SubscribeStar Saturday: International Relations

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Continuing somewhat on last Saturday’s post, I’ve been thinking more about the war in Ukraine this week, specifically pondering how surreal it all seems.  Obviously, it’s quite real for the people in the Ukraine and Russia, as well as the various volunteers from around the globe who have enlisted to fight on behalf of the Ukraine.

But part of the surrealism—at least for those of us, like yours portly, who are swaddled in luxurious comfort here in the United States—is that we didn’t have to worry about international relations and foreign policy in any immediate way for at least four years.  At any rate, during the Trump administration, foreign policy largely receded from the national consciousness as a major concern.

Sure, there was the constant banging-on about “Russian collusion” and interfering in the Ukraine, and early hysterical rumors of nuclear war with North Korea.  But President Trump silenced the Norks, the Russkies, and even, to some extent, the ChiComs.  I was dismayed, initially, by the rocket launch in Syria early in Trump’s administration, but in retrospect it seems like that was a convincing show of force to the Russians (who have all sorts of interests in Syria).

After that—and after dropping some big ol’ bombs in Afghanistan, etc.—foreign policy seemed like an afterthought.  For years that had dominated headlines and—given my own interest in the topic—my mental conception of America’s role in the world.

Perhaps one of the great overlooked achievements of the Trump administration is that it achieved—however fleetingly—a semblance of global order and peace, so much that we didn’t have to think about foreign policy and international relations in any deep, consistent way for a few years.  I have no doubt that a second Trump term would not have seen the current escalation in the Ukraine.

A bold claim, but I think it’s accurate.  Regardless, the focus of this post is on that brief moment when the woes of the rest of the world seemed distant, and the United States could focus instead on its own domestic woes (of which there are many).  Now that that moment—gauzy and illusory as it turned out to be—has passed, we may be facing some profoundly existential questions about the future of the global order.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Advertisement

SubscribeStar Saturday: War Pigs

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

My music students have been attempting to learn Black Sabbath’s classic anti-war song “War Pigs.” To be clear, this isn’t an example of a radical teacher attempting to indoctrinate his students with anti-war propaganda—it’s just a really rockin’ song (and features a killer, groovy introduction in 6/8 time, before transitioning to a brisk, sludgy 4/4). We were working on the tune before Russia invaded the Ukraine, and before there were really even murmurs that this quixotic invasion might happen.

Also, I am not reflexively anti-war. My instincts are to abhor war (which would have been news to my teenaged self, who still believed war was a glorious test of courage and mettle—it can be, but it’s much more complicated than that two-dimensional, chivalric notion I harbored as a doughy teen), but war is inevitable. The Bible prophesies about “wars and rumors of war,” and not all war is inherently bad.

It’s not all inherently good, either—sometimes war is just that—war.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Monday Morning Movie Review: Viy (1967)

The 1960s were a wild time for Western Civilization, to say the least.  Like our present moment, it was a time of cultural upheaval that nearly resulted in civilizational suicide, only for the Silent Majority to rise from its slumber to forestall decline.

Apparently, the 1960s were a bit wild for the Soviets, too, as the Russkies allowed the release of Viy (1967), a Soviet-era horror flick, the first of its kinds to enjoy an official release in the USSR.  Shudder is currently streaming the film, and it’s worth your time to check it out, both for the novelty of watching a Soviet horror flick, but also because it’s a fun, surprisingly frightening film.

Read More »

Progressivism and Playing God

God Bless the weirdos at Quora for asking the questions the rest of us are too afraid to ask.  Regular readers know that I relish Quora fodder, as questions range from the ridiculous to the thought-provoking, but usually fall into some kind of bizarre no-man’s land.

Such is the case with this question:  “Do humanzees (half-human, half-chimpanzee hybrids) exist, or have ones been recorded in the past?”  It’s the kind of question that’s both fascinating and lurid, like reading about a baby raised by wild animals.  Like allowing a human baby to be raised in the wild (what was once called “the forbidden experiment“), such a horrific, cross-species hybrid would be a disgusting mockery of Creation—so, like the terrible car wreck, we want to see more.

The top answer to the humanzee question is from Belinda Huntington, who explains how various species within the same genus can crossbreed, such as a horse and a zebra, or a lion and a tiger.  The more mundane example is the humble mule, the result of a male donkey and a female horse.

Huntington then goes on to detail the many differences between humans and chimpanzees physiologically, and how such differences would make any offspring, if possible, extremely vulnerable and fragile—differences in spinal structure, arm and leg length, cranial capacity, etc.

She doesn’t get into the more interesting metaphysical questions, much less the moral ones—should we interbreed humans and chimps (answer:  no)—but she does link to a piece about Soviet experiments to interbreed humans and chimps.

Leave it to a dangerously progressive, atheistic ideology to play God.

Read More »

The Classiest Easter Eggs

It’s hard to believe that Easter is this Sunday.  The weather is just right for it, of course, with bees buzzing and flowers blooming, but with everyone cloistered away in their respective hovels, it sure doesn’t feel like the joyous, victorious Easter season.

Some perspective helps, though.  Other people in other times have endured far worse at Easter.  Just last year saw the Sri Lankan church bombings, a despicable act that itself came on the heels on the disastrous Notre Dame fire.  It’s surprising—even though it shouldn’t be by now—that we’ve largely forgotten about those two terrible occurrences, both acts of Islamist terror—religious war (it’s a bit unclear in the case of Notre Dame—which ISIS overtly tried to attack in 2016—but come now).

There was also the 1975 Hamilton, Ohio “Easter Massacre,” a brutal family shooting in which Jimmy Rupert murdered his massive family of eleven in cold blood (it was so grisly, one website considers the house where the mass murder occurred haunted).

So, all things considered, staying home and watching horror movies isn’t all that bad (perhaps even a tad apropos).  Still, it isn’t all that Easter-y.

To remedy that sensation, let’s look at a charming little piece from The Epoch Times about some rather unique—and extremely valuable—Easter surprises.

Read More »

Mueller Probe Complete, Trump Vindicated

The long national nightmare is overThe long national nightmare is over—the Mueller probe/expensive government boondoggle/politically-motivated, Deep State witch hunt is finally complete, and President Trump is in the clear:  there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Now that the world finally knows what we all suspected for the past two years, the Left is in complete meltdown mode.  The mental gymnastics to which they’re resorting is humorous, but sad.  A key lesson to remember is that what the Left can’t achieve politically or socially, it will achieve through the courts (or violence).

For two years, the Left assumed that their inside man, Robert Mueller, and the rest of the Clintonian, globalist Deep State would produce (or, if need be, fabricate) the “evidence” needed to oust a duly-elected President of the United States.

Now, they’re magic wand has turned into a limp stick, incapable of conjuring up the fabled “collusion” the Left dreamed about for two long years.

President Trump emerges victorious.  It’s a huge blow to the Deep State, and almost like Part II of the 2016 election:  an outside figure, facing enormous odds and an entire media-government-business establishment arrayed against him, has won a hard-fought battle, even with the deck stacked against him.

There are still investigations in New York involving the perfidious and mendacious Michael Cohen, but those will, most likely, similarly yield nothing but bitter fruit for the Left—and more vindication for Trump.

In the meantime, it’s a great day to be on the Trumpian Right.  MAGA MAGA MAGA!

–TPP

P.S.—Here’s a great video c/o my younger brother: