Friday, June 19, 2015

Eh, Whatever

That kind of mood. So, open thread.

52 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Instapundit: "They told me if I voted Republican, America would wind up taking scientific dictation from religious leaders. And they were right!”

6/19/2015 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

John's last comment on the previous post about the Soviet warmachine has become the academically-sanctioned received wisdom as a counter to the Free World's heroism and sacrifice at places like Normandy.

The Soviets indeed had millions of bodies which they threw at the Germans. However, without the war materials provided by the West's industrial power, the Germans might still have won. I say this based on anecdotal evidence. I did not get it from the history books. I heard it face-to-face from WWII veterans who had talked to German survivors of the Russian front. Take it, therefore, for what it's worth.

Plus there was a little thing called the Pacific Theater which kept the Japanese occupied. That was almost strictly an American and British Commonwealth operation. Without the post-Pearl Harbor action, Stalin would have had the threat of his own Eastern Front.

Patton would have been happy to use the former Nazis against the Communists. Too bad he was killed in that accident. MacArthur might well have changed the course of history as well had not he been hamstrung by political envy on the part of Truman.

MacArthur has not fared well in the popular media narrative since his dismissal in Korea. To the left, he was a grandstanding warmonger with a colossal ego. That he was a publicity hound with a high opinion of himself and his abilities is probably true. Of course, he had some justification for thinking highly of his prowess, and his greatest fault in the eyes of the progressives was that he was not one of them.

6/19/2015 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As Churchill said of the communist menace, "The strangling of it at its birth would have been an untold blessing to the human race."

Imagine no Obama, it isn't hard to do...

6/19/2015 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I completely agree that the US's contribution was incredibly important. Its a well know fact, though, that one never hears if even Soviet contribution to the war here. Even the Russians continue to express gratitude about our contribution. All the while that we ignore theirs.
And, completely agree that the communist menace would have been better to be snuffed out in the beginning. We actually harbored them, rather than snuffing, waiting until their ideology permeated our schools and media, before it "fell". It lives on in both our parties. No child left behind and common core just the latest among many communist strategies.

6/19/2015 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert McCain puts The Charleston Horror in perspective.

6/19/2015 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm almost glad there's post; don't think I can handle the encyclical and a handout from Petey on the same day. Still less than halfway through the former.

Speaking of which, as I read through there's actually a lot with which I agree in varying degrees. Then every once in a while a section comes up that is the mental equivalent of biting on tinfoil.

6/19/2015 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I know of no historian who ignores the Soviet contribution to the allied victory. If anything, leftist historians ignore the USSR's contributions to the Nazi cause until Hitler invaded them

6/19/2015 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Historians have zero impact on American thinking. If they did, there is no way we could have the political cherade we have where a Mormon could run for president, or someone such as Obama. I am speaking of the vast majority of Americans. They have no idea the Soviets even were in the war.

6/19/2015 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank a teacher.

6/19/2015 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I laughed; then I cried, because it's true.

6/19/2015 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I was just noticing how well weeds are adapted to being pulled without leaving the root intact. Maybe its the same with stupidity. Like the weed, it only grows back deeper and stronger.

6/19/2015 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, if you don't get the whole thing it just digs deeper the next time. I've often found that loosening the dirt around and under it and pulling gently, but with a certain inexorable steadiness, you can get the whole thing. One of those doohickies with the twisted spikes can be helpful, too...

6/19/2015 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You have to stay one step ahead of weeds, children, and liberals.

6/19/2015 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weeds and lierals is pretty much the same thing.

6/19/2015 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Well put

6/19/2015 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lefties are ragweeds.

6/19/2015 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Devil's weed.

6/19/2015 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Mexico is working on that mass exorcism, to let the deranged cartoons know who is boss.

I am close enough to the border to have to deal with more refugees.

Baptism. Masks get tight. Water crossings are hard on the kids.

I think sometimes the ones that do not drown carry something that cannot be talked about.

6/19/2015 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie, I'm with you on the no post today waffling - what a month this last week has been.

And no, the 'history' books have not ignored the Soviet contributions to WWII, as is natural to leftists, their importance has been progressively inflated, year after year (I've seen the latest editions from my kids schools for the last 18 years), while also, of course, devaluing the vast evil they've contributed.

And no, Americans have not been so fortunate to not have been affected by historians, due to their transparent B.S., they've nearly succeeded in eliminating a sense of History from most Americans - that is Not an absence of influence, but a direct, deep, ever deepening wound.

6/19/2015 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

... of ongoing, massive, influence.

6/19/2015 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Oh, man, I forgot about the serious influence high school history books have on the thinking of America! Those 20 million Russian dead, notwithstanding, the U.S. single handedly held off the Nazi military.

6/19/2015 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Getting your Fool on John? Influence isn't always direct - if you don't think the lack of influence of history, on students, as a result of decades worth of their third rate, propagandistic, vapid scrawlings, has had a massive and deleterious effect on Americans, then you are too big a fool to bother fooling with.

