Dancing in the Blood of Ukrainians

So now that Putin has carried through with his long term, and very publicly expressed goal of acquiring Ukrainian territory…..certain segments of the American public have decided to lay blame on the current Administration, claiming that Putin only invaded Ukraine because Biden was ‘weak’. Hell, there are even cable news pundits on a certain channel or two, bashing the levying of sanctions against Russia.

Bullshit.

Pure, unmitigated and disgusting bullshit. Biden is not the leader we need [but we always get the leader we deserve]……but his Administration had zero effect on Putin’s calculus to invade.

That Americans would use this event to score cheap and lazy political points against their perceived political opposition domestically, is shameful. But most Americans have no shame anymore, so why should I be surprised?

Godspeed to the Ukrainian armed forces and Citizen volunteers in their challenging fight against their aggressor.

Observations on Local Protests

For over a year now, there has been a Saturday morning protest by BLM supporters in the town nearest to me. Mostly white, as I live in a rural, mostly white county. And mostly older folk. They stand along the side of the road at the main ‘downtown’ intersection, holding signs and waving at passers-by. They aren’t obnoxious, and you could drive right by without knowing they were there, if you weren’t paying attention…..and let’s be honest, most drivers aren’t these days.

Recently however, a ‘counter-protest’ has appeared across the intersection from them. Well within their rights, this protest is an odd smattering of signage for supporting the police, “defending the military” [whatever that means], anti-vaxx, and a mashup of ‘patriot’ slogans.

Now, I don’t consider myself any sort of support of BLM, though unlike most Conservatives, I will readily admit to the largely untaught racist history of policing in this country. But the BLM folks seem decent enough and end their vigil at 1100 am with a prayer.

The counter-protest…….are not that. A small group of screeching and obnoxious [also white] folks who spend their morning literally screaming across the road….often just repeating the same phrase over and over….and over and over again, until their voices start to give out. They also cross the road frequently to i guess intimidate the BLM folks? There is a police officer resent at these events, that I don’t believe was found to be necessary prior to the counter-protest.

I find this tactic odd. Ostensibly, the goal of a protest is to raise awareness and convert folks to your position on a issue. Now, one can argue that a protest is likely to generally appeal only to those who already hold said position and it;’s all really a waste of time. I wouldn’t argue with that.

But, if your undecided/uninformed on an issue, and were observing both protests….which tactic would cause you to learn more, or speak to the protestors?

I believe that I suffer from a militant practicality, so I’m handicapped in the ways of social norms and peculiarities….but I don’t see the value in acting like an asshole. But that’s certainly where a particular political demographic finds itself.

Seems a Simple Idea…..

What’s the solution to this “culture war” between the 1619ers and the 1776ers? I’m a historian, and I’ve taught U.S. history. The solution is easy. You teach both. America is a land of contradictions. Any U.S. historian worth her salt is going to talk about genocide and the Native Americans; is going to talk about the violent and bitter legacies of slavery; and is also going to talk about the ideals and idealism of the founders, however imperfectly they put them into practice, and the promise of the Constitution and the spirit of liberty. To ignore slavery while singing the praises of the founders would be as flawed and one-sided as focusing entirely on slavery without ever mentioning the proud achievements of those same founders.

America is a complex and contradictory place — and any historian is going to address those complexities and contradictions because that’s precisely what makes history interesting, fascinating, enthralling. Few students want to be comforted by feel-good history or assaulted by feel-bad history. They want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly, and historians should be able to teach the same. There’s simply no need for a culture war here over the content of history.

I said there’s no need, but that doesn’t mean a culture war isn’t wanted. Polemicists love culture wars, and so too do the already privileged and the powerful. For if we’re fighting each other, if we perceive we’re divided and simply can’t find common ground, we’ll forget we have so much in common, like our desire for a living wage, affordable health care, and politicians who’d actually represent us instead of the special interests.

Bracing Views

My pessimism won’t allow mew to think this will ever come to pass. Too many people are emotionally invested.

An Enduring Quote

That will fall on the deaf ears, of sycophants of both parties…..

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

  • Theodore Roosevelt, May 1918

A Monumental Idea….for Monuments

From J.D. Tuccille at Reason:

We should celebrate our fandom on our own dime, and on our own property.

What all of these statues had in common is that they offended members of the public at a time when everything is up for grabs and Americans agree on exactly nothing, including the proper balance of virtues and flaws in fallible human beings. The majority of statues torn down were erected at taxpayers’ expense, maintained on land paid for with money extracted from everybody’s pockets, and offended (rightly or wrongly) people who resent being represented by them.

Less controversial has been the decision by the American Museum of Natural History to remove a statue of Teddy Roosevelt from its front entrance. While the statue is officially on public land, it clearly is intended as part of the museum and is seen as such. The museum is a private entity and is no longer comfortable with the way the statue represents the organizationa decision it has the right to make.

