President Signs Executive Order Abolishing Critical Race Theory | Christopher F. Rufo

How Much Is the White House Worth? | Barron's

The President has issued a full Executive Order abolishing critical race theory from the federal government, the military, and all federal contractors.

Source: President Signs Executive Order Abolishing Critical Race Theory – Christopher F. Rufo

Alas, malign ideologies are not so easily abolished – but ceasing Federal funding of them, and putting the Federal government on record as being opposed, is a valuable step in the right direction!

“The President has issued a full Executive Order abolishing critical race theory from the federal government, the military, and all federal contractors. The president has effectively declared war on critical race theory—and extended the battlefield to all of our major institutions.

To begin, the president explains that our nation was founded on the ideal that ‘all men are created equal’ and denounces critical race theory’s ‘pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.’

The President writes that the ‘malign ideology’ of critical race theory ‘is now migrating from the fringes of American society and threatens to infect core institutions of country.’ […]

“The President’s executive order is nothing short of astonishing: he has used all of the mechanisms of power to destroy the anti-American ideology of critical race theory—and immediately takes the fight to the bureaucracy, woke corporations, and universities. He is playing to win.”

Thank you, Mr. President.

The Myth of Social Justice | Chalcedon Report

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“We must realize that the popular phrase ‘social justice’ is not merely a variant of justice—like civil justice or criminal justice. It is not the kind of justice one obtains when one’s property has been damaged. Or the kind of justice one sees when a robber is sent to jail.

“Social justice has nothing to do with justice as we know it. It represents a break with the Hebrew-Christian tradition of our ancestors and the rule of law.”

Source: The Myth of Social Justice | Chalcedon Report

And for that matter, with the tradition of Classical antiquity: with the Greco-Roman tradition of law and justice; and even with the tribal laws and codes of justice of our Celtic and Germanic ancestors, which were nothing if not pragmatic and rooted in tradition.

This superb essay dates to 1988, but it is as relevant now as it was then – indeed, even more so. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

Excerpts:

“Traditional justice assumes a fallen, and permanently imperfect world where law is needed in order to encourage virtue and limit vice. For this reason, traditional justice relies on moral structures: family, civil force, church, constitution—in order to maintain just order. Since man is fallen, it recognizes that mere abstractions and ideals cannot govern man; but personal relationships, social duties, and civil authority, informed by Scripture and the Holy Spirit, must restrain his evil.

“Traditional justice is an unending process and is profoundly anti-Utopian. There will never be a point on this side of eternity when law will not be needed. The best world that the traditional justice view can create is a world where human beings are safe and free to conduct themselves together in an orderly fashion, pursuing their God-given gifts, and restraining their sinful tendencies. It is not a perfect world—it is a world with warts. But it is a world where one can be happy, productive, free, and content… even if it is a world where one must inevitably suffer and die…

“The world of social justice [in marked contrast] is of necessity revolutionary; for it must restructure the old traditional justice order by means of suspending the old duties and right relationships. And it must be coercive, for it must do this with or without the consent of those whose incomes are to be redistributed; and whose children are to be instructed in the new order.

“The worldview is Utopian. Justice is the creation of social structures which achieve the ideal state. The best world imaginable, and therefore attainable, is one of socialism, egalitarianism, and salvation through social structures. The aim of social justice is the establishment of the millennium—without God.

“Traditional justice, on the other hand, will eschew visionary millennialism. It will support the establishment of a moral, non-coercive society which defends the family and the dignity of property rights. Social justice, according to the values of traditional justice, is merely institutionalized injustice.”

Indeed.

Give Us Our Eleven Days | The English Calendar Riots of 1752

Give Us Our Eleven Days | The English Calendar Riots of 1752

The Calendar Riots of 1752, when Britain lost 11 days on changeover from the Julian to Gregorian calendar

Source: Give Us Our Eleven Days – The English Calendar Riots of 1752 | Historic UK

Historic UK notes that “Today in 1752, Britain adopts the Gregorian Calendar. To align Britain with the rest of Europe, it was decided that Wednesday 2nd September 1752 would be followed by Thursday 14th September 1752, effectively losing 11 days of the year.” Needless to say, the people were not too thrilled, demanding (unsuccessfully) “Give us back our eleven days” – although scholars now think that the “Calendar Riots” once believed to have occurred were “the late Georgian equivalent of an urban myth.”

The website further notes that

“It is also true that when the British government decided to alter the calendar and skip these 11 days, many people mistakenly believed that their lives would be shortened by 11 days. People were also unhappy and suspicious at the moving of saint’s days and holy days, including the date of Easter. Many people also objected to the imposition of what they saw as a ‘popish’ calendar.”

