Saturday, January 28, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Okay Mr. Harper, you’ve made your ritual demonstration of national independence. Hopefully you have the good sense not to be serious. German Prime Minister Prince Otto von Bismarck was once asked what he would do if the British Army invaded Pomerania. Bismarck responded that he would “send a policeman and have it arrested.”
Given the sorry state of the Canadian military, if the Canadians want to play footsie, possibly we could take a leaf from Bismarck’s book and get away with sending a harbor police launch. On second thought, if all this interest in the frozen tundra resulted in the Canadians getting serious and rebuilding their military, we could sure use some help elsewhere.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
. . . I feel no hostility to you, Senators from the North. I am sure there is not one of you, whatever sharp discussion there may have been between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well: and such, I am sure, is the feeling of the people whom I represent towards those whom you represent. I therefore feel that I but express their desire when I say I hope, and they hope, for peaceful relations with you, though we must part. . .The reverse may bring disaster on every portion of the country; and if you will have it thus, we will invoke the God of our fathers, who delivered them from the power of the lion, to protect us from the ravages of the bear; and thus, putting our trust in God and in our own firm hearts and strong arms, we will vindicate the right as best we may.
Jefferson Davis, Farewell Address to the U.S. Senate, 21 January 1861. (From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Vol. 7: 1861, LSU Press, 1992).
With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my handagainst my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State. . .I hope I may never be called upon to draw my sword.
Robert E. Lee, to his sister, Anne Marshall, 20 April 1861. (From The Wartime Papers of Robert E. Lee, Clifford Dowdey, Ed., Da Capo, 1987).
We are told this is all for the best, but it doesn’t mean some of us have to like it. The names of Lee, Davis and legions of others who gave all they had for Southern independence, whose names would be household words, the Washingtons and Decaturs of a new country -- had they but won -- are becoming obscure to non-historians, except inasmuch as they serve the purposes of modern politicians and shills for various causes who promote their agendas by damning the memory of the dead.
Yes, the war was partly about slavery, and the end of that beastly institution was an unmitigated blessing. Yes, scum have stolen their flag and cloaked their racist fantasies in its folds. But that’s not the whole truth, any more than the War for American Independence (proper name of the Revolution) was all about a tax on tea.The 258,000 southerners who died for the independence of the Confederate States, and their comrades who survived the war to rebuild their broken civilization, are long beyond caring, and don’t require our approval or justification for their sacrifices. As so many said at the time, they believed they were taking up arms for the most worthy cause imaginable -- protection of their homes from hostile invasion, and to vindicate the same principle Americans died for in 1776: the idea that government should rest on the consent of the governed.
Americans not connected with the military in some way have largely experienced war a tragedy that happens in other places. Not so the War for Southern Independence (proper name for the Civil War), which was fought mostly in – and devastated – the American south. Despite the efforts and sacrifices of so many, Confederate soldiers were unable to successfully defend their country. American cities and fields became battlegrounds, and armies moved and camped in what are sometimes literally our backyards. American homes were plundered by soldiers speaking the same language, and often the same dialect, and American women and children became refugees. Some places never recovered. It’s hard to believe that Mississippi was once considered rich. When all was over, the dust settled, and the pain and shouting became but a memory; America was the better for the end of slavery, but when the Federal Government forced its yoke at gunpoint on those who did not want it, America lost something precious also.
Thankfully those days are past, but they are not totally forgotten. We of course remember the victors: Mr. Lincoln has a memorial in Washington, but his real monument is the country and world we now inhabit. But some of us remember others too…Lee, Davis, Micah Jenkins, Johnston Pettigrew, Cleburne, Jackson, Raphael Semmes, Maxcy Gregg, Thomas R.R. Cobb, thousands of others long dead. To borrow Mr. Khrushchev’s memorable phrase, these will not be forgotten, by some of us, until shrimp learn to sing.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Mayor also says that “…[i]t’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans – the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans….This city will be a majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. . .” It’s a good thing Mayor Nagan’s got a direct line to the Almighty, to tell us these things. In the same speech, the Mayor graduated from religion to séances, moving on to hold an imaginary conversation with Martin Luther King.
I don’t know if New Orleans will be Chocolate the way Mayor Nagan says he wants. Hopefully, it’s more Cookies and Cream. Unfortunately, if the good mayor keeps running his mouth, it’s more likely to be Rocky Road.
