“It occurred to me at once that Harris had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but it was one I never forgot afterwards.”

General US Grant 1861

One of the most amusing stories from the Civil War is the siege of Yorktown.  General George McClellan had landed the Union army on the James peninsula a grand flanking move in his attempt to capture Richmond and win the war.  The first obstacle was Yorktown the site of the ultimate defeat of the British in the American Revolution.

McClellan has three times the number of troops as the Confederates facing him had a vast superiority of material & artillery both in terms of number and quality but convinced by “experts” that the rebel force what much stronger than his (aided by the theatrics of Confederate Gen John Magruder, was determined to wait until every single thing was exactly the way he wanted it before making his move.

This frustrated his own generals and amazed his counterpart Joseph Johnston who said:  “No one but McClellan could have hesitated to attack.” who took advantage of the time to withdraw his forces to a better position

In the end when McClellan finally moved forward the confederates were nowhere to be seen.

McClellan claimed victory he had gained Yorktown with a minimum of casualties, and congratulated himself on his tactical brilliance.

In doing so he forgot the War was not being fought to take Yorktown.  The war was being fought to defeat the confederacy.  McClellan’s hesitation cost him the chance to perhaps win the war before a man named Lee was put in charge of the rebel army.  the price of that hesitation was two more years of war,  tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars of destruction.

And that brings us to the GOP senate.

We keep hearing from Senators like Mitch McConnell and some candidates like Lindsey Graham and John Kasich that to fight against Barack Obama is futile, that it takes us away from the goal of electing a GOP president.

Now if your only goal is to win an election and to hold a seat of power that argument makes some sense.  Why rock the boat and do anything that might provoke a response against you?

But if your goal in holding office is to actually advance a series of idea and positions for the good for the country & its future, ideas that the people who voted for you want, that’s totally different.

Consider the newly lionized Carly Fiorina on the Planned Parenthood issue.  By not abandoning the issue and pressing it directly she put the left on the spot, forcing them to defend the indefensible.

Or consider Ben Carson and noting Sharia law the media and the left defend a set of rules that oppresses women it because the dirty little secret is a lot of voters are silent because they are afraid of pushback but you know what, nobody is over their shoulder in the voting booth.

Alternatively,  by not forcing the left to act, by allowing them victories without even a fight all you do is strengthen them, you give them a chance to husband their resources, you allow them to not even have to defend their positions to the media and the public and you reinforce the intimidation of voters who are silent out of fear.


Make the attack, make the case and every single time you are invited on a show take stills of the planned parenthood videos with you and when the host attempts to push the “shutting down the government” or “hurting the innocent” line at you, show those pictures and ask:  “Are you seriously saying that Democrats won’t allow government to function unless we fund this?”  Note that silence on this issue is no different that silence on the abuse of Boys in Afghanistan.  

Make them more afraid of you they you are of them, because if they were not afraid of the truth they would tell it.

Less McClellan more Grant please.

Update: Drew M at Ace’s site nails it pretty well

The correct question for Ayotte and her ilk is, what are you willing to do to break the Democrats ability to control the agenda of the United States Congress so long as they can muster 41 votes?

Team GOP will tell you, “if you want anything done you need to elect a Republican president”. Here’s the thing…imagine that everything was exactly the same right now with the exception that say, Marco “Amnesty” Rubio is the president. The Senate Democrats will still have 41 votes in the Senate, so they’d still be able to filibuster any effort to defund Planned Parenthood (or anything else conservatives want done). And of course, they’d be joined by the likes of Mark Kirk and Susan Collins who are siding with the Democrats now.

Do you imagine the Democrats will suddenly be in a bipartisan mood if Rubio or any Republican is elected next year? Or do you think they will gum up the works as they have been in the hopes of increasing their numbers come the 2018 mid-terms?


More Grant , Less McClellan

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by baldilocks

I’m deep into research and Breitbart provides one of the keys/tracks/clues via The Truth about LBJ and MLK–a piece which is tangential to the release of the movie Selma.

The truth is that Lyndon Baines Johnson was a life-long segregationist who resisted numerous attempts to eliminate the poll tax and literacy tests during his twenty-three year career in the House and Senate. He blocked every major and minor piece of meaningful civil rights legislation as the leader of the Southern block in the US Senate, and as its powerful Majority Leader.

It was Lyndon Johnson who neutered the 1957 Civil Rights Act with a poison pill amendment that required violators of the Act be tried before state (all-white), not federal juries. Many contemporary liberals including Joseph Rauh, the president of Americans for Democratic Action, and A. Philip Randolph, a vice president of the AFL-CIO, called the bill worthless, and “worse than no bill at all.”Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Lyndon_Johnson_2

As Vice President, Lyndon Johnson orchestrated southern congressional opposition to JFK’s civil rights agenda and repeatedly warned JFK to go slow on the civil rights, voting rights, and open housing legislation that Kennedy had promised in his 1960 campaign.

LBJ, it seems, was reserving these initiatives for himself. He repeatedly cautioned President Kennedy to wait “until the time is right.” On Capitol Hill, Johnson simultaneously lobbied his “establishment” friends to stall that same legislation.

