the past. My colleague, Oliver Ayers, reminds me that much the same discussion was had in the US in the 1990s, resulting in an all-out cultural war.

Both in the US and the UK it is and was a false dichotomy. First, there need not be anything intrinsically wrong with telling a nation’s history as part of the curriculum. As Simon Schama pointed out in 2013, there is value in preserving a national memory of our ‘imagined community’, but the narrative cannot be uncritical. Second, it is ahistorical to suggest that these two stories can be extricated from each other. Any intellectually robust tour of British history requires consideration of the ongoing interactions between Britain and the world and must incorporate local histories that will bring those global communications home.

Source: An adult education

That’s important, I think. We need some kind of balance, both in how we present our history (especially to our kids), we aren’t, and never were, perfect, but you know, we were and are pretty damn good at that. And it’s inexcusable to me to leave out other things, or exclude whole groups of people.

I will tell you want Isis don’t want. Overwhelming western military force

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and France's President Francois Hollande arrive at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have paid a visit to the Bataclan concert venue in central Paris, which saw the worst carnage of the Paris attacks that killed over 120 people. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and France’s President Francois Hollande arrive at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have paid a visit to the Bataclan concert venue in central Paris, which saw the worst carnage of the Paris attacks that killed over 120 people. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

This! Where, in God’s name, is the fire from our governments? We have been attacked (still again) and while David Cameron and François Hollande are making some of the right noises, and doing some of the right things, it seems to me to be rather half-hearted. We are not going to defeat IS from 29,999 feet, the only way is at the muzzle of a rifle. This is from Laura Perrins, and is directed to the British people and government. She’s right, and it applies with major emphasis to the American people and government as well.

Isis don’t do trigger warning; they just do triggers. It is time to get angry.

If you do not feel angry, very angry, about the Paris atrocity then there is something wrong with you. However, as Brendan O’Neill pointed out, at every second turn we are told to calm down because to show any other emotion other than sentiment is ‘what the so-called Islamic State (Isis) want!’

True to form, in The Times on Saturday Janice Turner told us, ‘Keep our words cool.’

No I don’t think I will, thanks. What is there to be cool about? The same paper rightly made space to remember all 130 people who were gunned down by these Islamist Scumbags, so accurately described by Andrew Neil. […]

Herein lies my exasperation; that this at times sentimental show is aired in place of genuine anger towards these barbaric killers and in particular the liberal governing elite and intelligence services who let it happen. Long ago countries used to build defences to keep the enemy out – our elite invited them in with their useless mad, no border policy.

Notably the Left have a new slapdown, one cannot ask any hard questions because to do so is ‘doing Isis’s job for them.’ […]

What is wrong with these people? What part of ‘I hate you and your entire way of life that I want to blow you to bits’ don’t they understand?

It is not our foreign policy, our non-existent refugee policy (refugees welcome!) multiculturalism or indeed a more demanding form of integration they hate. It is our existence – a liberal society, freedom of speech and religion, and the Christian heritage – that they hate. They wish to destroy this and return to “a seventh–century legal environment, and ultimately to bring(ing) about the Apocalypse.”

Apocalypse – not hug a refugee – Apocalypse. Go negotiate with that.

Source: Laura Perrins: I will tell you want Isis don’t want. Overwhelming western military force

Not to say that a good many Brits don’t get it. I was quite amazed to see this on the BBC. I wanted to stand up and cheer.

The only reason that won’t happen is if Pogo is right:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Moe Lane over at RedState had some parallel thoughts:

Are you afraid of terrorism? Or just simply angry about it?

We call this ‘projection,’ where I come from.

After the attacks in Paris, the world is again challenged by fear.

I suppose that I should be used to this, after a decade and a half of listening to well-meaning fools uttering it, but; I’m not. Or at least I’m not willing to let it remain unanswered, out of sheer weariness if nothing else. If I’m weary of anything, it’s being told that I’m scared, just because some editorial writer on the NYT is scared and so he* thinks everybody is scared, too. […]

So if the alternative to fear is not hate – if hate is merely a subset of fear – then what is the true alternative?  Why, it’s anger. I didn’t get scaredabout the enemy after 9/11; I got mad at them.  How dare those people come halfway across the world to strike at a city that I loved and murder my fellow citizens and try to kill people just like me. How dare they insert their literally medieval fantasy ideology into my daily life. The terrorists had no justification, and they had no right.  And they made a hideous mistake back then, because while an angry man might make mistakes, those mistakes pale in comparison with the mistakes that a fearful man will make

Source: Are you afraid of terrorism? Or just simply angry about it?

That’s my take. I may die in this mess, although I doubt it, but you know something, I’m going to die anyway. What’s to be afraid of? It’s far better to die on your feet than to live on your knees, hoping for some scraps from your master’s table, especially when he’s a seventh-century thug. As always the Bible has guidance for us. From Ecclesiastes.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

And, once again, it has become a time for war.

Conservatism’s Essential Element Is Experience

This is really well thought through, and it highlights something that is important. Conservatism, especially the American kind, is based on doing things that work. It is a supremely practical matter, informed by history, which is perhaps why the progressives do their best to pervert and suppress history itself.

I’m going to extract the main points, but their justification and the reasoning is in the linked article

Ultimately, if one is to understand conservatism, one must begin with its essential element: not the mind, the heart, nor the soul, but experience.

 Yet, also unlike so many of its competitors in the world of political ideas, American conservatism remains a philosophy, not an ideology—a way of looking at the world and making decisions in it, rather than a rigid set of prescriptive commands. While American conservatism draws from a variety of sources, it is ultimately about drawing on the wisdom of the human experience of the largest possible number of people over the longest possible period of time.

In many ways, that informs not only our politics, but how we do our jobs, our lifestyle, 9our religious beliefs (if any), everything we believe and do, in fact.

The Mind

Some argue that the core of conservatism is the intellect, the use of reason. These tend, by and large, to be the economic conservatives, doing constant battle with the Left’s efforts to repeal the laws of economic reality in the name of “equality” or “fairness.” Or the legal conservatives, struggling to hold the line for the consistent application of the rule of law in the face of appeals to “progress,” “empathy,” or a “living Constitution.” (The economic-analysis-of-law movement sits neatly at the intersection of both). Or, at times, the national security hawks, arguing for more cold-eyed realism and fewer appeals to the self-abnegating moral vanities of the moment.

Reason is critically important, but reason alone will indeed lead one far astray, as can be seen from many examples in the world around us.

The Heart

The failings of intellectuals give rise to the opposite argument: that the weakness of liberal-progressivism, which conservatives must remedy, is precisely that it is a sterile intellectual creed, reducing man to his wants and his biological imperatives and neglecting what really animates the human animal: pride, anger, fear, and love of family and country and all that is dear and familiar.

[…] Students of patriotism know that men will fight for their homes in ways that they would never fight for international abstractions. Students of culture will tell you that all the studies and programs in the world are no substitute for what a man will do for his family if government stops trying to substitute itself for his role. Critics of abortion will tell you that the cold utilitarianism of the “pro-choice” movement and its clinical approach to the most powerful emotional force known to humanity—a mother’s love for her child—leaves women who make that fatal choice with an emotional wound they may never entirely salve. Critics of big government argue that central planning and the rule of experts is doomed to grief because it passes the point where a man is willing to be nagged.

You know all this instinctively, you will fight much harder to defend your family than for much of anything else, but most of us also know that this can lead us even farther astray than overreliance on reason.

The Soul

A further school of thought is that the core dividing line between conservatives and liberals is faith. Mind and heart alike may be powerful tools, but they can only be properly guided by an informed conscience, which is a gift from God.

For me, this is simply a given, although some others see it differently


Reason, emotion, and faith are all important. But the crucial and distinctive element of conservatism is experience. There’s a reason why people in general tend to grow more conservative as they age: partly because they have more responsibilities and pay more taxes, yes, but also because they have seen more of life. That process is only a microcosm of the broader conservative belief in tradition: not tradition as nostalgia or fear of the unknown, but rather tradition as the proving ground of human experience, the ultimate laboratory of humanity. Experience, as the saying goes, is the school of mankind, and he will learn at no other.

Translating Experience Into Policy

The conservative preference for reliance on life experience manifests itself, procedurally, in four major ways: a preference for democracy and the rule of written law over rule by judges and other “experts”; a preference for free markets over centralized planning; a preference for federalism and deliberative democracy over one-size-fits-all centralized government, direct democracy and pure majoritarianism; and respect for tradition in all things.

In many ways, it comes down to, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

When coupled with the separation of powers, democratic governments are also, whatever their periodic failings in this regard, less likely to make dramatic changes generally and specifically less apt to toss away long-recognized rights of the citizen and long-established forms of common sense. As George Orwell wrote in explaining the deficiency of government by so-called experts:

The immediate cause of the German defeat was the unheard-of folly of attacking the U.S.S.R. while Britain was still undefeated and America was manifestly getting ready to fight. Mistakes of this magnitude can only be made, or at any rate they are most likely to be made, in countries where public opinion has no power. So long as the common man can get a hearing, such elementary rules as not fighting all your enemies simultaneously are less likely to be violated.

