For Memorial Day the Leader of the Free World proclaimed the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius:
"For many of us, this #MemorialDay is especially meaningful—it is the first since our war in Afghanistan came to an end." —@POTUS
Just like the war in Iraq has "come to an end", and the war in Libya...
It's not a small thing when the government responsible for over 40 per cent of the planet's military expenditures no longer has any understanding of such basic concepts as "victory" and "defeat".
~UPDATE: I thought at first this video came to me from MEMRI - the invaluable Middle East TV translation service - but it turns out to be a parody. So it belongs to the too-good-to-check files. Fun, though. And, after those Memorial Day Tweets, not entirely implausible.
I can't be the only one who wishes my cable package included this Egyptian TV channel. Unlike "Meet The Press" or "This Week with George Stuffhispantswithcash", this thoughtful discussion programme offers the full spectrum of viewpoints. For example, in this debate on President Obama's curious belief that the most pressing national security threat to the United States is "climate change", one Egyptian panelist asks rhetorically:
What did you expect from an affirmative-action president..? This guy has never worked a day in his life.
The opposing panelist posits an alternative thesis:
I disagree... Have you seen his wife? Who do you think makes the decisions..? Did you see that video of him working out? My eight-year old daughter has bigger biceps than him."
UPPERDATE! On the, er, other hand, for some apparently authentic Islamowackiness of the day:
Islamic preacher says that masturbation causes men's hands to get pregnant, and then they will have to (GASP!!) take care of their masturbation hand spawn in the afterlife!!
Is that where the 72 virgins come from?
~As you can see from various promotional banners around the site, I'm going to be in Washington in a little over a fortnight for the 10th International Conference on Climate Change. Lots of big-time climate deniers will be on hand - full details here - but the key words are the conference title: "Fresh Start." The hysteria of Mann-style alarmism is going nowhere with the public, as one of the hysterics, Graham Richardson, acknowledges here:
The sceptics and deniers have turned the 70 per cent-plus belief in climate change into a minority because no one has engaged them.
As my distinguished co-author on Climate Change: The Facts, Jo Nova, responds:
That's right Graham, we unfunded bloggers and the few surviving skeptical scientists not evicted and blackballed from our universities (yet) have tricked 20% of the population because no one has put forward the climate change arguments except for: The Climate Commission, CSIRO, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Royal Dutch Shell, GE, Panasonic, The ABC, The BBC, The Guardian, Fairfax, The Australian government, most universities, The EU, The UN, The World Bank, and the IMF.
Not to mention President Obama and the US Coast Guard, and George Clooney and his crappy floppo movie. Given that everyone from Hollywood to Washington to the Royal Society to half the churches and every elementary school in the western world is on Graham's side of the argument, their inability to sway public opinion must be ranked one of the most spectacular failures of the age - a veritable upside-down hockey stick. And all Michael Mann is proposing is another 20 years of shrieking queenery:
Denier! Denier! Koch-funded denier! Denierdenierdenierdenier!!!!!!!!
Good luck with that.
At the ICCC, we will be thinking seriously about a much-needed "Fresh Start". I hope you'll join me. More details here.
~Normally, our seasonal reprint of my "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" essay from A Song For The Season attracts a lot of favorable comment from SteynOnline patrons. But not always. Robert Shivers - long-time reader but, alas, not a first-time customer - writes to Mark's Mailbox:
I'm a long time reader and fan of your columns and would really like to purchase one or your autographed books to help sustain your fight against blow-hard charlatans like Michael Mann, but just when I'm about to make a purchase, I note the recent re-post of your column on the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". You write,
"The songs many of those soldiers marched to are still known today.....But this one belongs in a category all its own"
It certainly does, considering it is about the only song I know of that enlists blasphemy and twisted, apostatized theology for the express purpose to encourage genocide against Americans. During the war, certain New England clergymen openly called for a campaign not merely of suppression, but outright extermination of the white Southern population. The idea was that following a campaign of genocide against whites, the former slaves would be forcibly deported across the seas and the South would be repopulated with northern whites, particularly New England Yankees.
Julia Ward Howe's blasphemous song certainly captures this thinking and attempts to provide a twisted ideological justification with verses like,
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."
This verse is commonly omitted these days, particularly from church hymnals, because of its overt perversion of the gospel message in likening northern cannons to gospel writ and Southerners to the Serpent. I suppose even American idolatry of the military has its limits, even if most people are unaware of the offensiveness of the rest of the song.
A song to encourage the wholesale slaughter of Americans seems like a strange choice for a Memorial Day tribute; change a few of the words and substitute the biblical references with quote from the Koran and it would make a grand marching song for ISIL.
This might be more appropriate than would seem, considering that Mrs Howe's husband was a member of the Secret Six who privately financed the terrorist activities of mass murdering lunatic, John Brown. With Secret Six financial support, Brown and his men attacked the Doyle family in Kansas one night in May 1856. James P Doyle and two of his sons were dragged from their home in front of the distraught wife and younger children and hacked to death with swords. Young Drury Doyle, 20 years old, was left to bleed to death in a ditch with his arms hacked off next to the corpses of his father and younger brother. The campaign of Sherman's bummers in Georgia and the Carolinas was much the same, but on a grander scale, extending to the vandalism and burning of churches and murder of un-armed civilians to plunder their few remaining provisions or pathetic collections of family silver. His Truth is Marching on, indeed.
After the Spanish American War and the Philippines Occupation, Mark Twain wrote a parody version of Battle Hymn, lampooning all this high toned blather:
We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our god is marching on!
In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom-and for others' goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich —
Our god is marching on.
A more complete critique of the song, verse by verse, is provided here.
With your Canadian background and living in New England, perhaps you are unaware of just how offensive this song is to Americans who are familiar with its background and with the odious apostate Julia Ward Howe. Would that you would familiarize yourself with it.
Robert M Shivers, D. Eng.
~Tomorrow, Wednesday, I'll be keeping my fortnightly date with Toronto's Number One morning man, John Oakley, live on AM640 at 8.30am Eastern.