In Flanders Fields

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In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Europe is dying of a WWI wound. And America is suffering the contagion.

The best of Europe at the time died in Flanders (And France) fields, and all the poppies that grow upon them obscure that in their absence the weasels, the sentimentalists, and most of all the demagogues seized upon their sacrifice to tell future generations what it meant.

Not even World War II, born of new internationalist movements (even though one of them emphasized imagined national identity) convinced people that the problem was not nationalism, instead of, say, crazy prescriptive just-so philosophies, or totalitarianism, or considering humans no more than widgets.

And so the world went careening after “internationalism” and “world government.” Both of which are not just bad ideas, they’re suicidal ideas, where the West is concerned.

Race is of relatively little importance in human affairs.  (Genetics, maybe, but even then it’s iffy.) Culture, however, is of massive, overpowering importance.  And culture is markedly difficult of change.  Archeological anthropologists can trace survivals of culture in places where the normal human pattern before the 20th century prevailed, and all the men were killed by the invading tribe, and all the women impregnated by the invaders.

Words and tales survive of the old culture, because mothers sing lullabies and talk of homely things.  Patterns of behavior survive too, enough to make the new colony not a replica of the motherland.

Since — thank heavens — none of us is talking of invading the whole world and replacing it with western culture by killing everyone over the age of three — thank heavens because even when very mild and relatively successful rule by conquerors has odd effects. Witness Japan’s population crash — talking about a world government or internationalism is insane talk.  Inviting horders of unaccultured (and unacculturable because hordes) less successful (by the only measurement that counts, of decreasing human disease, hunger, misery and mortality) cultures is inviting them to influence your culture till you too can’t survive.  And letting the world tell you how to live results in rule by envy, at least if you’re as rich and powerful as the US.

It’s time to take a deep breath.  Remember the dead of world war I — sacrificed to a web of crazy international alliances and the last reverberations of the industrial revolution disturbing society — remember the dead of world war II — dead over infatuation with a crazy ideology that promised heaven on Earth and the need to stop it — remember the victims of communism, and those who died fighting it — dead over infatuation with a crazy ideology that promised heaven on Earth and the need to stop it — and here, at the eye of the storm take a deep breath and reconsider everything you were taught.

Then refuse to hate your country or your culture.  Refuse to hate the West too.  Sure, we’ve made mistakes historically, but what culture hasn’t.  And at least what resulted is the best society for humans yet, where our poor suffer from obesity and expensive addictive substances.

Square your shoulders.  Those young men, sleeping under Flanders fields, might have died in a misguided clash from the age of empires, in a misguided attempt to end all wars.  The war in which they died is best known as the War of the Two Defeated.

But they were the best of the west.

And we will not let them down.

It’s time to rebuild.

176 responses to “In Flanders Fields

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Amen.

    IMO Ours is the only culture (for better or for worse) that looks at itself to see “where we can improve”.

    That may come from our Faith that tells us that “all have fallen short of the Glory Of G*d”.

    We still have to remember the Good our culture has done and not focus on the Evil.

    To focus on the Evil can mean that we get the idea that “we can’t do anything Good”.

    • Not quiet so entirely aside:

      I have yet to see the recent biography of Tolkien, and because of reviews now doubt I will.  I gather that the modern world view informed the story tellers, so dwelling on the horrors of WWI they left out how profoundly Tolkien’s work was shaped by his faith.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      But if we acknowledge that it is impossible for us to do Good, that means little opportunity cost for acts of tremendous and appalling Evil.

      • Some of the worst of evil is done in the name of doing good.

        Rather, us crazy clever little upright monkeys need to recognize that we can never, try as we might, make a perfect world all on our lonesome.

        • The name and words of good are a handy cloak to hide evil intentions. That doesn’t make those words evil, of course, but it’s one reason why we were told that, “By their fruits ye may know them.”

          In Gordon R. Dickson’s Dorsai!, Donal Graeme figures out that William of Ceta is thoroughly rotten by observing that his closest companions have become horribly dysfunctional as a result of his influence, and never mind that William acts like a reasonably ethical person. Same thing, I figure.

          -Albert

  2. Ours is the only culture that’s built on a creed to such an extent that you can become “one of us” by accepting and adhering to that creed. A lot of people–like you, Sarah–are more “us” despite being born elsewhere than are entirely too many who are born here. (I think that sentence parses right. 😉 )

    And, in the spirit of today: Absent friends. May they never be forgotten and may their deeds live on far beyond our puny mortal lives.

  3. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Actually, I think I am talking about invading the whole world and killing off everyone over the age of three.

    Mass murder of every population that isn’t an American population is effectively a very similar prospect.

    How many millions of infants and toddlers could 330 million collect, take on and raise anyway? If this is enough fewer than the number existing, the distinction is pretty minimal.

    Realistically, if this is even feasible, it would have huge costs which may be prohibitive. Among others, without the foreign devils to oppose, there is a much weaker case for preserving domestic tranquility.

    On the other hand, it may be the most plausible way to address climate change.

    Why do you hate science and the environment? 🙂

    • Yes, but we don’t care what you are talking about,Bob.
      As for 330 million, aren’t you kidding? At least a quarter of those are no longer our countrymen.

      • Those who are no longer our countrymen, but reside among us passing themselves off as if they were all the while attempting to undercut the ideals of the Declaration and the law of the Constitution, are a far great problem than all those outside our borders.

      • Well, it says ‘fool’ right there in the name.

        And if the infants and toddlers are raised Western they’ll become countrymen. As will their countries.

        Hmmm…Thanos is stroking his wrinkled chin in thought…

        • We hardly have the capacity to raise more than a fraction of the children not our own, particularly if they’re to be raised well. Consider the horror stories of foster care.

          -Albert

          • As a wise man once said: We don’t have time for rational solutions!

          • Part of the horrors of foster care are purely system, not the fostering– even if we wanted to foster kids, we couldn’t, because we don’t have enough rooms, and part of why we don’t want to foster kids is that there’s no way to say “hey, I’ve got six very trusting kids all single-digit, we really can’t do a 14 year old male rape victim.” Much less any sort of get-to-know-the-kid-first setup.
            So you end up with folks adopting kids for selfish reasons– to abuse, for the money, or to Make A Statement. (like those women who killed all their fostered kids, who were all minority)

            • I knew several people who had been placed in the Baptist Children’s homes in NC during the depression and WWII.  The kids were not placed in an individual home, true, but neither were they shipped from foster setting to foster setting.  All in all they did very well.  Such institutions being run by religious organizations, the government longer places children in them.  Now most have been shut down.  

            • The system being set up to work horribly is part of why our capacity is more limited than it could be.

              We’ve done better in the past, such as the Baptist Children’s homes mentioned below, but the political types would rather run a much higher risk of ruining kids’ lives than expose them to religion.

              -Albert

              • the political types would rather run a much higher risk of ruining kids’ lives than expose them to religion

                You say that as if there were a worse thing to do to kids’ than expose them to religious dogma.

                • Why, they might get an idea that something could be more powerful than the Leviathan!

                • It is precisely this attitude that caused the foster system, with all the human breakage inherent to unfeeling bureaucracy, to replace the generally Christian-run orphanages.

                  Also, half a heartbeat of consideration will reveal worse faiths and dogma to expose children to.

                  -Albert

            • True. I know a lovely fellow librarian whose two (adopted) foster kids are a joy.

              It’s almost as if the system was designated to destroy young lives.

            • Some of my husband’s relatives did fostering, and what they had was essentially a revolving door. They get Jon and Jane, spend a few months deprogramming them and trying to get them adjusted to a normal life, then Mom convinces the Court she’s rehabilitated and gets them back. Then, a few weeks or months later, they get the call in the middle of the night: “Hey, Mom’s been arrested again. Can we drop Jon and Jane off with you…”

            • Ach. Those two evil lesbians. Those kids didn’t deserve what happened to them.

              • Amsel, Matthew

                Specific case?

                • Jennifer and Sarah Hart

                  They’d been reported for child abuse before. One can only suspect that it helped they could scream “homophobia!” to silence it, and given other cases, it may not have been — but of course, it may have been.

                  sigh

                  • Homophobia may have been present, but it would not be relevant to the concern over the health and safety of the children in their custody. The occurrence of homophobia and abusive treatment of children are nor mutually exclusive, nor does the existence of any kind of bigotry in officials ameliorate the damage. The issue of whether inspections were unduly intrusive and without justification is separate from the condition of the foster children.

                    Why, it is as sensible as refusing to convict a person of murder because the Bible proscribes murder, thus rendering any punishment an expression of religious faith and thus Constitutionally invalid.

                    • You should probably read your First Amendment again: The Constitutionally invalid approach is to prohibit the free exercise of religion.

                      Did you honestly think that the Left, for all their lies, redefinition, and other pravda, manage to _genuinely_ respect the First Amendment?

                      -Albert

                    • They wish what they want to read into it, and then follow that.

                      (BTW, don’t recognize your name, so warning– RES frequently writes with his tongue so far in cheek that it’s almost out the far side.)

                    • On the internet, nobody can see you wink.

                      (I’ve been advised my eyes twinkle but I think that is just pollen.)

                • Short version, six dead kids who were only available because they’d already gotten the short end, and two nasty activist type twits who seem to have wanted trophies.

                  https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/04/trailed-by-abuse-allegations-hart-mothers-decide-to-drug-children-drive-off-cliff.html

        • We’re not properly educating and raising the kids we have now. It doesn’t appear that we’re raising them “Western” as it is.

      • Can we invade our own country and expel those who are NOT our countrymen? Please?

        • The time might come.

          • It is close.

            There is a Washington County Sheriff who is defying the new Washington State sanctuary law that was just signed. More of that to come. Heck even some Californians are getting fed up …

            Shocking. Just shocking. (okay sarcasm off)

            • Several, IIRC, all in the counties that have national-norm levels of voting per registered voter. (and actually remove you from the voter roles when you move out of state)

              Maybe that will help us get my folks out of Washington…..

  4. c4c

  5. Bravissima, Mrs. Hoyt.

  6. John Patterson

    An old Jacques Brel song performed by Judy Collins keeps running through my mind:
    “The dove has torn her wing
    So no more songs of love.
    We’re not here to sing
    We’re here to kill the dove.”

    “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”- Rev 6:4
    1914 was the beginning of the end of present civilization.

    • Perhaps. And perhaps the end of the eye of the storm is nearing.
      But we can always rebuild. And we should at least try.

      • It is the best of the available options.

        Do not go gentle into that good night.
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

        Fools are abundantly available that we might all have our honor guard come Ragnarok.

        • If that good night is death…? Nah. Not gonna rage.

          If it’s some socialist death panel…

          Heh. I was going to write something on the order of “make the rubble bounce”. But going down fighting is really the last of the last choices.

          Better to build up, over, and around. Win friends. Influence people (yes, I saw that smirk. Most people are socially ept). Plant that garden. Build those bridges…

      • John Patterson

        We will rebuild and do better, rebuild lives. Rebuild society, with God’s help and under his direction.

  7. Not even World War II, born of new internationalist movements (even though one of them emphasized imagined national identity)…”

    Nazism was not based on national identity, unless you accept the SJWs concept of racial identity = national identity. The Nazis preached racial identity, a cult of the Aryan peoples, not of the German nation.

    Nor, truly, did the Japanese pursue national identity, although in their case race and nation coincided. Their obsessive insistence on distinguishing between Koreans and Japanese reflects the racism at the core of their culture.

    Even the Soviet Union, dominated by ethnic Russians, betrayed a racial obsession. Superficially international, in practice it expressed the deeply seated sense of inferiority held by the Rus people and their need to sort by race.

    • I think fascism – i.e. Italy’s political doctrine – was national. It made explicit appeals to ancient Rome.

    • FlyingMike

      It’s my impression that when most Europeans say “nation” they are really talking about that consistent identity and ethnicity concept that came to be called “race” in pre-WWI Europe. And the extension of this concept meant that the named “-ism” movements were at heart all really about the domination by one identity and ethnicity group over all the others, whether is was Germans-over-all as put forward by the NSDP, or Italians-over-all as espoused by the Fascistii, or Russians-over-all in “International Communist” movement.

      I think this is actually what caused the Great Split when Mao broke off the Chinese Communists from being a part of the Russian “International Communist” movement – the Chinese realized that the Russians were more equal, that Russian interests came first, and the Han Chinese would not sign on to playing second fiddle to anyone.

      In any case, any comparison of US nationalism, basically encompassing anyone who adopts the main American cultural referents regardless of where they came from (yes, ideally, and yes, with notable exclusionary exceptions over time) to nationalism elsewhere is an apples to bananas comparison.

      • “Blood and soil nationalism.”

        • FlyingMike

          My point is that all the totalitarian movements were at base really just “blood and soil” expansionists who also wanted to take over other folks soil to be populated/controlled by their “blood” – the NSDAP, the Fascistii, the CCCP, all were at heart old-style acquisitive aristocratic structures with overlays of various depths of religious obfuscation and justification.

          I’d also say the current implementations in Cuba, Venezuela, China, Vietnam, etc. are the same aristocracy-with-Marx-as-religious-overlay to varying degrees, where a selected group stays in charge of everyone else because of the “inevitable arrow” (instead of “the divine right of kings”).

          And here in California we just have watermelon aristos, with all the greenie crap as yet another overlay on the “inevitable arrow” justifying why the powerful stay in power.

          Same thing now in Europe – but I note with pleasure that the peasants are revolting, and the watermelon aristos over there have not able to do what they did to make Ireland join the EU, holding repeated votes until the plebes vote the right way.

          Overall looking slightly up.

          • History is an unending tale of people in boots manufacturing reasons why others should don the saddle and bridle.

    • Nor, truly, did the Japanese pursue national identity, although in their case race and nation coincided.

      That seems to be what most of the other nations go for– even German makes sense when you eyeball them as trying to build a story that would excuse them taking over the whole area, basically the same way they’d unified the other small nations they now consisted of.

    • I would argue that, like the Progressives today, the Nazis confused culture with race, probably (in both cases) deliberately. The Nazis needed to tell the Germans that being German was a race, because otherwise it would have been hard to scapegoat the German Jews. The Proggies need to tell us that Islam is a race, that the problems of the poor Blacks stem from racism instead of dysfunctional culture (the Proggies’, when you get down to it) and many other bits of nitwittery. Because if they don’t, then the people they mean to rule might start making invidious comparisons of, say, Protestant Christian culture and Modern Atheistical culture.

      • Yes, Nazis and Proglodytes are both drinking from the same fountain, no matter how staunchly they obfuscate. As you note, the living water of Christian culture, however much diluted, is not a product they wish to be measured against.

        • Progllodytes=identity based socialists who seek to impose global totalitarian socialism, i.e. Communazis, which is the perfect term for their ideology and goals.

          • Indeed. A Progressive is a Socialist is a Communist is a Fascist is a Nazi. The differences are almost completely cosmetic. They are all members of the same horribly dysfunctional family, which goes a long way to explain why the fights among them are so bitter.

            • There was a time in America when Automakers built virtually identical vehicles and merely affixed different brand tags. Thus the Buick Apollo was, for all intents and purposes, identical to the “Oldsmobile Omega, Chevrolet Nova, and the Pontiac Ventura.”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Apollo)

              The collapse of the one car, multiple brands manufacturer is a demonstration of the problems inherent in this “competition” — which happens to be the sort of competition preferred by government, unions and socialists of all forms (but I repeat myself.)

              Some will have noted the similarity to the business strategies of many social media services.

    • Sarah is right. The Germans, Japanese, and Russians were all expansionist. They talked the nationalist game, but when it was time to suit deed to word, they wanted their boot on someone else’s neck.