On a more humorous note,

“Not everyone was unhappy about the new calendar. According to W.M. Jamieson in his book, ‘Murders Myths and Monuments of North Staffordshire’, there is a tale about one William Willett of Endon. Always keen on a joke, he apparently wagered that he could dance non-stop for 12 days and 12 nights. On the evening of September 2nd 1752, he started to jig around the village and continued all through the night. The next morning, September 14th by the new calendar, he stopped dancing and claimed his bets!”

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/8b21930fad58aa61acea2a8e9565787f-irish-jig-celtic-images.jpg

 

Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues | The Federalist

Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

Source: Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

There are times when you really hate to be right, to have to be the one who says, “I hate to say I told you so… but I told you so.” I have been saying since 2015 – and more than once on this blog – that regardless of what you think about Confederate statues (and flags, and other iconography, like street and school names), you’d better not be indifferent about their destruction, or removal, or alteration, or replacement.

Because love them or hate them, they’re not the goal, they’re just the low-hanging fruit for the Leftist mob. The real goal was, and is, different and bigger: the destruction of America and the West, its political and social institutions, its government and economy, its customs and traditions, its history and heritage, and their replacement with a collectivist, totalitarian Marxist utopia.

Looked at objectively, the Left has played this all too brilliantly: go after the Confederate statues and iconography, because even the so-called “conservatives” will be afraid to defend them, for fear of seeming racist, or like they’re defending slavery. Or even “anti-American,” since the Confederates were rebels and traitors… right? Well, not by their lights:

“When the South raised its sword against the Union’s Flag, it was in defense of the Union’s Constitution.” — Confederate General John B. Gordon

“I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it.” — Confederate President Jefferson Davis

“I loved the old government in 1861. I loved the old Constitution yet. I think it is the best government in the world, if administered as it was before the war. I do not hate it; I am opposing now only the radical revolutionists who are trying to destroy it.” — Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest

“All that the South has ever desired was that the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth.” — Confederate General Robert E. Lee

None of that matters, of course, to the Left. Their playbook is consistent:

Ignore or deny the fact that slavery was only one reason – and not even necessarily the biggest reason – for secession, and had nothing directly to do with sparking the War Between the States. Ignore or deny the fact that more than 260,000 Confederate soldiers died to defend their homes, families, and land from an illegal and unconstitutional invasion.

Ignore or deny the fact that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. Would Southerners have been willing to incur such casualties to defend the right of a small minority of the population to own slaves? Not likely!

Ignore, for that matter, the fact that there were four slave-holding states (plus the District of Columbia, where slavery was also legal) in the Union itself, and that Lincoln repeatedly offered that any seceded state which returned to the Union could keep its slaves (or that there were more free blacks in the South than in the North, and some of them had slaves).

Just focus on the fact that the Confederacy was made up of “slave states,” and you’ve made it impossible for good, “moderate” conservatives to object to the removal and destruction of statues and other Confederate iconography, and keep banging the drum that anyone who does object is “far-right” (and therefore “fascist”) and a “racist.” It was a brilliant plan, and it has largely succeeded.

And in the process, the Left has successfully – or seemingly so – softened up the nation for attacks on others, including (inter alia) Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Francis Scott Key, and even Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, along with a host of lesser luminaries.

Because of the way American history has played out, all have the Achilles heel of “racism,” colonialism, or both; and by the Leftist narrative, that invalidates anything else positive they might have ever accomplished, including the creation of a nation which is so open-minded and tolerant as to allow even lunatics and seditionists like the current Left to function without being shot, beaten down, and/or imprisoned, as they would in a less free and open nation… such as the one they want to create.


“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day-by-day and minute-by-minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

— George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four


In an again brilliant example of sociopolitical aikido, they have found the soft spots: 1) that everyone in history has had something that was less-than-perfect about them, and that if compared to current mores (the historical fallacy of presentism), it often has to do with favoring one’s own people – defined today as “racism” – and 2) that no one wants to be seen as defending racism, so protests to the removals, destruction, and desecration are sporadic, muted, and easily dismissed as a “fringe.”

But if the tactics of the Left have been remarkably if dismayingly creative and effective, the response from most mainstream conservatives has been feeble and incompetent, if not missing-in-action entirely. As the quote with which I opened this put it,

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

It is as I have said before: don’t let the camel’s nose in the tent; don’t give an inch, because if you do, they’ll sense weakness and fear, and come at you all the harder. Bullies always do. But they often run from a spirited defense – something of which there has been a notable lack, of late.

There have been some notable exceptions, but as Marcus points out further down in the linked post,

“The so-called conservatives who have been coddling mindless calls to destroy public art know who they are. So do the rest of us. These are the reasonable conservatives, the good ones, ever so careful not to be called racist. They had a compromise in mind because they always do. Throw the Confederate statues under the bus and we can save the rest…

“Do you know who is to blame [for the continued destruction]? It is not the hordes of progressives with ropes and chains; it is every conservative who thought those Jacobin lunatics could be appeased by just tearing down certain statues. It is a metaphor for the fecklessness of an American right too cowed to stand up for itself.”

They should be ashamed.

Leaving aside the complete philosophical and ethical surrender it represents, this roll-over-and-play-dead response is not even an effective tactic.

“Feed the hyenas and maybe they’ll eat us last” is not only ineffective, it’s actually counter-productive, because it leads them to expect a free meal, and thus emboldens them. The results can be seen in far too many locations throughout this once-great land.

In fact, the destruction we are seeing in American cities today is reminiscent of the Nazi Kristallnacht, the French Revolution, or a slew of Communist ones over the last century-plus. Irreplaceable elements – tangible representations – of our history and heritage (many of which are superb works of art in their own right), are being damaged and destroyed in the name of an unconscionable fallacy: the idea that the past must be judged by the standards of the present.

(Sadly, that is not the worst of it. History shows us repeatedly that where there is violence against icons, sooner or later there will be violence against institutions, and against persons. If the present chaos is left unchecked, the situation will only go from bad to worse.)

And where are those who claim their philosophy is to conserve – to protect, preserve, and transmit unimpaired to future generations – that history and heritage? Too often, silent, or entirely absent. As I say, they should be ashamed!

Here’s Marcus again:

“… what are the wages of these sad genuflections? What did you get out of the deal? Are they going to come support you now that the Founding Fathers are up against the wall? Nope. They will throw you right up against the wall with them as you insist how reasonable you are.

“To these fair-weather friends, I have a message: This is your fault. And you were well warned. For years, those of us with the courage to open our eyes knew exactly where this was going. It was never about the Confederacy, or slavery, or racism. It was always about destroying the very concept of America and replacing it with a Marxist utopia. That’s who you decided to compromise with.

“What’s done is done, but it is not too late. Now that you have seen the miles the left takes when offered an inch, you are welcome to get back in the fight for freedom. They burned you, made you look like fools. Be angry. Otherwise your silence is complicity with mobs that would destroy not just statues but the very foundations of our liberty.”

Amen.

“We remember, in September, when the Winged Hussars arrived!”

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Relief of the Siege of Vienna, 12 September 1683

“Then the Winged Hussars arrived,
Coming down the mountainside!
Then the winged hussars arrived!
Coming down they turned the tide!
We remember, in September,
When the Winged Hussars arrived!”

On this date, 337 years ago, troops of the Holy League, led by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland, break the Ottoman Turkish siege of Vienna, saving both the Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire, and almost certainly, Christian Europe itself from Islamic and Turkish domination. At the climactic moment of the battle, the largest cavalry charge in history – 18,000 horsmen, led by King Jan himself, at the head of his 3,000 elite Winged Hussars – delivers the final, crushing blow, charging down the Kahlenberg and sweeping the enemy from before the Gates of Vienna. In the words of the epic contemporary paean to this battle by the Swedish heavy-metal band Sabaton, with which I opened this post,

We remember, in September, when the Winged Hussars arrived!”

75th Anniversary of VJ Day – UK

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Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day (“Victory over Japan Day,” marking the conclusion of hostilities in World War Two), celebrated in the UK – and many other parts of the world – today. The National WW II Museum in New Orleans notes,

“Finally recognizing that victory was impossible, the Japanese government accepted Allied surrender terms without qualifications on August 14, 1945. That same day, President Harry S. Truman announced from the White House that the Japanese acceptance met the terms laid down at the Potsdam Conference for unconditional surrender. As soon as the news of Japan’s surrender was announced on August 14, celebrations erupted across the United States. The United Kingdom announced that its official V-J Day would be the next day, August 15, 1945, and Americans exuberantly joined in that day’s merriment, too.”

So while the official commemoration in the U.S. is celebrated in the United States on the day formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay – September 2, 1945 – there is nothing wrong with marking the occasion today! Or yesterday, for that matter…

Unpopular Opinion: “Fur-babies” are not children, and pet ownership is not motherhood!

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I confess myself disappointed and frustrated by the number of people (in many cases, including otherwise seemingly intelligent people) who don’t seem to be able to “get” this. That some people don’t like other people as much as they like animals, and that some women, for reasons of their own, don’t want kids, is a given. That’s part of human nature, and always has been.

But the meme is still literally true and accurate, as presented, on several grounds:

First, continuation of the species. Yes, I know that the planet as a whole has an overpopulation problem. There were 2.2 billion people on earth in 1965, when I was born; there are 7.8 billion, now (it took until 1800 to reach a population of 1 billion – and only another 200 years to reach 7 billion), and the changes have not, in general, been positive ones!

