1066/1776 and all that


We’ve had a couple of posts in the last week concerning battles in Saxon England. Many Americans, I suspect, think it no part of our heritage, but in that, they are wrong, these battles shaped the development of England, and that shaped America. Jessica wrote about this a few years ago and her thoughts are perhaps even more valid today. Neo

It is hard to pin down what you mean by culture, but despite the efforts of the MSM to pretend that our culture comes from all sorts of wonderful and weird places such as Kenya, the values on which this country was formed were those of a Christian heritage. It was a particular type of heritage. The early pilgrims were of British descent and of Protestant inclination. They were men and women who saw themselves as like the Israelites of old – in the wilderness, building a new Jerusalem – a shining city on a hill. But they also brought with them something from their British heritage – a love of law and freedom. Unlike some countries where the law was seen as the enemy of freedom, in England, from Magna Carta onward, it was seen as the protection of the liberties of the people.

But those Barons of Norman descent at Runnymede did not invent that idea; they inherited it.  The Normans were, as befitted the descendants of Scandinavian pirates, a tough lot; they could not have taken so much land if they had not been. But in England they found the descendants of other men from the North, the Saxons, and those Saxons had developed their own way of doing things.

For all that modern historians doubt the idea that the Saxons developed a form of consultative government via the Witan, that was not what those who settled America believed. They came with the idea that democracy had begun in the Saxon forests, and they applied it in the wilderness they settled. These were tough men and women too, but they valued freedom above all things. For that they crossed the Atlantic in small ships; for that they endured the hardships of building a new Jerusalem. Sustained by their Christian faith, and strong in their love of freedom, these people forged a nation and a culture. It was the threat to that from the German tyrant George which drove them to rebellion. Kipling expressed it best here:


The  snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
The ice on the Delaware,
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
They neither know nor care.

Not though the earliest primrose break
On the sunny side of the lane,
And scuffling rookeries awake
Their England’ s spring again.

They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
Or the ice melts out of the bay:
And the men that served with Washington
Lie all as still as they.

They will  not  stir  though  the mayflower blows
In the moist dark woods of pine,
And every rock-strewn pasture shows
Mullein and columbine.

Each for his land, in a fair fight,
Encountered strove, and died,
And the kindly earth that knows no spite
Covers them side by side.

She is too busy to think of war;
She has all the world to make gay;
And,  behold, the yearly flowers are
Where they were in our fathers’ day!

Golden-rod by the pasture-wall
When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
Bright as the blood they shed.

It was a brothers’ war, and when it was over they bore no real ill-will and became friends and allies.

They could do that because of a shared love of freedom and the same concept of justice. There was no need to ask what culture was, and those uncounted millions who found in the New World a haven, embraced those values – so much so that people took them for granted – they were surely universal. Rule for the people and by the people did not fade from that land, and even after a second and bloodier war of brothers, the nation united around those shared values. To become an American was a great a noble ambition for every immigrant. It never meant junking your ancestor’s past, but it did mean embracing a better life – and recognising the values of your new country which made that possible.

Somewhere, and we can speculate where and how, that simple truth got mislaid by our rulers. The next few posts explore some of this – and invite you all to think about it with us.

This English Major Just Got Fired. Here’s Where I Went Wrong

tumblr_nof8igts8n1qbceqdo1_500This is pretty interesting. It tells us quite a lot about how it is out there in the job market. But it tells us something else, maybe. Maybe our young people are coming out of college with rather overblown expectations of what a degree is worth. The best thing that college can teach you, is to be responsible for yourself, and it sounds like this person got that lesson, but that’s not enough to start a career at anyplace but the (or pretty close, anyway) bottom.

For the first time in my life, I’ve been fired. It was probably as easy an experience as it can ever be. I had known it was coming, since I had gone in the day before to check the coffee shop schedule, and found my name wasn’t on it.

I wasn’t fired for incompetence; the manager made that clear. I could do the work required as well as anyone. The trouble was that I’m not a very enthusiastic, outgoing, or bubbly kind of person, and I couldn’t pretend to be for six hours at a time. I’m not a “people person,” you see, and begging is not my style.

Only trouble was, no one else wanted me, either. Nine years ago, I went into college with only a vague notion of what I would do when I got out. I took a degree in English writing, since my intention was to eventually become a writer, although I knew I’d need some kind of suitable day job in the meantime. I figured that would just work out and that pretty much anything would do.

