We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, August 26. 2007
Who "owns" the "Vietnam narrative"? Classical Values. My Vietnam narrative is as follows: We were there as part of a world power chess game. We were slowly winning the game, but the "Amerika must lose" Left knocked our King off the board. Why does it matter now? It matters because it's a legacy of defeatism, which is not encouraging to our allies and which is encouraging to those who wish to harm us. Was it wise to be there in the first place? I don't know, but once you decide to do something, you have to stick with it.
Iraqis protest terror at Saudi Embassy. Good.
How is this as an invitation for a discrimination lawsuit? Riehl
A housing bailout? What sense does this make? Michelle
Fruits and vegetables don't do anything for your health. Surber. Yes, we do know that. They taste good though, when you're in the mood for them.
The Gospel according to my dog. Wizbang
Slavery made illegal in Mauretania. Atlas
It would be a dull world without people like Fisk. However, I am sick of conspiracy theorists of all sorts. They are insane, 99.9% of the time. It's that .1% that gets ya to entertain their psychoses. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but you get no points for being right if you are a malevolent nutjob like Robert Fisk. Plus he has never been right about anything - he just tries to feed public psychosis.
Bible banned in schools. Moonbattery. Indeed, the Bible does contain dangerous, spiritually-subversive teachings. I guess the ACLU recognizes the power of that book.
Journalism, pomo style: Write your story first, then try to collect some quotes. Flopping. I always thought that grousing and griping was part of being a soldier at war: it is not a comfortable life style. They do the discomfort for the rest of us. More on spinning troop morale at Burkean.
There's a hole in it. The universe. Does it leak?
Record poppy crop in Afghanistan this year. Does anything else grow there? Probably nothing as profitable. Poppies are their oil, I guess.
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Weekends are good times on Maggies Farm to vent, given that participation falls to next to nothing and is perhaps a gauge of readership as well. Thus the "blog as bartender /psychiatrist " and the musings of Habu don't bore as many of our good MF folks.
Mine is not really a rant but a profound anger that in todays PC world must be twisted into sorrow, for anger is now hate, and hate is now illegal to voice. I have always had great admiration for those acedemics I like, meaning their writings resonant with my life's experiences and thus validate my thoughts. Bernard Lewis, acknowledged as the preeminent scholar on Islam said, at some point, I do not know when that,
America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend
It is a point I have heard from other scholars and writers I admire, such as William F. Buckley, George Will,Emmitt Tyrell,Thomas Sowell and more. It makes me profoundly angry because it wasn't always that way. Once, when the "Greatest Generation" handled a worldwide Depression, a horrifc World War, and a Cold War of nuclear tipped nerve and brinksmanship we had the right stuff. They are all but gone and we are down to the dregs of every barrel.
Our political and military leadership pusillanemous. Concern for collateral damage is now the tip of the spear in our fighting strategy, not victory at all costs. We spend huge amounts of money on non lethal weapons to use on barbarians who cut our throats and murder our civilians. We have gone mad. Our intelligence agencies remain ineffective and intraintelligence maneuver for each agencies own gain their animating cause.
It would be easy to say that is simply a reflection of the red state/blue state schism and "the people", but they are the ones being manipulated by unctious politicians who have gerrymandered 90% of the Congress into safe seats or military general's whose memory of the Billy Mitchells and the warnings of Smedley Butler are but dust on books they have never read.
We cannot or refuse not to unphold the most basic of survival principles of a nation, control of our borders.
Our "market, capitalist economy" now firmly hs the U.S. Treasury as the underwriter of all risk. Market schemes that make billions are hailed as the proof that markets and risk taking are best, but let them begin to fail and the it is the taxpayer, not the investor who is the biggest loser, in every sense of it's philosophy and reality.
We have become a house of cards, a porcine population, and an easy target...we are harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend
Thanks for the rant.
You are right - blog readership drops precipitously on weekends - esp. during the summer. We keep it comin', regardless.
As you are fully aware I shovel my share. It's a farm after all and on the farms I've been on someone has to do the shovel thing. Glad to do it too.
Appreciate it. Grab a ho I mean hoe and get to work. I need to weed the darn garden this afternoon. Got some 6' weeds, thanks to all the rain.
Who owns the Vietnam narrative ?
Once upon a time before there was an official monument, there was a ratty, old, green Army tent... it stood on a busy Washington, DC corner, with traffic speeding by, pedestrians wandering and vendors hawking and calling... but the battered tent stood, ephemeral, time and people passing...
It was the mid -1970's and on the very corner where a monument would one day stand, the Army tent stood... a makeshift monument manned by volunteers and family members and vets and anyone else who had the presence of mind to donate a day, even an hour, and help out.
In the fall of 1980, a design competition was announced, the competition open to any US citizen 17 years of age and older. Spring of 1981 the juried review showed that submission #1026 was the unanimous selection based on its meeting the formal requirements of the competition.
