Several Royal Fusses

Filed under:Good Grief,History — posted by Anwyn on April 29, 2011 @ 9:23 am

A lot of people are making a fuss over the royal wedding. And a lot of people I know seem to be making a fuss over the fuss. Why?

Frank J.
and Kyle Smith epitomize this attitude that the royals are worthless, although Kyle, after ripping to shreds the rest of the royal family, concedes that they’re harmless and decent.

I have trouble understanding this attitude that royals are useless wastes of space. We are conservatives, we dislike people getting government money to either do nothing or make everybody else’s lives worse. Okay. But even if we stipulate that royalty does nothing, we are conservatives, who also believe, more or less, to each his own and that tradition is important. If the English were tired of their royals they could do something about it. What’s it to us (collective, U.S.) that they still have them? And since they have them, what’s it to us (those who don’t try to follow every bit of the wedding) that some Americans are fascinated by the pretense of fairytale? We (those of us who have a few years on us) know that Kate and William will have to deal with the reality of married life, and do it under a microscope because they’re public figures.

Is that it? Do the ones sneering at the fuss resent that they’re public figures through no merit or effort but through birth? How is that their fault? They are human beings and have responsibilities and frustrations and happiness just like us.

I can’t believe I’m making a “they’re people too” argument, but honestly I can’t understand the disdain. If we had a single president who got married in office, the fuss would be ten times as big, so to those who say “What’s the big deal, they’re not OUR royals”–they’re only one step removed from being our royals. Also, most of the people following the wedding fuss for fun would not seek it out as much if the media didn’t choose to cover it wall to wall.

So give these people a break, why don’t you? They’re just people getting married with a duty to make it completely public.

Every Night in My Dreams

Filed under:History,Movies,Sad — posted by Anwyn on January 6, 2010 @ 10:51 am

James Cameron reportedly considering making a movie about the WW2 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Titanic was a good movie, let me stipulate up front, but these days I never watch it because it’s too sad. At the same time, it’s at least a little bit Disney-fying, for lack of a better term, of the wreck. I fear for the same treatment being applied to the WW2 bombings.

The double-bombing survivor Cameron spoke to passed away this week at the age of 93. RIP.

H/t: Lileks.

One Wonders How He Really Feels about the Revolutionary War

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,History,Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on June 23, 2009 @ 8:47 am

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs spouts what keeps recurring as an especially jarring note in Obama’s mealy-mouthed nothings over the fraud and violence in Iran:

“He’ll continue to speak out in support of those that are seeking to demonstrate and do so in a way peacefully,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told FOX News.

Obama said this himself a few days ago:

What you’re seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and – and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way.

We “stand behind” and “speak out” only for those seeking to topple their violent, repressive, tyrannical government in a “peaceful” way. Because that’ll probably work, no?

Only two explanations occur to me for this particular idiocy. Either Obama really is of the no-exceptions “peace at any price” camp, an enemy of the freedom we enjoy in this country, which was bought with blood, or else he simply is too dim to understand that in Iran and places like it, fradulent elections don’t simply mean that one party yelps about it for a while and then it’s back to business as usual, complete with a peaceful transition. They mean that a party that has no qualms about ordering its thugs to kill its own people will stay in power with their thumbs, bootheels, and various other metaphorical appendages planted squarely on the metaphorical throats of the very real people. And while I think he’s dim, I don’t think he’s quite that dim. Which just makes him, potentially, very wicked. There’s nothing like protesting protests in the name of “peace” to confuse well-intentioned people into believing that what they want isn’t important enough to break the peace. And then, to quote one of C.S. Lewis’s less savory characters, one would have carte blanche.

Via Xrlq.

Congratulations, Mr. President

Filed under:History,Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 20, 2009 @ 11:03 am

I am proud to be an American today, yesterday, last week, four years ago, seven years and four months ago, tomorrow, and forever.

No Auto Bailout

Filed under:History,Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on December 2, 2008 @ 10:14 am

Stupid stunts as the politics of finance.