      A real nationalist, like Bismarck, isn’t interested in conquering other nations. He’s more concerned about making his own nation strong.

    • I’d fine tune it further, RES. It had the germ of truth. Germany for the German ethnics, the German culture vs. the decadent internationalists. That had to resonate in the Weimar years, with the blowback from WW I.

      The problem is that you’ve got not just Lutheran Germans who fit the first category, but Jews, and Catholics, and lots of other odds and sods. As you noticed with the Japanese (and with the exception of folk like the Romany) these were ethnic (racial by any reasonable scientific definition) monoliths. So the baddies (commies, assorted oikophobes) were the same mix. Fine tuning that distinction is a problem that has not changed. Corrupt boss class stinks? How do we fix it? How do we I.D. just the baddie boss types?

      Reality is difficult. Everyone wants the easy answer. Vox Day torques me off by doubting that the Holy Spirit (i.e. “culture) trumps race and IQ*. But I sympathize with his irritation with binary thinkers.

      *And I get to torque everyone else off by asserting that only Christian culture can trump ethnicity. Rampageous opinion for everyone!

  8. War of Both Defeated?

    • Both sides in the war ended up defeated…

      • Yes. The nearest thing to winners were the United States and Japan. Europe…should have called the whole thing off in 1915 and cracked the Communists over the head when they tried to make trouble.

        • 5 and cracked the Communists over the head when they tried to make trouble.

          Isn’t that the universal solution, universally ignored?

        • Japan may have “won” in the short term. But the seeds of the horrific views that tainted them in World War 2 were being sown. And World War I left Japan unsatisfied with the gains that it made during the war. That country’s “success” in World War I likely led to the disastrous policies that took them into World War 2.

          • Was doing quite a lot of reading into WWI just recently. In “A World Undone,” the author mentioned that there was only really one thing Japan wanted out of the treaty of Versailles: equal treatment for Asian immigrants to the West. And it was denied.

            Now, this may not be as appalling as it sounds, because as DH pointed out to me those immigrants could easily be/become sleeper agents, but even still.

            • imo, that’s worse than Wilson ignoring some (not so) random Vietnamese waiter who kept trying to pester him.

              I’ve read that Japan’s poisonous racial philosophy was influenced – in part – by an attempt in the early part of the century by the Japanese government to get The West to view Japanese as just the same as the various white races. The various nations that made up The West at the time ignored this attempt. So Japan’s philosophies took a different path than they might otherwise have taken.

              I’m guessing that what you’re describing was something similar – an attempt by the Japanese government to essentially get Europe and North America to recognize that the Japanese people were essentially capable of doing (and had been doing) exactly what all of the “white” nations of the world had done, and should therefore not be looked down on and seen as inferiors.

              • That’s basically what the author was saying, yes. I think that book is currently in storage, alas, but I recall reading that they were refused because said Western Nations didn’t have the guts to otherwise justify immigration restrictions for Asians (something like that). I read that and said “and that is why Pearl Harbor happened.” If Japan hadn’t switched sides, the US never would have joined the war. There’s an alt history for someone with the stomach to write it.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Not necessary “Japan not switching sides”, but Chris Nuttall has a stand-alone book where Japan never attacked Pearl Harbor thus the US didn’t get involved in WW2 and a series where Hitler didn’t declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor thus the US didn’t get involved against Germany (just against Japan).

                  The stand-alone is “The Invasion Of 1950”.

                  The series (basically a Nazi civil war) is Twilight Of The Gods. The books are (in order) are “Storm Front”, “Chosen Of The Valkyries”, and “Ragnarok”.

        • The Man from Kilos40

          In the short term, there is a case to be made that Serbia gained a lot from WW1 – At a cost of more than half the prewar population. (Part of the reason it is not better known, is that Serbia became Yugoslavia as a result of the war.)

          France and Great Britain also had some gains, albeit at horrendous cost. A cost that was perhaps more than all the gains was worth.

          • Amsel, Matthew

            I truly wish that Moltke hadn’t taken his troops through Belgium. Britain staying out of the war might have led to both France and Russia getting crushed *without* nearly as many dead.

            • Germany was peeved by the Versailles treaty, forcing them to pay for the war. It was their intention to force France to pay an indemnity for the war, which was why they went into debt to pay for the war from the word go.

              Now, imagine the reaction in France to a Versailles treaty with the additional bonus that they know that Germany started it and was treating them as the villains for losing.

  9. Jeff Greason

    The greatest goal in American foreign policy ought to be to return to the wise posture articulated by Jefferson. “We are the friends of liberty everywhere, but the guarantors of only our own”. The best thing we can do with space resources is free ourselves of the necessity for entangling economic relationships with national security ones, and thus allow ourselves to have the same relationship with “Rest of World” that Great Britain had with Europe in pre-WW1 history.

  10. Christopher M. Chupik

    World War is not my favorite franchise. The first was pretty bad, and the second wasn’t an improvement, Fortunately the third instalment is still stuck in development hell.

    • Third installment? Hell, kid, that one petered out with no resolution. We’re looking at the fourth installment now: World War: The Third World Strikes!

      • Sadly, it looks as if they’ve followed the George R. R. martin school of story-telling.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          So, we won’t get to the big massacre at the end?

