Who Are the Commissioners?

If you read English naval history, you are sure to run into a reference to The Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral.  Your first reaction is likely to be something like, “Huh?  WTF?  Why couldn’t the Lord High Admiral execute the duties of his own office?  Lazy, much?”

The way it worked, as I understand it, was like this:

–Some of the time, there was no Lord High Admiral.  Hence, it was the duty of the Commissioners to do what a Lord High Admiral would/should have done if such an individual had existed.

–At other times, there was indeed a Lord High Admiral, but his role was purely ceremonial, and the Commissioners were the ones who actually performed the duties of the office.

–And at still other times, there was indeed a Lord High Admiral who did the admiral-type work.  I’m not sure whether in these cases, the Commissioners were still there to serve as assistants, or whether the Commission was temporarily suspended during the tenure of such admirals.

It strikes me that there is a certain parallel with the current situation in the US vis-a-vis Joe Biden.  One key difference being that the English people knew who the Commissioners of the Admiralty were.  Yet while it is clear that Biden is getting a significant degree of direction and ‘help’ in executing the duties of his office, we in America today don’t have a good understanding of who these helpers/directors might be.

I don’t think there’s anything like a formal  “cabal” for telling Joe Biden what to do.”  Much more likely, we have a loosely-coupled set of influencers, with power even greater–much greater–than typical of a president’s inner circle.  Who are these people?  Barack Obama, certainly, and many members of the Obama administration: there is some truth to the statement that the Biden administration has really been the third Obama administration.   Doctor Jill Biden, playing the role of Edith Wilson.  Ron Klain.  Susan Rice.  We can only guess who else, because the influencers are not a formal organization from whom transparency can be demanded. It is clear also that Biden is greatly influenced by prominent media figures and academics–clearly, he believes that it is very important to stand in well with the Ivy League:

“Lemme tell you something,” Mr. Biden says, with a clenched jaw. “There’s a river of power that flows through this country. . . . Some people—most people—don’t even know the river is there. But it’s there. Some people know about the river, but they can’t get in . . . they only stand at the edge. And some people, a few, get to swim in the river. All the time. They get to swim their whole lives . . . in the river of power. And that river flows from the Ivy League.

Like many social climbers, Biden also cares a lot about what ‘Europeans’ think.

Another major difference between our present situation and that of the administration of the Royal Navy:  Although the damage that the Commissioners of the Admiralty could do though mistaken decisions was quite substantial–ships sunk, sailors lost, colonial possessions lost, possibly in the worst case an invasion of England itself–there was no danger that a bad decision on their part would destroy the entire world.  That is not the case with the potential damage that could be done by bad advice from out present ‘Commissioners’

Last month marked the 60st anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  It is now pretty clear that…despite the previous claims of some of the involved individuals…JFK stood almost alone against the advice of his advisors–including his brother Bobby–who insisted on air strikes and/or an invasion of Cuba. (See The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory, by Sheldon Stern, which makes extensive use of the now-declassified secret White House recordings)  It is also pretty clear that the advisor-recommended reactions would have led to a very bad outcome, quite possibly including general nuclear war.

What are the odds that Biden would stand strongly against the almost-unanimous view of his advisors in a similar situation? I’d say it is pretty low.

Regarding the influence of Obama, @wrtechardthecat wrote at X:

Like the dead hand of an ancient curse, Obama‘s vision, based on a now vanished world, will wreak a path of ruin until it finally collapses on the shambles of all it sought to transform…The once unipolar world is fractured — and is still fracturing — along two lines: the line of Great Powers, Russia, the West and China; and the line of civilizations, Islam and the West. Biden, now over 80, cannot hope to retrieve things in an Obama fourth term…

In less than two years, Biden and his ‘Commissioners’ have done tremendous damage to the United States and the world.  It is hard to imagine that any future Democratic administration would not also be heavily subject to the influence of Obama and the other ‘commissioners’ I mentioned above, leaving aside only Doctor Jill Biden.  The best hope of minimizing this damage lies in the potential for a Republican House and and Republican Senate.  True, many of the candidates are not what we would wish.  But ‘the best is the enemy of the good’, and the issue of the moment is not establishing ideal policies but rather avoiding multiple catastrophes.