During college I considered and rejected pretty much every career option you can think of, from teaching to law enforcement, but never settled on anything definite. I ended up taking a job at an auto parts company upon graduation.

About a year ago, after leaving that job, I found myself looking for work.  I had a college degree and almost four solid years of work experience under my belt. I am intelligent, dependable, and courteous, and I have a record of learning new duties quickly. Apparently, that qualified me to work in a coffee shop. Then I was courteously dismissed from it with no further prospects.

College Taught Me I Didn’t Need College

Weeks have now turned to months. I’ve sent application after application. About one time out of a hundred, I’ve been called in for an interview. Most of the time I receive nothing. As of this writing, I am still unemployed.

My experience is not unique. There are thousands of college graduates in my shoes today. In fact, I’m better off than most: thanks to my wonderful parents, I don’t have any student debt weighing me down. I was also fortunate that the school I went to included a Great Books program, which is where I first truly learned to think.

Having learned that particular skill, I’ve concluded it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to go to college. Oh, I’m grateful for many things—the aforementioned Great Books program, the friends I made, and so forth. But looking back, I can’t avoid the conclusion that if I had learned to think a little sooner I would have realized that I shouldn’t have gone to college at all when I did.

I would have been better off going into the military or getting a job right off the bat. That way I would have had the kind of skills necessary to find the kind of jobs I want. College, for me, was unnecessary. Many people have to go into debt to attend a school where, instead of teaching you to think logically, they teach you how much the world owes you. It’s a liability.

Could well be so, hard to say from here. But there is also this, most employers, for a job with any kind of future don’t want to talk to you if you don’t have that piece of paper. It likely has to do, amongst other things, with how risible a high school education has become, and it’s an easy marker for computer sorting. To continue:

Searching for work is a potent cocktail of urgency, confusion, rage, and helplessness. You are keenly aware that you need a job, and you want to get one, but at the same time it feels as though it is completely out of your hands. All you can do is send out your applications, wait, do your follow-up calls, and wait again while whatever money you have saved dwindles and the gap in your resume grows.

That’s the worst part of looking for work: how utterly powerless one feels. You don’t get to set the terms. You don’t control if or when the other side will respond. You have to jump through the same tedious hoops over and over, laboriously entering the same information time and again, all the while knowing your only reward is likely to be a form letter stating they “have decided to go with a candidate who better fits our qualifications” and they “Wish you luck in your search.”

That’s if you’re lucky. Most of the time your application simply vanishes into the ether without leaving so much as a ripple. You are competing with untold thousands of others, leaving it highly unlikely that anyone will even see your application. But you’re forbidden from applying in any other way.

via This English Major Just Got Fired. Here’s Where I Went Wrong Do read it all.

I sympathize, boy do I sympathize. I too have been there, and applying online just plain sucks, although I completely understand why most companies do it that way now.

I suspect I would, if I were still active in growing a business, would love to have this person on board. That way of thinking is the key going far. But as they’ve discovered, even with a college degree, they have to start at the bottom. What they may not know is this. It’s always been that way. Back in the day, when being the ‘Standard Railroad of the World’ meant something, a newly graduated civil engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad started as an assistant rodman, and worked through many positions before their title included that coveted word ‘engineer’. No matter what you want to do, there are many things that you can only learn from experience, not from school. Although schooling is always helpful, if not always required.

4 Reasons Globalism Won’t Retreat Anytime Soon

holocaust-e1459342376327Rachel Lu brings a whole load of common sense for us to ponder…

Globalism is in full-on retreat, or so I’ve been given to understand. Cosmopolitans, your name is mud. This is the year when conservatives start thumbing their noses at soft borders, interventionist foreign policy, and even free trade. We’re sick of liberals and their snooty multiculturalism. Up with nationalism, localism, boosterism, protectionism, and mom’s apple pie! It’s a big world, after all.

Why is this happening? If you’ve paid even a modicum of attention to recent discussions of Brexit, Trumpism, and related cultural currents, you’ve fully grasped by now that the common man is feeling alienated and marginalized, and doesn’t intend to take it anymore. That prompts a further question, however. To what extent can globalism really retreat?

