Some Thoughts

I was thinking about Winston Churchill a bit lately – it is said that towards the end of his life he said, “I have achieved much to achieve nothing, in the end”, or words to that effect. Those who know the story of Churchill might be a bit shocked about such a statement but it must be kept in mind that Churchill was the defender of the British Empire…and as he headed into the end of his life, the last shreds of the British Empire were being undone. What he believed in and worked for was no more – and never to return.

The bottom line is that by the time Churchill was called to save Britain – and freedom in general – in 1940, it was already too late to save the British Empire. If it was to be saved, it had to be saved in the First World War, and Churchill could well have done it. But he was First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of the war, and various events while he was First Lord forced him out of office before the war was a year old…and he just had to sort of sit there, on the side lines (even when brought back into the government to be Minister of Munitions), watching lesser men run the Empire up on the rocks so that, in Churchill’s words, “victory was bought so dear as to be indistinguishable from defeat”. The loss of life, the loss of wealth and the loss of prestige that Britain suffered in the First World War were irreparable. But why, really, did Churchill fail to rise to Prime Minister during the First World War? Because his blinding ambition in the years leading up to the war had made him enemies numerous and vindictive – and when they had their chance, they went after him…and kept him down and out essentially until it was nearly too late.

The lesson here is that ability when not married to humility is a terrible thing. Ability loses the capability of doing really great and enduring things if humility is lacking. Reagan had humility. So did Lincoln. Washington, too. We’ll see if Trump has it. If he does, then he may go on to great things…if he doesn’t, then even if he does some spectacular things, they are very likely to turn to ashes, in the long run.

Social Justice Warriors are going on a rampage over the fact that Simon & Schuster are paying big bucks for a Milo Yiannopoulos’ upcoming book, Dangerous. I don’t think our SJW’s are really getting the current situation, at all. First off, all they are really doing is making sure that Simon & Schuster (and Milo) massively cash in…the target audience of the book are going to go out and buy the thing in droves, just to stick it to the SJW’s. In fact, Milo could probably just put out 300 blank pages at the moment and it’d wind up on the best seller list. But more than that, our SJW’s are just doing everything they can to ensure that Trump goes for 8 years…and that it is, perhaps, a very long time before anyone on the liberal/progressive side of the aisle obtains real power. This is fine and dandy for us Conservatives, but for the SJW’s, they might want to re-think this. The vote for Trump was largely a reaction – against a stultifying, PC culture which, in Peggy Noonan’s exquisite phrasing, amounts to regular folks “being condescended to by their inferiors”. Sorry, SJW, but you ain’t all that big a deal. While Obama was in office, you had a government which would run to hold your hand when you had a tantrum…but that was never how the overall American people viewed it. We were (and remain) nauseated by this special pleading and demands for un-earned privilege.

Ed Morrisey has some excellent advice for Republicans. One of the reasons I’ve kept reading Morrisey is that, unlike a lot of other Conservative writers, he kept an even keel all through 2016. It is clear from Morrisey’s writings that he has vast reservations about Donald Trump – as any thinking person should have. But Morrisey never went “Never Trump” and, also, kept things in perspective – if Trump, then what? This allowed Morrisey to actually offer some wise commentary and some good advice. This is in stark contrast to many Conservative writers who not only drip with contempt for Trump, but also for anyone who would even consider voting for him. You know the type, I’m sure – people who completely abandoned the GOP, and then wrote an insulting article about GOP voters on their way out the door. And even now, after Trump has made some moves that any Conservative can love (as well as some which Conservatives can have large reservations about), they are still out there, proclaiming how glad they are they got out. How does it feel to be out? How does it feel, that is, to have essentially no say in what is going to happen? Pride is the real explanation for it – because the GOP didn’t do what they want, they washed their hands of it…we’re not good enough for them. Perhaps because I’ve developed a more realistic appraisal of myself over the past 10 years (being Catholic does that), I’m not about to get on any high horse. Sure, it’s a clown show – but I’m a clown, too; at least at times. We all are. None of us are perfect – and if we’re to wait around for the perfect party or the perfect candidate, we’re done for. Suck it up, sunshine – work with what you’ve got.