Much the same is true of the statue in Seattle of Vladimir Lenin, the communist dictator of the Soviet Union. While Lenin was a totalitarian and a thug, the statue is located (hilariously, given the subject’s militant socialism) on private property, leaving its fate in the hands of its owners.

And that, in an age in which there are few shared values or heroes, is the best way to deal with monuments. We no longer agreeif we ever didon which qualities should be celebrated and what failings should be overlooked. We’re increasingly vocal about such disagreements, to the point that people are willing to tear down statues that offend them, and any future images are bound to cause more offense.

A statue on private property, erected with funds only from supporters, dragoons no unwilling parties into the message it expresses. Nobody need feel that they’re being forced to share in the celebration of people or ideals they oppose. A private construction can be left up as long as it pleases the owners or pulled down at their whim. And anybody who damages or destroys the monument without permission is an obvious vandal, subject to appropriate punishment.

The Monopoly of Violence

An article from December 2012, from Gary North that continues to have resonance and applicability as I witness the ongoing usurpation of Individual Rights here in my adopted state of Virginia….as the newly emboldened Leftists seek to confer Rights and privileges of a Citizen on illegal aliens, and to transform the law abiding into felons overnight.

Symbols are important. A citizen who has the right to keep and bear arms, even though he is not planning to join the state militia, which is in fact an arm of the federal government, understands that he possesses a degree of sovereignty that is not possessed by citizens in nations that prohibit widespread firearm ownership. He understands that he is in a unique situation. He still has the fundamental marks of political sovereignty, namely, firearms. His firearms testify to the fact that the central government does not yet feel sufficiently confident to confiscate his firearms in the name of the central government’s exclusive monopoly of violence. His firearms testify to the fact that he is still a citizen, and that he still possesses rights that politicians and bureaucrats cannot legally overturn.

The reason why gun control advocates want this right overturned is because they are in favor of centralized political control. They believe that their class, namely, the intellectual class, is in control of the agencies of civil government. For the most part, this assumption is correct. They assume that their class, and only their class, has the wisdom to allocate weapons. They believe that their class alone possesses the right to determine which citizen has access to weapons, under which circumstances, and for how long.

In effect, the gun-control advocate is rather like a medieval knight in the 15th century. He resents the fact that weapons are becoming cheaper, and that the common man who joins the Army becomes a threat to his social class, and therefore to his social standing. He resents the fact that his weapons no longer give him a monopoly of violence. Weapons have come onto the market, and these weapons can be used effectively by commoners who do not spend decades of training in their use.

And his conclusion, that I not only foresee coming to pass…but welcome…….

I believe we are coming close to the end of the nation-state as we have known it for the past 500 years. I believe that the military historian, Martin van Creveld, is correct. The central governments are running out of solvency, and their ability to provide protection against crime and also provide retirement benefits for the mass of humanity, is in decline.

Over the next half-century, and perhaps even less, politicians are going to realize that they can no longer protect citizens against armed criminals locally, and they cannot afford to support their aging populations. At that point, there will be a transfer of legitimacy back in the direction of local civil government. Local civil governments will rest heavily upon armed citizens who are in a position to be deputized.

So, I expect a greater decentralization. This decentralization will take place most rapidly in societies where citizens have never surrendered their right to keep and bear arms. This is why I think the United States is the most likely nation to be the working model for this process of decentralization.

Link – In Defense of the Second Amendment

On Veterans Day

cute

Another year gone by, and our longest war still carries on….with no end, or solution in sight. And crass patriotism continues to be consumed like pornographic pablum by a society that knows this day, as a day off from work and mattress sales….

This Veterans Day, remember not only those who wore the uniform…but also those with a fur coat. No truer comrade than ‘man’s best friend’.

If you have the opportunity, find a WWII veteran, and introduce yourself and especially your children. As we commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of 1918…we do so with no living witness to that carnage. The day will come very soon, where we say the same when we observe V-E and V-J days.

 

photo h/t: https://maddmedic.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/dog-days-766/

 

The End of an Era

As a former Army Pathfinder, this hits close to home…I’m sad to see the capability and tradition officially case it’s colors.

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Capt. Steven J. Orbon, the commander of F Company, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and Herbst, the company first sergeant, cased the unit guidon as a final act for the 82nd Airborne Division’s pathfinder company.

“For many, today is a sad one,” Orbon said to an audience that included family, friends and veteran pathfinders whose service dated to 1957.

The deactivation was part of a larger Army transformation that saw other pathfinder units shutter last year and also marked the end of other small and specialized units known as long-range surveillance companies. But it won’t end the pathfinder story, the captain said.

“It is simply the closing of a chapter,” Orbon said.

The company included paratroopers as well as rangers, jumpmasters and experts in fast-rope insertions and extractions, he said. Among their ranks they counted expert rappellers, climbers, scuba divers, medics, snipers, switchblade operators and the 82nd Airborne combatives champion.

Read the rest here….