Friday, May 22, 2015

The Bismarck

The Bismarck

Prinz Eugen

On 24 May 1941in the Battle of the Denmark Strait the German battleship Bismark sunk the British battlecruiser HMS Hood and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales was forced to withdraw after being struck by the Bismarck four times and three times by the German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen

HMS Hood
HMS Prince of Wales

The British Admiralty ordered every available warship to hunt down and destroy the Bismarck.  The chase of the Bismarck had begun.  On 26 May the Bismarck was being shadowed by the British Cruiser HMS Sheffield.

HMS Sheffield

At 2047 through heavy cloud Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal attacked.

HMS Ark Royal

With her rudder disabled by a torpedo the Bismarck was now only capable of steaming in a large circle. German Admiral Günther Lütjens radioed "Ship unmanoeuvrable. We will fight to the last shell. Long live the Führer."  At daybreak on the 27th the British battleship King George V led the attack.

HMS King George V

Followed by the British battleship HMS Rodney

HMS Rodney

Aided by the heavy cruisers HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Norfolk.

Which led to this:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Many Accents of Hillary Clinton

This is fascinating.  Bloomberg posted a collection of YouTube clips featuring the various accents of Hillary Clinton. We've all heard that one where she is in a black church trying to affect the accent, but have you heard her employing a pretty good (and creepy) syrupy sweet, southern accent while talking in a normal, conversational tone?

I'm not doing this just to make fun of Hillary. The article explains how people's speech patterns, dialects and accents can shift and change depending on circumstances, and being in the military I've experienced it, in myself and others.

I started my young adult life in the Air Force with a lazy-tongued, mumbly, snort through your nose hayseed accent that I still sometimes lapse into, to the point I have to stop and purposely enunciate clearly so my wife and kids can understand what I am saying.

When I lived in Latin America, all that cleared up, and my speech became sharp and staccato because I spoke more Spanish than English while there.

I even spoke a pretty good Jamaican patois back then. When my Jamaican buddies and I ran into friends of theirs from the island they would demand I demonstrate my linguistic abilities, and it would crack them up every time to hear a white boy be able to converse like that. I didn't just have the speech patterns, I had all the dat tings, jumblats and bloodclots down as well.

Anyway, here's the Hillary article. Enjoy!

And for you Hillary fans, here's an entertaining piece on the GOP candidates pandering to Hispanics by speaking Spanish on the campaign trail.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Twilight of Freiheit?

Western nations have been taken over by globalists and their toadies in government.

People living in comfort and happiness in communities where they feel secure enough to thumb their noses at powerful corporations and push back against government intrusion are a threat to the ruling oligarchies and global elites.

Invasion of Germany

Geeez has written about how immigration is destroying tranquil German neighborhoods, and then I read this in the New York Times.
With the federal authorities expecting a flood of newcomers — an estimated 300,000 will apply for asylum in Germany this year, after 200,000 in 2014 — places like Vorra, population 1,000, are struggling to make room for those who are already here seeking legal status and integration.
So, in summary, small-town German life is being destroyed by the German government, and some Germans are committing crimes in response:
"But along with hospitality, Germans are also showing hostility. In Vorra in December, and in the Saxon town of Tröglitz over the Easter weekend, arsonists set fire to renovated shelters just weeks before migrants were to move in."
Guilt and Shame, Favored Tools of the Progressive Left

The Times takes a light touch, but a whiff of pogroms, brownshirts and Kristallnacht simmer just below the surface of the text. The overall tone is standard progressive propaganda: Anyone who opposes immigration is a dangerous reactionary, one step away from shoving the untermenschen into ovens.

And the leftwing progs hang 70 year old guilt over the Germans' heads to keep them in line:
"There is widespread understanding that Germany’s Nazi past and current wealth impose a particular obligation to accommodate those fleeing hardship and war."
A widespread understanding? Says who? How widespread? Have they taken a poll recently? I would love to see Germans stand up and tell the leftwing shamers to take the nazis, swastikas, the guilt and their societal vandalism and shove it all up their asses.
"In a recent German poll, more than half the respondents said they thought there was strong hostility to foreigners in the country."
That poll reveals a typical German way of expressing a politically-incorrect opinion: Using passive language to voice concern by saying they see it in others. That is what decades of shaming will do to a people, but make no mistake, Germans are pissed off and tired of it, and the old trick is wearing thin of calling everyone to the right of Karl Marx a rightwing nazi.