People have been tilting against this particular windmill since the end of the Cold War. (Remember the ’90s and the protests against the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other international organizations?) Conservatives have traditionally held (with our pinkies prominently elevated) that there are fundamental truths about our globalized world that are bound to resurface however we try to bury them. Even conservatives, though, have started flooding the anti-globalization bandwagon in this election year.

Peering through the murk, what we see in our current political memes is a noisy celebration of half-truths and half-baked ideas. Yes, there are some real insights to glean from the currents of this tumultuous year.

Read it all at: 4 Reasons Globalism Won’t Retreat Anytime Soon

I don’t have all that much to add to what she says since I pretty much agree. I do want to emphasize that no matter what, and no matter how much I (or you) want the 50s and 60s to return, they aren’t going to. We, like each generation, have our own challenges, which we have to solve to the best of our ability. The past can be a useful guide, but it still depends on us to find the right answers for our time. Some things are eternal, but most aren’t. Nick today at All along the Watchtower speaks of how we were created in the image of God. He’s right, we are, but part of that is that He left us to figure out most things for ourselves, using our God-given intelligence. So we’d best get on with it, and quit kicking cans down the road.

While you’re pondering all this, also think about this. The poorest person in America or the UK today, is amongst the 1% of people that have ever lived. We never had it so good. I wonder if that isn’t the problem, we have so much time to bitch because the living is so easy.

The Real Drivers in this Election

10b3foBookworm posted yesterday about how polarized this election has become. It’s something we’ve all noticed, although most of us haven’t thought about it, or how we got here. Here’s some of it.

A Progressive friend is relentlessly pushing “Trump is awful” stories on me. I, a conservative, invariably counter by pointing out that Hillary’s list of sins and failures is infinitely worse.

I realized yesterday that my arguments are irrelevant. My friend will never vote for someone who is not 100% pro-abortion, pro-socialized medicine, or pro-open borders.  Given a choice between a rotting dead body that is pro-Abortion and a genuine angel from Heaven that is pro-Choice, he’d vote for the rotting body every time.

Even as we endlessly talk down the other side’s candidates (because few people are really comfortable talking their own candidate up in this bizarre election year), what really matters is the ideological divide underlying this election. The following list might help you decide on which side of that divide you live. Once you decide, do remember that you will never get people to accept your candidate, no matter how flawed their own candidate, until you get them to accept your ideology.

National security

  • Conservatives believe that America and her allies are safest when America projects military strength that acts as a deterrent to predatory actors around the world.
  • Progressives believe that America is itself a predatory actor and that it and, indeed, the rest of the world are safest when it is passive and weak.


  • Conservatives believe that guns’ defensive benefits far outweigh their ability to kill.
  • Progressives believe that guns have no utility other than killing and that only police should be allowed to carry them.


  • Conservatives acknowledge that, among America’s approximately 1.5 million state and federal police, there are individual bad actors, including racists, but strongly believe that the vast majority are decent men and women who routinely put their lives at risk to keep the American public safe.
  • Progressives believe that America’s police are inherently racist and corrupt and that they must be kept on the shortest leash possible, especially when dealing with the inner city black community (but that they and private bodyguards to celebrities should still be the only people allowed to have guns).


  • Conservatives try to heed Martin Luther King’s dictum to look past the color of people’s skin in order to judge them by the content of their character.
  • Progressives believe that race is of paramount importance in that it determines both how people act and how others act towards them.

There is considerably more, it’s all good, so you should read the whole thing!: Progressive v. Conservative ideologies, not the candidates, are the real drivers in this election *UPDATED* – Bookworm Room

Honestly, I don’t have much to add to this. She is completely right, in my judgment. This election has turned us into bitter-enders and on both sides. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and yes, no matter what it is, I’m worried.

But as always, there are rhymes in history. I like many of you tend to see this as the most important election in history but is it? My friend over at Practically Historical reminds us here of the rhymes.

Americans have a need to inflate the importance… of the times in which they live.  This is best illustrated by the hyperbole we attach to each Presidential election.  Every four years we are confronted by “the most important election in a generation.”  Each succeeding election contains events “never seen before.”  The election of 2016 has been especially unheralded- two candidates resoundingly distrusted by the electorate-  a truly unprecedented political event…. or is it??