Thinking about Russia – they are the great, schismatic Power of the West. Not quite with us, not quite against us. We think of the sheer size of the nation and are amazed – but Russians look at is as an endless, vulnerable frontier through which enemies can march at any time. Russians, you see, aren’t like us. I know this will shock some. I read somewhere – in my rather large amount of reading Russian history (it is a fascinating nation) – that the Russians have a whole etiquette about lying, which outsiders are never able to fully understand. Some times they lie for serious reasons, some times just for the fun of it. During the Congress of Berlin called to iron out the post Russo-Turkish War situation, the gathered Powers had agreed upon a map of how the Balkans would look – the Russian delegate tried to slip in a different map showing revised borders. Why? Did he not think he’d get caught? Did he think that if he hadn’t got caught that everyone would then just accept borders different from agreed upon? Who – other than a Russian – can know? Russia is not our friend, but, also, not necessarily our enemy. It is best to try and put yourself into Russian shoes and see how they might see it – and then figure out if you’ve got to go to war with them, or work a deal. I think a lot of people are inclining towards hysterics regarding Russia (this isn’t remotely the first time Western statesmen and regular folks have done this, by the way) – and I think a lot of it right now is based upon, “if Trump doesn’t hate Putin, then I must hate Putin”. Give it a rest, folks – first off, we’ve got bigger fish to fry and, after 8 years of Obama, I doubt the readiness of our military for a confrontation with a major power…and while we might not be aware of our real capabilities, I bet the Russians are fully aware.

That horrible event posted on Facebook – bottom line it is what I’ve been saying about all these terrible, senseless events: it’s the morality. Or lack thereof. You and I would never dream of doing such a thing to a fellow human being – but we don’t just “have” that. We were taught that decent people don’t do things like that…and, further, that being a decent is better than being lousy. It might seem that good behavior is intuitive to you, but only because you don’t remember learning it. People who do what was done to that poor man either never learned it, or forgot it. In order to make sure such things never happen – or happen very rarely – our only course of action is a moral revival. Until we start being decent and insisting on decency, we’re just spinning our wheels.

36 thoughts on “Some Thoughts

  1. Amazona January 8, 2017 / 1:18 am

    I think it’s obvious that the backlash against Milo’s book is a hate crime. He is gay, he is hated=hate crime.

    I also see the term “alt-right” taking on quite a nasty little life of its own. Not since Stalin decided to reinvent fascism as a right-wing construct has the Right been so slimed. Actually, the two have a lot in common.

    • Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 12:32 pm


      A massive light bulb went off when I read your first sentence. From now on, every time a Lefty calls me a name, I’m going to scream “HATE CRIME!!” We’ll see how they like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

      • jdge1 January 8, 2017 / 1:19 pm

        I like it.

      • Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 1:28 pm

        I posted this at the end of last year, but it bears repeating. In fact it should become our rallying cry.

  2. Cluster January 8, 2017 / 9:46 am

    I am surprised that anyone still listens to liberals, and even more surprised that liberals continue to be so vocal about their ignorance. They and their ideology have been so wrong, so often about so many things that you would think they would have a moment of self awareness and STFU. But no. They seem to be getting louder and even more ignorant, and this Russia issue is a great example. Let’s take the hacking issue first – first of all NO vote was altered by hacking, none, zero nada. Secondly, the only hacking done was into Podesta’s email and the DNC server, which begs the question why are Democrats so lax with cyber security. And when liberals say that “we” were hacked into, respond by saying, “no, you were hacked into”. Additionally, the veracity of the content of the emails was never challenged, so essentially the Democrats are admitting that their election opportunities were harmed by the truth being exposed and that fact should alarm everyone. And how is it that the DNC and Podesta’s servers were hacked but somehow there is still no evidence of Hillary’s off site, unsecure server ever being compromised? That is truly amazing. I will also remind the media that China hacked into the OPM server and stole the personal information of thousands of people a couple of years ago but this never seems to be of concern, and it does need to be mentioned again that Obama had told Medvedved to hang tight until after the 2012 election when Obama would have “more flexibility” – to do what exactly no one knows. So if you ever find yourself in a discussion with a liberal about this issue, simply say that “the 1980’s called and wants their conspiracy theories back”.