See also:  Commissioner Doctor Jill Biden

Racial Meditation

For me, the very first – although not the most momentous disappointment in the accumulated collection racked up throughout the Obama administration – was the realization that there would be no line drawn under the old bug-bear of racism with regard to those of us – as a friend of mine during my assignment to Greenland in the early 1980s put it – with the year-round dark tan. Yes, said friend was black, Afro-American, a person of color, or whatever the approved term is these days. (You kids, get off my lawn! Oh … I don’t have a lawn.) My friend was a totally middle-class young woman, the daughter of professionals, who like me, had grown up without ever personally observing much in-your-face unmistakable racial antagonism or prejudice. It was merely something that had happened to other people, a fair number of decades ago; at worst howlingly illegal, at best, rude. We were in the habit of walking together every Saturday, around the end of the Sondrestrom AB runway to the Danish side of the base, there to enjoy a cup of tea and a pastry in the SAS air terminal cafeteria.

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A Fine Friday Miscellany

Ah, the stupidities come so thick and fast of late. It’s like the rain here in Texas, which has been pouring down with such intensity over the last few days that all the usual low-water flood-danger locations have been – as any fool could easily predict – flooded and closed to vehicle traffic. It rained so hard on Thursday morning that for the first time in ages, we skipped walking the dogs. Looked out at the flooded street, the flooded front walkway, rain coming down sideways, and the sky so dark that it looked like twilight already; nope – not even the dogs were keen, especially Nemo the Terrier-God-Knows-What, who loathes and despises water with a wholly undoglike passion.

But social and political stupidities – what a rich buffet was laid before us this week, even apart from the gross stupidity of deciding that the ostensible civil rights and good-will of what may be .03% of the general population – that miniscule transgender portion of it – supersedes the rights of women and girls in a public restroom/locker/changing room to be certain they are not being letched on by a perv who has twigged to the fact that if he only declares that he feels female on that particular day that no one will want to firmly escort his perverted ass out of said safe space. Yes, the Kennedy Administration vowed to put a man on the moon, the Obama Administration has put a man in the Ladies’ Room and damned if the pervy wretch isn’t insisting that he has a perfect right to be there. Progress, y’all. While the perv element may have witless friends in the form of various celebrities ostentatiously declaring that they won’t be performing in *insert the location here* because hate/failure-to-socially-advance/toleration-eleventy!! I am brought to wonder if their concerts were significantly less than sold-out, and this is a handy means of cancelling an event and putting a convenient cover over the economic failure of it all. And I am also reminded of the way that mobs came out to eat at Chick-fil-A, in response to an announced boycott because the gaystapo getting all (you should pardon the expression) butt-hurt over the Chick-Fil-A CEO mildly expressing personal support for traditional marriage.

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You are alone when trouble comes.

ISIS shooter

The saying is “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

I have a gun in my bedside table but do not carry one when I go out. At one time, about the time of the Rodney King riots, I had to go to LA to give a lecture and I put a gun in my car center console. This week I am thinking about terrorism and whether we will see an example next weekend.

Richard Fernandez has more to say about this today and, as usual, what he says is worthwhile. The photo above is of the ISIS murderer at Tunisia where he killed 30 people, all tourists, and walked along as though he was out for a stroll.


The staff of the hotel wash the blood from the site of the massacre.

Why did this happen ? Aside from the foolishness of British tourists going to a country where there was another attack recently. A previous attack killed 19 in March.

One commenter wondered what Someone was doing while this ‘tragedy’ occurred. “How come there was an alarm raised, carrying that machine gun, it was obvious to the onlookers in the picture. Somebody could have prevented another tragedy in the name of this perverse and ancient religion.”

Yes, where was that Someone ?