Hold your nose and vote

Hold your nose and vote

1884 was just such an election… Republican James G. Blaine and Democrat Grover Cleveland were both equally distrusted by the American people.  Blaine admittedly took bribes from railroad companies, while Cleveland confessed to fathering a child out-of-wedlock.  The campaign asked the American people to decide which candidate was least objectionable.  October found the two troubled candidates in a virtual dead-heat.  1884 also introduced us to that most predictable election year phenomena, the October surprise.

Ma ma where's my pa?

Ma ma where’s my pa?

A week before the General Election… Samuel D. Burchard, a teetotaling Republican reformer, addressed a gathering of the Republican National Committee.  His fiery speech included the infamous attack on Democrats and their association with “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.”   In one rhetorical flourish, he linked Democrats to the three most divisive issues of the day- alcoholism, Catholic immigration, and memories of the Civil War.  The clumsy effort to purify his own party galvanized his opponents and sent them to the polls in record numbers.

He’s right, of course, there very little that is completely new in history. So we’ll see what happens, always keeping in mind that Adam Smith wrote that “there is a lot of ruin in a nation”. We should be grateful that it is so.

“You need both a public and a private position”

hillary-two-facedWell, I probably don’t need to tell you who said that. But yes, it was Hillary Clinton, in one of her high priced confidential speeches, you know, on Wall Street and such. What she said a bit more fully, is this.

 She says, “you need both a public and a private position.”  One for public consumption and the other for what you really believe.

Pamela Engel in Business Insider says this.

In one speech she gave to a Brazilian bank in 2013, she advocated for “open trade and open borders.”

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” Clinton said.

In the same speech, she also said the US needs “a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances.”. . .

Clinton says on the campaign trail that she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement championed by President Barack Obama that aims to slash tariffs and promote economic growth among 12 nations in the Pacific Rim.

Clinton has publicly opposed TPP since October 2015, when the text of the deal was finalized.

“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president,” she said at acampaign rally in Michigan in August.

But her opposition marked a departure from the praise she gave the deal during her tenure as secretary of state. She once said TPP “sets the gold standard of trade agreements.”

In another private speech mentioned in the Clark email, Clinton said it’s important to have both a “public” and “private” position on certain issues.

“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” she said. “So, you need both a public and a private position. “

via “You need both a public and a private position”

On free trade, well, I’m sympathetic to her private position, although I do think there need to be safeguards to make trade fair as well as free, but protectionism isn’t going to work. Never has, never will. Open borders is a completely different kettle of fish, we can always use immigrants provided they bring something with them, we don’t have enough low skilled labor jobs anymore for our people, so it’s silly to import more. We don’t need to end immigration, but we do need to control it.

But her beliefs on any given issue is not the point, really. The point is the hypocrisy of having one position in public for the rubes that live in the country, and a diametrically opposite one for the so-called elites that run it. That’s enough for me to decide she’s unfit for any government position.

She simply untrustworthy, but we’ve known that for decades.

Hurricane Hysteria [Updated] | Power Line

This cartoon, from Watts Up With That, sums it up:

This cartoon, from Watts Up With That, sums it up:

From Powerline, with no comment,  because none is required.

The much-hyped Hurricane Matthew still hasn’t made landfall. It has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way up the Southeastern coast. It may yet do great damage here, as it already has in Haiti, but the disappointment in some quarters is palpable. Matthew had been hyped as the poster child for global warming, striking just in time to give Hillary Clinton a boost in Sunday’s debate. That plan likely will have to be shelved.

For the record, the U.S. is in the midst of the longest stretch in recorded history without being struck by a Category 3 or higher hurricane–more than ten years. Many expected that streak to be broken by Matthew, but it didn’t happen. There has been no increase in hurricanes either in the U.S., or throughout the North Atlantic, since 1880.

Still, there is no doubt that if Matthew had struck the U.S. as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, we would have heard about nothing for days except global warming. […]

Global warming hysteria stopped having anything to do with science a long time ago. It is now 100% politics.

UPDATE: Roger Pielke has updated his chart to show how the current hurricane drought shatters all previous records, going back to 1900. The rising trend line means more days between Category 3+ hurricanes:

via Hurricane Hysteria [Updated] | Power Line

%d bloggers like this: