Lazy Sunday CLXXI: Veterans Day Posts

Way back in 2018—doesn’t that feel like a different world (and didn’t 2018 feel like a different world than even 2016)?—I gave a short talk to the Florence County (South Carolina) Republican Party about the Great War and Veterans Day, what was once called “Armistice Day.”  Not being one to let content go to waste, I published a transcript of the talk on 13 November 2018 to this blog, and I’ve reblogged it every year since on 11 November.

It’s probably a bit too “inside baseball,” but when I reblog these old posts, I’ll sometimes layer in the commentary from the past reblogged versions, too.  Readers will notice I do this with TBT posts, which over the years can become “TBT^2,” “TBT^4,” and so on.

For whatever reason, I only did this Talmudic commentary-on-commentary once with this post, back in 2020.  I suppose when Veterans Day falls on a Thursday again, I’ll reblog “TBT: Veterans’ Day 2018, Commemoration of the Great War, and Poppies” as a “TBT^2” post.

But I digress.  Here are all of the Veterans Day posts going back to 2018:

There you have it, folks.  Thanks to everyone who has served, and a huge thanks for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.  No mere blog post can do justice to the depth of your devotion.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Flashback Friday: Veterans’ Day 2018, Commemoration of the Great War, and Poppies

It is Veterans Day here in the United States, what was once called Armistice Day, the day the cease-fire went into effect, effectively ending the First World War—the “Great War,” as it was then known.  The men that day never dreamed there’d be a Second World War, but in hindsight, it’s easy to see how the cease-fire and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles of 1919 were, indeed, mere stopgaps.  It was a cease-fire of twenty years, not a lasting peace, and the two great, terrible wars of the twentieth century are, perhaps, best understood as being one larger conflict, a la the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.

But I digress.  Every Veterans Day—which I stylized with a plural possessive apostrophe until finally looking it up this year and realizing my error—I repost this short talk I gave in 2018.  At the time, I was involved actively in the Florence County (South Carolina) Republican Party, and would give a brief Historical Moment talk at the start of each meeting.  This speech—from the 12 November 2018 meeting, one of my last with the organization—is the one of which I am most proud, and the one I feel most privileged to have given.

With that, here is “Veterans’ Day 2018, Commemoration of the Great War, and Poppies“:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Great Coarsening

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A perennial saw of the conservative pundit is the decline of public morality.  Indeed, it is so well-worn that the ignorant use it as evidence that, because people have always complained about “kids these days,” it must mean that we’re just fuddy-duddies who are painfully out of touch.  Why, elders have always complained about their kids!

Of course, that’s not true.  The idea of a “generation gap” is a relatively modern phenomenon.  For most of human history, children grew up to be very much like their parents (indeed, I would argue that is still the case, just with the addition of angsty, extended adolescence tossed into the mix).  Yes, humans have always recognized the folly of youth—Proverbs frequently refers to children and young people as “fools,” or taken with folly—but it wasn’t considered to be either virtuous or some massive, unbridgeable gap.

But in a world with no connection to the past, one which exists in an eternal Present, it is little wonder that we witness—even encourage!—such a separation from our ancestors.  The United States particularly suffers from the pedestalization of youth:  we have come to believe that youngsters possess all wisdom, being spared the corruption of Reality—of real life.

The opposite, of course, is true.  Yes, there is something admirable about the energy and certitude of youthful moral righteousness, but it is often a quite short-sighted self-righteousness.  That’s not the fault of young people—they are, after all, young and inexperienced—but the traditional expectation was that they would grow out of that sunny idealism as Reality and Truth taught their hard lessons.  We should remain optimistic and thankful in the midst of adversity, but true foolishness comes from ignoring these hard-taught lessons.

That’s all a very long preamble to get to the thrust of this piece:  we are witnessing The Great Coarsening of civil and social life, in every arena:  politics, culture, art, manners, customs, etc.  How often do we hear the F-word dropped casually in everyday conversation—the way Nineties Valley Girls used the word “like”?  As a schoolteacher, I overhear this word frequently, as students and adults treat it as, essentially, a sentence enhancer.

Here is where the charges of fuddy-duddiness are most frequently leveled: “Oh, come now, Port, who cares about some word?”  It’s not the word itself, per se—although that word is exceptionally foul—but what it represents.

Or, rather, what it’s ubiquity represents:  the aforementioned Great Coarsening.

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TBT^2: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus

The Virus is like a bad movie series that just refuses to die.  There was a controversial but impactful first release that everyone was talking about, even if they didn’t see it.  Then there was the lackluster sequel, which still enjoyed some popular support, even though ticket sales were down.

