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July 2016

JULY 1-3-1863

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. 46,000 and 51,000 Confederate and Union soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or missing.

On November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg President Abraham Lincoln delivered the following address:

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

A Better Kind of Conservative Book A review of In the Arena: Good Citizens, a Great Republic, and How One Speech Can Reinvigorate America by David French

There is a dreary sameness to all too many conservative books. They reflect on America’s cultural, economic, or strategic decline, collect outrageous stories of leftist abuse, and then blame the other side of the aisle for America’s woes. We hear of the Left’s assault on religious liberty, the Left’s war on free speech, and the Left’s hatred of Western civilization. There is certainly value in understanding the Left’s actions and ideology, but it sometimes seems as if conservative publishing has devolved into a contest to see which pundit can write this year’s “progressives wreck America” best-seller.

Pete Hegseth’s new book, then, comes as a tonic. It was inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s celebrated 1910 speech “Citizenship in a Republic” — the speech in which Roosevelt declared, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,” and extolled instead the “man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again” and “spends himself in a worthy cause.”

Hegseth is inspired not just by this passage but by the entire speech, and he uses it as a framework for an analysis of our troubled times and as a striking personal challenge. Are you “in the arena”? Are you spending yourself in a worthy cause? Are you striving valiantly? While the book isn’t a memoir, Hegseth does reflect on the lessons he learned during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and during political battles here at home. It’s a good-spirited and very personal lecture, in which the words “I was wrong” appear far more than they do in the typical political book.

Building on Roosevelt’s observation that great republics require good citizens, Hegseth outlines an ecumenical vision of the “virtues and duties” of citizens. While Hegseth is unabashedly Christian, his virtues are the ones honored across religious traditions. He challenges Americans to be devoted to their work, to be willing to fight for their values, to raise large families (more on that in a moment), and to develop strength of character, specifically the character traits Roosevelt advocated — including “self-restraint, self-mastery, common sense,” and “courage and resolution.”

Hegseth argues that large families (which he defines as those with three or more children) are a check against self-indulgence. Children “humble you, teach you, and keep you grounded.” Hegseth echoes Roosevelt’s condemnation of the “willfully barren” — those who, for the sake of self-actualization, choose not to have children. It’s a counter-cultural message, especially in an era when many progressive ideologues argue that having kids is a form of planet-destroying excess and even decry parents as “breeders”; but that’s exactly why it’s thought-provoking and necessary.

Let’s Take a Cue from Brexit and Leave the U.N. Instead of stamping out tyrants, the U.N. validates them. By Josh Gelernter

The U.K. has shown its contempt for anti-democratic international unions by leaving the EU. Let’s do the same and leave the U.N.

The U.N. is generally thought of as having evolved from the silly and impotent League of Nations, whose primary achievement was permitting — through naïveté, cowardice, and inaction — the Japanese invasion of China and the start of the Pacific half of the Second World War. Actually, the U.N.’s origins were nobler: It supplanted the League, but it began as an organization of the Allied powers against the Tripartite German–Italian–Japanese Axis.

The U.N.’s first communiqué was the 1942 “Declaration of United Nations,” wherein the Allied governments pledged that they,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,


(1) Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.

(2) Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

This, in essence, is the founding document of the U.N. But its point was completely misunderstood by the writers of the U.N.’s charter: The United Nations Charter declares its goal as the preservation of peace. The Declaration of United Nations declared its goal as the preservation of freedom. This divergence is the essence of the failure of the U.N., and the source of its corruption.

A civilized world would say, To hell with world peace — give us world freedom. North Korea is at peace. Laos is at peace. Burma is at peace. Turkmenistan is at peace. But anyone in his right mind would choose rather to go back in time and live in London during the blitz than live in Turkmenistan, Burma, Laos, or the DPRK. Or any other of the grossly unfree countries that populate the U.N.

American slaves were at peace in the South, but I suspect they preferred the state of affairs during the Civil War.

