France refuses to fly US WWII vets to Normandy for D-Day anniversary

**Posted by Phineas

"First they stormed Normandy, then their own memorial"

“Dear France, you’re welcome.”

It’s the 70th anniversary, and the men who carried out the landings are in their 80s and 90s, now. You would think, given France’s miserable performance during the war, they could show a little respect and gratitude to those who risked their lives to kick the Nazis out of their country (1). But, no. They’re French, after all.

Ingrates:

Seven decades after ­Allied troops stormed Normandy’s beaches and saved France from the Nazis, the surrender-happy nation is turning its back on hundreds of US veterans who want to return next month to mark the invasion’s 70th anniversary.

France has broken its promise to pay for the vets to fly to this year’s commemoration, according to Rep. Michael Grimm.
“Our chief-of-staff heard it from the French Embassy in DC — that they would be flown out to France [for free],” said Nick Iacono, a spokesman for the Staten Island congressman.

But when The Post contacted the embassy Friday, the French turned up their noses as if smelling rotten Camembert.

“The French government never offered to pay for the plane tickets of the veterans traveling to France for the 70th commemoration of D-Day,” said Dana Purcarescu, a spokeswoman for the French ­Embassy in Washington.

Let’s hope this is the result of some sort of miscommunication, and not the slap in the face it appears to be.

But, I doubt it. This is France we’re talking about. They’ve made condescension and insult into an art form.

Footnote:
(1) And, for the record, I think the French government owes the same respect  and honor to the surviving members of the British, Canadian, and Polish armies that also risked everything on D-Day.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Rep. Sheila @JacksonLeeTX18: Constitution is “400 years” old (VIDEO)

This could be considered humorous … or sad, depending on which way you look at it and maybe how your day went today. :)

Via the Washington Free Beacon, which filed this brief recap:

“Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not,” she said.

That would be seven years after Jamestown, Virginia became America’s first permanent English settlement.

Ellen Carmichael has a more complete transcript, just for the record:


Oops …

What

Shaking my head.

Related/Flashback – via Phineas: So ignorant, it’s scary: the sequel

“Progressive Racism: The Hidden Motive Driving Modern Politics”

**Posted by Phineas

That’s the the bomb-throwing title of a take-no-prisoners article at PJ Media by “Zombie,” an anonymous San Francisco-area blogger who often skewers the Left in his/her neck of the woods. In the article, Zombie examines several common progressive policies. For each, he or she (1) first presents the position neutrally, in a flat statement. Then Zombie gives the progressive public reason for the policy, the conservative misunderstanding of it, and finally the real, racist motive at its heart.

Zombie writes:

What conservatives don’t (yet) know is that under the surface, most progressive positions are motivated by racist attitudes and assumptions felt by white progressives, usually against African-Americans. Progressive positions often seem inexplicable to outsiders because the proposals emanating from them usually manifest as colossal social engineering experiments, which the progressives have only devised as a distraction from the shameful racist motivations at the core.

This essay will likely be eye-opening for conservatives, and infuriating for progressives, who often don’t know their own history and never contemplated the origins of their own belief system. But it’s time to finally bring the uncomfortable truth out in the open.

He/she then gives eight examples. Below is one; I urge you to read the rest:

THE WELFARE STATE (2)

Progressive position:
“Maximize benefits and ease qualifications for all entitlement and social welfare programs; ultimately institute a “guaranteed income” for all U.S. residents.”

False public rationale offered by progressives to justify their position:
“No one should starve or go homeless in a wealthy nation such as ours; we should always give a helping hand to those in need.”

Conservatives’ inaccurate theory of progressives’ real intent:
The ever-escalating magnitude of unnecessary government handouts is just a backdoor route to socialism by confiscating more and more wealth from the productive class and “redistributing” it to the unproductive.

The actual racist origins of the progressive stance:
The true goal of progressive-style cradle-to-grave welfare is to enslave blacks in a culture of dependency and thereby keep them mollified and also a dependable Democratic voting bloc.

The toxic addictive effect of an ongoing welfare system has been debated for centuries; as far back as the 1700s in England it was pointed out that giving free food to the lower classes both removed their motivation to work and also increased their numbers; abusing these sociological trends for cynical political advantage dates back even further, when Roman emperors handed out free bread to curry favor with the masses. In modern America, African-Americans disproportionally comprise the lower class, so progressives have devised a racist strategy of lifelong government dependency to not only permanently keep blacks at the bottom of the economic scale but also corrode their sense of self-sufficiency so that they always return to the Democratic Party just as the addict always returns to the pusher.

According to Ronald Kessler’s book Inside the White House, President Johnson explained the rationale behind his “Great Society” welfare programs thus: “I’ll have those n****rs voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” As there is no audio recording of this quote (which was reported second-hand), progressives have spent years trying to cast doubt on its existence, because it confirms the worst assumptions behind the justification for welfare. However, there are other audio recordings from the same era of Johnson obsessing over maximizing black votes and referring to them as “n****rs” — for example, listen to this tape of Johnson complaining that he can’t prove black voters are being suppressed because “More niggers vote than white folks.” While this doesn’t conclusively prove he also said the disputed “200 years” quote, it does prove that he spoke in those terms, referred to blacks insultingly, and schemed about ways to maximize the black vote for the Democratic Party — all of which lend credence to the disputed quote’s likely veracity.

What can’t be disputed is that since the institutionalization of welfare, Johnson’s cynical racist vision has come true: generation after generation of inner-city African-Americans have indeed become completely dependent upon welfare, and consequently reliably vote Democratic because the Democrats vow to keep the handouts flowing.

While the motivations for progressivism are more complex than simply “racism” –including for many a genuine, if misguided, desire to help people because society is too difficult for the average person to manage on their own–there’s no doubting that a perception of non-White inferiority underlies a lot of progressive politics, including the cynical use of public money to turn Blacks into dependent voters. Something they’re now trying to do to all through Obamacare and the push to expand dependency on food stamps.

Be sure to read the whole thing. It’s controversial and inflammatory, no doubt, but perhaps also illuminating.

And, besides, it’s fun to throw the Left’s own tactics in their face for once.

Footnotes:
(1) I really wish English had a third-person, gender neutral personal pronoun. “He/She” is so clunky.
(2) For a good short booklet on this topic, check out Kevin Williamson’s “The Dependency Agenda.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Lessons of World War I. @BarackObama, take note

**Posted by Phineas

World War I montage

There’s an excellent (1) article by Victor Davis Hanson (2) on the lessons to be drawn from World War I, or, as I sometimes call it, the 19th century’s collective act of mass suicide (3). As this is the centennial year of the war’s start, we’re naturally seeing and will see all sort of books, articles, and programs about how it happened, whose fault it was, and what we can learn from it.

Hanson’s article deals with the last. After reviewing the standard analyses regarding secret treaties, rigid mobilization plans, and a too-harsh peace, all of which have their flaws, he keys on one that has bearing for our increasingly dangerous world, today — misjudgment:

One of the lessons of the outbreak of World War I is the importance of perceptions. At some point in 1914 the German military and diplomatic community concluded that the country not only could pull off a successful lightning strike against France, but could do so without starting a world war — given various events over the prior decades.

Such flawed thinking is a good reminder that appearances often matter as much as reality in provoking wars. Hitler certainly was suicidal in attacking his de facto partner, the Soviet Union, in June 1941. But for all his crazy ranting about his grievances, Untermenschen, and grand strategy, it was the false perception that the Soviet Union would quickly collapse — given its recent dismal performance in Poland and Finland, and the prior purging of its officer corps, contrasted with the recently successful Blitzkrieg in Poland and Western Europe — that persuaded Hitler to try something so fatally dangerous.

And yet, at the end of both wars, Germany was defeated –crushed, in the latter case– by the nations her leaders has mistakenly deemed weak. War had assumed its role as the final arbiter of the realities of power, at the price of wholesale destruction and millions dead.

For which Hanson sees a rough parallel and lesson for today:

China, like the Westernized Japan of the 1930s, wants influence and power commensurate with its economic clout, and perhaps believes its growing military can obtain both at the expense of its democratic neighbors without starting a wider war. North Korea is not convinced that demanding concessions from South Korea — or simply humiliating it and the U.S. — by threats of war would not work. Iran trusts that the age of the U.S. mare nostrum in the Mediterranean is over, that the Sunni Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms are spent, that once-unquestioned Western guarantees to Israel are now negotiable, that nuclear acquisition is an agreed wink-and-nod obtainable enterprise, and that terrorist appendages can achieve political objectives in the Middle East just as effectively as carrier groups.