Is it a crime to want to preserve your culture and your traditions, to reject efforts to upend your traditional little village where your great-great grandparents were born?

What options do traditional communities have in response to government immigrant dumping?

Related:  EU Leaders Consider Military Action

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Do we have a Strategy Now?

Photo: USMC

Last year President Obama said:

President Obama said Thursday that "we don't have a strategy yet" when it comes to removing the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East. CBS

My question is do we have a strategy now?  What is it? and What is it accomplishing?  Apparently given the fall of Ramadi  Sunday, very little.

Now I'm not picking on our President... It's an honest question.  What is our strategy in regards to ISIS?  Now I've heard said that it is to "systematically degrade ISIS/ISIL", not to nitpick but that's a goal, not a strategy.  "Degrade and Defeat"? Again not a strategy but a goal.

Please feel free to enlighten me if you think me wrong, but I haven't seen anything coming out of the government that even hints at a coherent strategy for defeating ISIS.  I'm apparently not the only one, back in February CNN asked Where's Obama's ISIS strategy?

US News says that the Public Doubts Obama's ISIS Strategy.  I'll go one further and say I doubt he has one.

The first question to ask is do we care?  Do we care if Syria and/or Iraq or a majority of their territories fall to ISIS?

The next question if the answer to the question above is yes, is well what are we going to do about it?

Monday, May 18, 2015

George W. Bush was a Terrible President

George Bush bashed Barack Obama recently in a meeting with rich donors.  Obama has earned all the bashing we can dish out.  He's been a horrible president and the nation is worse off for having elected him, but we can say the same of Bush.

George Bush was a horrible president

As conservatives we must embrace this truth if we are going to chide liberals over their irrational Obama worship. More importantly, we must face this truth for our own intellectual integrity, for the future of the Republican party, and most importantly, the future of our nation.

George Bush broke the Middle East

Granted, Obama and his Sophomore Girls Warlord Club have since broken the pieces into even smaller pieces and then set all them on fire, but Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld dealt the initial blow.

The Iraq Invasion was a Catastrophic Blunder

How could adults like Cheney and Rumsfeld think such an adventure would turn out well? Did they not foresee the consequences of taking out the firewall that protected the greater Middle East from Iran? Did they really think the Iraqis would embrace us, throw rose petals at our feet? Did they truly believe they could transform Iraq into the Germany of the Middle East? Were they snookered by Achmed Chalabi? Was there corporate money involved? Is it really that simple?

These questions disturb me because I had a naive confidence in Cheney and Rumsfeld. They were old hands who knew their way around, and were supposedly wise and conservative.  I knew Bush was inexperienced in foreign policy, but I believed he was sincere. This disaster they authored makes me question everything, because they fracked the world and we are still feeling the tectonic aftershocks.

I could go down a similar list for Afghanistan, but why bother? They thought they could remake an ancient society? History shows that even the fairly modest idea of imposing a simulacrum of control over Afghanistan is folly. Why did they do it? Perhaps it really was about oil and gas pipelines.

Bush Tried, People Died

Finally, and sadly, hundreds of thousands of lives, families, communities, people, will never be the same because of what Bush-Cheney did. I have friends who are not right and never will be again because of what they saw and did over there.   Bush pardoned drug dealers at the end of his presidency, but refused the same clemency to soldiers jailed for trumped-up, bs 'war crimes.'

And in the irony of ironies forged in hell, uber-Christian George W. Bush is responsible for the persecution, rape, murder and displacement of the Levant's Christians, besieged on all sides thanks to his criminally naive notion that he could remake that region.

Bush Crashed the Economy

We also cannot forget that Bush-Cheney and their merry band of Wall Street pirates crashed the economy in 2008, and Bush went on TV and explained to us how Dirty Hank Paulson had to blow a hole in the side of the treasury so the High Finance Looters and dirty banksters could refill their pockets.


Bush-Cheney also gave us the liberty-suck known as the Patriot Act, brought us the bloated, groping bureaucracy known as Department of Homeland Security, and introduced the nazi-esque "Homeland" into common parlance. And speaking of that, over 3,000 people died on 9/11 and nobody got fired.