Meanwhile, putative Democratic Presidential candidate and current US Senator Hillary Clinton, besides running for President and serving in the US Senate from New York, is also an expert on the US House of Representatives, stating that this body has been “…run like a plantation and you know what I’m talking about…”
No, in fact I don’t know what she’s talking about. Senator Clinton couldn’t possibly have been using loaded words like “plantation” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day while speaking to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network for political advantage ? She wouldn't !
Would she ?
Despite his (then) junior rank, Spears had tremendous influence: his credibility with both the British and French high commands doing much to insure these allies cooperated, after a fashion, in the early days of the war. Spears continued, in one position or another, as a liaison officer between British and French high commands throughout the First World War; ending it as cabinet liaison between the French and British war cabinets. During all this activity, he was wounded four times, mentioned in dispatches, and found time to marry an American heiress.
Spears, a great friend and supporter of Sir Winston Churchill, played a similar role in the Second World War, serving for a time as the go-between between the Churchill government and DeGaulle’s Free French.
Spears, fortunately, was a superb writer. Liaison, 1914, is his account of the opening campaign of World War I. I will have a fuller review later, perhaps, but if you are at all interested in this period, or in military history, take my word for it you should beg, borrow or steal a copy.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Just as in the past we lefties stood against Fascism, for jobs, civil rights for minorities, for diversity, inclusion, tolerance and peace, the Left -- and its Democratic Party -- today carry on the fight for equally important goals: abortion, for campaign finance reform to silence those pesky blogs and for defea, --- oops, I mean withdrawal from Iraq.
Maybe Borking Alito is not really the answer we need. Even if we kept Alito off the court, and forced Evil Emperor Bush to go back to his Corpo Trade Federation Fat Cat backers and ask them for another robot, it doesn’t solve the underlying problem of what to do about America – always throwing its weight around in the world; not falling in with Europe’s plans for socialism and peace; raping the world’s resources and causing imperialist wars.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
It's time, said this thought, for El Jefe to indulge an occasional urge, an inner yearning as it were, or some kind of liberal sounding thing. Time to El Jefe to just open up, emote and let his Inner Chomsky roar. Gonna get out the bong; the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young records; the "McGovern for President" buttons; find the tie-die shirts; avoid a bath, and put on the birkenstocks...
By Imperial Decree, Friday the 13th is hereby proclaimed the first annual, or semi-annual or whatever "Moonbat Friday." For Moonbat Friday, (ONLY), a kinder, gentler, truly anti-imperialist/moonbat, lefty wacko freak "Progressive" El Jefe will make an appearance. Friday, rationality's out the door. "Feelings" and PC are in. So get out your Che posters, be ready to show solidarity with our Gitmo brothers and sing the Internationale, (Billy Bragg's lyrics), and lets paint Amerika red !
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
(No. 1, Part 1).
Price, gallon of Regular Unleaded, Valero, Bellaire Boulevard, Houston: $2.27 per gallon.
Price of a 12 pack Bud Light (calls itself beer), Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston): .59 cents an ounce ($16.99 per twelve pack).
Price of Gruyere Cheese, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $14.99 per pound.
Price of Parmigiano-Reggiano.Cheese, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $19.99 per pound.
Sirloin Steak, roger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston, $6.99 per pound.
Rib-Eye Steak:, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston, $9.99 per pound.
Mrs. Baird’s Large White Sandwich (thing called bread): $1.69 per loaf.
Red Leaf Lettuce, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $1.99 per head.
Red Tomatoes: Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $1.79 per pound,
Fish Eye Pinot Grigo 2004 white wine), Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $799 per 750 ML bottle.
Yellow Tail Shiraz 2004 (red wine), Spec’s Houston : $6.99 per 750 ML bottle.
Santa Rita Merlot 2004 (red wine), Spec’s Houston: $5.22 per 750 ML bottle.
St Clement Chardonnay 2004 (white wine), Spec’s Houston: $15.78 per 750 ML bottle.
Veuve Cliquot, Champagne, Spec’s Houston: $35.78, per 750 ML bottle.
Special K cereal, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $4.39 per 18 oz box.
Tidy Cats Cat Litter, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $2.39, per 10 pound bag.
Price of a Big Mac (no cheese), McDonalds, Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas: $2.29.
Pages in the March 2003 Houston Southwestern Bell Residential Pages (Listings for Houston only), 2208.