Of course, the U.N. claims protecting human rights as a parallel goal to pursuing world peace. That’s the job the U.N. Human Rights Council is charged with. Cuba is a current member of the U.N. Human Rights Council. So is Russia. So are China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. So are Qatar, Indonesia, and the Republic of the Congo. And Venezuela.

‘Optics’ of Lynch–Clinton Meeting Are Not Just Bad, They’re Disqualifying Just ask Pete Rose. By Andrew C. McCarthy

Why isn’t Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame?

So he gambled. So what? There’s no code of ethics for athletic prowess. There are plenty of baseball players who’ve done far worse — racists, druggies, sex abusers, fathers who abandon their children. And on the other side of the coin, many players who were stellar enough to make it to Cooperstown couldn’t hold a candle to Charlie Hustle.

Yet almost 30 years after the Hall’s doors were slammed shut on the all-time major-league leader in base hits, Rose is still banned from baseball because he bet on games. Why? After all, gambling is legal in many places and generally considered a harmless vice even where it is outlawed. In the greater scheme of things, it is not in the same league as much of the thuggery despite which pro athletes are routinely given second chances, third chances, and chances ad infinitum.

Rose, however, remains disqualified. And rightly so.

In the narrow world of baseball, his offense is unpardonable. The place of the game in our history, culture, and consciousness depends on its being perceived as on the up-and-up. Professional baseball was nearly destroyed in 1919 by a conspiracy to fix the World Series — the famed “Black Sox” scandal dramatized in Eight Men Out. The cautionary lesson for the Powers That Be was stark: The public’s willingness to buy tickets and hot dogs and jerseys and caps and bobblehead dolls (to say nothing of the beer and Viagra sales that drive networks to plunk down billions for broadcast rights) hinges on its confidence that the fix is not in. The integrity of the game is why people live and die with every pitch, why they accept the final score with joy or mourning — not with the eye-rolling that attaches to such scripted performance art as professional wrestling.

I couldn’t help but think of Rose’s ban-for-life when news broke about the totally “spontaneous” meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton.

The latter, it so happens, is not just married to Hillary Clinton, the subject of the former’s most significant criminal investigation; he is quite possibly a subject in his own right — and, at the very least, a key witness. Meantime, the attorney general is the ultimate maker of what will be the Justice Department’s epic decision whether to indict Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the nation’s highest office — the Obama administration having turned a deaf ear to Republican calls for a so-called special prosecutor.

Baseball’s seemingly draconian ban on Rose sprang to mind when I read the pained but forgiving tweet by Democratic media-plant David Axelrod. He took the AG and former president “at their word” that there had been no discussion of the FBI’s Hillary probe during what we are to believe was an unplanned meeting — just one of those chance encounters between two of the most tightly guarded officials of the world’s only superpower, whose Praetorian phalanxes leave nothing to chance.

Shocking Polls Show What U.S. Muslims Think of U.S. Laws By Andrew G. Bostom

As July 4 approaches, new polling data reveal non-Muslim Americans are increasingly cognizant of the threat Sharia — Islam’s totalitarian religio-political “law” — poses to their basic liberties. Overwhelmingly, they reject its encroachment in the United States.

But polling data also reveal that an ominous, growing proportion of American Muslims wish to impose Sharia on America.

Opinion Savvy polled a random sample of 803 registered voters — 98.2% non-Muslim, and 1.8% Muslim (with age, race, gender, political affiliation, and region propensity score-weighted to reduce biases) — from June 19 to June 20, 2016. They asked:

Do you believe that the United States government should screen, or actively identify individuals entering the United States who support Sharia law?

Seventy-one percent affirmed:

Yes, supporters of Sharia should be identified before they are admitted into the US.

The group answering “yes” was then asked:

Once identified, do you believe that individuals who support the practice of Sharia law should be admitted into the United States?

Eighty percent responded:

No, supporters of Sharia should not be admitted into the US.

The next query, which addressed only foreign visitors, elicited an even more emphatic demand for fidelity to bedrock First Amendment principles. It asked:

Do you believe that the United States government should require all foreign individuals entering the United States to affirm that they will uphold the principles of the constitution, such as freedom of religion and speech, above all personal ideologies for the duration of their stay in the country?

Seventy-eight percent insisted:

Yes, visitors to the US should be required to agree to uphold the constitution, regardless of their personal ideology, as a condition of their visit.

The unblinkered assessment of Sharia validates its broadly shared rejection by non-Muslim Americans, but also illustrates how increased U.S. Muslim Sharia support represents a dangerous trend.
Time Is Running Out for American Muslims

The Sharia, Islam’s canon law, is traceable to Koranic verses and edicts (45:18, 42:13, 42:21, 5:48; 4:34, 5:33-34, 5:38, 8:12-14; 9:5, 9:29, 24:2-4), as further elaborated in the “hadith” — the traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and the earliest Muslim community — and codified into formal “legal” rulings by Islam’s greatest classical legists. Sharia is a retrogressive development compared with the evolution of clear distinctions between “ritual, the law, moral doctrine, good customs in society, etc.,” within Western European Christendom.

Sharia is utterly incompatible with the conceptions of human rights enshrined in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Warmist stronghold all but concedes the game By Thomas Lifson

Life’s tough for a warmist think-tank. Look what just happened in Germany (via the great Andrew Bolt):

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are warning that Europe may be facing “a mini ice age” due to a possible protracted solar minimum.

The news comes from the Berliner Kurier, which adds:

That’s the conclusion that solar physicists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reached when looking at solar activity. For an institute that over the past 20 years has steadfastly insisted that man has been almost the sole factor in climate change over the past century and that the sun no longer plays a role, this is quite remarkable.

The Berliner Kurier reports that the PIK scientists foresee a weakening of the sun’s activity over the coming years. That means that conversely it is going to get colder. The scientists are speaking of a little ice age.

According to the PIK scientists, the reduced solar activity will, however, not be able to stop the global warming and only brake the warming up to 2100 by 0.3°C.

This warmist hotbed is admitting that solar activity drives climate so strongly that, even sticking to their models as accurate forecasts, they see only a 0.3-degree change by the next century. As Andrew Bolt prompts us:

Remember when we were warned it could be 6 degrees – and at least 3 degrees?

If Benghazi doesn’t matter, what does?Dr. Robin McFee,

For me, these names matter: Christopher Stevens, US Ambassador to Libya, Sean Smith, career diplomat, Glen Doherty, former Navy Seal, and Tyrone Woods, former Navy Seal. All died in the service of the United States. They left behind loved ones who are owed the truth, and the sincere support of a grateful nation. But are we grateful?

In the last few days much of what I have heard has been disgusting. Comments like “it’s over” or “it is merely a partisan ploy to keep Hillary from the White House” or “mistakes happen in war, let’s move on.”

I’m not sure what makes me sicker; the notion that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama allowed to die a US ambassador and brave Americans trying to protect him. Or the notion that both of them, Hillary especially, tried to cover up the mistakes, and activities that allowed Americans to be slaughtered, just to protect their campaigns, and legacy. Or the recognition my fellow citizens and much of the media are willingly providing political cover, excuses and support for Hillary Clinton – just so their candidate can win the presidency.

To be sure, there were lots of mistakes made – from the Arab Spring to the disastrous efforts at nation building in Libya. But at the end of the day, leaders must always be mindful these immortal words of the late, great, Harry Truman, “the buck stops here” For better or worse, whether complicit, or buffoonery, knowing, or not, the captain of the ship, or leader of the enterprise is always responsible, and in this case, it was President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Watching CNN broadcast Congressmen presenting the final Benghazi report, you would think the investigation concluded without key revelations or damaging evidence how badly our leaders failed those they swore to protect – fellow Americans. The ticker tape message floating across the bottom of the CNN screen seemed designed to mislead; it conveyed all was well for Hillary and no new discoveries found against her. Beyond dishonest and biased reporting – shameful is a good word – is the callous disregard for their fellow citizens who were murdered, and their families.