A good few of our problems, I suspect, can be traced to – or at least, are exacerbated by – the fact that there are too many people, for the limited planetary real estate, and the issue is only likely to get worse, at least in the immediate future.

But I also know that in both Europe and America, the birth-rate has dropped below the replacement level. Increasingly, both are relying or will soon have to rely on immigration from people and regions who have NOT adopted the “my furbaby is equal to your human child” model to remain economically sustainable at present levels.

To the furbaby crowd, I ask: even if you think that’s a viable solution – and that is not a discussion I’m going to revisit, here, though I have posted on it before – what makes you think that it’ll remain so forever? What if the people you’re relying on to do the jobs your descendants would otherwise have been doing also decide that animals are less trouble than kids? Better hope we have effective AI by then, so robot servants can keep the diminishing human population cozy… if that’s the kind of life you want.

From a theological perspective, “be fruitful and multiply” was the very first commandment God gave to humans (Genesis 1:28). You don’t have to be literalistic in your interpretation of the Genesis narrative to understand why that should be so! No procreation? Then sooner or later, no humankind. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, or shouldn’t be. Co-creating with God the next generations of humans is both a gift and a duty that was given to us by our Creator.

And then from an individual, human, personal perspective, you may like animals more than humans, and that’s your choice; but you are never going to be able to have a deep, meaningful personal or philosophical conversation with Fido or Fluffy, you will never be able to marvel at their insight or strive to amend their errors; you will not be able to pass down to them things that you have learned in your own life-experience, or hear from them things that they have learned in theirs; you will not be able to reminisce with them over experiences you shared on a vacation trip, or share the beauty of a sunset or autumn foliage. You won’t get to share with them the important milestones on their life’s journey: first love, first car, graduation, first job, engagement and wedding, buying a new home, having a child, and so many more.

And from a more “enlightened self-interest” perspective, you won’t be able to ask them, once they’ve gotten their driver’s license, to go pick up something at the store for you; and as you get older, you certainly will not have them able to help take care of you as you get less able to take care of yourself. Yes, of course, you can hire people to do that. But will they show the caring and love of someone you have cared for and loved throughout their lives? Rhetorical question… we’ve all seen the horror stories of nursing home and home-care employees abusing their clients.

So, sure, it’s fine to not be overly-fond of people (I certainly have my doubts about some of the human race, myself, especially every four years or so…); it’s fine to like, even love, animals; it’s fine to realize that maybe you do not have the qualities it would take to be a good mother (or father) to a human child – and in that case, maybe it really is better that you don’t have children! There are too many abused, unloved, and unwanted kids out there as it is.

But it is still objectively true that cuddling your feline companion can never replace raising a child. This is not a matter of opinion or perspective – we put too much stock in unsupported opinions and preferences as it is (“I feel it so it must be true”) – but of simple fact. Sure, do your own thing! That’s the contemporary mantra anyway. But please do not pretend that your “fur-baby” is equal in any way to a human child, or that your care of them is of like significance or consequence to the raising of that human child.

It is not.

 

Ithaca Model 37s: Form and Function!

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Different strokes for different folks, but I think these are just pretty! I like side-by-sides best, but classic old pump-guns like these Ithaca Model 37s are a close second. True examples of “form follows function,” from a time when both form and function mattered to the makers… these, to my mind, show the perfect blend of both!

The Road to Hell is Paved With Virtue Signaling | The Stream

Many modern Christians embrace folly as long as it results in a pat on the back. Virtue signaling and vengeance are the best they can come up with.

Source: The Road to Hell is Paved With Virtue Signaling | The Stream

We need, as this essay points out, a lot less virtue-signalling, and a lot more virtue.

“At least one thing is confirmed by my news feed and the events unfolding in cities around the country: Many people who claim ‘justice!’ as their battle cry have no idea what it means. Virtue signaling and vengeance are the best they can come up with. I expect that kind of foolishness from the secular world, but it has become glaringly apparent that many modern Christians also embrace folly as long as it results in a pat on the back…

“I have a serious question for the more ‘woke’ Christians among us. Does it not trouble you that your understanding of justice is identical to those who have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ? The fact is, most of the assertions being made about racial discrimination in policing have been empirically debunked… Is that not a compelling enough reason to stop repeating trendy falsehoods? If not, perhaps the fruits of death, destruction, and endless demands might suggest that something within this particular ‘justice’ movement is amiss…

“I realize that for some this may be shocking to realize, but there are many other injustices plaguing our nation besides police brutality. Those include but are not limited to the slaughter of the unborn, mass exploitation of human beings for sexual gratification, bloated bureaucracies that forcibly take people’s money without providing anything valuable in return, and increasing prejudice towards those who don’t affirm progressive doctrines of race or gender.

“Which begs the question, Christians — are you passive about justice-related issues except when it comes to popular ones? Why might that be?”

An excellent and thought-provoking essay.