Category Archive 'Thanksgiving'
25 Nov 2017

VDH Remembers the Old Breed

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William G. Zincavage, 1945.

At Thanksgiving, Victor Davis Hanson is grateful for our parents’ generation, the generation that won the War, particularly those like my own father who served in the Marine Corps.

Much has been written about the disappearance of these members of the Greatest Generation—there are now over 1,000 veterans passing away per day. Of the 16 million who at one time served in the American military during World War II, only about a half-million are still alive. …

More worrisome, however, is that the collective ethos of the World War II generation is fading. It may not have been fully absorbed by the Baby Boomer generation and has not been fully passed on to today’s young adults, the so-called Millennials. While U.S. soldiers proved heroic and lethal in Afghanistan and Iraq, their sacrifices were never commensurately appreciated by the larger culture.

The generation that came of age in the 1940s had survived the poverty of the Great Depression to win a global war that cost 60 million lives, while participating in the most profound economic and technological transformation in human history as a once rural America metamorphosed into a largely urban and suburban culture of vast wealth and leisure.

Their achievement from 1941 to 1945 remains unprecedented. The United States on the eve of World War II had an army smaller than Portugal’s. It finished the conflict with a global navy larger than all of the fleets of the world put together. By 1945, America had a GDP equal to those of Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the British Empire combined. With a population 50 million people smaller than that of the USSR, the United States fielded a military of roughly the same size.

America almost uniquely fought at once in the Pacific, Asia, the Mediterranean, and Europe, on and beneath the seas, in the skies, and on land. On the eve of the war, America’s military and political leaders, still traumatized by the Great Depression, fought bitterly over modest military appropriations, unsure of whether the country could afford even a single additional aircraft carrier or another small squadron of B-17s. Yet four years later, civilians had built 120 carriers of various types and were producing a B-24 bomber at the rate of one an hour at the Willow Run factory in Michigan. Such vast changes are still difficult to appreciate.

Certainly, what was learned through poverty and mayhem by those Americans born in the 1920s became invaluable in the decades following the war. The World War II cohort was a can-do generation who believed that they did not need to be perfect to be good enough. The strategic and operational disasters of World War II—the calamitous daylight bombing campaign of Europe in 1942-43, the quagmire of the Heurtgen Forest, or being surprised at the Battle of Bulge—hardly demoralized these men and women.

Miscalculations and follies were not blame-gamed or endlessly litigated, but were instead seen as tragic setbacks on the otherwise inevitable trajectory to victory. When we review their postwar technological achievements—from the interstate highway system and California Water Project to the Apollo missions and the Lockheed SR-71 flights—it is difficult to detect comparable confidence and audacity in subsequent generations. To paraphrase Nietzsche, anything that did not kill those of the Old Breed generation made them stronger and more assured.

As an ignorant teenager, I once asked my father whether the war had been worth it. After all, I smugly pointed out, the “victory” had ensured the postwar empowerment and global ascendance of the Soviet Union. My father had been a combat veteran during the war, flying nearly 40 missions over Japan as the central fire control gunner in a B-29. He replied in an instant, “You win the battle in front of you and then just go on to the next.”

I wondered where his assurance came. Fourteen of 16 planes—each holding eleven crewmen—in his initial squadron of bombers were lost to enemy action or mechanical problems. The planes were gargantuan, problem-plagued, and still experimental—and some of them also simply vanished on the 3,000-mile nocturnal flight over the empty Pacific from Tinian to Tokyo and back.

As a college student, I once pressed him about my cousin and his closest male relative, Victor Hanson, a corporal of the Sixth Marine Division who was killed on the last day of the assault on Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa. Wasn’t the unimaginative Marine tactic of plowing straight ahead through entrenched and fortified Japanese positions insane? He answered dryly, “Maybe, maybe not. But the enemy was in the way, then Marines took them out, and they were no longer in the way.”

RTWT

23 Nov 2017

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving1

Mike Franc, at Human Events in 2005, identified the real reason for celebration at the first Thanksgiving.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

Just how did the Pilgrims solve the problem of famine? In addition to receiving help from the local Indians in farming, they decided allow the private ownership of individual plots of land.

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The real story of Thanksgiving is the triumph of capitalism and individualism over collectivism and socialism, which is the summation of the story of America.

23 Nov 2017

A Proclamation

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As published in the Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

23 Nov 2017

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving Via Buffy

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22 Nov 2017

How to Talk About Star Wars at Thanksgiving With Your Ignorant, Rebellion-Backing Uncle

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Sonny Bunch preps you for the inevitable Thanksgiving political arguments with your reactionary uncle.

The Jedi Are a Racist Space Aristocracy

Everyone watches the original trilogy and thinks “Hey, wow, this ‘Jedi’ thing is pretty cool. I can train to control the force and become a knight and help maintain order throughout the galaxy? Awesome!” As we learn in the prequels, though, this is not at all how it works: only those who are born with a certain genetic defect can control the force and this defect is hereditary, meaning the Jedi order is inherently dynastic and anti-meritocratic in nature. Speaking of people who lorded their genetic makeup over others…

Rebellion Celebrations Are Literally Naziesque

As I’ve noted elsewhere, George Lucas modeled the celebration at the end of A New Hope—where the non-white, non-human Chewbacca is denied a medal as a sea of pasty faces look on—on shots cribbed from Leni Riefenstahl’s work. I don’t want to go all Godwin on you, but even your drunk, backwards uncle doesn’t support Hitler, does he?

Colonialist Rebels Exploited Innocent Ewoks

So dig this my dudes: On the forest moon of Endor, the Empire was able to build a shield generator without really bothering the indigenous life forms. They coexisted in harmony, Empire and Ewok alike engaging in a live and let live philosophy. And then the Rebels show up, convince the Ewoks that C-3PO’s some sort of god, and enlist them in a holy war against the Empire! Not only that, they send their newfound teddy bear allies into battle armed with naught by sticks and stones against a garrison that is armed with lasers and AT-STs! AYFKM with this, man? Luke Skywalker is basically a latter-day Hernan Cortes. And, as we know, the conquistadors were history’s greatest monsters.

The Destruction of Alderaan Was Completely Justified

The only trump card that Republican apologists have left to play, at this point, is the notion that the destruction of Alderaan was some sort of horrible war crime. For a variety of reasons, this is ridiculous. However, all you really need to do is say this: “Grand Moff Tarkin was no worse than noted haberdasher and Democratic President Harry S. Truman.” Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to maintain the peace, you know?

Ted Cruz Supports the Rebels

So there you are, a hip young millennial trying to explain why your bigoted, backwards uncle has it all wrong. Here’s YOUR trump: “You know who else supports the rebellion? That dope from Texas TED CRUZ.” You don’t even have to explain why this so obviously proves your point—it’s not your job to enact that labor, after all—because every non-backwards person at the table will recognize how smart you are and will call on your ignorant relative to just be quiet.

Check. And. Mate. Your Salon Dot Com internship is waiting, young sith.

RTWT

24 Nov 2016

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving Via Buffy

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24 Nov 2016

A Proclamation

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As published in the Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

24 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving With That Pansy Marxist Nephew, 2016 Edition

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danielvogel
Who better for the image of the pansy Marxist nephew than Hampshire College’s Daniel Vogel, the SJW who pulled down and burned the US flag the night before Veterans Day?

Kurt Schlichter wrote the script enabling you to be That Obnoxious Conservative Uncle this Thanksgiving.

Welcome Him to Dinner: Extend a hearty greeting, like “Good to see you! Of course, when I was 25, I spent Thanksgiving in a fighting position eating reconstituted pork patties, but your part time Chore Monkey gig is pretty much the same. Come on in!”

Be patient when he inquires whether you have anything “infused” or “curated,” and assure him that “Oh yeah, I got something locally sourced for you right here.”

Listen intently to his list of dietary restrictions, then helpfully explain that “Your vegan option is not eating.”

Explain that you won’t let him say the blessing because “I don’t want to hear an invocation to some weird goddess or any other blasphemous crap.”

