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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Where I've Been — And Still Am

Ongoing cleaning out and sorting in my home office — since former blogger The Merry Widow arrived November 21.  Believe it or not, the photos below represent a week of progress and attaining organized chaos!

Everything from two walls has been shoved over so as to make room for the desk and vanity arriving on Thursday. This picture represents only one portion of what has been shoved over:

Treasures were found! Not pictured here....My father's wallet! He died in 1998, and his wallet had fallen behind the bookcase pictured below and inaccessible for two decades.  The amount of money in the wallet was sufficient enough for me to exclaim, "Merry Christmas from Dad!"

The rectangular box contained 78 rpms, bound volumes of In Britain (1960s), and two volumes of a set of the KJV Bible, dated 1792 and printed in London .  We found a home for the 78 rpms, as well as 33 and 1/3 rpms from the 1960s and 1970s; we donated the magazines to the public library.  What to do with the Bible?  We need to find an antiquarian-books dealer.

And miles to go before we sleep....

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Give Thanks

(For politics, please scroll down)

Abraham Lincoln was our first President to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. He probably set the observance in late November so as to correlate the holiday with the date of the Mayflower's anchoring (November 21, 1620, by the modern Gregorian calendar but November 11, 1620, by the Julian calendar used by the Pilgrims).

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation reads as follows:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln
Additional reading...

1) Thanksgiving: The Forgotten History of America's Thanksgiving and What It Commemorates

2) How the 'Mother of Thanksgiving' [Sarah Josepha Hale] Lobbied Abraham Lincoln to Proclaim the National Holiday: The author of the children's poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was persistent in arguing that establishing the national November holiday could help heal wounds from the Civil War.

In keeping with above words of President Lincoln, who was in 1863 going through a troubled time with the burdens of civil war and the responsibilities of leadership, let us meditate upon our blessings, truly too numerous to count. And let us remember and meditate upon these words (my paternal uncle's favorite hymn, which we joyfully sang at his memorial service):

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ukraine Timeline

Silverfiddle Rant!
John Soloman--the investigative journalist whose name provokes slobbering Pavlovian rage in leftwing obscurantists--has published a comprehensive and well-documented Ukraine Timeline.

I publish this not to damn Joe Biden, nor to engage in whataboutism, nor to divert attention from the actions of President Trump and his operatives.  I bring this to you as a guide for all of us.

Ukraine Enterprises - American Roofs

Regardless of where you stand politically, reading this timeline reveals how various Ukraine factions paid for official US imprimatur to shield themselves from other factions.  Who is corrupt and who is clean depends on who is in power, but that can be trumped (pardon the phrase) by who has an American Roof: Well-connected US officials who vouch for you, call your enemies corrupt, and steer US favors and money as a system of rewards and punishment.

This is one more sad example of how well-connected private US citizens use their US government contacts to make money, peddling influence and opening doors to foreign actors to inveigle themselves into our government's official policy-making.

Please read the linked timeline and tell us what you think.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Art Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy these works of American landscape artist George Inness (1825-1894), with background music:

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Bombshell That Wasn't

Spot on!

Yet, we have this above-the-fold banner headline in today's Washington Post:

"Diplomat acknowledges 'quid pro quo'." Pffffft (short video)!

By way of review (spew alert):

Ludicrosity rules the day.

Meanwhile, Trump is remaking the federal judiciary system.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

How the West was Lost

Silverfiddle Rant!

"Matthew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bomb maker," the president wrote. "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!"
-- President Trump

From Fox News:
President Trump has granted clemency to two Army officers accused or convicted of war crimes and restored Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher to the rank of chief petty officer after he was docked a pay grade after being convicted of posing for a photo with a dead Islamic State (ISIS) fighter, the White House announced Friday.
Our military must be a professional fighting force, not a marauding band of undisciplined Mongols, and our training at every level hammers that home.  For this reason, we have Geneva Convention and Law of Armed Conflict training, and severe punishment for violations.

Having said that, are our Rules of Engagement too strict? Have Western Powers improperly injected too much liberal humanitarianism into the norms of waging war?

Is our government's concept of war outdated?
Military victory in Iraq or Afghanistan was never, in fact, a real possibility. The very nature of war has changed so much in recent decades that military victory as we tend to imagine it, with winners and losers emerging after a fight with an unambiguous end, is utterly obsolete.” (The Myth of Victory)
For whatever hidden motives, our government consciously decides to jump into unwinnable wars, and will never provide the materiel and manpower to even try to win those wars. This sets up a sick dynamic with the military services, because most military people, by their nature, thrill to the prospect of doing the impossible against all odds. 

I could end with fill-in-the-blank platitudes, but I've already bored everyone with them over the years, so I'll end instead with a question:

Can We The People do anything about this, and if so, what?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Cancel Culture Comes For Hernán Cortés in Mexico: On the 500th anniversary of Hernán Cortés’ meeting with Montezuma II, the conquistador deserves a reconsideration, not cancellation, by John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist.

