"The ultimate determinate in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas - a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated."― Ronald Reagan

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4, 1776

So today America celebrates its independence from Great Britain, encapsulated in that brilliant document written by old slave-holding heterosexual (as far as we know) white guys.  Yes, the snark is out early today....my PC meter is set to low.

The Declaration of Independence is rightly studied or was until Common Core came along, as one of the basic documents of our country's philosophy and system of government...at least until January 20, 2009 (the beginning of American history for most progressive libs) when we seemed to have elected a powdered-wig toting, lederhosen wearing monarch.  You know...this guy....who seems to think that he has the 21st century equivalent of a quill pen, town cryer and guillotine and don't need no stinkin' input from the peasants on what's good for them...HE will tell you what's good for you.  But our Founders, wise old white guys that they were, anticipated this sort of Chicago city politics type of gangsterism when they wrote this prophetic document:

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's us, by the way...not the enviro-whackos, abortion jihadis, or redistributionist commies) --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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security (wow, does this sort of sound like the last six years of the Obama Administration?  abuses from the IRS, EPA, etc....usurpations like recess appointments, executive actions, and stroke of the pen/law of the land type of thing)
 But it gets better.  Our Founding Fathers included many lawyers (yea, we'll over look that) and they figured that there should be a good and logical reason to leave the British Empire, which had, after all, done pretty well for the colonies until about 1765 or so.  See how many of these apply to our current Monarch and his minions.

The history of the present King of Great Britain (Chicago Monarch) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.---BAMMO...I have a phone and a pen, anyone?  I mean seriously, how whinny can you be...Congress won't do what I WANT, never mind your totally inability to craft and pass legislation..something even Bill Clinton could do with a Republican Congress....hmmmm.....
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.  (Can anyone say contraception mandate in Obamacare?)
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. (This is the most often quoted and oh so applicable clause from the Declaration...where to begin...the IRS, EPA, OSHA, the general growth of the Federal bureaucracy and its powers over average Americans.)
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.  (Can anyone explain the over militarization of Federal agencies with armed SWAT teams>???)
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (Substitute unbridled invasion of our southern border by Latin American "refugees" seeking not freedom, but free stuff from the progressive liberal Democratic party...what's the difference?  Who knows how many gang-bangers, terrorists, human traffickers, or plan old disease bearing "undocumented" people are soon going to clog our emergency rooms, schools, and streets.)

So what are Americans to do? Well, much like our colonial brethren, we have tried to use the legal system, which amazingly really pisses off the progressive libs, who spent the last 50 years using the courts to gain their agenda which couldn't pass through legislation...(can anyone say Roe vs Wade?)

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
As many pundits have noted, Obama the First has been repeatedly rebuffed by the Supreme Court for executive overreach, but it makes no difference to him, as his recent comments on immigration showed. (useless as they are, but they DO make good political theater and Democratic fund-raising emails)

Hopefully Americans will regain their spirit and put an end to this nonsense.  One would hope that the career politicians among the Democratic party will realize that, unless Obama is truly ready to incite civil war through some extreme overreach of power, he is GONE on January 20, 2017 and they will be left to pick up the pieces.  

As lawyers they should know the power of precedence, and once a Republican with some balls takes over the Oval Office, the power of the Executive pen could pass into hands less willing to support their weird liberal agenda.  Imagine a Republican President using executive order to open ALL federal land to energy production, institute offshore drilling, and begin constructing new refineries.  (AHHHHH....it would be glorious no?)  

Think the loony enviro-whackos might have a problem with that?  But hey, a phone and a pen is a phone and a pen.  Now, sadly, I don't know many Republican politicians with the cajones to defy the spluttering, mouth foaming fury of the legacy Democratic media...but IF it did happen, what logical excuse would the surviving Democrats have?  I know, they don't need no stinkin' logic, but the accumulation of Executive Power is tough to give back...and the amount of power that Obama the First has accumulated would, as many pundits point out, make Nixon blush. 

So, as you enjoy your Independence Day...remember what Ronald Reagan said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Intellectual vacuous state of the left

So, I actually got some sort of response to my post on the complete collapse of the current Administration's Middle East "Foreign Policy"<---I would make stronger air quotes, but I can't.

Democrats lose another war...and this one is more important than their surrender in Vietnam

So here is the mention I got on Twitter:

So, I clicked on the link...a bio piece on Kimberly Kagan, the founder of the Institute for the Study of War, which is an excellent site that offers some outstanding reporting and analysis of military operations in the Middle East.

The problem is...I don't know exactly what point Mr. Averagevoter (average Obama voter maybe) is trying to make?

"Mouthpiece/advisor for war-profiteers?" WTF does that even mean? Apparently he missed the title of my blog--GROUCHY + HISTORIAN. Duh?

I find nothing laughable in the feckless rubble that is America's Middle East foreign policy. But in typically lefty fashion, Obama supporters throw verbal bombs without facts or logic.

Should have expected this, although I did kind of like the "war-profiteers" thing, kind of reminds me of when I was called a "capitalist pig-dog" in SERE school many, many years ago. 

