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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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OCTOBER 26-27,  2023

THIS IS GOOD – THE CURRENT INTERNATIONAL CRISIS MAY WELL RESULT IN SOME PROGRESS.  THE GREAT CONSERVATIVE HISTORIAN NIALL FERGUSON LAYS OUT THE CASE.  FROM DAILY MAIL: 

Has wokeism jumped the shark? In other words, have the radical Leftists who for years have exercised increasing power in our universities finally gone too far?

I dare to hope so. The recent disgraceful responses to the attacks on Israel that we have seen — from American university campuses to the streets of London and Sydney — have dramatically increased awareness that something is rotten in the state of higher education in the English-speaking world.

Some of us have been battling against the ideological takeover of academia for close to a decade. Each year, we have been getting better organised. But we have struggled to convince people in the real world just how bad things are.

The past three weeks may finally have changed that.

The expression 'jump the shark' was coined in 1977 when the scriptwriters of the long-running comedy series Happy Days — into their fifth series and getting short of ideas — tried to pep up the storyline by having the main character, Fonzie, preposterously jump over a shark while on water-skis.

The campus Left's response to the attacks of October 7 was equally far-fetched and over-the-top — but immeasurably more offensive.

Let's remind ourselves what happened three weeks ago. Two Gaza-based terrorist groups inspired by Islamist ideology, committed to the destruction of the state of Israel and backed by at least one government, staged a trailer for a second Holocaust. In their savagery, they exceeded even the horrors perpetrated by the Russian butchers of Bucha in Ukraine.

More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, including children and even babies. More than 200 were kidnapped.

The idea Israel should do nothing in response to this outrage — other than ensure the flow of aid into Gaza — defies both human emotion and strategic sense. Only those wearing ideological blindfolds cannot see that.

Yet this seems to be the approach of some academics and student groups in a great many universities, not least in Britain.

Dr Kate Davison, a self-described 'queer historian of sexuality, psy-sciences & Cold War', who is also a lecturer in history at Edinburgh, not only tweeted that 'Palestine & trans human rights are the litmus test and most of you are failing half of it', but also expressed support for a statement by faculty members at Berzeit University — an institution in the West Bank — which celebrated the Hamas attacks as 'guerilla war tactics' by 'resistance fighters'.

Dr Sarah Liu, a senior lecturer in gender and politics, also at Edinburgh, liked a tweet on October 7 that asked: 'Did some people just think Palestine had to like file paperwork or something to be freed [?] this is what oppressed fighting the oppressor looks like.'

Edinburgh is by no means exceptional. 'Special message to some of the 'decolonisers' in academia, young and old,' tweeted Priyamvada Gopal, professor of postcolonial studies at Cambridge. 'It isn't just about returning bronzes. That's the easy bit.'

Londoners bracing themselves for another pro-Palestinian demonstration today may be interested to know that six of the patrons of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, organisers of the demo, are academics based at Bradford, Exeter, London, Oxford and Surrey.
None of this should come as surprise, for it is the culmination of many years of infiltration of our universities by the radical Leftist ideology known as 'wokeism'.

But it is only now people outside academia are noticing. In the U.S., elite universities are experiencing a significant backlash against their response to the Hamas outrage.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  It is long, but well worth it.  Ferguson is on the front lines in the fight for traditional, classical, college values.

October 27, 2023     Permalink

 

UNCLE SAM STRIKES BACK, AND IT'S ABOUT TIME: American aircraft struck sites in Syria, in response to recent attacks on U.S. bases in the Mideast.  Those attacks were sponsored by Iran.  From Fox: 

The U.S. military conducted airstrikes on two facilities in eastern Syria on Thursday in response to ongoing attacks against American military personnel in Iraq and Syria over the past week, according to the Department of Defense.

A pair of F-16s targeted two facilities – a weapons depot and an ammo storage area – near Abu Kamal used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News's Jennifer Griffin. It's unclear if there were any Iranian militants at the facilities when they were hit.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Thursday night that the U.S. does not seek conflict, but the "Iranian-backed attacks" on American forces are "unacceptable and must stop."

"Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them," Austin said. "If attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people."

There have been 19 attacks against American personnel in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17, including three additional attacks on Thursday, according to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. 

A U.S. contractor died from a cardiac incident while sheltering in place during the attacks and 21 American troops were injured – all of whom have since returned to duty, Austin said.

U.S. officials made clear the strikes were conducted solely in response to the attacks against American personnel and are not connected to the Israel-Hamas war.

"They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict," Austin said. "We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict."

COMMENT:   I'm struck by the willingness to mention Iran, and to clearly say that the Iranians are behind the attacks on Americans.  Maybe there is some backbone left in the Biden administration. 

The key question is, what is next?  Will Iran's little workers continue their attacks?  If so, will America strike back harder?  The inclination of Biden's Obama-appointed crowd is to forgive Iran and continue to appease it.  That inclination, we hope, is now history.

You will probably hear speculation in the coming days on whether the United States will attack Iran itself.  If so, we will be at war.  If not, Iran may get away again.  Decisions like this require an active, capable president.  I wish we had one.

October 26, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

OCTOBER 24-25,  2023

WE HAVE A NEW SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. 

I DUNNO.  THAT JUST DOESN'T SOUND VERY REGAL, DOES IT?  COMPARE PLEASE WITH "WE HAVE A NEW KING" OR "WE HAVE A NEW POPE."  BUT A NEW SPEAKER?  WE YANKS HAVE GOT TO GET OUR ANNOUNCEMENTS IN ORDER, AND GIVE THE CHAP A PROPER TITLE, LIKE "EXALTED HIGH LAWMAKER," IF WE WANT TO PLAY WITH THE BIG BOYS.   FROM FOX: 

Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson was elected speaker of the House on Wednesday by a vote of 220-209.

Johnson, 51, who had been a dark horse for the position, was voted the GOP nominee the night before after Republicans plowed through three higher-profile candidates.

The new speaker has only been in politics since 2015 when he was elected to the state House, where he stayed until 2017.

The son of a firefighter, Johnson was elected to Congress in the 2016 election and serves on the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees.

Johnson is currently in his second term as the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, putting him in a leadership position that largely stays out of the limelight.

The Louisiana Republican — who would be the second Pelican State speaker nominee after the failed bid from House Majority Leader Steve Scalise — previously served one term as the influential Republican Study Committee chairman.

Johnson is an ally of former President Donald Trump and defended him during the Democrat-led House impeachment hearings. He also filed an amicus brief co-signed of 100 House Republicans to support Texas litigation seeking to overturn the 2020 election results in four states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He was the Chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee at the time. 

"President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress," Johnson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Dec. 9, 2020. "Indeed, ‘this is the big one!’"

COMMENT:  We don't know that much about him, but he's a solid conservative and a thoughtful speaker.  I have a sense, just watching him today, that he will do well.  The House can now get back to business, and help the GOP win both houses come next November.  Because our country's future depends on it.

October 25,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
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