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.’ […]

At the end of the day, what makes conservatism both distinct and viable is not the castles it builds in the air, but the roots that hold it deep in the ground. The essential element of conservatism is that by learning from experience and tradition, it reflects the world as it really is.

Source: Conservatism’s Essential Element Is Experience

I agree

The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates

From Mark Steyn, on Paris and other things.

As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation, and the death toll from the multiple attacks stands at 158, the vast majority of them slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th century Chinoiserie on the boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there, if memory serves, was to see Julie Pietri. I’m so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like – whether it’s the small Quebec town where my little girl’s favorite fondue restaurant is or my favorite hotel in Amman or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen …or a music hall where I liked to go to hear a little jazz and pop and get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours. But look at the photographs from Paris: there’s nowhere to get away from it; the barbarians who yell “Allahu Akbar!” are there waiting for you …when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night. They’re there on the train… at the magazine office… in the Kosher supermarket… at the museum in Brussels… outside the barracks in Woolwich…

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense:

This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.

Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?

With his usual killer comedy timing, the “leader of the free world” told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning, America” this very morning that he’d “contained” ISIS and that they’re not “gaining strength”. A few hours later, a cell whose members claim to have been recruited by ISIS slaughtered over 150 people in the heart of Paris and succeeded in getting two suicide bombers and a third bomb to within a few yards of the French president.

Visiting the Bataclan, M Hollande declared that “nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable“: We are going to wage a war that will be pitiless.

Does he mean it? Or is he just killing time until Obama and Cameron and Merkel and Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull fly in and they can all get back to talking about sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd century? By which time France and Germany and Belgium and Austria and the Netherlands will have been long washed away.

Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight’s events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.

But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world

Source: The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates :: SteynOnline

Not much to add to what Mark says here, yet anyway. But there is this:

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.

Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

C.P. Cavafy

Veteran’s Day

For the first time as we observe Veteran’s Day, there is no one to take our salute. Florence Green, a member of the Women’s Royal Air Force, died on 4 February 2012 two weeks short of her 111th birthday, at King’s Lynne. She was the very last veteran of World War I.

And now they’re all gone, the doughboys, Tommies, the Diggers, the Canucks, and the Kiwis. And the men of the Second World War are following swiftly.

These are the men that have kept us free. For this holiday is about brave men, yesterday we talked about how the Unknown British Warrior was awarded the American Medal of Honor. Today I’ll note that five Americans, ranging from Ordinary Seaman to Lieutenant Colonel have won the Victoria Cross, plus the Unknown Soldier buried at Arlington, by order of the King.

The Great War, of course, is when the United States made its debut as the great world power. From our entry in 1917 until today is fairly termed “The American Century” for as the Pax Britannica ended in 1914 and chaos ensued between the wars as we hid in our continent and from 1945 the Pax Americana has been in place.

It could be fairly said that the wars of the 20th Century were the “Wars of Freedom”, for more people have been freed from tyranny by the United States and our allies than at any other time in history.

The legend of American bravery is known worldwide, from the Marine sergeant, who lead the charge at the battle of Belleau Wood, who led the charge with the command, “Come on you sons-of-bitches, do you want to live forever.”( Noting that it is now “Bois de la Brigade de Marine“, in their honor) to General McAuliffe’s response to the German demand to surrender at Bastogne, “Nuts” to the Admiral Nimitz’s comment on Iwo Jima, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Thus has been remarked the common bravery of American troops in every case in all the wars of these Planetary soldiers.

As probably every one reading this knows, the average American idolizes American soldiers, they have gone from being the unwanted stepchildren of the revolution, because of the mistrust engendered by the occupying British regulars, to by far the most trusted of American institutions, trusted by over  80% of Americans. They have earned it, and earned it the hard way by blood, toil, tears, honor, integrity, and sweat from Lexington Green to Afghanistan they have become legend, at one and the same time, “America’s Army” and the “Army of the Free”. The Armed Forces are the best of America. If you were to ask the common people of anyplace they have been, you will find their fans, maybe not the government, but the people remember.

If you don’t happen to know, those streamers on the service flags are called battle streamers, each of them remembers a battle going back to Lexington Green. It has been a contentious life we have lived, and freedom always has enemies.