But what exactly is his point? Laughable? What's laughable about the complete collapse of American standing in the world? What's funny about the formation of a caliphate in the middle of the wreckage of Syria and Iraq?  Isn't it a crazy and totally unfunny world when the US is begging IRAN...I mean IRAN for goodness sake to come in and rescue Iraq?  How totally FUBAR is that?  

But, hey, for Obama, that's a feature, not a bug.  Obama never gave a damn about Iraq, anymore than Democrats gave a damn about Vietnam (after LBJ left office, of course) and the only reason he pretends to care is that far too many of those pesky peasants are asking why huge chunks of the Middle East are becoming "terrorist safe havens" when Barry assured us that "Osama was dead and GM is alive," right after 4 Americans were butchered in Benghazi....or as they said in Animal House "Remain CALM!! ALL IS WELL!"

Yes, I used that quote--as far too many morons and poltroons are waking up to their own stupidity and gullibility.

The Billings Gazette apologized on Friday for its 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama for president in an editorial titled “Gazette opinion: Obama earned the low ratings.”
The Gazette said it missed George W. Bush and the “good ol’ days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq.”
AWWWW, poor widdle journalist-numbnuts.  Just now waking up to the fraud you helped elect?  Well SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE, cuz you also helped inflict him for another miserable 4 years...January 21, 2017 can not come fast enough.........

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Today began the 20th Century

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the spark that ultimately set off World War I, the defining event of the 20th Century.  

I am sure there will be speeches, memorials, and even parades...and rightly so...the Great War, as it was known until 1939, pretty much created the bloody century that is still affecting global politics.

There has been a great deal written about the causes of the war, its meaning to European society and the great monarchies it destroyed, and the futility and carnage that the first real industrial war caused.  The debate will probably never end over the ultimate culpability for the war--the Serbian secret society with ties to the Serbian government that harbored the assassination plot , the faltering Austro-Hungarian Empire trying desperately to keep its polyglot peoples together; the expansionist Germans; or the conniving Russians.  

Needless to say, the only thing for sure was that once the mobilization process got started, war was inevitable as the old wisdom of Thucydides kicked in--all human affairs are ultimately driven by fear, honor, and interest.

Der Spiegel has a couple of excellent articles about the war. 

Disaster Centennial: The Disturbing Relevance of World War I

Century of Violence: What World War I Did to the Middle East

Germany seems to be no less interested than any other country in the war, and for good reason. This Grouchy Historian thinks the Germans kind of get a bum rap for starting the war. Personally, I believe if the Austrians had gotten their act together and schwacked the Serbs more quickly, it all would have been over quickly as the rest of Europe tried to avoid getting entangled in another Balkan fiasco.  Or as Otto von Bismarck remarked correctly that the whole region was not worth “the healthy bones of single Pomeranian musketeer.”

 What's interesting is the growing historical body that places more responsibility at the feet of the Russians.  While interesting and revisionist (and I love revisionist history <snort>), the politics and alliances probably made war inevitable after the Austrians declared war on the Serbs, and Germany's invasion of Belgium, although militarily considered necessary, was a diplomatic blunder of the first order as it made Britain's entrance into the war, still uncertain in early August 1914, inevitable.

Of course there are many comparisons of 2014 to 1914...to see if we have learned anything.  Hmmm, I have my doubts.  Unfortunately for liberal latte Utopians, there is still a large body of people in the world willing and happy to kill you because you do not worship their God (no, I am not talking about Tea Partyers, although the usual suspects at MSNBCBSWAPONYT would think so).  I was, of course, referring to the religion of peace that is currently wreaking havoc in the Middle East and seeking to undo the Sykes-Picot Treaty , one of the more infamous outcomes of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.  There are many other comparisons of China vs the US to Britain vs Germany, all of which are kinda superficial if you ask me.  Unfortunately for the One-Worlders, religion, nationality, and basic tribal instincts still rule man.  Now with nuclear weapons...how awesome is that.

On the flip side, the 100th anniversary will inevitable set off a flood of new scholarship and books (yea!) as Americans seek to understand (hopefully) this often forgotten war and its affects on everything from aviation (the development of airplanes was clearly fostered by war) to the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire, to the rise of Imperial Japan.  

 A couple of my new favorite books are Max Hastings Catastrophe 1914, reviewed here.



Hew Strachan is a definite guru on all things World War I.  I am currently enjoying his revised one volume history which is a wonderful anthology of essays written by many top-notch historians.  It goes into many aspects of the war not covered by a typical military history and looks to provide some excellent new insights.




and a couple on pre-order:


 Was World War I the defining event of the 20th Century?...I think so.  Was it the "war to end all wars?"  Well clearly not..I think the best way to think of it is the 20th century version of a Thirty Years War....a devastating war that destroyed the old world order, ended monarchies, left Germany destroyed, and created a legacy of bloodshed and destruction that Europe is still coming to terms with historically.

 Sir Edmund Grey said it best,

"The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time".