Putin dreams that the Russian imperial world of the 1950s can live again, through coercion, Machiavellian diplomacy, and the combined lethargy of the EU and the U.S. — and he often is willing to take some risks to refashion current realities. Failed socialist and Communist states in Latin America nonetheless believe that a distracted or uninterested U.S. no longer cares to make the argument that transparent democratic capitalism is the region’s only hope for the future. The miseries of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are apparently no reason for them to feel that they should not extend them to other countries.

And then ties it to our current leadership:

Amid all that, a minor bow and apology here, or an inadvertent pink line and empty deadline there, matters. Gratuitous talk of “reset” and “lead from behind,” coupled with serial scapegoating of past U.S. policies and presidents, massive new debt and vast cuts in defense, also sends a message to our rivals and enemies that occasional gambles and aggressive moves that would usually be seen as stupid and suicidal may not be any more.

World War I became “World War I” when Germany believed that Britain would not fight to support France or honor an ancient treaty with little Belgium. They were wrong, but part of the reason they were wrong was due to the diffident mixed signals being sent by London. The world now has to hope that the diffidence emanating from Washington doesn’t lead to similar misjudgments in Moscow, Beijing, or Tehran.

Footnote:
(1) Kind of a needless adjective, when talking about anything written by VDH.
(2) Why isn’t this man in the Senate, instead of the blithering idiot Boxer? I demand satisfaction!
(3) Update: I should have made this clear, I guess, but, no, I do not believe the First World War was fought in the 19th century. As I explained to a commenter, WWI and the “suicide of the 19th century” refers to the civilization of the “long 19th century,” a term some historians use for political, diplomatic, and cultural themes that were dominant from roughly 1789 to 1914. The chronological 19th century ended at midnight, December 31st, 1900. The world of the 19th century came to an end in August, 1914.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Quote of the Day: “Rev.” Jackson says “apartheid remains” in America

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Really, Rev.?

Shaking my head. Via The Hill:

Rev. Jesse Jackson said Sunday apartheid still exists in the United States as he reflected on Nelson Mandela’s effect on American politics.

“Apartheid remains. Apartheid gaps in poverty, healthcare and education. We’re in the middle of the end of the apartheid struggle now, but it’s just changed phases,” he said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”

“For almost 30 years, we had a lead jump on the right to vote and used that right to vote to empower allies in South Africa,” Jackson said.

Never let an opportunity go to waste to make a complete a** of yourself, right Jesse? Racism, of course, still exists in America, but the word “apartheid” conjures up very specific and strong definitions and (disturbing) images from South Africa, and is a major embellishment – and, frankly, is grossly misrepresentative of what is going on here in America in present day politically, as opposed to what was happening here in the 50s and 60s.  Shame on you, Rev. If you had any shame, that is.

#CommonCore: turning History into anti-American propaganda

**Posted by Phineas

x

Necessary

I honestly haven’t followed the controversy over the proposed Common Core national educational standards all that closely (1), though I’m somewhat familiar with the questions of lowered standards, loss of local control, and the constitutional issue over a national curriculum. But I do not claim to be an expert.

If, however, this is representative of how American History is to be taught, I’ll be reaching for my pitchfork and torch. The textbook in question is Prentice-Hall’s “The American Experience,” and its chapter on the Second World War, as well as the accompanying teacher’s manual, takes a, shall we say, “slanted” view of the war:

The opening page of the slim chapter devoted to World War II called “War Shock” features a photograph of a woman inspecting a large stockpile of thousand-pound bomb castings. The notes in the margins of the Teacher’s Edition set the tone:

“In this section, nonfiction prose and a single stark poem etch into a reader’s mind the dehumanizing horror of world war. . . .”

The editors of the textbook script the question teachers are supposed to ask students in light of the photograph as well as provide the answer:

Ask: What dominant impression do you take away from this photograph?

Possible response: Students may say that the piled rows of giant munitions give a strong impression of America’s power of mass production and the bombs’ potential for mass destruction.”

Translation: Americans made lots of big bombs that killed lots of people.

The principal selection of the chapter is taken from John Hersey’s Hiroshima. It is a description of ordinary men and women in Hiroshima living out their lives the day the bomb was dropped. A couple of lines reveal the spirit of the document:

“The Reverend Mr. Tanimoto got up at five o’clock that morning. He was alone in the parsonage, because for some time his wife had been commuting with their year-old baby to spend nights with a friend in Ushida, a suburb to the north.”