    Obama and his fellow liberal travelers are proven wrong once again as Britain’s economy finishes the year stronger than most:

    Thanks to Harry Reid changing the rules of the Senate, confirmation of Trump’s cabinet should be just a formality but I think it’s adorable that Chuck U. Schumer actually thinks that people still care what he has to say.

    One dynamic of the Trump Presidency that I think might play out well is that he is not beholden to any party and will be challenging career GOP politicians and bureaucrats as strong as he will be challenging Democrats. We need an entirely new line of thinking and approach at the federal government level that focuses on results and bottom lines and I think and hope that Trump will change the culture to reflect that. Bringing accountability back to government – what a great concept.

    • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      I’m going to throw a “for instance” out here.

      Say Bob comes home and find that someone has broken into his house. He refuses to allow law enforcement in to investigate, instead bringing in his brother, who has a security firm. He has full access to the house, etc. and then when law enforcement is finally allowed to look at the scene, they have no way to know if anything has been altered, deleted, changed, or simply damaged. Bob tells them they will just have to accept his brother’s conclusions—which, by the way, “prove” that Bob’s ex-wife did it because he says he found a note saying “I sure want to get back at that SOB ex husband of mine” in a wastebasket.

      I don’t know about you, but I would have some questions, starting with whether or not Bob’s house was really broken into at all. I’d definitely wonder what he was hiding, when he refused to let law enforcement investigate till the guy HE hired had gone over everything. When Bob’s ex wife is suddenly named as the perpetrator when Bob’s brother gives law enforcement a script of what he says happened, based on evidence he conveniently found, it would really look fishy as Bob is in a custody fight with her and sliming her reputation would be to his benefit. If law enforcement finally did find some clues, I would wonder if they were left by the actual perp or by Bob’s brother.

      Maybe that’s just me.

      The media sure wouldn’t question Bob, any more than they questioned the report on the DNC hack that was “investigated” by a firm hired by the DNC, who would not allow law enforcement to do its own investigation until their hired gun was through, and then expected law enforcement to just parrot the private firm’s alleged findings. Which, by the way, law enforcement did, only belatedly admitting that they never had access to anything until the DNC”s private firm was through doing whatever it was they were doing. They certainly never questioned whether any alleged Russian fingerprints might have been planted by the DNC’s own people, because the fact that Russian involvement would benefit the DNC narrative just doesn’t seem relevant, somehow.

      • M. Noonan January 8, 2017 / 10:41 pm

        Personally, I think the report on hacking is just so much political boilerplate and I lend it no credence whatsoever. The Democrats want to construct a Narrative that (a) Trump didn’t win and (b) he shouldn’t be allowed to do anything while in office…and all this merely in preparation for their 2020 campaign to unseat him.

    • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      I wonder if this same “online education platform” has a class on civility taught by Rosie O’Donnell. Or on dignity taught by Anthony Weiner.

    • Amazona January 9, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Many “education platforms” that once were respected colleges and universities have now ceded those credentials, no longer requiring study of Shakespeare to get a degree in English or—even crazier—no longer requiring study of American history to get a degree in history.

  3. Cluster January 8, 2017 / 10:07 am

    And I will say that I am with Trump in questioning the “intelligence communities” findings on the hacking. Since when is our “intelligence community” the final authority? Their recent past suggests that everything they conclude should be questioned and Jame Clapper lost his credibility a long time ago.

    • Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 11:16 am

      My sentiments exactly. As a former navy crypie I got to see firsthand how often the intelligence community gets it wrong. Some of their errors are just simply getting facts wrong or making errors in analysis, but sometime they get things wrong because the people involved have an agenda.

    • M. Noonan January 8, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      The bottom line for the bureaucracy is that it is almost exclusively made up of Democrats – the military isn’t, and the FBI isn’t…but the rest of government is just a sinecure for Democrats. It is shown in donation patterns…overwhelmingly, government employees donate to Democrats. This is no real surprise – but it also lets us know that we can’t expect them to be fair and reasonable in their actions. At the end of the day, if the bureaucrats can help the Democrats and/or harm the Republicans, that is what they will do.