The West is filled with millions of people like Alex, all of them waiting for Someone.

Alex, a 23-year-old Sunday school teacher and babysitter, was trembling with excitement the day she told her Twitter followers that she had converted to Islam.

For months, she had been growing closer to a new group of friends online — the most attentive she had ever had — who were teaching her what it meant to be a Muslim. Increasingly, they were telling her about the Islamic State and how the group was building a homeland in Syria and Iraq where the holy could live according to God’s law.They are the product of a multi-decade campaign to deliberately empty people of their culture; to actually make them ashamed of it. They were purposely drained of God, country, family like chickens so they could be stuffed with the latest narrative of the progressive meme machine. The Gramscian idea was to produce a blank slate upon which the Marxist narrative could be written.

She is looking for Someone.

Too bad for the Gramscians that the Islamists are beating them to the empty sheets of paper. And they are better at it too.

George Orwell observed the takeover of hardcore Bolshevism by the periphery in the 1930s.

The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

This is so typical of the gay marriage crowd who ignore the world while focusing on minutiae.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration ignores ISIS hostages.

The White House did not do enough to rescue the four Americans. During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release.During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release. And though the White House finally authorized an extraction attempt in late June 2014, it waited far too long to do so.

Whether this is a good idea is another matter but the Administration is doing nothing and worse than nothing,

The FBI was useless. Its tasks were alternately to extract information and to comfort the family. It never shared intelligence. One European hostage, who was incarcerated with the Americans and subsequently released, told me he was shocked that the FBI seemed more interested in gathering evidence to prosecute the hostage-takers than it was in locating the Americans. Our lead agent misled me on several occasions,

Fernandez’ advice is simple.

That Someone’s busy with transfat, transgender and alternative marriage issues. He can’t bother with protecting borders. Just leave your number and the time you called, and he’ll get back to you. The state has finally achieved both universal jurisdiction and total impotence at one and the same moment.

What is to be done? The first task is to start gathering a circle of friends who live within walking distance of your home. Four people — a handyman, a nurse or doctor, an ex-cop or soldier and a strongback for preference — will do. Your second task is to support the causes you care about. Volunteer at your church or club. If you have no club, start one. Donate to your favorite website. If you don’t have a favorite, find one or go online yourself. Buy the book of an author you admire. And switch off the damned telescreen.

I am not into conspiracy theories. I don’t think Obama wants to take our guns away to leave us helpless in the face of terrorists. On the other hand, what would he doing differently if that was what he wanted ?

Those whom the gods would destroy…

Does Barack Obama know what he is doing ? There is room for doubt. In foreign affairs he seems to be over his head. In domestic policy, he seems to be accomplishing what he wants to do. Hugh Hewitt asked former Vice President Dick Cheney his opinion.

Cheney said, “I vacillate between the various theories I’ve heard. If you had somebody who, as president — who wanted to take America down. Who wanted to fundamentally weaken our position in the world, reduce our capacity to influence events. Turn our back on our allies and encourage our enemies, it would look exactly like what Barack Obama is doing. I think his actions are constituted in my mind are those of the worst president we’ve ever had.”

Cheney has been involved in American government since Ford was president and knows a thing or two. What to make of Obama ?

The military correspondent of the Times of Israel has learned a few things since he supported Obama in 2008. Obama benefited from many people who saw him as a symbol and ignored his background and opaque record.

I noted, Bush, with his love of Zion, had been a disaster, inadvertently empowering Iran. Obama, with his cool detachment, was just what we needed.

Lastly, I encouraged her [his sister] to vote Democrat, now, before her Alex P. Keaton-like eldest got the right to vote and cancelled her out.

And she did (I think, maybe). She even wrote to me about the beauty of that cold January day in 2009 when he was sworn into office.

He was encouraging his sister to vote for Obama with the usual arguments made by intelligent people who believed Obama would be a good president. I never bought that argument. I knew the story of where he came from.

Then, reality began to creep in.

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