9/11 at 18

Hard to believe it has been that long. People are becoming adults in our nation who have no memory of it. But, if they join the Army we will send them to fight in Afghanistan! And then accuse them of being war criminals.

I can no longer get weepy about 9/11 – it has been burned out of me. I used to feel anger about it, but now I know if it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else. Bin Laden picked his target well – he must have been an avid reader of the American MSM. No nation that allows the garbage it puts out is in a healthy state. We managed to whack bin Laden – something he knew was a risk – but at the end of the day, we’ve done nothing against the ideology he supported and we are even more riven by faction and self-hatred than we were on 9/10/2001.

I pray for the souls of the departed, and that our nation is cured of it’s errors, and becomes, once again, a nation which can respond to an attack like 9/11.

In Congress, July 4th, 1776

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Can the USA Stay Together?

The knitting (yes, knitting) website Ravelry has banned all pro-Trump content. They did this, so they said, to be inclusive of “all”. I noted to them on their Twitter account that “all” has a meaning and they should look it up. I haven’t received a response. But, that aside, we should really think about what they are doing here: they are saying that being pro-Trump (you know, like most of us who come here are, to one degree or another) is inherently evil.

I’m a middle aged man of no particular importance. Just a regular guy, as it were. I’ve got my stack of sins, just like everyone else but I also at least try to do the right thing, as most people do. I’m not evil. That is, I don’t desire evil to happen – I don’t seek it out; I don’t enjoy it; I don’t wish for anyone to suffer evil in their lives. But what of people who wish to silence me because I voted for a particular person for President? Are they good? Or, more to the point, do they and I have the same idea of what “good” is?

That is the really decisive thing in a country, after all. In general, most things, most of the time, have to be agreed to by nearly everyone. If you and I have opposite understandings of what “up” and “down” are, we’re going to find it hard to cooperate in any real sense. We’ll keep having fundamental conflicts with each other as we each try to get the other to do the exact opposite of what is desired. Eventually, we either have to give up and go our separate ways, or one of us must surrender his definition of what “up” and “down” are to the other person. As Our Lord said – and Lincoln reiterated – a house divided against itself cannot stand. It must cease to be divided, or it must fall.

Until just recently, I held firmly to the opinion that it was really no business of mine, at all, what other people believed. But now I realize something: tolerance can only go so far. We tolerated the bizarre ideology of the leftists because we felt ourselves safe – after all, it was ridiculous what they believed and no rational nation would ever allow themselves to be ruled by such lunacy. But the left is no longer a fringe of lunatics we can laugh at. They control the media, the large corporations, the education establishment, the bureaucracy and a large portion of the judiciary. The very craziest leftwing nutjob we laughed at 25 years ago is now in a position to enforce insanity upon us; and they are doing so. We are now forced to watch what we say, lest an unguarded word puts our job at risk. We are forced to fight tooth and nail just to secure the right to be left alone – and even when we win, the left just keeps coming right back at us, never accepting any defeat as anything more than a temporary setback.

And it isn’t that we and the left want the same things. We might both say we want “justice” but what they mean by the word and what we mean is entirely different – so different that it is like trying to say “black” and “white” are the same thing. To us, justice means people get what they are due…to them, justice means anyone they hate gets punished. Facts and logic mean nothing to the left – but they mean something to us. And we also know that we can’t have anything without rigid adherence to facts and logic. But the left views it differently – they do think they can, by a sort of incantation, make the world fit their mental image, rather than taking the world as it is. And just how do we get along? How do we find a way to march down the road together when we want to be on the road while the left is insisting that that the cliff is the road and we should walk over it?

In the end, I don’t want us to stay together if it is to be like this – in theory, I want the entire territory of the United States to be intact and for all of us to be patriotic citizens of the same country. In reality, though, it can’t be that way. At least, not right now. And maybe not ever. I can’t live in a nation where it is implied I am evil because of whom I voted for…or that I’m evil because of the skin color I was born with, or that I’m evil because of the religion I adhere to, or that the emblems of my nation must all be torn down. You get the picture. I can’t live with people who don’t see the world largely as I do. And I don’t think anyone else can, either. It might be mere inertia that is keeping us going right now – but I fear that this is a fading quality and a crisis is coming.

It is being provoked by the left – and I honestly don’t think they’re smart enough to understand fully what they are doing – and it could lead to a civil war…wherein either they’d kill all of us or we’d kill all of them. In either case, the nation would cease to be divided against itself. It would become all one thing. I’d prefer what some are calling a national divorce…where we just nearly divvy up the national debt on a per-capita basis and everyone votes, State by State (I prefer county by county, actually) which nation they want to belong to. Each resulting nation would become a nation of people who largely agree – and that is how it has to be, if a nation is to exist, at all.

In Congress, July 4th, 1776

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Happy 4th of July!

In Congress, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

9/11 Open Thread

Hard to believe that it has been 15 years – I can still remember so much of it so clearly. Getting a call from the Mrs’ daughter asking if anyone had heard from the other daughter who worked in Manhattan. Turning on the TV just in time to see the second plane hit live. Calling my father and telling him to turn on the TV…and then just watching, watching, watching for hours as the disaster unfolded.