          • From your mouth to God’s ears.

          • Martin is arguing that the end of the TV adaptation is not the same as his planned ending. He reminds us that, as we have been amply forewarned, ‘Winter is coming.’

            No, I have not read any of the novels. After watching the first two seasons of the TV adaption with an insistent friend I gave myself permission to quit. I could tell that nothing good was going to come of it for anyone, and I didn’t care.

            • If he wants to sell any copies of the remaining books he pretty much has to claim that, hasn’t he?

              His own d- fault — it isn’t as if they rushed to complete the TV series. A disciplined author would have taken advantage of the final season to get the last book out and capitalize on the promotion to boost already considerable commercial appeal. But nooooooo, GRRM is not our bitch.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              Yuh huh. He’s going to write the novelization of the last few seasons with just enough details changed that he can claim it’s how he meant to do it all along.

    • Nope. The Third was a masterpiece of strategic planning. Thank Jerry Pournelle for a piece of it. By FAR his most important work is “The Strategy of Technology.”

  11. This is one of those songs I think of on this day:

    And remembers the fallen as he orders a tall one and swallows it down with his tears.

    • As Christ died to make men holy, we will fight to make men free?

      Alt Right. Conservative. Liberals. We all suck. Because at the end of the day, our black brothers and sisters are not remembered for their heroism, but for being that rare black heroic dude.

      I could cry.

  12. Stephen W. Browne

    A substantial fraction of the intellectual establishment of the West hates Western Civ in general and America and particular. They come not from the poor and dispossessed, but from the most affluent and educated classes in society, precisely those who have benefited most from our civilization.
    This sounds seriously insane, but I believe I – or rather Abraham Lincoln with help from Francis Bacon and Abraham Maslow can explain it:

    • Such people tend to resent that Western Civ (and especially America) elevates people according to achievements, actual (gasp!) results – rather than breeding and connections. Why, such a system risks raising to the presidency such crass persons as a populist frontier general, an Illinois lawyer, a B-movie actor and (quelle horreur!) a real estate developer from Queens!

      • Systemic processes tend to reward people for making decisions that turn out to be right—creating great resentment among the anointed, who feel themselves entitled to rewards for being articulate, politically active, and morally fervent.

        ― Thomas Sowell

        • I’ll take minor issue with his point. No way someone could claim Occasional Cortex to be articulate.

          One wonders: was she misreading cue cards when she was talking about “casual tornadoes” last week? Or does she think there’s a formality, and that properly raised tornadoes ask permission before taking out a community of Deplorables.

          • He didn’t say they actually were articulate, politically active, and morally fervent. Just that was what they felt entitled them to reward.

            • Occasional Cortex is articulate, it’s us what are the problem, too mean, racist, sexist and deplorably evil to see the sense in what she says.

              How blind must we be, to be unable to read by her shining light?

              • From DC to Cosmic Ray, nothing there… so what’s this new spectrum that has such light, and is it transmitted by some strange non-Euclidean wave (mal)function?

          • AC is articulate for Jezebel / Kardashian / Daily Show / Tumblr standards of articulate. She’s exceptional.

            You only think she isn’t because you’re civilized. Never change.

          • Ocrazyo Vortex and the problem of cauliflower… *shakes head*

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Haven’t you heard? “Western Civilization” is evil-bad racist code. /sarc

        • Of course it is: it tends to reward people for the wrong reasons, simply because they were (in the words of Thomas Sowell) “making decisions that turn out to be right”.

          What kind of civilization do you get with that as its fundamental principle?

        • Timothy E. Harris

          Western Civilization is suffering from its great success.
          We have created so much wealth that, instead of having to spend their time desperately trying to survive, millions of spoiled children who have rarely been denied a whim can take it easy but feel entitled to everything the hard workers have created.
          Progressives play them like puppets, redefining handouts first as Entitlements and then escalating that to Rights.
          If we don’t get a handle on it soon things will get very bad for a while when what can’t go on forever “unexpectedly” ends.

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    The discussion of Johnny Horton the other day prompted me to pop 1960’s Sink The Bismarck! into my player last night. Rewatching it reminded me that there were plenty of times when it seemed like evil would triumph, but good kept fighting on nonetheless.

    • Jeff Greason

      Christopher M. Chupik — precisely. The post-Enlightenment Western Civilization has been the threat to tyrants and elites. They keep trying to tear it down and return to feudalism. And they always want us to believe it is hopeless. If they’re right, what is lost by trying to save civilization? Wouldn’t it be better to die on our feet than live on our knees? If they’re wrong, we might keep civilization going yet. So when they tell you nothing can be done — try anyway. And remember that they have every reason to convince you it is hopeless, whether they believe it or not.

      • Agree. Better to live by your convictions today, than to wait for their permission tomorrow; they will not allow tomorrow.

  14. Western Civilization, for all of it’s sins and faults, has done more for humanity than 90% of the other civilizations out there. And, that makes the elite and the “enlightened” angry, because it seems to do it so easily…

    We very often fall short of our standards, but we have standards that we actually look at and believe in (mostly).
    We try to listen to the angels of our better nature, rather than to excuse the beasts of our flesh.
    We think that at the end of the day, nobility and paupers will have to face the same judgements, rather than be excused on the basis of their rank.
    That we believe that there is something that can be called “better,” rather than be happy with what we have.

