Open Thread

Roger Moore passed away – I always liked him in every movie I saw him in. Seemed a man of great class. But I think my favorite movie of his was The Wild Geese. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It is slightly dated as it’s set in Cold War Africa, but it holds up well, and that situation can easily be replicated in today’s world.

The DNC is having a hard time raising money. Part of this, I think, is just a general disgust with politics…but it also shows that for all the talk of the Resistance leading the way to victory, Democrats are actually in a very weak position.

Jane Sanders figures that the Iranian elections “show how it’s done”. Yep – you just have a body of unelected tyrants decide who can run, and then leave their minions in total control of the media and the voting process and, presto!, you’ll get the result you want.

Paul Ryan has some kind words for the victims of the Manchester massacre…and, naturally, the left just pours on the hatred.

Morrissey says what everyone with a brain is thinking in regards to Manchester – and a lot of people are upset about it because Reasons.

As regards that, last night I had some thoughts on the matter over on Twitter, I guess I could distill it down to this: we have a choice – we can fight, or surrender. Building more police barricades and having soldiers patrols our streets (ie, putting ourselves under military occupation), doesn’t actually do anything: it is just surrender on the installment plan. My view is that we should fight – but I caution all those who wish to fight to remember that it would be a long, nasty and bloody fight. On the other hand, I looked it up last night and found that between 2006 and 2015, about 190,000 people were killed around the world by terrorism. Not all of that is Islamist, terrorism, it should be noted – but I’ll bet the overwhelming majority of it was (and that the overwhelming majority of the dead were Muslims). 190,000 people is, well, the death toll you’d expect from a major war…so, as far as people dying, fighting isn’t going to alter the numbers. Nor, given how terrorists kill people, will the fighting be any more nasty than it is, now. It will, however, be our troops participating…and they may have to take some very stern measures. If your heart doesn’t allow you to contemplate that sort of thing, better to get on with surrender. On thing certain, if you do decide we should fight, don’t do this after the war is over:

15 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook May 24, 2017 / 10:44 am

    Excellent piece by Matt Walsh on the purging of Confederate monuments.

    Yes, Robert E. Lee was a reluctant secessionist and, though he opposed it, he fought for a side that supported slavery. If that is enough to condemn him, then he and his confederates will not be the only ones tossed on the bonfire of history. Next, they’ll come for the Founders. Once every Confederate memorial and statue has been demolished, the mob will fully set its eyes on those racist, slaveholding rebels who fought a treasonous battle of secession only 90 years prior. You can count on it.

    • M. Noonan May 24, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      There is no doubt in my mind that they will go after all emblems of American history – in fact, even such things as the American eagle and our flag are considered symbols of hatred and oppression. On the other hand, I do view all those Confederate memorials placed in town squares to be the result of a shabby deal in the late 19th century…a sort of way to buy the support of former rebels. This was done by the Democrat party, but connived at by the Republicans.

      Personally, I think we did Reconstruction wrong – going too far in some ways, not far enough in others (it was absurd to demand full voting rights for all adult males, but even more absurd to allow former Confederates to take federal office). And the leadership of the Confederacy should have spent 20 years in prison after the war…and the would mean that Lee would have died in jail. The whole thing was the most criminal stupidity in human history.

      I don’t want those old statues destroyed – but I do think they need to be moved to different places. They should be thought of more in terms of museum pieces than anything else.

      • tryvasty May 25, 2017 / 12:00 am

        I came down to point out that you have a misguided view of the death toll from a major war. It’s not easy to record casualty counts, but estimates for direct violent deaths for the Iraq war range from figures close to yours all the way up through a million people, and that hardly qualifies as major, especially in the context of your generic saber rattling (where exactly are you planning on invading?)

        But then I tripped over this:

        “it was absurd to demand full voting rights for all adult males”

        So, yeah. We’re saying that the 15th Amendment was a bad idea now, are we?

      • M. Noonan May 26, 2017 / 12:20 am

        Could have been better written to take into consideration the realities on the ground – at all events, it eventually worked out to the imposition of Jim Crow, so clearly it could have been done better.