6/19/2015 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Uh oh - looks like Dupree has been caught on video over at Ace's overnight thread...

6/19/2015 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out Viktor Suvorov, "Icebreaker", available on CSPAN. Re: WWII: everything you know is wrong. Stalin engineered WWII. Nutshell: let the Germans fight in Europe to exhaustion, then the Soviets roll in. Basically, the buildup of the German army included "How to build a tank lessons" in Russia, "air force lessons" in Russia, and guaranteed fuel for their war machine. In "Enemy at the Gate", Jude Law's sniper mentor mentions the training of his German counterpart was when "Hitler and Stalin were holding hands and walking in the garden together". These scenarios explain things like Naziism and the Soviets were kissing cousins until one day they became mortal enemies.
Oh yeah, the big lie: "WWII began when Germany invaded Poland". Except: Germany and the Soviet Union divvied up Europe long before that happened. Find "Icebreaker" online in PDF format. You'll see some historians poo-poo it, but it is increasingly becoming the new meme about WWII.

6/20/2015 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For a less... conspiratorial view, I recommend The Devil's Alliance.

6/20/2015 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

It's weird, though, that Ameican high school students fonts absorb math, geography, and science like they do history.

6/20/2015 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Knowledge of history is the left's kryptonite.

6/20/2015 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Because this.

6/20/2015 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

But knowledge of economics must be a close second.

They are also deceived by what they think they know about religion.

6/20/2015 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If he had just left out the global warming baloney, there are apparently many worthwhile points in the encyclical.

6/20/2015 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, that was my take yesterday. The global warming bs was strong at a couple of points, but his reasoning for the most part, based on the erroneous information he believes to be true, seemed fairly sound. There was in fact much to agree with, and checking the endnotes he took a tremendous amount of inspiration from Benedict. There were even a couple of points that I found almost raccoonish. At any rate, his concerns are overwhelmingly pertaining to good stewardship of the land and care for the poor - both of which are most certainly his concern.

Also, if you read it not as "a letter to you Americans," but rather a letter to the world, much of which really does need to heed these messages, it doesn't come off as quite so bad.

I think much of it could have been distilled down to a few Colacho-esque statements. Lose the global warming alarmism, the apparent Malthusian worries, and the idea of wealth, water and food as limited resources which the wealthy necessarily deny the impoverished (again, often true in some places, but not so much the developed world), and it really wouldn't have been bad. Nor garnered much if any attention from the media.

6/20/2015 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Hi all, I've been covered in drywall dust for a week. *cough cough*

Emerging, I see that Fr. Sorondo has been successful in keeping Science and Reason away from the vicinity of the Pope, so, as I feared, the encyclical has basically discredited Francis's papacy when it comes to any issue having to do with science. That Pontifical Academy of Grand Wazoos that advised him is obviously a worthless outfit as well. This could've been their shining moment, and the blew it. Once politicized, always politicized. The Pope can now be seen exclusively as a political player, not a spiritual one. The Left will play this accordingly.

Well, "put not your faith in men," etc.

That said, happy father's day!

6/21/2015 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

While we can love something or someone unlovable without it ceasing to be love, we obviously cannot love falsehood without it ceasing to be true. Or something like that.

6/21/2015 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good summary of the encyclical.

The pope should work on the level of metaphysical and theological truth -- the permanent things -- not scientific truths which come and go. For example, imagine the folly of equating Creation with, say, the Big Bang, i.e., horizontal instead of vertical causation. Then, if a better theory than the Big Bang comes along it will be used to "disprove" creation. Likewise, as AGW is increasingly discredited, it will naturally erode the church's authority and credibility, since Francis put his weight behind it. Sad.

6/21/2015 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi Magister, and before I forget, happy Father's day, everyone!

Having read it, I agree that the science it's based on is absolute crap, and so of course the conclusions he draws from the science are crap as well. In a broad sense, I took it the same way as I take environmentalism in general: of course it's right to ensure that we take steps to minimize pollution, care for our natural spaces, and try not to be wasteful. Of course we should do what we can to ease suffering and even, when it's in our power to do so, strive to improve the standard of living of people who are impoverished and struggling in their day-to-day lives. The trouble lies in how best to go about that, particularly in addressing not just individuals, but entire nations.

I think he missed the mark in addressing these issues as top-down suggestions for policy, when the best way to make the world better in pretty much every way is to entreat each individual to strive to live his life according to God's will. If everyone took it as a matter of course to avoid being wasteful, to pick up after themselves, and to treat everyone as humans with intrinsic dignity, there would be nothing to discuss. Even just a simple, "Hey, you know those Commandments? They matter. All of them."

In short, I think he's speaking in good faith but with bad information.

Or even shorter, what Bob just said.

6/21/2015 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I might add, David Warren's takes (both of them) are well worth reading, too.

6/21/2015 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't think he realizes that concern for the environment is a first world problem and privilege. The environment is so healthy here because 1) we don't have more pressing concerns such as, oh, subsisting and 2) because we can afford it. There is a direct correlation between fossil fuel use and life expectancy, not to mention quality of life. The most effective way to abuse the poor is to deprive them of energy.