Johnson would do an about-face on civil rights immediately upon becoming president, apparently now that the “time was right.” He did so to begin the creation of a grand legacy for himself through the passage of the same legislation that he had previously impeded, and to fend-off a challenge from Robert F. Kennedy at the 1964 Democratic convention.

His maneuvering also gave him currency in the left wing of his party so that he could escalate the Vietnam War unimpeded, having won its support.  He had also promised his longtime supporters in the defense contracting business, as well as the Pentagon, that after he was reelected “you’ll get your war.”

What am I researching? I’m trying to find an easy to understand method of how we got to where we are–intellectually speaking–with respect to education and racial enmity. As I’m doing so, an interesting thing is happening: I’m having my assumptions challenged, including the assumption that I know this part of history.


Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

by baldilocks

Rawlins: And what are you? So full of hate you want to go out and fight everybody! Because you’ve been whipped and chased by hounds. Well that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain’t dying. And dying’s been what these white boys have been doing for going on three years now! Dying by the thousands! Dying for *you*, fool! I know, ’cause I dug the graves. And all this time I keep askin’ myself, when, O Lord, when it’s gonna be our time? Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN!

Glory, 1989

Glory–a fictionalization of the Union Army’s all-black 54th Massachusetts Regiment, lead by a white officer, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw–is one of my favorite movies for a lot of reasons, but, in particular, the last three sentences of the above monologue by Rawlins (played by Morgan Freeman) have stayed with me.

The spirit of that movie–that history–was evoked this week in Ferguson, MO by another set of men.

A group of black Ferguson residents armed with high-powered rifles stood outside a white-owned business in the city during recent riots, protecting it from rioters that looted and burned other businesses.

After a grand jury returned no indictment against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown, protesters took to the streets and the demonstrations quickly turned into rioting. Several buildings were set ablaze, but a group of heavily armed black men stood outside a Conoco gas station.

One of the residents, a 6-foot-8 man named Derrick Johnson, held an AR-15 assault [sic] rifle as he stood in a pickup truck near that store’s entrance. Three other black Ferguson residents joined Johnson in front of the store, each of them armed with pistols.

2013-09-15 17.41.07
Robert Gould Shaw and his men…and another Presence–no, not the horse

Like men. Not like black men, or like white men–or like puling infants in the bodies of men–but men.

Sure, they liked the owner–who had given them employment over the years, but so what? (Side note: lately I’ve been saying to all who won’t cover their ears that free persons create their own jobs.) One good turn is often reciprocated by a stab in the back. It has happened to me more than once.

But that’s not what happened in this case.

Do either of these sets of men owe anything to the other for doing right? I say no. Any other attitude smacks of patronage.

Doing what’s right is often its own reward and, sometimes, there is only one Observer. And the ripples are seemingly invisible. But they exist.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!


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While I was at the Niki Tsongas event I met Stephen Twining of the Sons of Union Veterans who spoke to me about the organization and some Civil War History.

You can find out more about the Sons of Union Veterans here

As you might guess there is a such an organization for the Confederate side of the aisle as well. You can find them here.

Today’s Subscription video talks about the difference between Strategic thinking vs Tactical thinking and includes a bit of Civil War History.

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In 1863 after Robert E Lee’s defeat and retreat from Pennsylvania The Confederate Government detached James Longstreet and his troops from the Army of Northern Virginia and sent them to reinforce General Braxton Bragg in an attempt to go on the offense in the Western Theatre of operations.

Reincorced, Bragg attacked union general William Rosecrans at Chickamauga. During the 2nd day of the battle Rosecrans, reacting to incorrect information, pulled a unit out of the battle line to plug a nonexistent hole just as a Confederate Attack exploded at that very spot they vacated. The resulting rout was only slowed by the heroic efforts of General George Thomas “The Rock of Chickamauga” whose spirited defense held a good chunk of the Confederate army in check.

Nevertheless the ensuing retreat toward Chattanooga was dogged by Nathan Bedford Forest cavalry. Forrest reporting on the state of the retreating federals suggested to Bragg: “I think we ought to press forward as rapidly as possible”. When Bragg (who at first refused to believe the enemy was retreating) replied that supplies were critically short Forest said: “General Bragg, we can get all the supplies our army needs in Chattanooga.” and continued to urge immediate pursuit to keep the pressure on and take Chattanooga before the enemy could fortify.

Bragg however was not only was slow to follow-up, when he eventually reached Chattanooga he settled down for a siege. “What does he fight battles for?” was Forest’s disgusted reaction.

Eventually U.S. Grant was dispatched to reinforce and take over the Union forces from Rosecrans. Grant after noting some excellent suggestions made by his predecessor wondering “why he had not carried them out”, got to work, first re-establishing a supply line (the cracker line) and then, going on the offensive, drove Bragg and his army off of the high ground he so confidently occupied and sent them reeling back into Georgia.

The Union Army were able to do this because of the inaction and hesitation of Bragg who, after what should have been a decisive victory gave his foes breathing space to rethink and reconsider their plans …

…which brings us to the aftermath of the great GOP victory in Wisconsin.

On the left reactions swings from fear:

the people that are behind Walker outside of the state, they don’t ever want to see a Democratic President again. I mean, their mission is to get a supermajority in the Senate, keep the majority in the House, win the White House and change this country to their ideology no matter what any poll says. And so, what is the message to Americans tonight if this is a template on how the rest of the country is gonna go. I believe it’s some pretty damn scary stuff.

To outright denial:

Lawrence O’Donnell declared President Obama the “big winner” of Tuesday night’s Wisconsin recall election.

O’Donnell hosted the network’s breaking news coverage of the Wisconsin recall election results, along with MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann. O’Donnell called Obama the “big winner” after exit polls indicated that the president fared better among Wisconsin voters than GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

The Obama administration doesn’t seem to feel that way:

In an email to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina called Tuesday’s outcome — and, more specifically, the super-PAC money spent on Walker — a “terrifying experiment.”

On Tuesday night MSNBC’s hosts spent the entire evening practically heartbroken while the one constant that we have heard from everyone was the effect of money on this race, while people like Barney Frank who were notably silent before are now suddenly saying how foolish it was to get in this fight to begin with.

In other words the left is demoralized, broken and convinced that we can outspend them everywhere.

What do I say to this, GOOD! lets keep them thinking this way!

Consider unlike Braxton Bragg the GOP is not coming off of a single win but repeated victories on the Wisconsin River and these wins don’t even take into consideration repeated signs of the weakness of the left and their allies for two full years.

Moreover the left didn’t lose because the people didn’t see their point due to money, they lost because the people saw their agenda unmasked by their actions:

The left’s problem in Wisconsin wasn’t that the right had too much money. The left’s problem is that the left’s agenda didn’t have enough support from the public. Poll after poll after poll showed that the public didn’t share the left’s estimation of the Walker reforms. Many thought they were a pretty good idea; many others didn’t much like the reforms but didn’t think they were bad enough or important enough to justify a year of turmoil and a recall election.

Some on the right see what is happening at Chicago Boyz they are calling this: The Stalingrad of the Left, while Sarah Palin is bluntly saying: “Obama’s goose is cooked.” While Vodka Pundit agrees with my get Cocky not lazy statement.

That is precisely the right attitude. We see the vile progs get cocky after every single election they win, while winners on the right usually try to maintain a stately decorum.

I say: Screw that. We knocked their dicks in the dirt last night, and we ought to act like it. Yes, Walker should keep the attitude low-key. But those of us on the blogs, in the trenches, on the news — we should be rubbing their noses in their own filth and swat them on their asses. Bad proggies, bad.

So don’t let up the pressure. Don’t let up the mocking. We’ve got five months until November, and a lot of hard work to do. And the absolute best thing you, personally, can do, is convince a prog that all is already lost. Convince him that his best course of action is to stay in the basement on election day and spare himself the pain and humiliation of having voted for this SCoaMF a second time.

Keep up the ‘tude. Don’t knuckle under to the progs’ bully-boy tactics. Taunt these losers for being the losers they are. And work your bottom off from now until November, and we’ll get that 57-state sweep.

I know that the Romney campaign is by nature conservative but this is a time to act and act nationally. It’s not just a question of Wisconsin now being in play. We of the GOP need to make OTHER states and districts in play.

First of all we need to get behind freshmen republicans like Tom Marino in Pennsylvania, Renee Ellmers in North Carolina and Ann Marie Buerkle in NY in the house and Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the man who started it all.

It is these freshmen that the left sees as their best opportunity let them know we are going to go all in to keep the where they are.

Second of all we need to contest open seats, in FL-7 backing guys like Mark Oxner against the Hero of the far Left icon Alan Grayson, we need to back Sean Bielat over Joe Kennedy in Ma-4 and keep the pressure on.

And in races that others might not have considered we need to advance, in Ma-3 we need to challenge Niki Tsongas (Both Jon Golnik & Tom Weaver are excellent candidates), in ma-5 we have to back Jeff Semon over Ed Markey in Maryland we need to back Anthony O’Donnell in the 5th & Patrick Murray in the 8th.

We need every congressional and state democrat around the country worrying not how they can help their national ticket, but about holding their own re-election chances, and more importantly we need to make sure their donor base believes that dollars invested in supporting these candidates are quixotic at best and idiocy at worst.

The left has created the narrative of the invincible Republican Money machines, I say chase them and hound them with that narrative so they are more worried about saving their own skin than turning around to fight. Or as I’ve been saying for more than a year…

Ride Right Through Them They’re Demoralized as Hell

If instead we like Braxton Bragg give them time to rest and reorganize and perhaps find a new field general while we sit on our high mountain waiting for them to give up we set ourselves up for the same kind of reversal.

And it will be our own fault.

During the Atlanta Campaign Confederate Commander Joseph Johnston was in a dilemma. Outnumbered 2-1 he was not in the position to crush the advancing forces of William T. Sherman. His best bet was to delay Sherman and look for a chance to hit him in detail or to force him into a deadly frontal assault. (such as Kennesaw Mountain).

Sherman with his superior force managed to flank Johnston again and again forcing him back until Atlanta was in sight.

Back in the Confederate Capital the administration was indigent. In their eyes Sherman was having things all their way. They demanded action to push Sherman out of Georgia rather than holding him up. In the end they decided that they would settle on a different more aggressive commander to face the Northern forces. General John Bell Hood.
Continue reading “John Bell Hood and the Tea Party”

During the campaign for Atlanta William Tecumseh Sherman Faced Joseph Johnston inferior force over the highly defensible terrain of Northern Georgia.

Sherman used his advantage of a larger force to turn and flank Johnston out of position after position as he slowly proceeded closer and closer to his objective of Atlanta, but Sherman was worried that due to the repeated flanking moves he might be imbuing his troops with a hesitation to assault prepared works.

So at Kennesaw Mountain when the Confederates prepared their positions, rather than flanking they Sherman assaulted them directly. The resulting repulses cause General Thomas to remark “One or two more such assaults will use up this Army.”

Sherman then resumed his flanking maneuvers that pushed Johnston back until the Confederates foolishly replaced him with John Bell Hood, but more significantly as pointed out in Ken Burns series The Civil War: “Sherman never admitted he made a mistake, but never repeated it.”

One might debate the psychology of that fact, but as far as the Union cause was concerned it was irrelevant. Sherman defeated Hood, Cut through Georgia like a hot knife through butter and wreaked such havoc in South Carolina that Jefferson Davis found himself compelled to re-appoint Joseph Johnston to the post he relieved him of. Of course by that time it made very little difference.

And so we come to Stacy McCain and Ann Althouse.

Stacy considers Althouse’s statement that her vote for Obama was “rational”: “An insult to those of us who were never fooled by Obama.” The Virginian considers suggests “intellectual pride makes you stupid” and Althouse laughs at the idea that voting Bob Barr is a rational decision.

One can debate endlessly if a third party vote is a “waste” or a lack of decision or not (I think it depends on the situation) and one can decide if Ann Althouse was a “rube” for voting Obama over McCain. (I think she was wrong but lots of people get things wrong). One might consider her defense of that vote silly (It may well be) others might consider it an insult (I think not) but when it comes down to it I think it isn’t relevant.

There are millions of people who voted for Barack Obama that after two and a half years are not only disinclined to do so again but will be happy to make the arguments to others why they should not either.

For myself I’d worry less and less about the “I told you so’s” as long as they are in the right direction.

On the second day at Gettysburg J.E.B. Stewart arrived at the Southern HQ after one of his rides. His absence was a factor in Lee’s eventual defeat so when he arrived and announced that he had captured wagons for Lee, he received a rebuke, but once that was done, Lee let it go and they fought on.

My advice to all concerned, let it go and lets fight on together.

Stacy being Stacy writes an excellent piece on the cultural change since the last major anniversary of the Civil War:

Patriotism and courage have gone long since gone out of fashion. America’s intellectual elite — “The Ruling Class,” as Professor Codevilla calls them — are nowadays the diligent disciples of draft-dodgers who once marched beneath Vietcong flags in anti-war demonstrations. In the “long twilight struggle” against communism, they were on the other side. Their philosophy requires them to inculcate in our youth an unpatriotic attitude that views American military power as a force for oppression. Today’s progressive curriculum teaches children to embrace our nation’s foreign enemies as victims of capitalist imperialism. Before Bill Ayers became mentor to a young Barack Obama, he co-authored a 1974 Weather Underground manifesto that cited communist Che Guevara as a role model and was dedicated to such “political prisoners” as Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. In their “Prairie Fire” manifesto, Ayers and his terrorist comrades declared themselves a “guerrilla organization,” devoted to “the final defeat of imperialism and building of socialism [through] revolutionary war.” They utterly lacked the courage to fight, however, and so Ayers’ cowardly “war” was waged by stealthily planting bombs and hiding out until he surrendered to authorities in December 1980. “Prairie Fire” was also dedicated to John Brown, the antebellum terrorist whose murderous violence against civilians did much to bring on the crisis that led to war 150 years ago. But whereas Brown was not ashamed to hang for his crimes, Ayers never even served a day in prison.

It writing that should be read but as far as Roger Pryor goes, his advice to Jefferson Davis to “Strike a blow” was advice so bad that even the fellow who said to the current Occupant of the White House “Gaddafi is about to fall, maybe we should put out a statement.” didn’t manage to outdo it.

In Shelby Foote Magnum Opus The Civil War he tells the following story of Confederate General Braxton Bragg that is repeated online here:

“Grant recalled a story about Bragg when he was both company commander and quartermaster. “As commander of the company he made a requisition upon the quartermaster-himself-for something he wanted. As quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted that he was right. Bragg finally went to the post commander for resolution of the problem who declared “My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarreling with yourself.””

I could not help but think of that when I saw this story, after many days of delays and false starts NATO (a military organization that the US is the primary member and chief sponsor) finally took over the Libya mission from the US. Today was Day 1 of the NATO led mission. So what is the first thing “they” do?

NATO has asked the United States to continue participating in airstrikes over Libya through late Monday, ABC News has learned.

This was done to make up for the bad weather earlier in the week that had hampered targeting of Gadhafi forces and allowed them to push the rebels back to Ajdabiyah.

I suspect that NATO will have an easier time talking to themselves than Bragg did.

That anyone is taking this farce seriously is an indictment on the gullibility of mankind.

In 1864 the incorruptible but unqualified general Nathanael P. Banks led his army up the Red river to what would become an inglorious (or glorious depending on what side you were on) flogging by forces under Richard Taylor.

One of the things that complicated his retreat was that the annual rise of the Red River didn’t materialize. Banks was unlucky in that he hadn’t realized that in 1855 and 1846 (every 9 years) the river failed to rise. Now Banks had no idea about said cycle so perhaps he can be excused for this mistake, but whatever his deficiencies as a general his experience as both Governor of Massachusetts and Speaker of the House of Representatives provided him with the sense to listen to Major Joseph Bailey a person with practical experience in dams, but no formal education. Bailey was not only able to save the fleet by his exertions but provide a dry-shod crossing at a second point in the retreat saving the army.

What does this have to do with the economy? Just this: An economy like the Red River had a regular cycle and during those cycles you can usually tinker a bit without a lot of issue, but the best solution is to wait things out and let the business cycle take it course.

Once in a while however the cycle is extreme, just like the 9 year cycle of the Red. During those times it is very hard to convince people to wait it out. Particularly if previous tinkering have made things worse. When this happens you need people with actual practical, rather than theoretical experience to make a difference.

Right now we are in an extreme business cycle. Like any cycle the best move is to hunker down, not panic, and wait for the cycle to finish.

The problem if you are a political animal is that there is no credit to be had for the business cycle, and when times are bad the people demand action. The trick it to attempt to tweak the cycle so that you are able to take credit when the cycle is in your favor and divert blame to your foes when the cycle is against them.

Now president Obama is not a man with practical business experience. He is surrounded by and has emerged himself with people who’s experience is not in the business cycle, the creation of jobs or the stimulation of an economy and frankly his goals and priorities are in the direction of government control not the free market.

If president Obama had a Joseph Bailey to advise him, he could make tweaks to actually stimulate businesses to hire. He would decrease regulation, drop taxes and make transactions for small business and manufacturers more fluid.

But president Obama decided instead that his statist agenda was the way to go and convinced democrats that his tinkering with the business cycle and allocation of stimulus money would mean a better economy come election day, just in time to keep them in office, and they believed it, the more fool them.

Will the president change course after the election? I don’t think think so, he doesn’t have a Joe Bailey and he wouldn’t listen to one if he had. The republican party will have to do it for him, if they are willing that is.

Over at Ace’s place the Purple Avenger is comparing the situation in November to Trafalgar:

The Democrats are much like the French and Spanish, their tactics are predictable as the tides, and old as Methuselah. Their responses to attacks are scripted and rote, its the same responses you would have heard 30 years ago.

This is actually a pet peeve of mine, Whenever I hear about the brilliance of Nelson at Trafalgar I’m reminded of what American hero Steven Decatur said about the British at Trafalgar:

The French should have never lost at Trafalgar if their gunnery was what it should have been.

The British tried such tactics against Thomas MacDonough at Plattsburg on Sept 11th 1814 and it remains one of the most significant American victories that for some reason is never remembered.

More correct an analogy is Sayler’s Creek. The Democrats have been under siege (ala Petersburg) defending unpopular policies that republicans have been nailing them on, first slowly then finally breaking through their flanks on both left and right. They are fleeing this president in the same way as the Confederates were fleeing Grant. This Mosque is one issue that the President has decided to stop and fight on as did the Confederates at Sayler’s Creek. Sheridan had the right answer saying: “Go Right through them, they are demoralized as hell.”

The majority of the people who have been arguing restraint the loudest are those who wish republican gains to be the smallest.

This is what is needed to win the battle, later today I’ll talk about winning the war.

On Morning Joe again today Joe Scarborough brought out his favorite number “50 Al qaeda” when talking about Afghanistan and if we should be there. (it was not the most ridiculous statement of the show as a guest talked how it costs $1 mil per GI there saying we should spend it on their people instead as if a ten man medical team was not just slaughtered there two days ago) Every time the subject of Afghanistan is brought up the 50 al-Qaeda number is trumpeted by Joe in his argument that we should cut and run withdraw.

By an odd coincidence I was re-reading about the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House this weekend. It was a seminal moment in the war because Grant after being defeated soundly at the Wilderness instead of retreating as other Union generals did raced for Spotsylvania to get around Lee by the left. Grant’s troops raced for the courthouse in the hope of getting there first.

James Longstreet had been badly wounded and his division was now under the command of the unexciting Richard Anderson. Anderson’s division, not renowned for speed, raced for the same point on a road that was being cleared even as he marched

At Spotsylvania the Cavalry of course got there first. There was a clash at a rail pile where Confederates defended against the Union Cavalry trying to dislodge them but the infantry was just behind them. When the first Union elements arrived General Warren (one of the heroes of Gettysburg told his Brigadier John Robinson to attack informing him that there was nothing but dismounted cavalry ahead of him.
It was true at the time he said it but between that moment and the time of attack, the first infantry brigades made it to the line, beating the union troops there by less than a minutes and insuring that the massive bloodshed that the country had gone through for 3 years would be prolonged for at least one more.

