In a move that is more than a little ironic, the State that was formed in opposition to the Confederacy has turned more Confederate – whether it realizes it or not – than the one that was the capital of the Confederacy (which has, sadly, taken a violent swing to the Left). Here’s West Virginia Governor Jim Justice:
“A long time ago, the infringement of fundamental values is what really created the beginning of West Virginia. Now, in doing so the government of Virginia was probably significantly out of step, and therefore all of a sudden counties moved and West Virginia was formed,” the governor said during today’s press conference…
Gov. Justice pointed out that a number of West Virginia lawmakers have recently introduced resolutions inviting Virginia counties to “come on down,” and said he echoes that sentiment.
“If you’re not truly happy where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere you may be. We stand strongly for the Second Amendment and we stand strongly for the unborn. There are so many great things about West Virginia, and we’re on the verge of moving in a way that you can’t fathom.”
Wouldn’t mind if Maryland’s western counties – which are in a similar place, sociopolitically, to those of Virginia – would join up, too!
It is true that, as this article points out, “Given the fact that the Virginia General Assembly” [ditto Maryland’s, if that were to happen] “would have to give approval for any county to be annexed by West Virginia, I’d say this movement is more aspirational than practical.” But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea!
And from The Anglophilic Anglican (meme inspired by a friend’s FB timeline comment):
Congratulations to the British people who voted for Brexit, on this day of independence from the EU after more than three years of struggle and uncertainty (ABC news notes that the departure comes 3½ years after the country voted by a margin of 52%-48% to walk away from the European Union).
I pray it will be the beginning of not only a new, but a positive and successful era in British history, as I have always believed it would be!
And for those who didn’t… hold your pints, mates, and watch this!
“Democrats conspired with foreign agents, lied, cheated, and denied due process to Donald Trump. If they were willing to do that to a duly elected president in order to obtain power, what should Americans expect them to do to them should they refuse attempts to be disarmed?” […]
“Democrats want this war. Someone should tell them they should be careful what they wish for.”
I fervently hope and pray that it doesn’t come to that – that the worst may yet be averted. But if it does, I think this article is correct: the radical Left is going to get a radical surprise.
I am still struggling, myself, to be honest; but back when I was really struggling, I used to (try to) make this point on a number of occasions, when well-meaning friends and relatives tried to tell me that “any job is better than no job.”
Well, no, it isn’t. If it doesn’t make ends meet, it may be worse than no job at all, b/c it may make you ineligible for public assistance… and you still can’t live on it.
People who have never been abjectly poor have no idea how horrible a position that is to be in, and it is often in many ways the “working poor” who have the worst of it, because they are overlooked by most assistance programs: “oh, they don’t need help, they have a job.” Not necessarily true!
This is also why I am not in complete agreement with Mike Rowe, although I respect what he’s trying to do. It is also why I am distrustful of many conservatives’ faith in “the market” to do the right thing: “the market” is made up of fallible, mortal – and often greedy and selfish – human beings, and these do not always do the right thing.
Yes, there are a good number of jobs out there, looking for workers. That is true. But many (most?) of them do not pay a living wage. In which case, what I wrote above kicks in…
[Note: Although many people do it, taking a second job – and sometimes a third – is not really a viable solution long-term, either. I am leaving aside short-term stints, to get extra money for holiday shopping, a vacation, or maybe to fund an unusual purchase; I am also leaving aside “hustling” to turn one’s sideline into one’s career.
I’m talking about working two or more jobs, consistently, to make ends meet. The more hours you’re working, the fewer you have to a) look for a better job, b) perform ordinary but necessary maintenance / domestic tasks, and c) get the rest and sleep you need in order to perform any job(s) at a high level of efficiency.]
As the linked article points out, two-thirds (64%) of low-wage workers are in their prime working years of 25 to 54; more than half (57%) work full-time year-round, the customary schedule for employment intended to provide financial security; and about half (51%) are primary earners or contribute substantially to family living expenses (FWIW, I am currently in all three of these categories).
We have a problem, here, as a society; and we need to work together, as a society, to find reasonable, workable, and effective solutions. The problem is, we’re largely talking past each other.
The Left wants to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, which has the effect of increasing automation, and forcing smaller businesses to lay off workers or even close. The neoliberal/libertarian Right says “just get a job” – which as both the article and my comments point out, isn’t necessarily, by itself, a viable solution to poverty.