6/21/2015 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes. He does discuss at one point (I forget where exactly, and it's awfully long to skim through and find specific points) the problems suffered by those who, for instance, have to live with a cooking fire in the middle of their huts, or who suffer from lack of safe drinking water. The answer to those problems, though, is not more handouts from the wealthy, nor is it right, I think, to claim (as he does at one point) that every time you waste a bit of food it is as though you are starving a poor person. That would be true in a zero-sum system, but this is not a zero-sum world. Malthus was wrong, thank God.

The answer to serious poverty, as even China has learned in recent decades, is not handouts but rather a culture of wise practices that improve the standard of living for everyone. Poor villagers don't need rich foreigners to give them stuff, they need to learn better ways to build and maintain water sources and sanitation, and better ways to farm and raise livestock so they don't turn their grasslands into deserts. This is possible - but only when the culture allows for it. Otherwise the pillagers just take over and the cycle of poverty continues.

6/21/2015 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What they really need too are secure property rights and other civil liberties, which are the key to unleashing human potential. That is the premise of the excellent The Tyranny of Experts.

6/21/2015 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Exactly. I wish he understood that.

Also, the other thing that bugs me somewhat is that being poor, in and of itself, is not necessarily such a bad thing - again, provided that the poor have property rights and other civil liberties. It's not the worst thing in the world to live in a house you build yourself and live according to the work you put in each day; such a life can be just as dignified, if not moreso, than the life of the average billionaire. There is nothing intrinsically wrong or evil about inequality. Rather, it is up to each of us to do the best we can with the time we have and the circumstances we are given.

6/21/2015 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I've been "poor." Probably qualified for that designation, or close to it, the whole time I was in college, which was to age 32! Never gave it much thought, though. I was having too much fun.

As someone once said, a student is someone who can afford the luxuries, just not the necessities.

I am also reminded that American blacks are the most affluent blacks in the world, and it is not because of the government. Rather, Democratic government has always been their greatest impediment, whether it is Jim Crow or the welfare state. Or as Jason Riley says, Please Stop Helping Us! I love that guy. Good to know there is a new generation to follow in the soulprints of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas, et al.

6/21/2015 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah. I've been poor; as a kid, for a while you could have even called it "hardscrabble," or something close. The lack of money was never so bad in and of itself; rather the worst times were when the people running the household were losing their heads in general. The poverty was never a cause, but a symptom, and a temporary one for all concerned. That's actually one of the real blessings of being an American: it is possible to taste, in the course of one's life, both poverty and wealth, and learn from both situations about what matters most in life.

6/21/2015 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

WE NEED TO STOP MANUFACTURING BOMBS, AND BESIDES, USE THEM TO SAVE THE JEWS. I think the Pope is losing it.

6/21/2015 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

God help us. On the script, one can find moments of lucidity. Off script, he's starting to resemble Obama without his teleprompter.

6/21/2015 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads.

6/21/2015 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I thank God for those weapon munufacturers. If it wasn't for them it is certain we wouldn't have ever became or remained a republic.
Bomb msunufacturers save lives, it's the socialists and global warming cult that destroys the poor that we gotta stop.

6/21/2015 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Still loving this book of Churchill. With regard to his warnings about Germany in the 1930s, he speaks of the left's

"genuine love of peace and pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation," and "the utter devotion of the Liberals to sentiment apart from reality," which of course

"played a definite part in the unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which... are already beyond comparison in human experience."

It's like he's speaking to Obama. No wonder he didn't want Churchill anywhere near the White House.

6/21/2015 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Ugh, this Pope. He's the James Hacker of Christendom. Isn't there a Sir Humphrey around somewhere?

6/21/2015 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Speaking of weapons, I took my son and his friend to the range to shoot AR-15's. They had a blast (heh) and got to handle a nice old M-1 Garand afterwards, talked with vets, and were invited back.

This morning, we went to Mass.

Can't see any contradiction here, but it would scandalize at least half my colleagues at work.

I guess they're the half that needs to be protected.

6/21/2015 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Happy Fathers Day ya'll!
... and keep passing the IAM-O.

6/21/2015 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Happy Father's Day to all Raccoon Dads. I hope you all had a wonderful day! Tristan and I did our first annual father's day interview. I asked him questions about life and about his relationship with his dad, and recorded it as a gift for Bob. I plan to do this every year and then Bob and I can listen to them someday in the hammock when Tristan is off on his own (or from our nursing home after his wife gets tired of waiting for us to move out so they can take over our house.)

I think the main thing I wanted to capture is his voice over the years. I don't know if it's a mom thing, but I'm already nostalgiac for a week ago!

Anyway, thank you to all you good men out there raising your kids and taking care of your families!
Mrs. G

6/21/2015 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

That's a great idea, Mrs.G.!

6/21/2015 10:50:00 PM  

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