Of the very thin specifics of Ford’s plan in the linked article, they are all salary cuts or freezes for management. When it comes to what the UAW will sacrifice, there is a vague sentence about “cost cutting.”

No bailout. Email your senators. The Great Depression was caused in part by an administration that pressured industry to keep wages unaffordably high until mass layoffs resulted. The UAW will do the same if given half a chance–except they will milk the government trough for all it’s worth for as long as they can possibly avoid the layoffs. Taxpayers will be paying the artificially high wages of uncompetitive workers. This is not economically sound.

The U.S. auto industry is not competitive with overseas makers. They can either become competitive through realistic cost cuts, including wages, or die.


Filed under:History,Not Cool,Politics,Sad — posted by Anwyn on November 10, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

As a kid trying to understand the scale of human civilization, I once observed to my father that our culture seemed to act like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the two ends of the liberal/conservative spectrum. In my limited understanding of zeitgeists some of which were before my time, I cited the supposed characters of the various decades: the fifties, staid and proper; the sixties, loose and vulgar; the seventies, trying to recover from the sixties; the eighties–well, my pattern ended there because I was living in it and I couldn’t see anything so very decadent about jellies and stirrup pants. Dad said no, that isn’t the way it works: The civilization presses towards the loose and irresponsible end of the spectrum until it collapses.

I wasn’t completely wrong, I know, but my image was wrong. Closer to correct is that various people and forces work to hold back the tide flowing to the irresponsible end and sometimes succeed in briefly damming it. Some people seem to believe the dam has now forever burst, or if it hasn’t already, it will as soon as Obama’s economic policies are enacted and turn bigger-than-ever swaths of the electorate into dependents.

As the previous post shows, I’m cautiously pessimistic. But I wonder if, even if our time has not come now, will it, irrefutably, inexorably, and inevitably? Can Western civilizations actually collapse any more? Or do they, as Peter Hitchens says, subside into the Third World?

They Still Fly

Filed under:Cool,History — posted by Anwyn on August 12, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

I love B-17s. I love Memphis Belle, I have a framed drawing of the Shoo Shoo Baby, I think the men who flew in them and their near mechanical relatives were a particular class of hero apart. I almost cried the other day describing the scene where John Lithgow tries to raise a cheer for the men of the Belle because they’re going to fly their 25th mission in the morning, only to be slapped down by the superstitious air crews who know it’s bad luck to count chickens before they’ve hatched. And I only got into the discussion in the first place in order to mention Harry Connick’s rendition of “Danny Boy.”

Anyway, there are still a few airworthy B-17s out there. Apparently if you’re in the right place at the right time, you can crawl up the hatch and get a feel for what it was like. Wow.

A Spark of Hope

Filed under:History,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 3, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

(The good stuff, not that crap Barry O. is selling.)

I got this link at Hot Air, about bachelorhood. It starts out on how bachelors are likely to accomplish more and greater things in their lives than married men, and frankly, as a devotee of Dorothy L. Sayers and her commentary on that very truth as it applies to women, I was glad to read somebody’s approach to it for men. But still, as I read Christopher Orlet’s (what a great name, no?) list of the “architects of Western Civilization” who were single, I could only think one thing:

“But not Bach. Not Bach.”

Nor, in addition, any of the founders of our own American system of civilization, though of course they were working on and fleshing out premises that had been laid down by many in the list.

I have no trouble believing, generally, that accomplished single people will accomplish more than accomplished married people. But Bach. Bach is the spark of hope that it’s not all one way or the other.

I’ll see if I need to update after reading what is sure to be a twist on Orlet’s theme.

Update: The moral seems to be that this single formula works only if you are a highly accomplished person indeed. I can buy that too. Also, Mr. Orlet needs a competent copy editor or at the very least a good proofreader. Howling typos like “border” for “boarder” and “precidence” compete for attention with a notable lack of commas. Exactly the kind of thing a smart, sharp-eyed wife would prevent. (With apologies to Mr. Orlet’s wife if he has one.)