Under the Joe Scarborough theory of warfare there will never be anything more than Fitz Lee’s dismounted cavalry in front of the rail piles and all decisions to be made should be on that basis. There will always be just 50 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the Taliban are not our business.

I like Joe but lucky for us the tactical and strategic decisions in Afghanistan are not his.

My review of Noah Andre Trudeau’s book Southern Storm: Sherman’s March to the Sea is available at Amazon.com here.

This volume is very much worth reading. The only reason I can think of for not buying it at Amazon is that I found a copy in the bargain bins at my local Barnes and Noble for $5. How a book this good ended up in that bin is beyond me.

Stacy McCain’s great grandfather became a prisoner of war of the United states of America.

He was not given Hatal foods, or elliptical trainers and didn’t have the money of Bin Laden nor a large left wing infrastructure interested in his rights.

Somehow when released he didn’t spend the rest of his life trying to kill northerners or teach his children. Yet because of his fight (for a cause I think stunk) many of our friends on the left hold him and his decedents is a lower regard then people who are currently trying to kill us.

There is a lesson there for our friends on the left.

Civil War Monument at Monument Square
When I attended and covered the Twin City Flag day event in Monument Square in Leominster something that I had thought of a few days a go struck me.

If you do any amount of driving in Massachusetts and New Hampshire it is totally impossible to pass through any city or small town without seeing monuments to civil war vets or any others for that matter. In Fitchburg for example we have monuments to Civil War vets, Spanish American War Vets, WW 1 vets, WW 2 vets and Vietnam vets.

WW 2 Monument in Fitchburg

I spent a week in Georgia, I drove through many towns, other than the large Stone Mountain Memorial I didn’t see a single statue in a single square. Not one, zip zero nada. The only marker of any type I saw was a marker for the grave of unknown confederate dead at a cemetery as I passed in Stone Mountain

Unknown confederate dead at Stone Mountain

Now I presume that the people of Georgia once they were done rebuilding from General Sherman’s war, found the funds to put up some kind of monuments in towns etc. Am I wrong about this or were the monuments once there removed for the sake of better relations once the political winds changed? Was a compromise reached where monuments at graveside and significant historical ones such as Stone Mountain would stay and the rest go? I have no idea

I’m sure something like that must be the case, but it just struck me as odd. Does anyone out there know for sure?

Lets see what happens when we use the re-written standard (amateur hour) to determine if something should be treated as a legitimate attack.

On November 22nd 1864 a brigade from the 15th Corps of Sherman’s Army was dug in as a rear guard during the march through Georgia. 3000 Militia under P. J. Phillips attacked.

The attack was amateurish, moving forward across an open field toward veterans who naturally blew them away each time they charged. When it was all over a 10-1 casualty ratio told the tale of a foolish and useless defeat.

Under our new standards does this battle count?

Ok now lets apply the rules that some are trying to apply to the attack attempt on Times Square and see if this marker should come down:

This shouldn’t count as a battle. The tactics used were obsolete, the person leading the attack had no experience in battle and wasn’t even smart enough to not charge across an open field. Yeah he has some connections to the Confederate Army but he was Militia so it wasn’t as if it was a professional army that was even attacking. They should have simply apprehended these guys and arrested them as insurrectionists.

Now naturally none of us are going to take the Battle of Griswoldville out of the history books or pretend it is not a part of the Civil War.

Likewise it behooves us not to pretend that what happened in NY was anything less than a battle in the war on terror. Of course the facts are making pretending otherwise less and less possible.

…was not about slavery. I maintain and have always maintained that those who make that argument are deceiving themselves and frankly are not reading the material of the time.

Newly Elected Virgina Governor Bob McDonald’s restoration of Confederate History Month, (good idea) coupled with his failure to include the recognition of slavery and it’s evils (incredibly stupid, ridiculous and horrible idea) was a great example of that dynamic in action.

McDonald has since corrected the idiocy by acknowledging his mistake and adding the following to his proclamation:

WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history;

This has led to some excellent introspection including this quote from Alexander Stephens at the Corner.

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

The idea of emancipation was so radical when suggested by Irish Pat Cleburne it stopped the advancement of one of the best commanders the Confederates ever had.

To paper this stuff over is to deny reality.

I’ve teased supporters of this president in the past because he has been unwilling to address items such as “don’t ask don’t tell”, but I’ve never devoted a piece to my opinion on the subject so here goes…

My opinion on “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a variation of Lincoln statement on slavery.

Our goal should be having the strongest most efficient military in the world. We need a military strong enough to reassure our friends and to give our foes pause. I am in favor of anything that supports that goal.

If we can meet this goal by officially allowing homosexuals to serve in the military openly, I would support it.

If we can do it by banning homosexuals from military service openly I would support it.

And if we could do it allowing homosexuals to serve openly in some capacity but not in others I would support that too.

Our enemies are trying to kill us, they are not going to wait to ask who we pick up in bars before they try. The most efficient military possible is in the interest of everyone of any race creed color or sexual orientation. My only interest when it comes to the military is its ability to fight and win.

I’m not a soldier, I will likely never be a soldier the people who can answer this will be our soldiers and those willing to serve. Not me.