      The key to the political reform of our nation is to restore even-handedness to the bureaucracy. That will require changes in the way we deal with government employee unions and a massive reform of how we employ bureaucrats. Only when we’ve got a government which is neutral in carrying out policies prescribed by law will we have a government of and by the people.

  4. Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 11:24 am

    The piece by Ed Morrisey contains some of the best advice for lawmakers that I’ve seen since the election. I sent a link to my friend Jim Banks, the newly elected Congressman from Indiana’s third district who has already announced he will join the House Freedom Caucus

    If Republicans don’t get it right this time, they’re going to find themselves in the same position Democrats are currently in in a couple years. And if the two political parties don’t quit alternating periods of partisanship and failure, the county is going to be the big loser. Who knows – maybe tarring and feathering will come back into style.

  5. Cluster January 8, 2017 / 11:37 am

    …..maybe tarring and feathering will come back into style.

    Oh I like that idea. Can we start with Nancy Pelosi?

  6. Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Completely OT, but does anyone else have a problem with the NCAA National Championship football game only being broadcast on ESPN? In a move this fall to cut back on our cost for satellite TV, we took advantage of Dish Network’s new Flex Plan, but we didn’t get the sports package that includes ESPN. I don’t really have any skin in a game between Alabama and Clemson, but it should be a great game as it’s a repeat of last year’s championship which ‘Bama won 45 – 40. I can’t believe one of the alphabet networks isn’t broadcasting it.

    • Cluster January 8, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Completely agree – this game should be more widely available and additionally ESPN has shown their liberal bias recently and I have been watching them a lot less because of that. This game should be outstanding though and I am looking forward to it – Go Clemson !!!!!

      • Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 1:03 pm

        additionally ESPN has shown their liberal bias recently and I have been watching them a lot less

        Ditto — which is why we didn’t get the package that included ESPN. You don’t suppose there’s some sort of agenda involved, do you? Nah, couldn’t be.

      • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 7:46 pm

        The leftist lurch of the NFL has taken its toll, too.

  7. Retired Spook January 8, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    The Left is really going off the rails in a last-ditch effort to prevent Trump/Pence from taking office.

    And it’s interesting, when you dig down at little into the people behind It’s not just your kook Hollywood types.

    The group’s initiators include Bill Ayers, jazz musician Ted Sirota, musician Arturo O’Farrill, and Cornel West. (emphasis – mine)

    • Cluster January 8, 2017 / 3:07 pm

      I saw Cornel West the other night on O’Reilly and that guy is a stone cold idiot. He tries to come across as a very studied intellectual when in reality he is simply a slave to the stereotypes and groupthink that progressivism demands. I wonder how much money he has made from “the struggle” as he calls it.

      • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 7:39 pm

        Every time I see Cornel West it takes a minute to realize this is not satire—this is not only a real guy, he was hired by Harvard!

        Bill Ayers and Cornel West—what a team. And they are both highly regarded in the field of education. What more do we need to explain the ignorance of our nation?

    • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      “In the name of HUMANITY !!!!!

      The arrogance, the hubris, the overweening egos claiming to represent HUMANITY !!! are just too bizarre to believe. It’s funny, except that knowing they are serious also makes it sad. But still funny.

      My advice to these loonies: You shouldn’t be able to claim to speak for a group when you represent only a tiny lunatic fringe fraction of that group either ignored or dismissed by the rest.

      And given that fascism is and always has been a leftist construct, it’s beyond crazy to see it dissed by hard-core Lefties like Ayers and West. It’s also funny, back to that sad/funny thing, that these “educators” can’t even accurately define “fascism”. You can almost hear the planning meeting: “We need a big scary word no one understands to define our temper tantrum. What about FASCISM?”

      • M. Noonan January 8, 2017 / 10:39 pm

        Progs always fight for Humanity…it is actual, individual humans they have no use for.

      • Amazona January 8, 2017 / 11:17 pm

        Well, I happen to know a pretty sizable chunk of HUMANITY that is not represented by the pompous posturing “entertainers” who claim to be acting for, based on their verbiage, the entire human race.

  8. Cluster January 9, 2017 / 8:46 am

    So Paul Krugman has an article out today. You remember Paul, he’s the nobel prize economist who predicted upwards of 4% GDP growth and full employment with the 2009 $800 billion stimulus package and then proceeded to claim that the reason he was wrong was that the government didn’t spend enough money. Well naturally he’s concerned about Trump. No actually, he’s frightened by Trump and spent his weekend reading up on ancient Rome and started drawing the parallels. This is a must read and I know Amazona will have a field day with this article, but let me first post some of my favorite passages with some brief comments:

    Republican institutions don’t protect against tyranny when powerful people start defying political norms.

    Kind of like when the IRS started targeting conservative groups, right Paul?

    In speaking about North Carolina and the GOP legislatures efforts to lessen gubernatorial power, Paul writes:

    …and you have the potential making of a de facto one-party state: one that maintains the fiction of democracy, but has rigged the game so that the other side can never win.

    Have a you been to California recently Paul?

    And here’s my favorite:

    It does have to do with class warfare — redistribution from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy is a consistent theme of all modern Republican policies.

    Because we all know how much money the poor have and we just have to have it. Dang it Paul, you figured us out.

    Here’s the article, enjoy

    • Retired Spook January 9, 2017 / 10:23 am

      That was hard to read. I kept having to wipe the blood out of my eyes. I used to think there were medications available to solve what’s wrong with people like Paul Krugman, but I don’t think there’s any medication strong enough or therapy intense enough to overcome what ails him. He is a small, bitter, delusional man.

      I do think it’s humorous that 8 years ago the same things were being said about Democrats — and that the GOP was finished for a generation or more. And I would further note that dynamics normally associated with the rise of Facism, ie. mob violence, anti-Semitic behavior, strangling regulations on business, ongoing efforts by government to disarm citizens, threats of prosecution against those who disagree with the State, etc., are being perpetrated by the Left, not the Right that Paul seems to be so afraid of. In fact, for the last half century or so violence has been almost exclusively a tenet of the Left.

      My admonition to those on the Left who think violence will will be the solution to their struggle for power: take a count and see how many of the warrior class are on your side. Taking over parks and defecating on police cars is not going to sway public opinion in your direction. The Tea Party quickly discovered that in 2010 (not that we ever sh*t on cop cars), and protests with signs quickly gave way to Constitutional seminars and grass roots organizing to elect conservative candidates to positions at all levels. But we also had some basic fundamentals on our side — the Constitution, the rule of law and a strong sense of what liberty and self-governance means. The Democrats have none of that. Their entire thrust is anathema to the Constitution and the rule of law, to liberty and justice.

      • Amazona January 9, 2017 / 11:02 pm

        I haven’t read the article yet, in spite of Cluster’s clickbait ( 😉 ) —-I was gone all day and will be again tomorrow, and if it made your eyes bleed, Spook, I know it is not bedtime reading.

        Today I pulled my car over to jot down something Hugh Hewitt said—-paraphrasing here as I don’t feel like going out to the car to find it—“The problem with Liberals is when they have a bad idea, there are no consequences. When a contractor has a bad idea, the door falls off. When a roofer has a bad idea, the roof leaks. When a Liberal has a bad idea, he gets tenure.”

        As I started driving again, I couldn’t help but think of other examples. If an electrician has a bad idea, he gets electrocuted or a house burns down. When Krugman has a bad idea, he gets a big headline article in the New York Times. When a plumber has a bad idea, the house is full of sewage. When a politician has a bad idea, a house is full of sewage, but it’s OUR house, not his. And so on.

        OT, but since I am quoting Hewitt, he said something else so profound and poetic I had to jot it down, too, and I think I remember it verbatim. Someone asked him if he thought Trump was going to go ahead and build a wall along the Mexican border. Hewitt referenced a couple of bills that have already passed, years ago, authorizing the building of hundreds of miles of border fence, and then he said “A fence is the visible manifestation of an invisible commitment to sovereignty”

        Boom. Mic drop. Elvis can now leave the building.

  9. Amazona January 9, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    A liberal writer is now apologizing after saying more jobs would come to Middle America if people there weren’t so “racist” and “stupid.”

    “I spoke about middle America — my birthplace — inartfully and disrespectfully. I’m sorry for that,” Melinda Byerley, a San Francisco-based contributor to the technology website VentureBeat, tweeted Sunday.

    “One thing middle America could do is to realize that no educated person wants to live in a s**thole with stupid people. Especially violent, racist, and/or misogynistic ones,” Byerley wrote in a post addressing “What middle America can do to get more jobs in their area.”

    So now calling middle America “….. a s**thole with stupid people. Especially violent, racist, and/or misogynistic ones…” is merely being INARTFUL. Wow. Just when you think the Loony Left has used every weasel word available, Melinda Byerley comes up with a new one.

    BTW, she wasn’t being hateful or vicious, merely “inartful” and, OK, “disrespectful. Sorry, Melinda. It was crass and hateful and vile and pretty much what we have come to expect from people who think they have to live “….on paycheck to paycheck in places like San Francisco, rather than live someplace where they would have to deal with “bigots and backwards ideologies every day.” Because the kind of crap she writes isn’t bigoted at all, and her own “political philosophy” (I had to put that in quotes because I can pretty much bet that what she thinks of as her political philosophy is just typical issues-based Progressive blather) is not “backward”. No, it is just a rehash of a tired old, always-failed, Liberal agenda which is, if you are honest about it, REgressive, and her attitude is the definition of bigotry.

    ” “We especially don’t want to live in states where the majority of residents are still voting for things that are against their own interests just because they don’t want brown people to thrive,” Byerley said.” She seems to think that these states would WANT someone so stupid and petty, as well as self-identifying as one of “…the best and brightest..”

    Spare me exposure to any demographic in which Melinda Byerley is one of “the best and brightest”. I doubt there IS one, outside her little bubble of delusion.

    I hope this goes in the archives of whoever is already planning the next two political campaigns, because it is proof that the “deplorables” sneer is really just part of Liberal groupthink.

    • Amazona January 9, 2017 / 11:41 pm

      Melinda not only self-identifies as one of “the best and the brightest”, she considers herself an “intellectual”. (Pause for you all to stop snickering. …………………………………………………. Still waiting.)

      Her response to being called stupid even by the NYT? Ready for this:

      Hatred towards intellectuals is the first mark of an authoritarian state.

      — Melinda Byerley ☠️ (@MJB_SF) January 8, 2017

      Oh, what the hell. Snicker on…………. Guffaw if you must.

    • M. Noonan January 10, 2017 / 1:07 am

      Meanwhile, in San Francisco.

      • Retired Spook January 10, 2017 / 10:28 am

        At least the cost to live in San Francisco is coming down.

  10. Retired Spook January 10, 2017 / 10:58 am

    This election recap got lost in the shuffle over the holidays.

    According to a new figures, without California and New York, President-elect Donald Trump would have defeated rival Hillary Clinton by around 3 million votes. The Cook Political Report on Tuesday, in its final update, said Clinton won by more than 2.8 million votes. Trump also took the Electoral College with 306 votes to Clinton’s 232.

    “I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote—but would campaign differently,” he wrote. “I have not heard any of the pundits or commentators discussing the fact that I spent FAR LESS MONEY on the win than Hillary on the loss!” he also wrote.

    I wonder how many Democrats fully realize just how marginalized they and their party have become. Hopefully the GOP has learned from history and will avoid at all costs doing the stupid things that had led to their fall from grace in the past — hoping but not betting.

    • Retired Spook January 10, 2017 / 11:14 am

      It’s actually even worse than taking the state of California out of the mix. Hillary won the five boroughs of New York City by 1,508,701 and Los Angeles County by 1,273,485. The total of those two cities accounted for virtually all of her national popular vote margin.

      • Cluster January 10, 2017 / 1:43 pm

        No surprise. Meanwhile, liberals are now starting to feel the ramifications of a Harry Reid “iron fisted” led Senate. This headline from the NYT today:

        “It’s certainly looking as if McConnell’s Republican Senate majority will do a complete about-face and rush through Trump’s appointments without the process on which senators used to insist.”

      • Amazona January 11, 2017 / 1:07 pm

        Translation: “wahhhh wahhhh wahhhhh”

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