Excerpt (emphasis mine):
...Cortés and his men overcame what seemed to be impossible odds to conquer Tenochtitlan, which by 1519 was comparable in size to Paris, Venice, and Constantinople, and was the center of one of the greatest military empires the western hemisphere had ever seen. By defeating Montezuma II and forcing the Aztecs to surrender, Cortés ended a religious and political system whose basic imperative was ritual human sacrifice on a grand, almost industrial scale. Whatever evils Cortés brought to the New World, they pale in comparison to the evil he stamped out....


...Cortés is therefore long overdue for a reconsideration—not just of his exploits but also his motives. It’s common enough nowadays to dismiss the Catholic faith of the Spanish conquistadors under the assumption that their religious beliefs could not have been sincere given their actions. But not all their actions were nakedly self-serving. Writing about the legacy of Cortés earlier this year in Canada’s National Post, Peter Shawn Taylor argued that the entirety of Cortés’ behavior in Mexico cannot be explained by a simple desire for gold and glory....
Read the rest HERE.

Additional reading: Largest Child-Sacrifice Graveyard Strikes Huge Blow to Native American Innocence Myth.

Unfortunately, too many today believe this revisionist history:

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Voltaire's Dead

Silverfiddle Rant!
Voltaire: “I wholly disagree with what you say and will fight to the death for your right to say it."

Today's Infotainment Social Media Complex: “I wholly disagree with what you say and I will fight you to the death to deny you your right to say it." 

I typed the name "Eric Ciaramella" into a comment at The Hill, hit Submit, and the comment immediately went into moderation.  Facebook has also banned the Voldemortian Name.

Can anyone recall the last time the entire Infotainment Media Complex circled their wagons around a whistleblower instead of gouging each others' eyes out in barroom brawls to be the first to out him?

This is unprecedented.  And amateurish.  By blocking his name, they give the big reveal: He's the spying, lying, leaking weasel.

When the press stops championing free speech and instead becomes shameless advocates for the establishment, Democracy dies.

I leave you with another Voltaire Quote:

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

* - I know, the "fight to the death" quote is not a Voltaire quote, but it is a famous statement that encapsulates western civil libertarianism, so spare us the canards.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Veterans Day 2019

Every act of service, from those who serve stateside in peace, to those who have perished abroad in war, contributes to the freedoms we so often take for granted. Thank you, veterans, for fulfilling your oath.

Important related reading: 5 Facts to Know About Veterans Day.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Caturday Weekend

(For politics, please scroll down)

Our beloved alpha kitty, Minxy (b. September 8, 2017), a gift from a former piano student, who was fostering a mama cat and her five kittens during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma:

Minxy is a force to be reckoned with! We, including Amber, are grateful that she is so good-natured.

More of my kitty photos HERE.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Bring the GWOT Home

Silverfiddle Rant!
Trump’s Opposition to ‘Endless Wars’ Appeals to Those Who Fought Them

Tyler Wade was awarded the Purple Heart while serving in Afghanistan, and says he is “proud of everything” he did during his service. He also believes the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were a mistake, as do a growing number of veterans — from retired generals to those who served across the enlisted ranks...

The Nations In America’s Backyard Are Falling Apart While The U.S. Remains Stuck In The Middle East

While we play Sisyphus in the Middle East, Mexico and Central America are wracked with violence. It cannot help but spill over into the US.  In some ways, it already has.  Mexican drug gangs are operating in the US, as are Central American gangs, preying on the very people who came here to escape them.

Is Mexico a Failed State?

A more important question:

What happens if the Mexican government loses control and we end up with a Somalia on our southern border?

That is when we will see a real refugee crisis.  By the millions.  Up-armored drug cartels routed the Mexican Army in a failed raid and forced the Mexican government to hand over El Chapo's son who they had just captured, and this week we learned of the horrific murder of Americans just south of our border.

Is it time to militarize our border? Should we consider treating violent US, Mexican and Central American gangs like the terrorists they are? Special Ops raids? Attack by drones?  Targeted assassinations?

Does Western Civilization even have the brains and the balls anymore to defeat this terrorism?

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Danger Of AOC

Worth a few moments of your time, and please watch the entire video before commenting:

Do you agree with Tucker Carlson that AOC's agenda and rhetoric are indeed the future of America?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Open Thread Weekend

So, what's on your mind?

Two links to get this thread started:

1) University Students Need ‘Trigger Warning’ to Study Grimm’s Fairy Tales [AOW rolls eyes]


2) Mid-Week in Pictures: Hero Dog Edition [Something on the lighter side].

Here is your chance to opine within the parameters listed below:

We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective

Note: comments consisting of blog gossip will be deleted as soon as an administrator of this blog becomes aware of such comments.