Submission #1026 was made by Maya Lin, a 22-year old architecture student who designed what was to become known colloquially as 'The Wall' for a furnerary design class at Yale University
Immediately the hew and cry from Vietnam Veterans and others was overwhelming and, sadly, all aspects of the monument process were open for attack. The immediate response was that The Wall, with it's near-58,000 original inscribed names, indeed looked like a massive headstone. The fact the monument was designed in-ground also brought about much comment and controvesy. Many a vet was heard to say the monument was being 'buried' the same way that the Vets were. Many were incensed that East Indian granite would be used rather than North American. And others openly attacked Ms. Lin's ancestry with acrimonious and, at times, racist, cristicism. Many were horrified that more was being invested in the monument than in Veterans themselves and lastly, the fact that those who 'remained missing' would be included sent a red flag up. The clear phrase, nothing political, insured that POWs and MIAs were excluded in any manner except 'unaccounted-for' and their inclusion on The Wall, although welcome by many, was seen by just as many as a means by the powers-that-be to finally 'bury' the POWs, MIAs and issue itself
There is no healing. You go to the Wall, if you care, and it is tear stained ground you walk. The rift remains, the "Wall" was referred to for many years as "The Gash" and not thought of as a respected memorial, but it is what we got.
Any healing that will ever take place will be generationally slow, as the Boomers who fought there die, their children will echo their thoughts, and then their grandchildren. It will divide this nation for a hundred years.
You cannnot heal in you own time the calumny visited upon you by your own countrymen and women who were working for your defeat, and even your death. They remain today to do the same work to our military and country in Iraq, and odds are increasing that they will prevail again.
I will damn them with my last breath.
The Left owns nothing of the Vietnam narrative but have imbued it with their treachery and cowardice. They are responsible for most of the deaths on that Wall. They bear no shame, but pride in their work to have had a part in our defeat. I will never ever forgive then nor ever give them any quarter. They are forever my enemy.
My Vietnam Narrative is as follows:
On my first day in-country an old Vietnamese gentleman informed me that it was "Johnson's War."
I said, "Aw, Shit! This is going to be a long 13 months."
The dollar amounts they're talking about for their "bailout" are infinitesimal (a Billion, or so.) It's just a "PR" thing - No big deal.
Poppies yield about three times the biodiesel per acre as soy beans. We could buy all the poppies for a couple of Billion, turn them into biodiesel for our trucks and humvees, and, probably, turn a profit.
You can imagine the Many Benefits that would accrue from such a course of action.
I'm afraid that we on the right have gotten carried away with "rewriting" the history of Vietnam.
I don't remember a single GOP Senator standing in the well of the Senate and Proclaiming, "We must go to the source; we must *Go to Hanoi,*" yet, there is absolutely no way we were going to "Win" that war without taking out the North.
We were drafting young people to go get killed for a debacle. When guys like me came home we told anyone who would listen that the whole thing was an exercise in idiocy. The South Vietnamese despised their government, and, although they didn't necessarily idolize Uncle Ho, they KNEW that he was going to win. As a Vietnamese "Friend" told me, "You Americans are too nice; the VC will win."
The Liberals didn't lose us that war. We just flat-out lost it. We tried to fight the North Vietnamese without "fighting" the N. Vietnamese. It was a bad case of national chickenshitedness. Blame us all. We sucked.
"Was it wise to be there [Vietnam] in the first place? I don't know, but once you decide to do something, you have to stick with it."
I don't think that is always best. Being able to retreat from an unwise course is sometimes the best course and sometimes it is the morally correct course. I would hope, for example, that Cuba could retreat from it's insane, dead-end commitment to communism just as the Soviet Union and China have. In each case, the case for persistence should be examined on its own merits.
Fair enough. I overstated the point. Depends on the consequences, and the consequences of Vietnam have not been good.
The hole in the universe....
Good thing we spent bazillions getting the Big Macs out of the keep-the-food-warm plastic boxes when we did.
There were plenty of Congressmen and Senators who wanted to go to Hanoi. Wanted to bomb Haiphong. LBJ was a rube surrounded by leftover Kennedy "Whiz" kids and Robert (ass) McNamara who really fucked things up. Between those two it was adoomed enterprise once the great Cronkite told us so.
Now I'm not gonna do anymore try'in to convince people of the rightness or wrongness because those lines are etched as deeply as a wound that never heals can be.
But I could. I found on the very first fast read through of the article at least five "truths" of that war that are false.
Stanley Karnow's WGBH "Vietnam" productions was a piece of propaganda.
Finally, we had that war won. Our weak horse citizenry flopped at the 1/8 pole.
good thread, y'all. not exactly light-hearted, but good.
interesting comment Dr. X as I was about to post similar sentiments and same quote but you beat me to it. I believe it is always wise to change the path when the wrong direction has been chosen. Alas there are too many persons in power who do not agree.
You begin as if to support perseverence in our Vietnam War experience.
Then you "enlighten" us with faint logic that changing course is often the most prudent avenue, using Cuba , the Soviet Union , and Chinaas examples. First and foremost any comparison on a moral basis with those countries is an abomination and gross misreading of history.
My God man.
Perhaps you haven't noticed but the Soviet Union is simply old wine in new bottles and China is still fully dedicated to communism, fully. They have acquired the facade of great capitalist successs in a manner similar to what Uncle Joe did in the Ukraine in 1929-1933. There were over 30,000 riots in China last year because interior China is seeing NONE of the coastal wealth.
Poor analogies to compare the US venture in Vietnam during the height of the Cold War and hot proxy wars with Cuba, China, and the Soviets.
Your message, that we should change course has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.