They Hate America

I wasn’t going to write about politics on Easter, but this came up in my Twitter feed today:

No other city has taken down a monument to a president for his misdeeds. But Arcata is poised to do just that. The target is an 8½-foot bronze likeness of William McKinley, who was president at the turn of the last century and stands accused of directing the slaughter of Native peoples in the U.S. and abroad.

“Put a rope around its neck and pull it down,” Chris Peters shouted at a recent rally held at the statue, which has adorned the central square for more than a century.

Peters, who heads the Arcata-based Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous People, called McKinley a proponent of “settler colonialism” that “savaged, raped and killed.”…

These people don’t hate America’s sins, they hate America. It is really just as simple as that. Was McKinley perfect? No. Why does he have a statue in Arcata, CA? Because his death was such a complete shock that a mediocre President was elevated in the public mind to incredible heights in spite of a lackluster record (sort of like what happened to JFK after he was killed). Today, McKinley is mostly forgotten – so I could definitely see a city deciding to take down his statue for that reason…but to take it down like you’re removing the statue of a criminal is just absurd. And indicates a great deal of hatred not for McKinley (who probably not 1 in a 100 citizens of the city are even aware of), but for the nation he lead.

The left has always been at war with the very idea of the United States. They can’t stand our persistent religious faith; our desire to make it on our own; our unwillingness to see ourselves as mere blocks of wood for social experimentation. The left also knows that they can’t triumph in the world if the United States continues to exist as the United States. And so they attack everything that went to make up the United States. Nothing we have done has been good in their view – everything we’ve done must be condemned and renounced and we, the people just fit ourselves (or be fitted) into a new way of thinking.

As for me, I’m heartily sick of it. I’m supposed to feel bad that my ancestors came to a mostly empty land and made it something more than a game preserve for nomads. Sorry, but I’m not sorry that it happened, at all. I’m sorry there was murder and rapine and I wish that hadn’t happened…but it happened on both sides (my father, as a young boy, knew an old man who had been scalped and left for dead in a raid back in the day; the rest of his family was killed or taken…why did it happen? For no other reason than they were there, and could be taken and killed; the man, by the way, held no bitterness about it…it was just the way things went at times, in those days). And the Natives here when exposed to advanced, Western civilization immediately wanted the goods of that civilization…beaver weren’t nearly hunted to extinction east of the Mississippi by white guys, but by Natives who wanted to trade the pelts for iron tools, cotton clothing and other things. For crying out loud, does anyone think that a human being really wants to spend 50 hours of labor making a stone knife which will be dull after a few uses when you can get an iron knife that will be keen for a lifetime? What the heck are these Native activists saying? In the end, that their ancestors weren’t stupid enough to reject all contact with Western civilization.

I’m glad Nebraska and Kansas are there – filled with cities and with farms which produce food for millions upon millions of people. It would be a crime against humanity if it had remained the abode of a few million buffalo and a few score thousand nomads living off them. The whole process of settlement could have been better done and the Natives certainly deserved better treatment than was meted out, but that the settlement had to happen is obvious, and obviously good that it happened.

The end result of all this is that we have to fight tooth and nail – we have to defend every last inch of everything we have. Because we’ve now learned that it isn’t just that this or that person was bad and thus his statue has to come down, but that the left is trying to destroy the entirety of the United States and erect some new, anti-American nation in its place.

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Winning and Losing Wars

Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won. – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Got into a little bit of a Twitter scrape with Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom). I’m afraid he took exception to a comment I made. The start of it was Nichols condemning Trump for his “we’ve lost our wars” comment. I put in that as a matter of fact, we haven’t won a war since World War Two.

I know, I know; I probably took that too far. I must repeat to myself again and again: never get into a Twitter argument as it is impossible to have an argument when you’re limited to 140 characters. And it can get a bit sticky if you say anything which can be construed as other than critical of Trump. Trump = bad. I dig that – and am in favor of that sentiment. I feel bad that I apparently angered Mr. Nichols as I hold him in high regard for his knowledge. But, still, a busted clock is right twice a day. To be fair to those who took exception to my comment, Grenada, Panama, the First Gulf War and Kosovo were victories. And the Iraq campaign until 2009 was also a victory. But Grenada, Panama and Kosovo are not the same scale of actions as, say, a Spanish-American War – even though that war was quite short and the loss of life was mercifully low. The First Gulf War was, in my view, an unfinished war – we did eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait (a worthwhile activity), but as long as Saddam was in power in Baghdad, a resumption of the war either in Kuwait or elsewhere was always in prospect. We could have compelled a complete surrender by Saddam, and we didn’t – we didn’t impose our political will on his regime in a permanent manner. As for the Iraq campaign – well, it was won, but then it was lost…it doesn’t matter that it was Obama who lost what Bush had won, it was still the United States losing.