    I know my history and I know how horrible most of human history is. And, trying to explain that we need to preserve even our faulted system feels like trying to gargle a latrine.

    • I know my history and I know how horrible most of human history is.

      You only say that because you only know the history as writ by the conquerors, the oppressors, the triumphant ones justifying their sins. those who leaver mankind to live in harmony with nature never get the chance to enter their praises of their balanced lives into history’s records.

      Sheesh, you’d think a few minor plagues or rampant malnutrition were bad things.

      • thats because they usually die from the plagues or malnutrition or earthquakes or tornadoes or a swarm of locusts or an attack of giant ocelots or any other number of things doesn’t give you the supplies and technology to forsee and withstand… but nevermind that, their ideal says it will work, they read the Earth’s Children books they know how it works.

    • “I know my history and I know how horrible most of human history is.”

      Actually, most of human history is boring. Millions upon millions of humans living quiet, plain, ordinary lives – farming, fishing, crafting, raising kids. No wars, no plagues, no natural disasters. Just normalcy – the tide of life, goin’ out and comin’ in.

      • Aye. There are “exciting” (which mean “terrifying” usually) spots, but overall… Joe Schmoe lives on and gets by and would rather not be bothered. It’s when Noble-Title Schmuck decides not enough of the pie belongs to Noble-Title Schmuck that things get “exciting.”

        • Aye. He’s hopelessly liberal but that doesn’t mean he’s always wrong. The Left tends to excel at diagnosing social ills and be deadly in their prescriptions for treating them.


          When kings make war
          The poor little men must fight them
          They must do more
          They hold out their necks
          For great lord’s swords to bite them
          The sons of lords cleave through their ranks
          In the hopes some warrior king might knight them
          It’s what the poor little men are for
          When kings make war

      • You write as if boring were in opposition to horrible. If your wife has a kid every other year and maybe two live to adulthood — if you have to hunt through the woods every spring for acorns because there is no other food — if you spend the winter basically in a stupor to save food — well, it’s not exciting, but it’s still horrible. You may just be numb.

        • True. OTOH, can you really call a situation “horrible” if it’s the norm for that time, place, and culture?

          • “Man is born for trouble as sparks fly upward” as they put it — they could know it was trouble even as it was commonplace.

    • it also aggravates them to no end that it will apparently feel free to do so without them having to ‘guide’ and ‘regulate’ everything.

    • We very often fall short of our standards, but we have standards that we actually look at and believe in (mostly)

      Indeed. For example, there’s this song by Madison Rising (great group, highly recommended):

      Now, the America they described never really existed as presented. But at least, once upon a time, we recognized that as the ideal–even if we didn’t always live up to it.

  15. I aim to misbehave.

  16. I have always hated “In Flanders Fields.” It’s bleak and depressing, it makes a promise that will never be kept, and it tries to make something great out of the most senseless killing in human history. As far as I can tell, every soul that perished in the Great War died for nothing. If there was ever in all of human history a more pointless, useless, wasteful war, I’ve never heard of it.

    • I would not say they died for nothing…but their lives were squandered by poor leadership on all sides, aided and abetted by the Communist sharks in the political waters waiting to take down the government of any nation that lost.

    • NOT the most senseless killing in human history.
      And no, they died to prevent all of Europe from being Germany. Now Germany wanting that was batshit insane. BUT they really wanted it. See the EU.

      • The war was over “some damn fool thing in the Balkans” that Bismark worried about. What made it almost inevitable was the assumption that the country that mobilized first, and struck first would win.

        Like first strike nuke attack, which if we had done the same assumptions in the 50’s would have made such a war also certain.

        Humans are tribal. It is our strength and our weakness. The danger of tribe is the “kill one of ours, we kill one of yours.” That is why American inner cities have been so dangerous. That is why the democrat tribe is so dangerous, a tribe of tribes, even if they win, they will just be at war with themselves.

        • **Humans are tribal. It is our strength and our weakness. The danger of tribe is the “kill one of ours, we kill one of yours.**

          That’s an interesting take. Thanks.

          As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back Forr the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

      • I doubt we want to start a discussion of exactly what constituted “the most senseless killing in human history.” Given the Steppe Nomad conquests under Tamerlane, Genghis and Attila, the demolition of Europe under Bonaparte, the Islamic sweep from one horn of Africa to the other and beyond, the Byzantine and Roman efforts, the various Persian “god-kings” and the Egyptians before that — not to mention the African, Indian and Asian wars un-recounted in Western history and the many genocides in the Western hemisphere of which we’ve only the vaguest records, the selection is embarrassingly vast and the criteria too ill-defined.

    • Amsel, Matthew

      Wars of the Roses?

  17. Cedar, others in Dayton area — We are okay. Are you okay?

    (We had multiple tornados. Every single one went around Oldtown, if course. Shawnee towns were built in th e right places.)

    If we do not hear from you, I assume you had a power outage.

    • We are ok, power is even on. The First Reader may not be able to get to work, but we are south of the destruction. Holy crud… slept through it all. There are a LOT of people in the areas they hit.

      • Welcome to the wonderful world of tornado paranoia, where you leave the app or the radio on at night…..

        All I got was hail and wind. My little brother has a couple of trees down across his driveway, and my parents have lots of debris from other damaged places. Power out all around, roads closed, mandatory beads because of gas… But they are okay, their cars are okay, and I am really thankful.