I will say this to the two sides of the argument:

You might remember that according to Ken Burns Masterpiece The Civil War 85% of American Blacks in the north of military age served in the Union army. They understood what the war was about. Given the beliefs of Radical Islam, I think that Gay Americans would be highly motivated to serve to fight against a fundamentalist Islamic foe that wants them dead and would not be inclined to oppose it.

on the other hand…

We also have an all volunteer military, if the numbers of homosexual recruits are insufficient to make up for the number of straight recruits who would be unwilling to serve with them to the point where it hurts our ability to fight then the needs of the service have to be the priority.

What do you think and why?

…so maybe you could drop the moral superiority business on the most Republican war ever fought that you had no part in fighting or winning 145 years ago.

Kathleen Parker pushed that smear herself back in August during an especially insulting segment on why Palin fares well in the south while Obama doesn’t, but it’s a treat to see it paired this time with a blind assertion that the disintegrating Democrats are the true party o’ the people.

In fairness I shouldn’t say “we” since my ancestors were all in Sicily but I’m a Massachusetts man and the monument in the center of my city is a Union monument and the graves on the hill are full of Union dead, so I’ll say “we” with that stipulation.

The south is part of the union. If we didn’t want the south in the union we would have let them go. If you are looking for bigots, you’d better pull out a mirror.

Q: How do we know that Al Qaeda is losing the war in Iraq bitterly?

What type of thing; suddenly changing their beliefs to suit their current needs:

Zawahiri’s Wife Releases Statement, Tells Women They Can Be Suicide Bombers

How about that, Islamic Misogyny no longer extends to blowing oneself up.

It reminds me of the story of Pat Cleburne one of the greatest generals the confederacy and his Jan 1864 pragmatic letter concerning freeing and enlisting Blacks en masse into the confederate armies that said in part:

The President of the United States announces that ‘he has already in training an army of 100,000 negroes as good as any troops,’ and every fresh raid he makes and new slice of territory he wrests from us will add to this force. Every soldier in our army already knows and feels our numerical inferiority to the enemy….Our single source of supply is that portion of our white men fit for duty and not now in the ranks. The enemy has three sources of supply: First, his own motley population; secondly, our slaves; and thirdly, Europeans whose hearts are fired into a crusade against us by fictitious pictures of the atrocities of slavery, and who meet no hinderance from their Governments in such enterprise, because these Governments are equally antagonistic to the institution. In touching the third cause, the fact that slavery has become a military weakness, we may rouse prejudice and passion, but the time has come when it would be madness not to look at our danger from every point of view, and to probe it to the bottom. Apart from the assistance that home and foreign prejudice against slavery has given the North, slavery is a source of great strength to the enemy in a purely military point of view, by supplying him with an army from our granaries; but it is our most vulnerable point, a continued embarrassment, and in some respects an insidious weakness….Like past years, 1864 will diminish our ranks by the casualties of war, and what source of repair is there left us?….

The Constitution of the Southern States has reserved to their respective governments the power to free slaves for meritorious services to the State. It is politic besides. For many years, ever since the agitation of the subject of slavery commenced, the negro has been dreaming of freedom, and his vivid imagination has surrounded that condition with so many gratifications that it has become the paradise of his hopes. To attain it he will tempt dangers and difficulties not exceeded by the bravest soldier in the field….The slaves are dangerous now, but armed, trained, and collected in an army they would be a thousand fold more dangerous; therefore when we make soldiers of them we must make free men of them beyond all question, and thus enlist their sympathies also….

Cleburne’s letter’s language seems outrageous to us today for it’s defense of slavery as an institution; it was even more outrageous to those he served with. So much so it was suppressed and although one of the best field generals produced by the south, Cleburne never received further promotion. Imagine instead that Cleburne was in Hood’s place at the start of Sherman’s offensive vs Joe Johnson or in his place after Johnson’s relief.

The South eventually authorized Black troops a month before Lee’s surrender. Lincoln commented that if the slaves were conscripted into the Confederate armies they could not also grow foodstuffs for them. It signified the south reaching the limit of their last reserves. If Al Qaeda is recruiting women for bombings that suggests the same.

If this isn’t a good sign for us then I don’t know what is.

Update: Rush is leading with this today.

A: This is their best chance to get it passed. Once 2010 starts congressmen and women will be under siege. Apparently Nancy Pelosi has studied her Civil War history:

At successive battles at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River and Cold Harbor, the casualty lists would grow, for both armies. However, Lee knew in this war of attrition, Grant had the edge – more available troops, and the ability to bring in new recruits. He had warned Jefferson Davis that if the war turned to a siege, in front of Richmond, it would be a matter of time, before the Confederacy would be beaten. It would become a siege, in front of Richmond, and Petersburg, during the summer of 1864 – a siege that would last ten months

The Tea Party Marches yesterday and the continuing pressure put on means that Pelosi and the administration will have more strength now then at any time in the future. To wit:

“The thing that Pelosi has going for her right now is that a lot of her members are more afraid of her than they are of their constituents,” says the GOP insider. He notes that Pelosi has plenty of weapons to make life miserable for members who cross her — “any benefits the member can have for the remainder of this Congress, the kind of support they’ll have going into next year’s election, and if they lose, what kind of post-Congress opportunities they will have.” All could be endangered by a vote against the health care bill.