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May 10th, 1940

I’m bringing this up for two reasons. First off, because I saw this – click the link and you’ll see a series of “person in the street” interviews where they ask some basic questions about World War Two and people just don’t know the answers. Secondly, because this date is the 76th anniversary of the German invasion of France and the Low Countries – so, might as well try and help out with this historical ignorance.

This Wikipedia article is actually a pretty good run-down of the event – someone who cares (or some people who care) apparently put a bit of effort in there to get an informative and useful description. Naturally, it doesn’t tell the whole tale, but if you read it you’ll generally understand what happened. Another good source you can get is William Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940. Shirer carries the story back to the birth of the Third Republic in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and describes in good detail the various political cross-currents which contributed greatly to the collapse of 1940. Shirer was an excellent historian, though he was also an old-school Liberal of the mid-Twentieth Century type, and so he emphasizes some things I think less important and glosses over (just a bit – he was immensely fair-minded) the two crucial things in the moral collapse which preceded the military downfall: the relentless anti-Catholic actions of the French government and the gigantic amount of very absurd pacifist propaganda in the State-run schools between World War One and World War Two. If nothing is absolutely true and nothing is worth fighting for, you might find it difficult to get men to fight and, if need be, die for truth in war, you know?

Another thing which played a huge role in the collapse was the astonishing amount of corruption in the France all through the Third Republic. There are always people on the take, but in the Third Republic it became a way of life for French politicians, and by extension French business and French journalists. The Panama Scandal was, perhaps, the worst of them all, but over and over again French leaders were found to be taking bribes and various interests in France were found to be for sale to the highest bidder. The Dreyfus Affair is probably still fairly well known, but in the end the crux of that matter was that the French government and military spent a huge amount of money, time and energy defending what was known to be a lie pretty early in the process…because people were invested in the lie and money was to be had for those who would keep it up.

The bottom line was that by 1940, the French government, business, media and military leaders were all highly compromised and suspect in the eyes of the French people, and the destruction of Christianity and Patriotism in France had robbed the French people of the very desire to fight hard against a foreign aggressor. This is not to say that no French fought – some did. In fact, about 85,000 French soldiers died in the six week campaign. But, for the most part, it was just a general collapse – and it started at the top, especially among France’s military leadership.

Little realized by most casual observers is the fact that the Anglo-French armies in 1940 were very much more powerful in manpower and material than the German army (half the German troop strength was low-grade, untrained, badly armed reserve forces). The Germans did have a tactical advantage in their armored and motorized divisions (which made up only a fraction of the German force), but the French Army had more trucks and tanks than the Germans…and French tanks were better armed and armored than German tanks (though generally slower in speed and, crucially, lacking effective radio communication, thus hampering tactical deployment). Shirer notes in his book that the French Air Force ended the campaign with more planes than it started with – and yet it is seen that the Luftwaffe was always able to provide air cover when it was needed by the advancing German armies.

The French and British also greatly assisted the Germans by putting their best armies into Belgium when they were needed in the Sedan area of France. But, even then, the Germans ran a gigantic risk in their invasion plan. Guderian made his reputation in his breakthrough at Sedan and his race to the Channel, but had the French leadership had just a little more desire to fight, Guderian would be remembered at the fool who stuck his neck out too far, too fast and got crushed by an easy counter-attack by French forces. When he lunged for the Channel after his breakthrough, for a couple days he had a mere regiment or so of motorized troops guarding his flank…the French had in the area two armored divisions (in addition to a substantial amount of infantry) which could easily have crushed that flank guard, cut off Guderian and changed the whole course of the war…but, the French leaders lacked the will (and any sense of how short time was to act) and the French troops also showed a complete lack of desire to get at grips with the enemy (this lack of desire, I think, flowed from the top – when then-Colonel de Gaulle was given command of a scratch force of armored troops, his attack knocked the Germans about quite a bit…it was too late to change things and his small force was insufficient, at any rate, to do much…but he showed what French troops could still do when led in to battle by a warrior).