        • Evac, not beads. Sigh.

          • I was wondering. How long until “bead” makes it into some work as a coded message to “get outta Dodge” ?

            • Heh. “Bead, bead, bead.”

              My parents slept through the speaker trucks in the plats right near them, but their Beavercreek street was not evacuated. Same thing for my brother.

              • Your brother sent me a picture of the tree damage, doesn’t look to bad, though getting it cleared might take a while if he doesn’t do it himself. My mother and father spent the night in the kitchen keeping track on her phone, and using an oil lamp when the power failed.

                • Hrmm… do I dare risk lamp and oil, or stick with solid candles (not much light, but no liquid at ambient) and the USB/batteries? I like modern tech, sure… but wax/oil is not expensive (unless used for everything…) and batteries do discharge,, but then, anything used will, eventually. So far, outages haven’t been for more than a few hours. But I also know that if I count on that, it WILL bite me in the rump. And $HOUSEMATE ought to have a battery-inverter setup for the CPAP. $HOUSEMATE can’t sleep well without it… and if $HOUSEMATE is without it, chances are the chainsaw will ruin any sleep I attempt as well.

                  • Aaand I feel dumb, because we have the spare freezer out in the garage, not in the basement.

                    The idea of “it’s an emergency, SHELTER IN PLACE” is going to take a lot of getting use to.

              • wolfwalker

                Beavercreek?

                @@!

                I used to live near there, a long time ago. Just west of Exit 10 off I-675.

                • Apparently the universe decided we needed more excitement…..

                  Candle in a jar is always nice. Get one of those six hour votives…

                  But yeah, oil lamp also works. You can use a dish of olive oil and a wick, if you have to.

                  • You don’t have to be Jewish: buy and stock some yahrzeit candles. “A Yahrzeit, which is Yiddish for ‘a year’s time,’ is the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Every year it is Jewish custom, the minhag, to light a special candle that burns for 24 hours, called a Yahrzeit candle.” [learnreligionsDOTcom]

                    “This kind of candle, that burns up to 26 hours, is also lit on the eve of Yom Kippur or of the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony (Yom HaShoah) to burn through the entire occasion.” [Wikipedia]


                    Some are available that burn for forty-eight hours or even, as the is the one depicted above, seven-days.

                    Remarkably inexpensive, available through Amazon or at many grocery stores.

        • In keeping with the pattern deployed by the Left of denouncing the Right for wanting the bad results of which we warn when criticizing Leftish policies as counter-productive (e.g., when we warn a “Living Wage” policy will “hurt the poor by eliminating entry-level jobs, they respond by claiming “you want poor people to starve!”) can we criticize Climatistas as wanting tornadoes to destroy homes and businesses?

        • I have family in sort-of-suburban Chicago (marginally a satellite city, but it’s Chicago), and they managed to get the whacking great storm cell directly overhead.

          Looks like Mom didn’t keep the NOAA weather radio we gave her; she was talking about the incredibly heavy rain. I knew there was a tornado warning, but she wasn’t aware of such. And I just learned that the noaa.gov weather radar has colors for greater intensity than the dark-red. Saw my first “white” and “violet” patches; that was immediately west of them.

          Looks like niece in Ohio did all right; she’s sort of near Cleveland.

          Sunday we had 3/4″ of rain. (Impressive for semi-arid climate.) Yesterday, it looks like we had an additional 1/2″. Haven’t said this in a long time, but I’m getting sick of the rain.

          • Welcome to my side of the state. This time of year I’m am thoroughly tired of Rain.

            OTOH was glad when the rain came back. It is too early to be warm and dry in the Willamette Valley, Coast Range, Cascades, and points East. We (gasp) actually had to turn on the water on the lawn and flower beds.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Takes more than a tornado to topple a cedar. 😉

        • True. But tornado/wind will do a number on those limbs and the tops.

          Anyone planting a Giant Sequoias or Redwoods along with those Cedars? Neither will seed itself locally, but if you plant seedlings, they will grow. Then create multiple tops and limbs that go up and up for additional tops again. Limbs that are two or 3 feet diameter. Then the wind hits them just wrong and down they come with a thump, right into your house. Have seen pictures, haven’t experienced it. Came close. But limbs missed the house.

      • Yay on okay. Boo on FR not being able to get to work.

    • I’d heard tornados in Ohio, didn’t catch that it was Dayton/Miami Valley area. Hmm, still have a few “friends” in the area. May have to make time to check in on them. Just tell me nothing hit Xenia. (that town has been hit at least twice that I know of.)

      • Aeh, Xenia always gets some, but this time it was mostly straight-line winds for them. Jamestown got more. Big hits were Celina, Brookville, Trotwood, parts of North Dayton, Harrison Twp., and the area all around my little brother and my parents’ houses. (But not them!)

        Giant power outages and heat are the other problem. Plus more storms tonight, bleh.

        • Glad your family is safe.

          T-wood, and N. Dayton eh? Near my old stomping grounds and near some friends by association. Yep, will have to check up on them.

          Thanks muchly.

  18. Forgive me for intruding on your Memorial Day post. I had previously mentioned that thisainthell.us was off-line. They have migrated to valorguardians.com. Note the ‘s’.