It is more clear than ever that the media are so “in the tank” for Hillary that they will abandon any semblance of journalistic ethics to twist, obfuscate, refuse to report or spin whatever it takes to help her win. And hell be damned to the families of those who died in Benghazi; they are inconvenient truths, mere stepping stones to be kicked aside on the campaign trail. CNN isn’t alone. The major newspapers and other broadcast media, as well as social media, are all doing the same thing. The democrat message machine is in full production trying to taint the Congressional Report as partisan, unfair, untrue, while providing all loyal party members brooms to sweep the entire affair under the rug.

Sybaritic West Surrenders to Islamists by Giulio Meotti

The West should be proud of what the Islamists call “decadence.” For the West, “decadence” is synonymous with freedom. The problem is that we, postmodern Westerners, have sacrificed the very values that ensure our survival, and have exchanged them for “decadence.”

The problem is that the West does not desire life. The West is ready to surrender its love of life to those who want to take it away from them.

“Islam manifests what Nietzsche called ‘great health’: there are young soldiers ready to die for it. What are the values of our civilization? Supermarket and e-commerce, trivial consumerism and egotistical narcissism, vulgar hedonism or scooters for adults?” — Michel Onfray, French philosopher,

In the Netherlands, the minister of education decided to impose the teaching of LGBT courses in migrant centers. Germany has published guidelines, leaflets and cartoons to communicate to immigrants the new sexual norms to follow. Is that all we have to offer to these people?

Omar Mateen did not choose the Pulse gay nightclub because it had few security guards or because it was an easy target. He could have targeted a supermarket or a school. No, Mateen chose Pulse because it is a nightclub, where he slaughtered 49 “infidels” and wounded 53 more.

Before murdering 2,977 people, the leader of the 9/11 terrorists, Mohammed Atta, along with four of the other hijackers, made several trips to Las Vegas during the summer before the attack, where they were entertained by dancers in nightclubs.

Fifteen years later, there was another country, another jihadist cell, another nightclub. Salah Abdeslam was dancing in a nightclub in Brussels with his brother, Brahim, and flirting with a blonde woman. A few months later, Brahim blew himself up in Paris at a concert in the Bataclan Theater. Nightclubs haunt the Islamist imagination with their mix of alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drugs and music. ISIS labelled Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity.”

Al Qaeda leader warns of ‘gravest consequences’ if Boston marathon bomber executed

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has warned the United States of the “gravest consequences” if Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any other Muslim prisoner is executed.

Tsarnaev, named in a new online video message from Zawahri, was sentenced last year to death by lethal injection for the 2013 bomb attack, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

“If the U.S. administration kills our brother the hero Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any Muslim, it … will bring America’s nationals the gravest consequences,” Zawahri said.

Zawahri, who became al Qaeda’s leader after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, urged Muslims to take captive as many Westerners as possible, especially those whose countries had joined the “Crusaders’ Campaign led by the United States”.

The veteran Egyptian-born Islamist, shown wearing white robes and sitting in front of green velvet drapes, said the Western captives could then be exchanged for Muslim prisoners.

Western powers “are criminals and they only understand the language of force”, he added.

UN Report Faults Israelis, Palestinians for Stalled Peace Process By Farnaz Fassihi see note please

This is how assorted nuts and tyrants spend their time….see no Islam or Jihad, see no terror, see no forced famine and massacres in African , see no nuke buildup in North Korea and Iran, see no Russian threats to Eastern European nations….see nothing but Israel bashing….rsk

Report released at the U.N. identifies threats for reaching a two-state solution in the Middle East

UNITED NATIONS —A highly anticipated report on the Middle East peace process, released here Friday, criticized both Israelis and Palestinians for policies that fuel war and not peace.

The report identified three main threats for reaching a deal to create two separate Israeli and Palestinian states: the glorification of violence and terrorism; Israel’s settlement expansions in the West Bank; and the Palestinian Authority’s lack of control in Gaza.

The report was issued by the international diplomatic group known as the “Quartet”— composed of the U.N., U.S., Russia and the European Union—which holds a mandate to find a road map for peace in the Middle East.

Diplomats and U.N. officials said the report was significant in that it lays out concrete steps and suggestions on how to revive peace talks.