It is a desperate attack (although it shouldn’t be with an 80 seat majority. The fact that it IS desperate shows what a lemon this stuff is) but it is the right political move. As York concludes:

No doubt a number of Democrats looked outside and saw the crowd. But they’re in a tough place: fearful of their constituents’ anger, on one side, and of their speaker’s anger on the other.

It’s a bad choice. But in the end, Pelosi can’t fire them. The voters can. “As the old saying goes, cross thin ice at your own peril,” said 77-year-old Herbert Rosser, who came to the rally from Raleigh, N.C. “The American people are going to make them pay a price for it.”

The closer you get to that election date the more real that cost is. Once we get to the first quarter of next year it’s all over. Pelosi has to strike NOW.

…is apparently a dead conservative. It’s kind of Sheridanesque.

In all seriousness Irving Krystal was an important man who was right on many things and the fact that Charles recognizes that is a good thing. It adds points to the Prince Alphonso index and keeps that slight hope alive that things will change for the better over there. After all if Robert Stacy and Charles can agree on this all is not yet lost.

BTW, once I find the video clip I need in English I will explain exactly what the index means.

Hang on a minute. Sheridanesque… Phil Sheridan. UNION general, BURNED the Shenandoah valley. That’s in the SOUTH. Hmmmm….

…I’m sure he would have been perfectly happy if Poland and the rest of Europe submitted to his every whim and territorial demand every time without dispute. What else was he to do when they refused? (Sarcasm off)

Buchanan has two huge unhealthy obsessions (his anti-communism is a good obsession) the first is the middle east where I suspect he has never forgiven Israel for the USS Liberty incident during the six day war. (The best book on the subject of the 6 day war is Michael Oren’s bar NONE, my review here).

Now I can’t say I blame guys who were on the ship and attacks for being sore and suspicious, I might be the same after that experience, but when it comes to the fog of war you’d be surprised what is possible. One interesting example:

Polk rode across the intersection and found the colonel of the mysterious regiment. Polk, “in angry tones,” asked the colonel why he was firing upon “his friends.” The colonel replied, “I don’t think there can be any mistake about it. I am sure they are the enemy.” “Enemy?” Polk huffed. “Why I have only just left them myself – cease firing, sir; what is your name, sir?” “My name is Colonel [Keith], of the [22nd Indiana], and pray sir, who are you?” Polk now realized the startling fact that he was in the rear of the Federal line.

Polk decided that “there was no hope but to brazen it out,” with his “dark blouse” and the darkening night concealing his true identity. Polk rode up to Keith, shook his fist in the colonel’s face and said, “I’ll soon show you who I am. Cease firing at once.” Polk then rode down the Union line, shouting for the men to cease fire. As he trotted through the enemy regiment, he wrote, he “experienced a disagreeable sensation . . .calculating how many bullets would lie between my shoulders every moment.” When Polk reached a grove of trees he spurred his horse back to Liddell’s line.

If someone asked you what was more improbable; a Jet flying at high speed misidentifying a flag and a ship during strafing runs or An OPPOSING GENERAL in uniform literally riding up to a colonel, admonish him in person and ride up and down the battle line of enemy troops without them figuring out that he is not on their side? Cripes the guy is right next to you. That regiment paid for that error in blood and only propriety forbids their Commanding Officer from being nominated for a Darwin Award.

His second is his obsession with Churchill’s “culpability” for World War II from his book Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War” (full disclosure I haven’t read it) and a recent debate where he argued the proposition that Winston Churchill was a liability to the free world.

To call this historical revisionism or even interpretive revisionism is an understatement and a half, I love a good debate but C’mon, the fact that he and his partners in debate managed to persuade 10% of the crowd doesn’t say much for the crowd, the good part:

Roberts said the debate was an overwhelming success, adding: “You have to be 76 years old to have voted for Winston Churchill in a general election. This was a very special night which enabled a lot of people who previously couldn’t to vote for Churchill.”

Earth to Pat; The statements: “The Polish government on 1939 was corrupt” and “England should defend a free Poland against a German Invasion in 1939” are not mutually exclusive.

Now the Liberty you might give some slack, mistake or no Israel was culpable (and apologized and paid an indemnity over it), The Churchill thing, a historian might have an odd view on an accepted subject.

However now we go to Pat’s web site today and what is on the front page. A full blown truther article by Paul Craig Roberts (no relation to the Roberts in the debate who defended Sir Winston above) which I won’t bother to quote.

Now in fairness Pat didn’t write this article but he chooses or whoever works for him choose to put this on his front page without a disclaimer such as “an opposing view”. This article is posted under his name. That’s just crazy.

Other disagreements not withstanding Charles is right about this one. I can’t see how MSNBC can or should ignore this. If I was on the left I’d be all over em, but then again the left might like an easily discredited conservative on MSNBC.

I would point out however there is a big difference in the standard for an administration czar, in charge of taxpayer money and a pundit on TV, for me if I was in charge at MSNBC I might decide this was a good time to put him out to pasture.