I’m not sure what the solution is; if I knew, I’d be making tons of money, myself, from appearing on early-morning talk-shows and giving presentations to well-known think-tanks! But I do know we need to find one. If we don’t, the future looks dire, for a lot of people: and therefore, for society as a whole. This is important!
N.B. Perhaps this Chesterton quote, and the concept it embodies, may have relevance for us as we struggle toward a solution…
To be honest, many Iranians have been “turned against” the regime for some years, now; but this is one more straw on the back of a well-laden camel. If it will prove the last straw, of course, remains to be seen… In any case:
The Islamic Revolutionary government of Iran has finally admitted to “accidentally” shooting down a Ukrainian airliner filled with mostly Iranian passengers on Wednesday (8 January), but 57 of the victims were Canadians of Iranian descent, and other nations were represented as well. In all, 176 people died. Tehran originally attributed the crash to “technical difficulties,” but that story quickly became impossible to defend.
Now many Iranians are livid at the government, and despite the typical attempts at repression by regime forces, are making their anger known. The Iranian people have been on edge anyway, after months of demonstrations, and more recently the escalation in tension with the U.S. stemming from the killing of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani (which seems actually to have been received with favor by many Iranians, despite the highly orchestrated funeral “mourning” imposed by the regime).
That action had been followed by an Iranian missile strike against (well, sort of “against”…) U.S. targets in Iraq that seemed rather carefully calculated to avoid U.S. casualties. And in fact, there were none, despite some 15-20 ballistic missiles being fired. While needing to “save face,” it looks very much as if the Iranian regime had no interest in provoking a further U.S. response.
“Angry crowds gathered on Saturday night in at least four locations in Tehran, chanting ‘death to liars’ and calling for the country’s supreme leader to step down over the tragic military blunder, video from the scene shows.
“What began as mournful vigils for Iranian lives lost on the flight soon turned to outrage and protest against the regime, and riot police quickly cracked down, firing tear gas into the crowd.
“‘Death to the Islamic Republic’ protesters chanted, as the regime’s security forces allegedly used ambulances to sneak heavily armed paramilitary police into the middle of crowds to disperse the demonstration.”
If the Daily Mail does not feel all that egg on their face, they should look in the mirror, considering that they swallowed hook, line, and sinker the Iranian regime’s reports of widespread grief and mourning over the death of Soleimani, as I noted in an earlier post.
Now we have Iranians – unrehearsed, unchoreographed, uncoerced – chanting “Death to the Islamic Republic,” calling for the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei) to step down, and (in English) “Mad, mad, dictator!” (referring to Khamenei). Hardly the actions of a people bowed with grief over the death of that dictator’s chief minion and enforcer! Indeed, this is more fuel on the fire of the Iranian people’s decades-long grievance against the regime.
“‘Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s the US’ protesters were heard chanting in one video,” the article quotes one protester, noting that another wrote in Persian on Twitter, “‘I now believe the word of the Great Satan,'” an apparently ironic reference to a favorite term used by the Islamic Revolutionary government to refer to the U.S., since the days of the Ayatollah Khomenei.
“Protesters demanded that those responsible for shooting down the civilian plane be publicly tried and held accountable. The crowd also condemned the Islamic Republic’s paramilitary internal security force, chanting ‘Death to Basij’…
“Anti-regime factions said that the protests reflected the frustrations of Iranian citizens with the government corruption and oppression.
“‘The protest by thousands of Iranians in Tehran burst the propaganda balloon of the regime regarding Qassem Soleimani’selimination,’ [emphasis added] said Shahin Gobadi, spokesman of the anti-regime group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, in a statement to DailyMail.com.
“Gobadi said that the protests ‘showed the true sentiments of the Iranians and once again clearly proved that Iran is a powder keg and the Iranian people will not stop until the regime change.'”
It is not only the Iranian people who are outraged. Even Leftist Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “cast doubt on Iran’s claim that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian jet,” the article notes:
“Trudeau said the shoot-down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 ‘is one of the issues that we certainly need better answers to,’ during a news conference on Saturday. ‘I am, of course, outraged and furious,’ Trudeau said of the crash, adding that whether the tragedy was an accident or not still needs to be determined.”
While it would not surprise me if Trudeau eventually accepts the Iranian regime’s assertion that one of their anti-aircraft missile batteries mistook the 737 for an American cruise missile – a dubious proposition, to put it mildly – the Iranian people are unlikely to be put off by such evasions.
The Anglophilic Anglican emphatically supports the Iranian people in their quest for freedom, justice, and self-determination.
Update (10:24 p.m. EST, 11 January 2020): Later reports indicate that the regime increased its efforts to break up the protests, after nightfall.
