Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2018

It’s Independence Day here in the US, in which we celebrate our break with the British Empire. We’re 242 years old and, despite what some sanctimonious Lefty scolds might think, I think we’re doing pretty darned good. We’re not without our problems or faults, but I continue to believe America is exceptional among the nations of the world and that we are indeed a force for good. If you’re looking for some good Independence Day reading, there’s always the Declaration of Independence itself. Think of it as a short ideological summation of who and why we are.

Then there’s the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which function as a citizen’s “owner’s manual.” And yes, to those of you in other countries raising an eyebrow about now, we do tend to place those documents on a pedestal. You have to admit, however, they’ve worked well for over two centuries. How many republics and constitutions has France had in that time?

Gosh, it’s become quiet…. Winking

A lot’s been written around the Web about today, so I’ll spare you my musings. Instead, I want to leave you with something that I think symbolizes the best of the “Spirit of 1776:” new American citizens being sworn in at naturalization ceremonies across the country.

Welcome, fellow Americans! 

Happy 4th of July, folks. Enjoy the hot dogs and fireworks. 

UPDATE: Historian Victor Davis Hanson, as always, puts it better than I:

On this troubled Fourth we still should remember this is not 1776 when
New York was in British hands and Americans in retreat across the
state. It is not 1814 when the British burned Washington and the entire
system of national credit collapsed — or July 4, 1864 when Americans
awoke to news that 8,000 Americans had just been killed at Gettysburg.


We are not in 1932 when unemployment was still over 20 percent of the
work force, and industrial production was less than half of what it had
been just three years earlier, or July, 1942, when tens of thousands of
American were dying in convoys and B-17s, and on islands of the Pacific
in an existential war against Germany, Japan, and Italy.

Thank God it is not mid-summer 1950, when Seoul was overrun and arriving
American troops were overwhelmed by Communist forces as they rushed in
to save a crumbling South Korea. We are not in 1968 when the country
was torn apart by the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin
Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and the riots at the Democratic
convention in Chicago. And we are not even in the waning days of 1979,
a year in which the American embassy was seized in Tehran and hostages
taken, the Soviets were invading Afghanistan, thousands were still
being murdered in Cambodia, Communism was on the march in Central
America, and our president was blaming our near 6-percent unemployment,
8-percent inflation, 15-percent interest rates, and weakening
international profile on our own collective “malaise.”

We live in the most prosperous and most free years of a wonderful
republic, and can easily rectify our present crises that are largely of
our own making and a result of the stupefying effects of our
unprecedented wealth and leisure. Instead of endless recriminations and
self-pity — of anger that our past was merely good rather than perfect
as we now demand — we need to give thanks this Fourth of July to our
ancestors who created our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and suffered
miseries beyond our comprehension as they bequeathed to us most of the
present wealth, leisure, and freedom we take for granted.

Note: This is an updating of a post I made years ago for this holiday.


D-day: storming the castle

June 6, 2018

Seventy-four years ago today, American, British, Canadian, French, and Polish soldiers charged the gates of Hell — and won:

Black Five put up an excellent roundup of D-Day posts from many blogs a few years ago. It’s still worth reviewing. And have a look at this entry for a photo essay on D-Day.

Photo courtesy of Confederate Yankee.

RELATED: The Daily Mail tells the story of one Medal of Honor winner who still wonders how he survived Normandy.

NOTE: This is a reposting of a post I put up every year in honor of Operation Overlord.


Memorial Day weekend, jihad, and the anniversary of a great defeat

May 29, 2018

Memorial Day is a holiday set aside for Americans to honor our servicemen past and present and to remember, if even for a moment, those who gave what Lincoln called that “last full measure of devotion.” But this weekend also reminds us of another war, one far older than the United States, and yet hasn’t ended.

Some people call our current struggle with jihadist Islam “The Long War,” meaning that this fight is expected to go on for years, if not generations.

But it’s a long war in another sense, too, because we of the West been fighting it, through periods active and quiet, since Muhammad first declared as Allah’s command:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Today marks an anniversary in that nearly 1400-years long struggle, the Fall of Constantinople and the end of the last remnant of the Roman Empire:

“Siege of Constantinople,”Jean Chartier c.1475

From Constantinople, the Turks, who had taken the Arabs’ place as leaders of the jihad, would march on into Central Europe, conquering the Balkans and twice besieging magnificent Vienna. This last great surge was stopped at the gates of the city in 1683; after that, Islam went into a long period of quiet that gradually ended in the final decades of the 20th century, until the jihad resumed amidst fire and terror on September 11th, 2001. Where once stood Franks and Greeks and Austrians and Spaniards and Italians, now there stands… us.

Is there a grand lesson in all this? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that people who think this “long war” will end quickly and easily are only fooling themselves. As long as there remains in Islam a compulsion to fight everyone else until they submit:

And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.

…this war will go on.

(Reposted)


Two Heartening Responses to Seattle’s Self-Destructive Tax Grab

May 4, 2018

There’s hope for Seattle, yet.

International Liberty

I wrote last July about how greedy politicians in Seattle, Washington, were trying to impose a local income tax.

That effort has been stymied since there’s anti-income-tax language in the state constitution (Washington is one of nine states without that punitive levy), but that doesn’t mean the city’s tax-and-spend crowd has given up.

There’s a proposal for a new scheme to impose a “head tax” on successful companies.

The top three percent of the high grossing businesses in Seattle will carry the load of Seattle’s proposed employee head tax. Backers are calling it the “Progressive Tax on Business.” The tax will apply only to those companies with $20 million or more annually in taxable gross receipts as measured under the City’s Business and Occupation tax. The city estimates that will be 500 businesses. …the tax is based on total revenues and not net-income. …Councilmember Mike Obrien has been pushing…

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243 years later, the shot heard round the world still echoes

April 19, 2018

(This is a re-posting of something I wrote in 2009, in honor of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. If, however, you want to read an account of the bloodiest battle of that day and its all too human cost, read about the fight at Metonomy.)

I’m a bit red-faced Blushing that it took a British blog to remind me that today is the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, generally regarded as the opening skirmish of the American Revolution. Tory Historian points out that both sides claimed victory, but perhaps I can be forgiven a bit of national pride for arguing that we won on points: the advance column withdrew under fire and was considering surrender when it was rescued by Percy’s brigade. General Gage then found himself besieged in Boston. Flag

Regardless of any “Monday-morning generalship,” it is fitting that the anniversary comes just a few days after the Tax Day Tea Parties, a genuine grassroots movement that organized itself to protest Washington’s mad plans to borrow and spend like drunken sailors on pay day — and, inevitably, to make us pay for it all with ruinous taxation.

In 2009, just as in 1775, popular sentiment erupted to send distant masters a message. Thankfully, this time, shots weren’t needed, but the point was made just the same: Don’t tread on me.

treadflag

To update it for the current day, “President Trump” is what you get when the ruling caste spends years not really listening to people: they were trod upon, and the people bit back.

 


A conversation with Dr. Willie Soon – on polar bears, the sun, and Earth’s climate

April 14, 2018

Dr. Soon is a rare voice for reason in the climate change wars. I think you’ll find this interview worth reading.

Watts Up With That?

Science, Philosophy and Inquiry on a Galactic Scale

Contributed by Grégoire Canlorbe © 2017 Publised at WUWT by request of Mr. Canlorbe.    These are the opinions of the author and interviewee. 

  • Dr. Willie Soon is an independent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has been studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth’s climate for more than a quarter of a century. A short while ago, he had a conversation with Mr. Grégoire Canlorbe, an independent journalist who is also vice president of the French Parti National-Libéral (“National-Liberal Party,” conservative, nationalist, and free-marketist). Here Dr. Soon speaks for himself. 

Canlorbe: You say polar bears are far less endangered by global warming than by environmentalists dreading ice melt. Could you expand?

Dr. Soon: Yes, indeed. I have argued that too much ice will be the ultimate enemy for polar bears. Polar bears need less sea ice to be…

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Markets, Choice, and the Economic Illiteracy of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn

March 5, 2018

And it’s not just Sanders and Corbyn: most of the Left seems to have almost deliberately forgotten basic economics.

International Liberty

Not all leftists are alike.

I speculated a couple of years ago that there were four types of statists and put them on a spectrum. I put “rational leftists” at one end. If you wanted to pick a nation that represents this mindset, think Sweden. Nice, civilized, market-oriented, but plenty of redistribution.

On the other end of the spectrum were three less-palatable types.

  1. The “totalitarians,” which means a dictatorial state-run economy, as represented by the Soviet Union and China.
  2. The “socialists,” a democratically elected form of a state-run economy, as represented by post-WWII United Kingdom.
  3. The “crazies,” which I confess is a catch-all category to capture visceral, unthinking, and punitive intervention.

And for that final category, I listed Bernie Sanders and Greece as representatives.

And if you want to know why I listed Sanders, here’s some of Jeffrey Tucker’s FEE column from 2015.

Bernie Sanders, that sweet old…

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A Martin Luther King quote that should be better remembered

January 15, 2018

Via Jim Geraghty, there’s a quote from Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech that many, many people passionate about so many causes would do well to read and take to heart in the modern era:

“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

Indeed.


Happy New Year, one and all

January 1, 2018

It was a heckuva party last night, wasn’t it?

Happy New Year, folks. May 2018 bring you all you could desire. smiley dance


Merry Christmas, one and all

December 25, 2017

Santa and I wish you a very happy day.


Pearl Harbors then and now

December 7, 2017

In the last surprise attack on American soil before 9/11, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor:

The end of the USS Arizona

(Credit: Aviation History)

My grandfather was a Petty Officer aboard the USS Nevada during the battle. Below are a couple of pictures of his ship under attack, the only battleship to get underway that day:

…and…

Grandpa was having a bad day

(Both photos credit: Naval Historical Center)

As you can see, they had been hit pretty hard. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

Sixteen years ago, we were hit by another fascist enemy, with casualties 25% higher than Pearl Harbor:

(credit: September 11th News)

…and…

(Credit: Aspersions)

…and…

(Scene at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy via Wikimedia)

Our grandfathers finished their job. Let’s not do any less, shall we?

RELATED: The story of Lt. John William Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from Pearl Harbor.

Study: no acceleration in global warming, climate sensitivity to CO2 too high

December 1, 2017

In which science-denying Earth refuses to cooperate and get warmer fast enough for climate alarmists.

Watts Up With That?

New research yields old result: Climate warming slow, steady. Observed value is half that of CMIP5 climate models.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Nov. 29, 2017) — The rate at which Earth’s atmosphere is warming has not significantly accelerated over the past 23 years, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

If you take away the transient cooling in 1983 and 1992 caused by two major volcanic eruptions in the preceding years, the remaining underlying warming trend in the bottom eight kilometers (almost five miles) of the atmosphere was 0.096 C (about 0.17° Fahrenheit) per decade between January 1979 and June 2017.

That was unexpectedly close to the 0.09 C warming trend found when similar research was published in 1994 with only 15 years of data, said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center.

This work might also indirectly affirm recent research showing the…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, folks! Sure, the world seems as if it’s going to hell in a hand-basket at times, but there is still plenty good in our lives, if we just stop to recall them. And if we do that, then we should also remember to be grateful, even as the turkey takes to long to cook or the dog steals something off the table.

Enjoy the day. 


[Video] What the Alt-Right and the Left have in common

October 28, 2017

A lot more than you might think, and a lot more than they have with the traditional American Right:

To put it bluntly, the alt-Right wouldn’t be getting the attention they do these days without opening the door for them through their obsession with identity politics.


Is Trump Right about America Being the “Highest Taxed Nation”?