But they have done other things, they are often the first humanitarian aid anywhere in the world after a natural disaster, the mapping of the United States was done by the Army, your GPS system is courtesy of the Air Force and the Internet you’re reading this on was started by the US Department of Defense.

But let us not make the mistake many do, it’s not technology that wins wars, it’s men, and now women as well, women like these:

What do you think goes through the minds of women in the parts of the world that don’t offer women equal rights when these women show up in their midst as American officers and warriors? Think maybe some get the idea that women are equal to men.

I’d say things like this have done more to advance women’s rights than all the feminists yelling in the last fifty years. It was the same when the military integrated in 1948, that’s where it was all proved, although we already knew it, really, blacks have served bravely and well ever since Crispus Attucks was killed at the Boston Massacre.

But you know, it’s always had a cost, often a very high cost, and a wise people don’t forget that, no matter the technology, it has to be operated by people and by brave people, from the rifleman to the man who may have to turn the key to unleash Armageddon itself. And in American history, the military has never failed us, even when we and our political leadership has not been worthy of them. Many of us use as a catchphrase a rewording of the last line of our national anthem, instead of  “the Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave“, we are wont to say “The Land of the Free because of the Brave.”

We are also quite content, while not resting in our quest, to be known by the friends we keep.

But sometimes the brave are lost and then we honor our fallen countrymen, as they deserve. Bill Whittle a few years ago had something to say about American Honor, and I’d like you to read it.

On October 7th, 2002, I returned to Los Angeles from Arlington National Cemetery where we’d interred my father, 2nd Lt. William Joseph Whittle, who died from what may have been sheer joy during a fishing trip in Canada.

My dad served in the US Army in Germany, from 1944 through 1946. He was an intelligence officer, and was responsible for recording the time of death of the convicted War Criminals at Nuremburg after the war. He saw them hanged — he stood there with a stopwatch. He was 21 years old.

My father spent two years in the U.S. Military. He spent a lifetime in the corporate world. After twenty years as a world-class hotel manager, turning entire properties from liabilities into assets, he was let go without so much as a thank-you dinner or a handshake. Twenty years of service. He was a four-star general in the corporate world for two decades, and that was his reward.

Monday afternoon, at 1 pm, I stood underneath the McClellan arch at ANC. There were 13 family members there. There were also 40 men in uniform. I was stunned.

They took my dad’s ashes, in what looked like a really nice cigar box (what a little box for such a big man, I thought at that moment), and placed it in what looked like a metallic coffin on the back of a horse-drawn caisson. His ashes were handled by other twenty-one year old men, men as young as he had been, men whose fathers were children when my dad was in uniform. Everything was inspected, checked, and handled with awesome, palpable, radiating reverence and respect.

As we walked behind the caisson, the band played not a dirge, but a march… a tune that left me searching for the right adjective, which I didn’t find until the flight home. It was triumphal. It was the sound of Caesar entering Rome; the sound of a hero coming home. It was the only time during the service that I really began to cry.

Continue reading Honor

This is part of that Honor

240 Years of Teufel Hunden

Official emblem of Officers in the United Stat...

Image via Wikipedia

240 years today ago in a Philadelphia tavern, a paragon of excellence was born: The United States Marine Corps.

They gave good service in the Revolution, of course, but first became famous when they came off a Navy flotilla led by USS Enterprise by command of President Jefferson, himself,and stormed all the way to Tripoli.

Next they helped the Army get ashore at Vera Cruz; thereby leading to the famous couplet “From the halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli”. These were the first of what Leckie called “America’s Planetary Soldiers”. They served in the Civil War and the Spanish-American war.

“Retreat? Hell, we just got here.”

In the First World War at Belleau Wood they were so brave (Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever) that it is now the “Bois de la Brigade de Marine“. They collected the Teufel Hunden moniker from the Kaiser himself.

And so it went, China in the 30’s, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, all the way across the Pacific, raising the flag on Iwo Jima, when the going was tough, the cry was heard: “Send in the Marines”.

Bringing out their dead and wounded all the way from the Yalu in “frozen Chosen”, the amphibious landing and all that followed at Danang. The Maya Guez, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Eagle, Globe and Anchor, a reminder to the world that the world we live in was built by the United States led by the United States Marine Corps.

Personally, I will be quite pleased if and when I walk on heavens streets, to know that they are guarded by United States Marines.

Happy Birthday to the Corps



Semper Fidelis

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