Another fallout not generally acknowledged is how much information we are now sharing, about military operations, intelligence, etc.  Our government is stupid and broken, and Bush-Cheney-Rumsefeld broke it.

We have become complacent and we cut our politicians way too much slack. If we cannot hold our politicians up to scrutiny, even those we voted for and may have liked at one time, then we are finished as a people and a nation.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Modernity and Religion: An Inverse Correlation?

I'm seeing lots of articles lately about the demise of religion.  Here's a snippet from one of them:
"Religion has been waning in influence for several centuries, especially in Europe and North America. There have been a few brief and local revivals, but in recent years the pace of decline has accelerated."

Could anything turn this decline around? Yes, unfortunately. A global plague, a world war fought over water or oil, the collapse of the Internet (and thereby almost all electronic communication) or some as-yet unimagined catastrophe could throw the remaining population into misery and fear, the soil in which religion flourishes best. (WSJ - Professor Daniel C. Dennett)
He relates how John Calvin observed back in the 16th century, "...religion recedes whenever human security and well-being rises [...] He noted that the more prosperous and comfortable his Genevans became, the less dependent they were on church."

No Atheists in Foxholes

This shouldn't surprise anyone. When we're down and out, sick, at some grave disadvantage, in need of help, we are contrite, thankful for the help we beg from others, including God. Back on our feet, prosperous and healthy, we gain confidence in our own powers, and our gratitude and humility tend to fade. Anyone who has read the story of the Hebrews from the Pentateuch knows this is basic human nature. That story of a people, delivered from slavery to the promised land, thankful, rebellious, stubborn, questioning and demanding of their creator, is the story of each human heart.

But wait...  There's more...

Wow, I thought, as I paused over the fourth paragraph where the author made his solid conclusion founded upon human nature, that was a short article. But having arrived at a solid truth, he abandoned it and went on the attack:
Religious institutions, since their founding millennia ago, have managed to keep secrets and to control what their flocks knew about the world, about other religions and about the inner workings of their own religion with relative ease. Today it is next to impossible.
From that rickety assertion he descends into nasty God-bashing and religion-mocking built upon a squishy bog of bandwagon appeals, ad-hominem, and other logical fallacies. He lauds the social benefits of too many church-like community organizations that have dropped all that judgmental stuff, and he heralds a day when we will be free of religious doctrine. He expressed no such aversion to the stone blocks of man-made doctrine imposed upon us. I guess he's OK with that...

Here are my thoughts...

Man does not exist for religion. My purpose in life is not to serve the Catholic Church by sitting in its pews, volunteering my time and talents, and tithing. A church is there to help us all worship God, instruct us and aid us on our journey to heaven.

The article descended quickly into a screed, but I want to go back to the first part, where he posited an inverse relationship between prosperity and religious worship. It is a valid observation, backed up by data, but he is focusing on superficialities in an effort to ascribe selfish psychological motives to worshipers.

A better way to look at it is this: The more human beings are separated and shielded from the most elemental building blocks of life, the further in danger we are of becoming estranged from God.

Man-made things no longer direct our hearts and minds to God. Instead, they distract us. And the useful and utilitarian creations of man shield us from life's vicissitudes and reduces the opportunities for us to contemplate our small insignificance against the infinite backdrop of time and space.

Medicine, flush toilets, potable water systems, electricity, grocery stores, roads, airplane and the bouquet of appliances and toys that entertain us and make our live easier and safer are wonderful, and I thank God for them, but we must also recognize how they allow us to ignore our humanity and our mortality, and ultimately, our creator and his creation.

That is why so many people feel refreshed when they get back to nature and stand awestruck at its grandeur.

At least that's my take.  What's yours? 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

It's Summer

Like the sign? Buy it here.

...okay, its not summer but it's close enough.  Go read Friday's post.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Byrds... Featuring Earl Scruggs

This is so cool!

I got a smart tv recently, and it connects to the internet.  Yeah, I know, that's old hat, but its new to us.  We can also surf YouTube on the laptop and then pipe it to the tv, so that's some good entertainment.

Anyway, we stumbled upon this gem.  Earl Scruggs playing with Roger McGuinn and The Byrds.

I love the Byrds, but I positively revere Earl Scruggs, the father of three-finger style bluegrass banjo.

They're picking around at first, it sounds like Grandma's Feather Bed, but then they kick into "You ain't goin' nowhere."