It was supposed to be a turning point, but it ended up not being anything of the sort. The national unity which instantly asserted itself was torn down by various actors for cynical political reasons. These days, we’re not even really supposed to say what we’re fighting – and instead of being red blooded American patriots, we’re debating whether or not we should even stand for our national anthem.

Still, this is a day to remember those who died – on that day, and in the battles since then. I only hope that we some how manage to get through this time without a repeat of that day – this will take more luck than anything else, but one can always pray, and hope.

Ignorant People are Unpatriotic People

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober”. – G K Chesterton

Colin Kaepernick is just someone who doesn’t know history – which puts him right square in the middle of all too many of the American people. I saw a Facebook meme a couple days ago which asserted that Cecil Rhodes killed 60 million Africans compared to Hitler killing 6 million Jews. I did a bit of checking and found out the entire population of Africa was 133 million when Rhodes as doing this thing – how he managed to kill 40% of the continent’s population escapes me. This is especially perplexing as he didn’t have a “kill all Africans” plank in his political philosophy as Hitler had a “kill all Jews” in his. But that is the level of discourse these days – people are so ignorant of history that anyone who wants to grind an axe just has to make a statement and some people will believe it.

Columbus is made out to be this horrible person who set out to pillage and enslave – guys, he was just an intrepid sea captain who wanted to find a way to engage in the lucrative spice trade with Asia…as Muslim powers controlled the overland route and the Portuguese had got the route around Africa, pretty much the only other way was going west. Columbus, like everyone else, just had no idea an entire continent stood in the way. Every bad thing which happened afterwards was laid at Columbus’ feet – and it is all asserted as deliberate. Remember, people say that what happened to the Native people was a genocide – which means they are asserting it was a deliberate act. Of course, almost all the Native people who died were killed by disease, often before they even set eyes on an European. Isolated for a very long time in the Americas, the Native people had simply never encountered outside disease environments…as it turns out, the Europeans arrived with a concentrated disease environment from Europe, Africa and Asia. But this was going to happen eventually – someone, at some point, was going to sail from Europe or Africa or Asia and arrive in the Americas. The only way it could have been avoided is if the Americas remained untouched until modern medicine was invented and even then only if the first people to arrive were a bunch of doctors bearing vaccines.

We are told (endlessly) that if we don’t pay close attention to the bad then we are denying the bad ever happened. That is just a bit of nonsense. Does anyone sit around continually going over every last mistake they ever made? Of course not – when we idly think of our past, we like very much to think over the pleasant things we have done or experienced. A wise person does ponder the bad in order to learn the proper lesson from it – but to dwell on it is morose. But we’re not even so much dwelling on it as obsessing over it. It is an endless parade of evil and everyone who ever did a great thing in America is torn down because he or she also had some sins to account for. Because the Founders weren’t perfect, they are to be disparaged; as if any human being – even the most Progressive hero – hasn’t been heir to human folly. It is sufficient to know enough of the bad to ensure against repeating it – but once that is done, it is time to seek inspiration from the good that was done so it can be built upon. And even though George Washington engaged in the sin of holding slaves, it is far more important that we learn of his courage in adversity; his determination to succeed against all odds; his unwillingness to seize power for himself.

Colin Kaepernick probably has never heard of Prince Estabrook – he was a slave, and also the first African-American to fight in battle for American liberty. He was wounded during the Battle of Lexington and Concord. He continued to serve in the militia until the end of the Revolutionary War, after which he was granted freedom. It was a terrible crime that he was held as a slave by men who held themselves to be freemen. But that was the nature of the times – slavery existed everywhere on Earth in one form or another, and when Estabrook stood firm on Lexington Common, it was still about a decade before any voice would be raised asserting that slavery as a thing was inherently wrong. To remember the good and the bad is necessary – and thus remembering Prince Estabrook is important…because he was good and brave and fought for freedom even when he didn’t have it, because people wrongly believed that others could be held as slaves. But he still fought. Plenty of men – born free – would run away on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War. Estabrook didn’t run away – and because of men like him, we have freedom. But, also, because of men like Washington and Jefferson, who both owned slaves. It is said that the evil men do is interred with their bones while the good they do lives on – and this is completely true. We don’t know much about Estabrook – like most true heroes, he doesn’t seem to have gotten around to talking up his actions and making sure everyone knew about them. All we really know of him is that he lived and he fought…but he was also a man, and thus there were probably times when he didn’t rise to Christian perfection. But, no matter – if from time to time he wasn’t perfect, that is now interred with his bones. But the good he did lives on.

Right now, our nations teeters and rocks – we sway giddily on the path, reeling from disunion, bitterness and mutual recrimination. We hope, as Lincoln once did, that the mystic cords of memory which stretch from each Patriot’s grave will continue to bind us…but for that to happen, people have to know about it. Right now, all too many people don’t…and that is why you can find people saying America never was great. But America has been great from the beginning – it started out great, because it was started out by people willing to sacrifice all to strive for an ideal. We must recapture the past – the whole past, and most especially the past which showed us at our best. If we deny that – if we continue to harp upon evils done along the way with no mind to the greatness done by intent – then we will be doomed to failure.