  19. Flanders‘ Fields?


    Oakilly-Doakilly, then.

  20. Sixty-six years of Progress:

    On 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

    Another climber dies on Everest as world’s tallest peak overcrowds
    Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY Published May 27, 2019
    A British climber who collapsed on the descent from Mount Everest’s summit became the latest in a string of fatalities on the world’s tallest peak.

    Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died Saturday when he became too weak and fainted in Everest’s “death zone,” a section at the top of the mountain known for its low levels of oxygen that can be fatal if climbers linger for too long.

    Fisher’s death is at least the eighth this climbing season on Everest, according to Reuters, and the mountain has been mired with dangerous overcrowding and delays that some have blamed for the deaths.

    Because of poor weather this year, climbers have had only a few days to attempt to reach Everest’s summit, CNN reported. Long lines of climbers at high altitudes have created near standstills at times.

    “Before you reach the summit, you have to wait, and every minute counts at the height,” Krishma Poudel of Peak Promotion, a mountaineering agency in Nepal, told NBC News.

    The problem is that the air on Everest’s more than 29,000-foot peak has such low oxygen levels that climbers can stay there only a short time.

    “Once you get above about 25,000 feet, your body just can’t metabolize the oxygen,” Grayson Schaffer, editor of Outside magazine, told NPR. “Your muscles start to break down. You start to have fluid that builds up around your lungs and your brain. Your brain starts to swell. You start to lose cognition. Your decision making starts to become slow. And you start to make bad decisions.

    “And all of this is happening in the face of, you know, each person trying to sort of reach their ultimate dream.”

    Schaffer said the problem has gotten worse each year with more climbers trying to make the ascent from the Nepalese side as the number of permits granted from the Chinese side has been limited.

    Danduraj Ghimire, head of Nepal’s tourism department, downplayed the effect the crowds have had on the death toll. Speaking with The New York Times, he blamed the fatalities on the fewer number of good climbing days and said Nepal had no plans to limit the number of permits it grants.

    “If you really want to limit the number of climbers, let’s just end all expeditions on our holy mountain,” he said.

    Sherpas and climbers speaking with The Times also said a lack of experience in some climbers has exacerbated the problems. Some of the deaths this year, they said, were caused by people who could not climb up then down the peak fast enough to refill their oxygen supplies, while others should not have been on the mountain in the first place.

    “You have to qualify to do the Ironman,” Alan Arnette, who writes about Everest and is a climber himself, told The Times. “But you don’t have to qualify to climb the highest mountain in the world? What’s wrong with this picture?”

    But experienced climbers have also been among the dead this year.

    Don Cash, 55, of Utah died last week as he descended Everest’s peak. For Cash, reaching the summit marked the completion of his dream: to climb the tallest mountain on all seven continents. He collapsed on his way down the mountain.

    Though people die every year on Mount Everest, some say the problem in 2019 is particularly concerning.

    “I’ve seen traffic, but not this crazy,” Nirmal Purja, who has summited Everest four times, told The Washington Post.

  21. OT: I’m going to be on the road without reliable internet for a while. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry.

  22. The Daily Mail has a very good tornado roundup.

    The video comedy highlight was Jamie Simpson at Fox45. (I was following the subsidiary tornado religion of Gil Whitney over at WHIO, where McCall Vrydagh found herself choking up a lot with worry for the viewers, because they have debris field radar now. Pregnancy hormones.)

    Apparently the unbelievers and non-Xenians were mad because Jamie broke into The Bachelorette. So Jamie went off on the reality-challenged, in a milder way than I would have. I bet they have tornado religion now!

  23. “If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep,”

    I think it’s pretty evident that the Democrat-Liberal-Progressive-Socialists HAVE broken faith with our honored dead. May the dead rise up and trouble them severely.

  24. snelson134

    A Death-Bed
    1918

    “This is the State above the Law.
    The State exists for the State alone.”
    [This is a gland at the back of the jaw,
    And an answering lump by the collar-bone.],
    Some die shouting in gas or fire;
    Some die silent, by shell and shot.
    Some die desperate, caught on the wire;
    Some die suddenly. This will not.

    “Regis suprema voluntas Lex”
    [It will follow the regular course of–throats.]
    Some die pinned by the broken decks,
    Some die sobbing between the boats.
    Some die eloquent, pressed to death
    By the sliding trench, as their friends can hear.
    Some die wholly in half a breath. Some–give trouble for half a year.

    “There is neither Evil nor Good in life
    Except as the needs of the State ordain.”
    [Since it is rather too late for the knife, All we can do is to mask the pain.]
    Some die saintly in faith and hope–
    One died thus in a prison-yard–
    Some die broken by rape or the rope;
    Some die easily. This dies hard.

    “I will dash to pieces who bar my way.
    Woe to the traitor! Woe to the weak!”
    [Let him write what he wishes to say.
    It tires him out if he tries to speak.]
    Some die quietly. Some abound
    In loud self-pity. Others spread
    Bad morale through the cots around…
    This is a type that is better dead.

    “The war was forced on me by my foes.
    All that I sought was the right to live.”
    [Don’t be afraid of a triple dose;
    The pain will neutralize all we give.
    Here are the needles. See that he dies
    While the effects of the drug endure….
    What is the question he asks with his eyes?–
    Yes, All-Highest, to God, be sure.]

    https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/death_bed.html