Now it feels like we’re on the tired third film, which is a watered-down, ineffectual finale (one hopes) to a premise that is played out.  Sure, critics love it, but audiences are tired of its antics.

What still seems to make it into the script of every one of these films is the part where the government bureaucrats lock everything down and release a bunch of ghosts into Manhattan (uh, wait, what?).  Meanwhile, we all kind of sit by and twiddle our thumbs and put our masks on dutifully.

What happened to the band of merry wastrels who tossed tea into Boston Harbor, rather than comply with an odious monopolization of the tea trade?  Or the plucky scofflaws who made it impossible to enforce the Stamp Act?  I’d rather disguise myself as an Indian (feather, not dot) and caffeinate the water supply than put a mask on again (but that would be cultural appropriation, of course).

In short, why don’t we get a backbone, instead of cowering behind masks and locking ourselves indoors?  We’re literally cowering before an invisible enemy with a 99%+ survival rate.

Well, liberty is never easy.  Better to stay inside watching movies and disconnecting from reality, eh?

With that, here is 29 July 2021’s “TBT: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus“:

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Lazy Sunday CLIII: MAGAWeek2022

Last week I celebrated MAGAWeek2022, my annual observance honoring the people, places, things, events, concepts, etc., that have, in their own ways, made America great (again).

For this extremely lazy edition of Lazy Sunday, here are the four entries from this year’s illustrious list of greats:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT^256: Happy Birthday, America!

On Monday, America celebrated its 246th birthday.  I don’t know what the word is for “250th” (bisesquicentennial?), but that will be fun when it arrives in 2026.  I’m still hoping to make it to the tricentennial in 2076, but I’m not holding my breath—I’ll be ninety-one-and-a-half (maybe I’ll blog about it—ha!)!  I also imagine the United States of that time will be as unrecognizable to us as the United States of today is unrecognizable to someone at the bicentennial, much less the centennial observance.

America is not in the best of times, but victories abound nonetheless.  Sure, prices are through the rough and shortages seem to be increasingly commonplace.  But babies have a chance at life now, and our most basic constitutional rights continue—for the time being—to be upheld, albeit imperfectly (we have what are essentially political prisoners wasting away in jail without a trial because they were invited to walk around the US Capitol Building).

Regardless, I’m proud to be an American, and I’m thankful to live in this country.  It’s not perfect, but it’s home.

With that, here is “TBT^16: Happy Birthday, America!“:

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MAGAWeek2022: John Paul Jones

This week is MAGAWeek2022, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, this year’s MAGAWeek2022 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

As MAGAWeek2022 rolls on, it’s my pleasure to feature the indefatigable John Paul Jones as the third entry.

Yes, with his hypnotic bass lines, workmanlike studio skills, and steady reliability, John Paul Jones provided the backbone for Led Zeppelin’s bluesy, protometal sound.

Wait, wait—not that John Paul Jones!  Although he is an amazing bassist, I’m dedicating today’s edition of MAGAWeek2022 to an even greater John Paul Jones:  Captain John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy (and Rear Admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy).

To read the rest of today’s MAGAWeek2022 post, head to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1 a month or more!

MAGAWeek2022: Robert Bork

This week is MAGAWeek2022, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, this year’s MAGAWeek2022 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

The first MAGAWeek2022 honoree was the great Justice Clarence Thomas, a powerful force for constitutional originalism on the Supreme Court.  Before Justice Thomas, however, there was another jurisprudential figure who articulated and championed the then-dormant notion of originalism.  Like Thomas, he would face lurid accusations during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  Unlike Thomas, he would fall to these accusations, failing to win confirmation to the Court.

Nevertheless, his legacy resounds down to the present, and his failed confirmation would teach conservatives a valuable lesson about fighting back against Leftist lies.

It is my honor to recognize our next MAGAWeek2022 figure:  Judge Robert Heron Bork.

To read the rest of today’s MAGAWeek2022 post, head to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1 a month or more!

MAGAWeek2022: Clarence Thomas

This week is MAGAWeek2022, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, this year’s MAGAWeek2022 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

Happy Birthday, America!  It’s Independence Day, which means it’s time for MAGAWeek2022!  It’s the time of year when The Portly Politico celebrates the people, places, things, events, concepts, etc., that have made America great (again).

The first subject of this year’s MAGAWeek is an obvious choice:  a warrior for constitutional originalism and life, he’s suffered the slings and arrows of segregation and cancel culture in a long, distinguished legal career.

I’m talking, of course, about US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

To read the rest of today’s MAGAWeek2022 post, head to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1 a month or more!