October 11, 2017

Many of Trump’s policy proposals are good ones, such as lowering the corporate tax rate. Trouble is, with his lack of self-control, he is his own worst enemy.

International Liberty

In my ideal world, we’re having a substantive debate about corporate tax policy, double taxation, marginal tax rates, and fundamental tax reform (plus spending restraint so big tax cuts are feasible).

Sadly, we don’t live in my ideal world (other than my Georgia Bulldogs being undefeated). So instead of a serious discussion about things that matter, there’s a big fight in Washington about the meaning of Donald Trump’s words.

Politico has a report on this silly controversy. Here are some of highlights.

“We are the highest taxed nation in the world,” President Donald Trump has repeated over and over again. …He said it at a White House event last Friday. He’s tweeted it, repeated it in television interviews and declared it at countless rallies. It is his go-to talking point, his favorite line… It is also false — something fact checkers have been pointing out since…

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9-11: George W. Bush and his bullhorn

September 11, 2017

Lots of people have written today about that terrible morning: where they were, what they remember, maybe honoring the victims or the many valiant heroes of the battle and its aftermath. I wondered what I would write. I decided that, rather than focus on the day itself, something others have done much more eloquently than I ever could, I wanted to share video of what has become one of my strongest memories from that time: the moment, when, three days later, George W. Bush stood amidst the smoldering ruins from which the dead were still being recovered and rallied a stunned and bloodied nation:

That was the day a man who won a disputed, contentious election truly became President of the United States of America, and I’ll forever be grateful for him.

Note: this is a reposting of something I wrote for the tenth anniversary. My sentiments haven’t changed in the years since.


Yet another “inconvenient truth” for climate alarmists: the Greenland ice mass is increasing

September 10, 2017

It’s no surprise that the ever more desperate climate alarmists have decided to chase hurricanes this year. The Arctic is not cooperating with the warming, “death spiral” scenarios any longer

“We’re still here!”


A useful retort for those claiming Irma and Harvey hurricanes are a sure sign of ‘climate change’

September 10, 2017

Al Gore was right: the truth is “inconvenient.” Especially for climate hysterics and the charlatans who prey on them.

Watts Up With That?

History can be a pesky thing, facts are stubborn things. There’s lot’s of caterwauling in the left about hurricane Irma on the heels of Harvey, being a sure sign of ‘climate change’ or global warming, or ‘climate disruption’ or something. A couple of days ago, king of the alarmists, Dr. Michael Mann, and his ex NCDC/NCEI toadie Dr. Thomas Peterson (architect of the Karlization of the global temperature record),  penned a ridiculous op-ed in the Washinton Post:

Only in the mind of Mann can such drivel be produced. Mann is not a hurricane expert, he’s also apparently not a scholar of history.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach is both:

So the question for Mann et al. is: what…

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What is the Default Temperature for the Earth?

August 27, 2017

Remember folks: it’s the Sun, not CO2.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The Earth’s atmosphere does not act like a greenhouse. The analogy was partially developed to help students understand the apparent disparity between energy coming in from the sun and leaving the Earth to space. However, its greater value was in creating the global warming deception because it automatically triggered thoughts of increasing artificial heat. The reality is the default temperature for the earth is cold, but the greenhouse analogy has put all the attention on the heat. Partial proof is in the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) addresses only the negative impacts of warming. Climate history shows that for flora and fauna (yes, us) there are many more positive effects for warming than negative effects for cooling.

The eclipse is a good opportunity to re-examine the thinking at the basis of this situation. How much did the temperature drop along the…

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Falling Sea Level: The Critical Factor in 2016 Great Barrier Reef Bleaching!

July 12, 2017

This is a superb rebuttal to the “Great Barrier Reef is dying due to global warming” hysteria.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Jim Steele

Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University and author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

clip_image002

It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.

In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Niño in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reportedthat a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’ Coral Reef Watch’s bleaching thresholds. As discussed by Ampou 2017, the…

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