“Screams were heard as regime forces fired tear gas at the protesters in a brutal crackdown after night fell… As night fell, riot police attempted to break up the protests with tear gas. Cops armed with shields and batons tried to disperse the crowds, and police fired water canons at protesters.”
As of this point, no indication as to how successful the attempts to break up the protests have been. Please join me in praying for the Iranian people.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” – the above-mentioned Harry and Meghan – “have announced they will step back as ‘senior’ royals and work to become financially independent.
“In a statement, Prince Harry and Meghan also said they plan to split their time between the UK and North America…
“In their unexpected statement on Wednesday, also posted on their Instagram page, the couple said they made the decision ‘after many months of reflection and internal discussions.'”
Here’s an excerpt of that Instagam post:
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.“
To which Gavin Ashenden, the former Queen’s Chaplain who became a Continuing Anglican Bishop, and more recently “swam the Tiber” to Rome, responds (accurately, in my opinion):
“The announcement from Harry and Meghan will cause a variety of responses from the public. One of them will be sadness. There is a tragic element to the blinkeredness and immaturity that mistakes a bid for independence as ‘carving a progressive role.’
“It isn’t that at all of course. In reality it is choosing between two competing philosophies or ethics.
“One, which the monarchy is founded on and depends on, is a Christian one in which doing one’s duty on behalf of others takes priority over self-interest. The other is a concentration on self-interest and self expression (however it is justified) at the expense of self-sacrifice and duty.”
Indeed. There could hardly be more difference between their proclamation and that of Harry’s grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1947, when she promised her people,
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
That is the very definition of self-sacrifice and duty, and Her Majesty has lived it, as she promised, all her life long. Her devotion to her people, her realms, and the Commonwealth is unquestionable, as is her sense of duty. A shame it has not run true, through the generations.
Thankfully, HRH Prince William and Katherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William being second in line to the Throne following his father, HRH Charles Prince of Wales), seem rather more solid than the Sussexes. I hope and pray that proves to be the case!
N.B. – Also from the BBC article:
“Former Buckingham Palace press officer Dickie Arbiter suggested the decision showed Prince Harry’s ‘heart ruling his head.'”
I would say that is a pretty good condensation of the saga of Harry and Meghan, in general.
Our own media, and many of our politicians, pundits, and talking heads, are all too quick to filter the news through their own anti-Trump biases, take Iranian (and other totalitarian) news media at face value, or both. So there is a narrative that Iranians are livid at the “termination with extreme prejudice” of Quds force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and that we have somehow awoken an Iranian sleeping tiger by killing him.
There is no question that the Iranian regime forces are livid – in part due to fear – or that they will attempt reprisals. We hold those truths to be self-evident. It does not necessarily follow that their public pronouncements speak for the ordinary people of Iran, many of whom would like nothing better than to chuck the mullahs and their minions head-first into the nearest river.
This interview, with Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad – best known for her campaign against the compulsory wearing of the hijab, called “My Stealthy Freedom” – shows that for many Iranians, at least, the death of Soleimani is a source, not of anger and sorrow, but of joy:
“‘So, all you see in Iranian state television – state media – [is], like, showing some people took to the street mourning and showing their sympathy [towards] Qassem Soleimani,’ she told Smith. ‘But, the fact is this: many Iranians do not see him as a hero and if you go to social media, that they are very happy.’
“‘Why?’ she questioned. ‘Because they have been witnessing how [the] Revolutionary Guard killed people in the streets across Iran.’ Alinejad added that to many Iranians, Soleimani and the Revolutionary Guard are killers and torturers, responsible for acts of terror in much of the Middle East.”
When asked how she herself felt about the killing of Soleimani, she “said that while her dream was to see Soleimani and his cohorts in court, ‘this is what they had to face’ because they are responsible for the ‘misery’ in Iraq and Syria.”
Then there is this, from Baghdad, Iraq, where he apparently was not to popular, either! This video, from Ruptly, shows Iraqis demonstrating in the streets with great joy upon the news of Soleimani’s death.
“Protesters rallied in the streets of Baghdad to celebrate, hours after General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was reportedly killed during a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport, on Friday.
“Footage filmed in the early hours of Friday shows crowds gathering in the streets of the Iraqi capital to celebrate the attack, marching and waving Iraqi flags.”
Meanwhile, back here at home, we have the rabidly anti-Trump press thoroughly embarrassing itself in its coverage of the event… the mind fairly boggles.