Ensure that your prayer concludes “And we thank you for our police and firefighters, and for all our veterans, and for our warriors fighting evil across the globe. May you protect them and grant them total victory over our enemies.”

Don’t forget to be inclusive! “Oh, and let’s not forget the Chore Monkey guys. They’re heroes too in their own way, I guess.”

Break the Ice: Show some interest in him and his lifestyle. Politely inquire whether the Chinese character tattoo peeking out from under his doofy scarf means “Never hire me.”

Ask about his student loans, then do a calculation on your iPhone and tell him “Looks like you should have that all paid off by 2053!”

Also, make him comfortable by dropping some Millennial-friendly colloquialisms. For example, you can explain that you understand President Trump’s empowering message to normal Americans living outside of the liberal big cities because you are “Hella woke.”

Finally, inquire into his romantic life, but don’t pry. “No date again this year? So, I’m guessing your vibe is less Tinder, more Grindr?”

Give His Views the Respect They Deserve: Normally, when he tries to speak you would look at him and say “Shhh. The men are talking” – a “man” being someone who is both over 18 and not still living on mommy’s futon in the basement.

But if you do decide to amuse yourself by letting him talk, be sure to respond to whatever he says with “Is that what they taught you in your gender studies seminar?” And if he insists that “Hey, I was an engineering major!” respond “Oh, what do you build? Safe spaces?” and start giggling.

Understand His Sensitive Feelings About The Election: Hillary Clinton’s loss was a blow to many millennials, and he is likely to be emotionally fragile. You’ll want to ruthlessly exploit his pathetic weakness.

Always refer to “President Trump” and how he will “Make America great again.” Wear a MAGA hat to the table. Mention the “eight years of the Trump administration” and to what Justices Cruz and Willet will do to get the Supreme Court squared away again. Refer to Hillary as “Prisoner No. 59875779.”

Read the whole thing.

24 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving1

Mike Franc, at Human Events in 2005, identified the real reason for celebration at the first Thanksgiving.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

Just how did the Pilgrims solve the problem of famine? In addition to receiving help from the local Indians in farming, they decided allow the private ownership of individual plots of land.

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The real story of Thanksgiving is the triumph of capitalism and individualism over collectivism and socialism, which is the summation of the story of America.

26 Nov 2015

White House Pardoned Turkey Defects to ISIS

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ISIS-Turkey

Duffleblog:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior U.S. officials are literally calling “fowl” after the Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by President Obama publicly defected to the Middle Eastern terrorist group ISIS.

Popcorn the Turkey, now calling himself Babakurn al-Turki, was pardoned from the dinner table only yesterday by President Obama in a public ceremony at the White House. Normally the pardoned bird is sent along with its competitor to live out its remaining days at Morven Park’s Turkey Hill in Leesburg, Virginia.

However, U.S. officials have now admitted that al-Turki instead hijacked an Osprey out of Andrews Air Force Base in nearby Maryland and flew like a bat out of hell to Syria.

A group of senior intelligence officials and ornithologists with birds-eye surveillance of the war-torn country have suggested he is nesting in Raqqah or across the northern border in another neighboring country.

Al-Turki, who was originally raised as an animist before converting to Islam, has already appeared in several propaganda clips and tweets for ISIS, gobbling anti-American rhetoric and leaving furious American officials grousing.

Read the whole thing.

26 Nov 2015

Thanksgiving

, ,

Thanksgiving1

Mike Franc, at Human Events in 2005, identified the real reason for celebration at the first Thanksgiving.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

Just how did the Pilgrims solve the problem of famine? In addition to receiving help from the local Indians in farming, they decided allow the private ownership of individual plots of land.

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The real story of Thanksgiving is the triumph of capitalism and individualism over collectivism and socialism, which is the summation of the story of America.

26 Nov 2015

A Proclamation

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As published in the Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

26 Nov 2015

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving

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Hat tip to VA Viper.

26 Nov 2015

What’s Cooking, Vladimir?

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PutinCooksTurkey

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