Learning about this campaign is very important for any citizen of a democratic republic – it shows, definitely, Napoleon’s dictum that “the morale is to the material as three is to one”. To be sure, someone with absolutely overwhelming force can crush an enemy no matter how spirited they are (as was seen in Stalin’s attack on Finland in 1939)…but in forces roughly equal (and Anglo-French superiority in manpower and material made up for German superiority in tactical doctrine – provided that leadership was available to react properly to events), who has the fighting spirit is probably going to carry the day. The French State was rotten to the core – both in government and military. Corruption, immorality, nihilist philosophy of varied stripes, various conspiracy-theory-mongering (often centering on Jews as a scapegoat) all led to a France which lacked the desire to defend itself. Only a few clear-eyed patriots saw that no matter what was wrong with France, fighting the Germans was the first duty of all French.

And if all that sounds familiar to American ears, then that should be a bit of a wake-up call. We, too, are buried under corruption, immorality, nihilist philosophy…and, of course, anti-Semitism is also gaining purchase in the United States as various conspiracy theories are tried out (by people on both left and right – but, actually, more on the left than on the right in this area), and all of them tend to gravitate towards Jews as the scapegoat. We still have an immensely powerful armed force at our disposal – but is there still the overall spirit, especially in our leadership, to actually fight a war? Meaning – to fight it with the ruthlessness necessary to secure victory in spite of all problems? That is an unknown – and unknowable – thing right now. Sure, there are plenty of patriots in America…and plenty of hard-working, decent people, as well. But who rules the roost? The patriots and hard-working people, or people who have lost all sense of morality and honor? Remember, we recently found out that a carefully orchestrated series of lies was used to advance government policy…and we know that corruption is endemic in our nation. We can see it in the fact that the leading contender for the Democrat nomination not only hasn’t been indicted, but almost certainly will never be indicted.

It is to be hoped that we aren’t too far gone – but the lessons of France, 1940, are valuable for us to learn if we want to make sure we aren’t too far gone.

Best of Enemies

Nearly 50 years ago William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal squared off in a series of debates that cemented the divide between conservatives and progressives, a divide that continues today. There is a very interesting documentary on Netflix called Best of Enemies that covers those 10 very contentious debates and the political environment of the time. Here is an excerpt of one of those debates:

Ironically, many of the issues covered in these debates are many of the same issues the left continues to fight over to this day – equality, the police state, and American Imperialism abroad. One would think that the intellectual might of the left would have resolved these pressing issues by now had they have been of paramount concern, but much like today, I believe these are issues the left needs to promulgate throughout the generations in order to create the societal divide their electoral victories depend on.

In one debate Buckley had a brilliant line on equality that invoked dismay and outrage from the progressive Vidal. Buckley stated that “freedom breeds inequality”, a simple truth about human nature that the left cannot comprehend, or simply does not want to admit. In fact there is much about human nature that the left does not want to admit, and unfortunately spends an inordinate amount of legislative time trying to deny. The ACA is a good example. What could possibly lead one to believe that a perfectly healthy 20 year old would purchase health insurance with high deductibles in order to off set the health care expenses of their less healthy and older citizens? Granted it would be noble of them but it defies their financial self-interests and the reality is that they are not complying, and Buckley defined this ideological disconnect dynamic very well in the video above.

In re: to the police state, is this not reminiscent of the black lives matter movement? Are the accusations leveled at the police then, the same accusations we hear today? And re: American imperialism, Vidal laid down the progressive foundation of moral equivalency that continues today by equating American military interactions with that of the Soviets, a paradigm the left uses at every opportunity to this day. Gore Vidal is unquestionably the father of today’s progressive movement, while Buckley is unquestionably the standard bearer for today’s conservative movement. Many of these debates are found on YouTube and the documentary on Netflix is a must see. I found these debates to be extremely interesting and look forward to reading others opinions.

Finished? I Don’t Think So.

As Rush Limbaugh asserted on his radio show Wednesday, the Obama presidency is far from over.

The events to which we are witness presently– world unrest, trampling on personal property rights and State sovereigntyassault on affordable energy–continuous assaults on our ability to grow our economy– is all part of Obama’s original campaign promise to “..fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s an important phrase to ponder. “FUNDAMENTALLY” TRANSFORM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Think about that. Let that short, simple, yet all-encompassing phrase sink in. First focus on the word “TRANSFORM” and then the root word of “FUNDAMENTALLY.”

To “transform” something, by definition, is to make something evolve into something radically different from what it has traditionally been. “Fundamental” by definition is a defining, basic characteristic. A building block–something foundational to its being.

Now, to “FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM” means to radically transform the United States from what it has traditionally been– the “shining city on a hill”- the land of opportunity–based on the premise of individual liberty and the affordance of self-determination–yes–to transform that– into something *fundamentally different* and thus diametrically opposed to that foundation.

The Third World Despots, the Kruschevs, the Fidel Castros, the Kim Jong Ils and Uns of the world, have given hours-long speeches about their hopes for the destruction of the Free World, but never have they been able to put it so succinctly and eloquently as has Obama in that one simple, yet profound phrase. “..We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Many people chalked that phrase to meaningless boilerplate rhetoric, as so much rhetorical fluff. But of all the promises Obama made that were broken, whether it was closing Guantanamo Bay, allowing people to ‘keep their doctors or their health plans–period,” or to decrease health insurance costs by $2500 per year, this– this seminal promise–(along with bankrupting the coal industry)–was the one he meant from the bottom of his joyless, cavernous heart.

No people. The Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama is not ended. He still has a lot of ‘fundamental transformations’ to perform.

Barack Obama’s “scorched earth” policy against America and its people has only just begun.

Columbus Day

I wasn’t planning on writing anything to mark Columbus Day, but having been around the ‘net a bit this morning and seeing the ignorant comments about Columbus, I feel I just have to say something.

First off, what did Columbus do?  He set off in to the unknown in three tiny ships with only minimal navigational aids and yet struck land in the place and in the time he thought he would.  That, as anyone familiar with sailing can attest, is a remarkable achievement.  That it wasn’t the land he was looking for is neither here nor there because no one in Europe knew about the Americas.  It took incredible bravery for Columbus and his crew to do what they did and a remarkable amount of sheer seamanship.  It is an achievement comparable with going to the Moon – but in some respects more difficult because they didn’t know what they would encounter, while our voyages to the Moon were without surprises on route, timing and what we thought we’d find when we got there.  To make snide remarks about how Columbus thought he’d found Asia is asinine – its as if we found out there was a star 10 light years away with intelligent life on it and set out to see it…and on the way bumped in to a different star with intelligent life 5 light years away; it would still be a remarkable discovery.

Secondly, what didn’t Columbus do?  First off, he didn’t bring war, death and slavery to the Americas – they already existed in the Americas.  Why?  Because humans lived there.  And here’s a newsflash for ya, folks: the natives of the America were just like us.  Full of anger and jealousy and greed and fear and stupidity, just like we have…and, of course, also full of dignity and courage and generosity, just like we have.  People are people – Columbus did not discover Eden; that Garden we were all kicked out of long before Columbus came along…and we won’t get back in to it until the End, Columbus or no.  It is just stupid to think that Columbus did something wrong – he did something and whenever anyone does something, it will have effects, and often effects never foreseen by the original doer of the deed.  Columbus is not responsible for what happened to the natives of America.

Thirdly, just what was found in the Americas?  Well, aside from primitive peoples, there were also civilized peoples…people so civilized that they had advanced to the point of massacring people in great, big bloody batches.  The Mexica were not nice people – they were looting, enslaving and murdering their subjects.  It is true that Columbus didn’t stop that, but he set in train the events which would eventually bring proper retribution to the Mexica for their crimes…and when they were overthrown, it was with the eager help of the native people the Mexica were oppressing.  Should we instead wish that Columbus had sunk to the bottom of the sea and maybe the human sacrifices of Mexico continued for a few more centuries?  Would that have been good?  Oh, but what about all the natives who died of disease – what of it?  It was terrible, but it wasn’t a crime on anyone’s part.  No one knew how disease was transmitted…the Europeans hadn’t the foggiest notion that they were bringing disease.  Given the nature of things, eventually the natives of America were going to be exposed to disease environments they were not resistant to…it was going to happen.  If it hadn’t been Columbus then someone – either east or west of the Americas – was going to come to the Americas at some point…and the diseases would have still struck down the same number.

Columbus was a man of great courage and intelligence who played a man’s part in the world.  Good and bad, he brought the Americas in to the mainstream of world history and set the stage which eventually allowed the United States of America to emerge as the greatest nation in human history.  He is worthy of honor and emulation in his willingness to dare greatly.  And, so, Happy Columbus Day!

Dystopia–In His Own Words.

Just prior to the 2008 elections, Barack Obama boldly stated,

“We are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” (October 30, 2008)

Many among my conservative friends took that to be so much fluff; pretty much liberal boilerplate consistent with his whole “Hope and Change” campaign message.  Given, however, Obama’s background, cutting his teeth with the radical leftists/communists of his day (i.e., Frank Marshall Davis, Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) I believe I was one of the relative few that took him at his word.  Unlike most of America, conservatives such as myself and others who actually took the time to vet Obama, knew that background and worldview mattered, and that Obama’s past gave more than a glimpse of how he intended to govern in the present.

When Obama uttered those words, “.. fundamentally transform AmericaI knew he meant it. It was Obama himself who stated (emphases added),

“As radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least, as it’s been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative libertiesSays what the States can’t do to you; says what the Federal Government can’t do to you, but doesn’t state what the Federal government or State Government must do on your behalf.”  (Barack Obama, June 18, 2001).

There is no question that Barack Obama was unhappy with his perception of unequal distribution of wealth that America so unfairly championed, and that he wanted to transform this nation into something more ‘equitable’ in his eyes.  The question was how, and to what extent.  Just how does one “fundamentally”  transform a nation whose very basis for existence is freedom, itself?  The only feasible answer is to transform that already-free nation, into a nation with fewer freedoms.  Given Dinesh D’Souza’s brilliant insights as to Obama’s worldview engendered by his past, one knew that Obama’s absolute contempt for what he saw as America’s unequal distribution of wealth would result in his promoting policies that would necessarily stifle economic growth.   Obama’s America would no longer be one of unbridled economic opportunity; rather, America would be a nation of egalitarian outcomes, regardless of effort; to coin a phrase, to each, according to his needs; from each, according to his means.  

As a means of bringing about this transformation, America could no longer be a free nation.  No where as free, at least, as it was at the time of he assumed his presidency.  Liberties would need to be forsaken to bring about his vision of utopia.  The free market system would need to be reined in, and done so in no small measure.   Obama would have four years, eight at most, to make this happen.  This transformation would need to be done quickly, and in a big way.

Enter Obamacare, America’s first stop on its train ride to Utopia. Against the wishes of 60-70 percent of Americans, and without the vetting of congressional legislators who rammed through the legislation, the United States Federal Government took control of a full one-seventh of the American economy, which had the net effect of driving up the cost of health care for all involved,  taking away freedom of choice, relegating freedom of conscience incompatible with the party line to irrelevancy, while at the same time having the no-doubt intended effect of casting a chilling pall on America’s ability to sustain economic growth and prosperity.  For those who wish to argue regarding this latter point, how better to right the wrongs of the perceived injustice of unequally-distributed wealth than to stifle the engine that creates such wealth?

As I’ve said, Obamacare is but stop one on America’s train ride to Obama’s Dystopia.  Obama’s seeming assault on everything traditional America has held dear for centuries appears to have taken on epidemic proportions.  Remember- Obama only has three and three-quarter years left.  Those who haven’t yet felt the pinch of his “transformations,” most likely have not yet realized that they, too, have been pinched.   Obama’s willing media accomplices can only cover for him for so long before a critical mass of Americans, admittedly as dull as many of them are, will start to put two-and-two together and finally determine that the hopey-changey unicorn jockey they voted for may actually have had something to do with the plight in which they suddenly find themselves.

Then what?

When the critical mass of Americans finally wake up one morning, to find that they have been played as chumps, they are liable to get a bit–shall we say, testy. When this inevitability finally does come home to roost, The TEA party protests that grew out of Rick Santelli’s historic February, 2009 rant will no doubt look like a series of school pep assemblies.   Such civil unrest would certainly be difficult to quell, and will no doubt be yet another bump in the tracks on the way to Obama’s Dystopian dream.

What to do, what do do? You can’t just sick the military after the troublemakers. Well, you could, I suppose, but then you risk pissing off your fellow travelers who have had a history of contempt for men and women in uniform.

What to do??

Since, at least philosophy- and policy-wise, one can take Obama at his word, one may get a clue as to Obama’s plans by again, studying his own non-TelePrompter inspired rhetoric:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.  We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.”   -Barack Obama, July, 2008.

Yeah- remember that phrase?  Neither did a lot of other people.  Like the rest of Obama’s sordid past and rhetoric that if brought to the light of day would have rendered his election impossible, The media (true to their sycophantic nature) pretty much glossed over that little tidbit.  A powerful Civilian security force. Remind you of anyone?

So when you see articles like this, or like this, or like this, and then think, aww–Leo–take off that tinfoil hat!  You’re just blowing smoke.  That would never really happen here.  There’s no way.

Just remember.  I didn’t put those words into Barack Obama’s mouth.

He did.