Rally ‘Round the Flags

Filed under:History,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on February 12, 2008 @ 11:09 am

Flags at Fort Sumter. Plus park ranger:

Plus moon:

Plus honor (the flag that was flying when Beauregard opened fire on the fort, which Major Anderson later had hauled down and carried away when his men were permitted to march out):

Just plus–from left to right, an earlier version of the American flag, the first Confederate flag, the South Carolina flag, the current American flag, the second Confederate flag, and an earlier American flag:

Yesterday in History. In Indiana.

Filed under:Heh,History — posted by Anwyn on February 6, 2008 @ 2:23 pm

Or, Where’s Waldo? He’s back in time saving the legislators of Indiana from signing a piece of mathematical ignorance into law.

1897: Egged on by an amateur mathematician, the Indiana General Assembly almost passes a bill adopting 3.2 as the exact value of pi (or π). Only the intervention of a Purdue University mathematician who happens to be visiting the legislature prevents the bill from becoming law, saving the most acute political embarrassment.

I love Indiana. And I love Purdue. And Indiana loves Purdue. Now you see one reason why. I wonder if the Purdue guys weighed in on the whole Daylight Savings Time thing, either when Indiana refused to go on it or when they mandated it and then tried to split the state into a few different chunks based on what large out-of-state city each chunk was closest to. If you can make sense of all that, be my guest. I pretty much keep track of what time it is where my parents live and don’t bother with the rest.

But back to Purdue. Ever heard the Engineers’ Cheer? The correct value of pi (or the beginning of it, at least) is built right into the sports at Purdue:

E to the X, DY, DX
E to the X, DX
Cosine, secant, tangent, sine
Three point one four one five nine
Cube root, square root, BTU
Slipstick, slide rule, GO! PURDUE!

Via Instapundit.

Read It, Believe It

Filed under:History,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on February 1, 2008 @ 8:05 am

Read this if you’re planning to stay home rather than vote for Nominee McCain, if it comes to that.

In the Cannon’s Mouth

Filed under:Cool,History,It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on November 28, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

A little vacation photoblogging. A casemate with cannon at Fort Sumter:

The same cannon (I think) from inside the fort:

And an empty casemate looking out to the ocean:

Read It

Filed under:Blogging,Bumper Stickers,History,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on November 11, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

I’m not great with the Days of Sentiment and Memory posts–Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and like that. I don’t like to get too mushy on the blog, lest the lawyers start realizing I’m actually a girl. Guess the picture’s pretty much let that cat out of the bag, but I still am not great with the sentimental posts.

Veterans Day is important to me, but not spent in solemn observance. And Oregon has rather imperceptibly reduced my standards. I was happy enough when at my very PC and peace-oriented Oregon church, the only mention of Veterans Day was when our pastor said he was thankful for veterans’ service and sad that it was necessary–but that it was necessary. I frankly didn’t expect even that much.

My grandfather, now passed away, did a tour in France. My father spent all of my childhood and more flying tankers for the U.S. Air Force and teaching others to do the same. A cousin flew Tomcats for the navy and another cousin is now stationed in Afghanistan, crew chief for the (alas, grounded) F-15s whose absence is being supplemented by … the French. And if you want to talk wayback history, my great-great-grandfather (I think that’s the appropriate number of “greats”) was one of four brothers who joined the Union army–and the only one who returned. I honor their service and am grateful for their safety.

Now go read this at Sippican Cottage. His father was a ball gunner on a B-24 in the Pacific during WWII, that fact alone enough to make me shudder a little. Forty missions in a ball turret! Those were tough guys, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude no less today than sixty years ago–more, because we have a shorter time to show it.

I saw a bumper sticker today (yes, here in Oregon) that said Support Our Troops–Support Victory. Never saw it before. I’m glad I saw it today.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace