Quote of the Day: Veterans Day 2022

J.E. Dyer:

Americans instinctively know that empires bring more wars, not fewer. Over the centuries, Europeans have had ample opportunity to learn the same lesson, and many still understand it. The surge of so-called “populism” in much of the world today, and not just the West, is largely about not being dragooned into empires, in which taxes and mandates on the people, and each generation’s fighting men, are devoted to the agendas of rulers at some level that can’t be held accountable.
 
[. . .]
 
We don’t fight for abstractions that may bring others unknown to us under the rule of emperors. We fight so that fighting will stop, and we will have homes to go home to when it does. We fight so that the vulnerable and beloved among us can live securely in peace. We fight so that empires cannot prey on us, whether attacking us in our cities and farms or denying us tradeways and travel and interaction with our fellow men. We fight so that self-organizing “tribes,” subject to ideological fits, cannot wage guerrilla war among us.

On the PBS News Hour today or yesterday two American think-tank people discussed the Biden administration’s new enthusiasm for promoting a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine war. (The Biden people now sound like Elon Musk, except that when Musk said it people who usually support Biden called Musk a Putin supporter. Perhaps Biden finds that he can be more flexible now that the elections are over.)

One of the think-tank people, agreeing with the Administration, said that an imperfect negotiated settlement in Ukraine is preferable to the risk of nuclear war. The other think tanker said that, on the contrary, the Ukrainians are winning, and since their cause is just we should help them to reclaim all of their land and win a complete victory. The obvious (unasked) question was, Why should we even consider taking such a risk? We may sympathize with Ukraine and supply them with weapons, but risk a major war? A possible perfect outcome isn’t worth additional fighting, death, unpredictability and geopolitical peril if a muddled-through deal that leaves everyone unhappy but puts a quick stop to the fighting is available.

The Biden people and too many members of Congress have been gratuitously bellicose towards Russia. And of course Biden pulled us out of Afghanistan in a way that could only have encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine. Our leaders have forgotten, or never knew, the first principles to which J.E. Dyer alludes.

Midterms and Mayhem

Abstract: A “red wave” midterm election seems about to occur. Notwithstanding the apparent (relatively) recent precedent of the 1994 midterms, the eight weeks from Tuesday 8 November 2022 to Tuesday 3 January 2023 may become the most challenging period to date in the entire history of the American constitutional order, not excepting the “Secession Winter” following Tuesday 6 November 1860. A broadly similar situation would almost certainly exist if the relative positions of the major political parties in the US were reversed. Even with alarming possibilities in view, this post is intended to promote constructive apprehension, not mere fearfulness.

Like all good students at our eponymous institution, you get the theoretical elements first, then more practical aspects, and falsifiable predictions at the end.

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The Lightning Rod

I am thinking that Professor Emily “Litella” Oster (hat tip to NeoNeocon) did not expect so furious a reaction as she has gotten, by writing this particular article in The Atlantic Magazine. After having done her stalwart best for the Covid Crusade for more than two years – demonizing those who refused to get the vaccination or wear masks everywhere, or see our children locked out of school, or who suggested that ivermectin or chloroquine might alleviate the symptoms – Professor Oster now is suggesting that … really, it was all just a silly misunderstanding, she and her pals just got carried away but they meant well and didn’t know anything for certain, and why can’t we all just all forgive and forget?
To which the instantaneous and outraged reply is – not just no, but hell no. Hell no, with a napalm-degree flaming side order of very personal reasons why not.

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Blackout

A lot of things came together this week – and one of them is the absolute end of my patience and grim toleration/indulgence of certain intellectual trends and racial sub-groups in our society. Curiously, this comes during a period of the mourning for and burial of the late sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, which in combination with some other news elements initiated this particular train of thought. My toleration of certain elements in our society has reached a critical point; to whit, I am done with black racism … and yes, black racism is an existing and very poisonous thing, as much as enablers and perpetuators of that variety of racism deny it, and our National Establishment Media try and sweep it under the rug, denying the very evidence of our lying, racist eyes. Some brutal and egregious rape-murder-kidnapping-assault happens in a city like New York, Memphis, St. Louis, Atlanta, a mass punch-out all-hands brawl in a fast-food restaurant, an amusement park or on a cruise ship, an organized mob loots a retail outlet … if there are no pictures initially of the perpetrators of such outrages against civic good order … well, everybody knows.

Everybody knows.

Everybody knows that an elderly person of white or Asian ancestry is more apt to be knocked out in the street by a male thug of color. Everybody knows that schools in urban black majority areas are snake pits of venomous disorder, places which well-meaning teachers flee. Everybody knows that the Black Lives Matter mass movement set a new land-speed record in going from cause to racket, materially benefiting only the original organizers and their subsequent investment in pricy real estate in upscale neighborhoods. Everybody knows, or at least suspects that reported racist incidents, such as Jussie Smollett, the BYU Volleyball imbroglio, the noose garage pull-down at NASCAR – all ballyhooed in the national media will eventually turn out to be self-aggrandizing fakes. The initial offence is headline news. But the apologetic walk-back is usually reported on page whatever. Huh. Imagine that.

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