Further prompts from the margins of the Teacher’s Edition indicate how the selection is to be read and taught:

“World War II has been called a popular war in which the issues that spurred the conflict were clearly defined. . . . Nevertheless, technological advances . . . [and the media] brought home the horrors of war in a new way. Although a serious antiwar movement in the United States did not become a reality until the 1960s, these works by Hersey and by Jarrell take their place in the ranks of early antiwar literature.

Have students think about and record in writing their personal feelings about war. Encourage students to list images of war that they recall vividly. [Conveniently, there is a photograph of the devastation in Hiroshima next to this prompt].

Tell students they will revisit their feelings about war after they have read these selections.”

The entire section is littered with questions and prompts in this vein and plenty of photos that show the destruction of Hiroshima. In case the students would be inclined to take the American side in this conflict, the editors see to it that teachers will remind the students repeatedly that there are two sides in every war:

“Think Aloud: Model the Skill
Say to students:
When I was reading the history textbook, I noticed that the writer included profiles of three war heroes, all of whom fought for the Allies. The writer did not include similar profiles for fighters on the other side. I realize that this choice reflects a political assumption: that readers want to read about only their side’s heroes.

. . . Mr. Tanimoto is on the side of “the enemy.” Explain that to vilify is to make malicious statements about someone. During wartime, it is common to vilify people on the other side, or “the enemy.””

After a dozen pages of Hersey’s Hiroshima (the same number given to Benjamin Franklin in volume one of The American Experience), students encounter the anti-war, anti-heroic poem by Randall Jarell, “The Death of the Ball Turrett Gunner.” The last line in this short poem sums up the sentiment: “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.” The textbook editors zero in for the kill:

“Take a position: Jarrell based his poem on observations of World War II, a war that has been called “the good war.” Is there such a thing as a “good war”? Explain.

Possible response: [In the Teacher’s Edition] Students may concede that some wars, such as World War II, are more justified than others, but may still feel that “good” is not an appropriate adjective for any war.”

This is not a history lesson. It is anti-war propaganda masquerading as history. This is garbage designed to at best place America and Imperial Japan on an ambiguously equal moral ground, and at worst to make us out to be a villain or aggressor in the conflict. To focus on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki without presenting the reasons for the attack is intellectually bankrupt. The Truman administration dropped the bombs because of the experience of fanatical Japanese resistance along a whole string of islands, where again and again Imperial Japanese Army units fought until nearly wiped out. Imagine that occurring on the Japanese Home Islands themselves, in the event of invasion; bear in mind that the Japanese government was not of a mind to surrender and indeed was talking about “70 million dead” (essentially, fighting to the last man, woman, and child), and then look at the casualty estimates for just the American invasion forces, for which figures of 500,000 killed and wounded were common. And, should the invasion have been delayed until 1946 or the islands simply besieged, there was a very real risk of famine and the  mass starvation of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, because transportation networks had been destroyed. And that doesn’t even begin to account for hundreds of millions suffering under Japanese rule and who needed the war to end as swiftly as possible.

Beyond the question of military necessity and the lesser of two evils, Common Core “standards” engage in moral relativism. While quoting Hersey’s “Hiroshima” (actually, a good book) and Jarrell’s poem, students are apparently left in the dark about Japan’s aggressive intentions and regular atrocities from the 1930s through the end. No mention of the invasion of Manchuria, the war on China, the Rape of Nanking, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Unit 731, or the horrors suffered by prisoners of war and civilians living under Japanese rule.

But we do get pictures of American bombs, vivid descriptions of the wreck of Hiroshima, and the lasting impression that we were the ones committing evil, not doing what was necessary to end it.

Let me be blunt: Imperial Japan was evil and had subjected Asia and the Pacific to a horrific nightmare, all to satisfy a national ideology that dehumanized everyone else. Once the war had started, it had to be crushed; the Truman administration was right drop the atomic bombs to force Japan’s surrender (2). It would have been a greater evil to let the war drag on. And while innocent people died in the fight against Japan, to teach any sort of moral equivalence between the two nations is insulting and obscene.

And yet these are the new standards? This isn’t education, it’s pedagogical malpractice.

Footnote:
(1) On the other hand, Michelle Malkin has been an avenging angel on the topic.
(2) A superb book on the end of the war and the decision to use atomic weapons is Frank’s “Downfall: the End of the Imperial Japanese Empire.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Dumb: WH says Obama snubbed Gettysburg anniversary over “website woes”

Fail

Big time.

The Obama Ministry of Truth thinks we actually believe this nonsense?

President Obama didn’t attend Tuesday’s ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address because of scheduling issues stemming from the rollout of his signature healthcare law, the White House said Tuesday.

Obama met with senators Tuesday morning to discuss ongoing negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, and also appeared at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council’s annual meeting.

On Thursday, Obama is scheduled to attend a ceremony at President Kennedy’s grave in Arlington National Ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. Former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, are also scheduled to attend.

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday noted that Obama had taped an appearance for a Ken Burns project on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which features other living presidents.

“Obviously, that address and that moment in time is seminal in our history. I think that all Americans across the country will have the opportunity to think about those words and that address,” Carney said.

Following stories questioning why the president had skipped the Gettysburg event, given his public affinity for President Lincoln, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that “it didn’t work schedule-wise.”

In response to a journalist’s Twitter query about what could be more important, Pfeiffer wrote: “Oh, I don’t know, there’s this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the [Democratic] Party.”

After Pfeiffer’s tweet got traction on Twitter, current and former White House officials mocked criticism of Obama for skipping the Gettysburg ceremony.

Of course they didn’t take it seriously and instead tried to deflect. How DARE anyone question Dear Leader!

Perspective: Building the #Obamacare web site vs winning WWII

**Posted by Phineas

"First they stormed Normandy, then their own memorial"

And yet Obama can’t build a working web site.

Via Twitchy, FOX’s Bret Baier read an email from a viewer on his show and then posted it to his web site. Obama and his fans liked to compare him to FDR. I wonder how they’ll like it now:

“Putting things in perspective: March 21st 2010 to October 1 2013 is 3 years, 6 months, 10 days.  December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 is 3 years, 5 months, 1 day.  What this means is that in the time we were attacked at Pearl Harbor to the day Germany surrendered is not enough time for this progressive federal government to build a working webpage.  Mobilization of millions, building tens of thousands of tanks,  planes, jeeps, subs, cruisers, destroyers, torpedoes, millions upon millions of guns, bombs, ammo, etc. Turning the tide in North Africa,  Invading Italy, D-Day,  Battle of the Bulge, Race to Berlin – all while we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific!!  And in that amount of time – this administration can’t build a working webpage.”

Boom.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

WWII veterans push through #HarryReidsShutdown barricade to visit WWII memorial

Probably one of the most awesome stories you’ll read … EVER.  First heard about it on Leo Shane III’s Twitter feed. Here’s his full story – via Stars and Stripes:

WASHINGTON — Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.

The four bus loads of veterans — visiting from Mississippi as part of a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight tour — ignored National Park Police instructions not to enter the site as lawmakers and tourists cheered them on.

“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.

The scene was both emotional and comical at once. After it was clear they had lost control of the situation, Park Police officials stood aside, telling press that they had “asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.

As 80-something veterans slowly walked around the massive war memorial, Park Police stood quietly to the side, advising other tourists that the site was technically still closed. But they made no moves to stop the wishes of the war heroes.

Also cool is how some members of Congress helped our Greatest Generation with their plan to not let the barricades deter them:

As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences. A bagpiper on hand for the event led the men past the crowd and into the heart of the memorial, attracting a large, applauding crowd.

Love it!!  This is just the kind of news we need after weeks of back and forth yelling and bickering over something easily resolvable if the Senate would simply stop playing politics. God bless our veterans!

Govt shutdown

Not for WWII veterans they aren’t! Click the link for more pictures.
(Photo via Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)

 

. @DanHannanMEP for president in 2016?

**Posted by Phineas

"Signing of Magna Carta, A.D. 1215"

“Signing of Magna Carta, A.D. 1215″

Look, if they could forge a birth certificate for Obama… (I kid! I kid!!!)

Seriously, Conservative Member of the European Parliament and right-wing  rock star Daniel Hannan once again shows he “gets it” when it comes to what makes the Anglo-American civilization exceptional. This video is from a brief address Hannan gave to the Freedom Association at Runnymede during a gathering to honor Magna Carta, the great charter that is the ancestor of our own Constitution and one of the foundations for our idea of the Rule of Law.

Take a few minutes and enjoy; it’s an inspirational lecture on what Hannan calls “a secular miracle:”

You know, if this whole EU parliament thing just doesn’t work out, I’d be happy to offer Dan one of California’s seats in the US Senate.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)