      • Amazona May 26, 2017 / 12:06 am

        Try, I too was taken aback by the comment “…it was absurd to demand full voting rights for all adult males…” as well as by the belief that “…even more absurd to allow former Confederates to take federal office…” As the prime motive behind the war was to reunite the country, or keep it united, however you want to look at it, I don’t know how you could do that by refusing to allow fellow Americans to participate in the governance of the nation.

        Just curious—of those 190,000+ deaths, who were the non-Islamic terrorists?

      • M. Noonan May 26, 2017 / 12:19 am

        Wasn’t broken down like that – but I suspect that at least 90% of it was Islam.

        As for my views on how Reconstruction played out – I just think it was an error to allow those who had sought to break the union to participate in the governance of the union after the war was over. Might have been better, in my view, if the southern electorate post-war was people who hadn’t served the Confederacy.

      • Amazona May 26, 2017 / 12:27 am

        I object to the removal of Confederate memorials.

        I am appalled and disgusted by the foolishness of allowing infantile temper tantrums to lay down rules about what can and cannot be tolerated. This has gone way too far.

        Did anyone read about the two women who started a business selling Mexican food, and explained that they had loved the flour tortillas they had in Mexico so they had watched Mexican women make tortillas to learn how it was done? They were excited about their new restaurant, and thought the story about how they pursued the knowledge of how to cook authentic Mexican food was fun.

        They were attacked for “stealing” the labor of those Mexican women, “appropriating” the culture and food of Mexico, and forced to close their restaurant, while under vicious attacks.

        This whole temper tantrum mentality should have been nipped in the bud, but it wasn’t, and now we have what might seem like nonsense on one level but which is really profoundly toxic and dangerous. We have handed the keys of the asylum to the inmates, and we can count on this kind of totalitarian excess expanding.

      • Amazona May 26, 2017 / 10:16 am

        …those who had sought to break the union…

        I understand, and to some degree kind of agree that they “tried to break the union” but on the other hand there is the position that once the Constitution was violated, as they saw it by denying states’ rights, the union was already broken.

        As an ardent states’ rights person I have problems with this because this is one of those instances where I truly do see both sides. As an ardent hater of slavery as well, it gets complicated for me. The slavery issue points out the attraction of thinking “just this once, I’ll override states’ rights, because it is the right thing to do” and when you agree with the agenda, as I do, it is hard to argue with that.

        Slavery was an evil that had to be eradicated, and the Founders knew that from the get-go. They tolerated it for the interim just to get a Constitution signed, because the new nation needed one, but they always wanted to abolish it. The problem was, it couldn’t be abolished through a Constitutional amendment, because the South had too many votes to allow that. It might have been accomplished by admitting a lot of non-slave states, gerrymandering in a way, to allow for an amendment, but that would have been a long and not-guaranteed process. So I have to bend my states’ rights position a little, as much as I hate and usually reject the “end justifies the means” concept.

        While having no sympathy for slavery, I do have some for the sense of outrage in the South for what they saw as blatant violation of the Constitution and a heavy-handed effort to destroy what they saw as their culture and history, as much as the institution of slavery itself. So I do see how the South may have considered the Union already broken, and decided to form its own government.

        I don’t agree with the rush to war, and think it lay to a great extent in the uber-machismo hot-headed belligerence of much of the South. I am not defending the decision to go to war. When the Obama administration overrode states’ rights regarding enforcement of immigration laws and actually sued a state and governor for trying to enforce the law, I could imagine how that might have gone if this had involved a federal attack on a dozen southwest states. They wouldn’t have gone to war with the feds, but they might have said “Screw you–you don’t represent the United States as created by the Founders and governed by the Constitution and because of this we are going to set up our own government that does”. I don’t agree that a state, or states, should be able to stomp off in a huff if they don’t get their own way, but I can understand the sentiment that if states are bound together in a federal union because of a shared Constitution and the government ignores that Constitution the glue that bound those states together has evaporated and the states no longer have that shared identity, because the identity depended on that Constitution.

  2. Retired Spook May 25, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Between May 16th and May 18th, the Comey memo story had wall to wall news coverage. Pretty much nothing since. Rush is suggesting today that the memos may not even exist. Yeah, I know — hard to believe.

    • Amazona May 26, 2017 / 12:17 am

      Well, in spite of the careful writing of agencies like the NYT, which speak of the alleged memos as if their existence and content have been verified, I haven’t heard of anyone who has actually seen them.

      And while the NYT story tries really really hard to make us believe that they do exist, by referencing the idea that keeping contemporaneous notes is part of the FBI culture, that doesn’t mean that Comey did. As I pointed out in the last thread, notes can be about what was said—-or they can be about what the note-taker wants people to believe was said. If they are to be taken seriously, they have to be kept in a pristine unaltered form, such as a notebook with all pages intact, or on a computer which dates all entries and amendments to those entries, and even this is not proof of their accuracy.

      • Retired Spook May 26, 2017 / 7:09 am

        the idea that keeping contemporaneous notes is part of the FBI culture, that doesn’t mean that Comey did

        And it’s not like his integrity hasn’t been called into question — multiple times.

      • Amazona May 26, 2017 / 10:24 am

        And it’s not like his integrity hasn’t been called into question …

        …or his antipathy to Trump.

        We have also seen his desperation to keep his job at any cost—-as we saw during the election, by trying to pander to both sides. When the effort to clear the way to a Clinton victory by recommending no prosecution seemed to be ineffective in derailing the Trump election machine, he tried to suck up to Trump and his supporters by talking about more Clinton emails, stopping short of actually doing anything about them. His efforts to appease both sides was pretty transparent and showed him to be the untrustworthy weasel he is. He was fine with Trump till he learned that Trump saw through him and then it was CYA time, or at least retaliation time, trying to take Trump down with him.

  3. Retired Spook May 28, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    There have been so many over the past few decades that we tend to forget some of the completely unfounded predictions of the past by environmental activists and climate change alarmists. This short video highlights some of the most egregious.

  4. Amazona May 30, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    In 1981 Richard Grenier published a review of the film “Breaker Morant” titled “The Uniforms That Guard Us” in Commentary magazine. The article discussed Orwell and Kipling, and it included two of the quotations listed above. Grenier also used the phrase “rough men” when describing an attitude advanced by the movie:

    It burns with a white rage against societies as a whole, from military leaders and chiefs of state to (more common in our time) comfortable civilians in easy chairs, who send rough men out to serve their interests brutally, murderously (what is war?), and then—when circumstances change and in the exquisite safety and fastidiousness of their living rooms they suddenly find these rough men’s actions repugnant—disown them.

    In April 1993 the columnist Richard Grenier published a newspaper article containing the text that QI believes became the source of the quotation that was later attributed to Orwell. Here is a longer excerpt:

    When the country is in danger, the military’s mission is to wreak destruction upon the enemy. It’s a harsh and bloody business, but that’s what the military’s for. As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

    There were no quotation marks in this passage because Grenier was not quoting Orwell. Instead he was presenting a compact statement of the stance that he assigned to Orwell.

    • M. Noonan May 30, 2017 / 11:36 pm

      I’ll speak my unpopular opinion: there aren’t really war crimes, anyway. There are crimes, of course – and crimes committed during war. But the concept of war crimes is based upon the notion that you can impose a legal system on an event which is designed to cause death and destruction. It just doesn’t work – it doesn’t actually deter the wicked, and it can hamstring the good.

      It is said that as WWII is Europe drew to a close, Churchill proposed in cabinet that all the leading Nazis just be hauled and shot one fine morning after they were captured. Himmler had been opening negotiations with the British and Churchill was musing if they could strike a deal with him, and still shoot him right afterwards. After discussion, the idea was vetoed because we Americans and the Russians were insisting upon trials. But Churchill, I think, had it right – once we captured, identified and interrogated the leading Nazis, we should have just shot them out of hand. This would have been pure retribution – and a lesson to the world of what we do with people who wantonly break the peace and then engage in bestial actions.

      To be sure, good discipline in the armed forces requires that our troops not murder, not assault and not loot non-combatants. It is also wise to show a measure of mercy to the defeated foe once they’ve laid down their arms. But when it comes to fighting, whatever application of force proves necessary to abridge the slaughter must be used. Keep in mind that I view the strategic bombing campaign of WWII as mostly a waste of ammunition (we’d have done better to just relentlessly concentrate on knocking out Germany’s rail and river communications – by which almost all their goods moved), but if it could be shown to me even this day that leveling an enemy city would, indeed, shorten the war, then that is what we’d have to do. To hold back is to just make sure more people die in the long run.

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