US Dollar to European Union Euro(, 9 January): $1.00 = E0.82.
US Dollar to Canadian Dollar(9 January): $1.00 = Can $1.16.78.
US Dollar to UK Pound (9 January): $1.00 = L.5664.
US Dollar to Swiss Franc (9 January): $1.00 = F 1.2768.
Monday, January 9, 2006
Big news out of Iran. The commander of the Ground Forces of the Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Islami, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, (IRGC), General Ahmed Kazemi, has apparently been killed in a plane crash. Dead with General Kazemi are the IGRC Director of Intelligence, the IGRC Director of Operations, the IGRC staff artillery commander and an IGRC Infantry Division commander, plus some aides.
...if you compare the frequency and prominence of current and ex-IRGC members in the current government to clerics you'll see that Iran looks less like a theocracy and more and more like a traditional military junta.
Saturday, January 7, 2006
Thursday, January 5, 2006
What a curse to live in such times, among such people ! I hope Mr. Robertson is misquoted. I do not altogether approve of him, but despite my disagreements with aspects of his politics, I have thought, generally, that he meant well. But how classless ! Prime Minister Sharon is dying, and whatever he did in this life, (which I will comment on at another time), and whatever offenses he gave to others, will be judged and weighted at another place, by another One whose judgments are true and righteous altogether. What are the theories and suppositions of a parson; or the deluded rantings of a slavering demagogue, next to that ?
Chivalry indeed seems dead. But one cannot expect nobility out of montebanks, who are what passes for leaders and exemplars in the modern world. How can there be peace, ever, without decency ? I can only remember what Confederate States President Jefferson Davis (someone whom I deeply admire) said about the death of his most formidable enemy, United States President Ulysses S. Grant. President Davis had every reason to despise President Grant, to hate him, to revel in Grant’s slow, agonizing painful death by cancer of the throat. Whatever his private thoughts, President Davis had the decency and the humanity to keep any such thoughts private. When asked about Grant’s sufferings, President Davis said: “General Grant is dying. . . Instead of seeking to disturb the quiet of his closing hours, I would, if it were in my power, contribute to the peace of his mind and the comfort of his body.” Christ enjoined us to forgive our enemies. Could anybody do better than that ?
What can you make of people who are so dead to honor that they would say such things ? I can accept that some do not like Prime Minister Sharon, but let the man die in peace !
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Okay, the Iranian mullahs have or are getting a nuke, they want to build a missile and every day they come up with new threats and vaporings about the Great Satan, Israel, or whoever they want to wipe off the map this week.
Meanwhile, Bolivia has just sworn a Coca farmer in as President, who promises to clamp down on the drug trade. Uh huh, just like wheat farmers are into low carb diets. Meanwhile, Pres. Coca Farmer wants to join Nutjob Chavez and Fuhrer Fidel in an "Axis of Good" to counter what he calls a US led "Axis of Evil." Evidently the "Axis of Good" term is coinage of Dictator Chavez, and that's seriously what they call it -- an "axis."
Leaving aside the nuttyness, has anybody told these guys about the history of the term "axis?" Maybe about its first users 60 years back ? Okay, okay, El Jefe admits he'd like to see Chavez and Fidel wind up at the gas-station trussed-up like Signor Mussolini, but just from the marketing point of view, El Jefe suggests that the Three Stooges are getting some bad brand-naming advice.
While Persian and Latin nutbars want to spin the world off on wacko axes, all Washington can talk about is how shocked, shocked everyone is that our security apparatus might want to tap into communications between the US and abroad. Almost like they're worried wackjobs might want to blow us up or something ?
More comment on all this in due time. For some weird reason, people expect El Jefe to hold down a job.
Meanwhile, something of far, far bigger import than Mullahs with Nukes, or Sawdust Caesars ordering their white horses...
Drudge has a headline, lead-in or whatever, today: "Lindsay Lohan VANITY FAIR Confessional: The Drugs, the Eating Disorder, The Breakdown, The BreakUps, the Compulsive Spending...Stress...Showbiz Spiral..." Bet there aren't any Google searches today for Lindsay Lohan. Bet nobody ruins their mouse trying to bring this story up. No image searches on Ms. Lohan either. Sure. Do you think Vanity Fair wants to rack up some serious sales ? Makes El Jefe want to go out and buy Vanity Fair NOW, NOW, NOW. And just for the articles.