Long Pause:

I know I haven't said anything here since Sunday. I have said things elsewhere; but not on the front page. I'll link back to a few of them.

I've been badgering people to study some military science. This is not a new proposition for us, as longtime readers will recall.

Although today I feel a bit bad about it, given Reid's statement on Republican obstructionism.

Senate Republicans delayed debate on Iraq for weeks… “For weeks, Republican leaders have used procedural maneuvers to delay a debate over Iraq” (The New York Times, 03/27/07)

…and 480 soldiers have lost their lives since the President’s failed surge strategy began. (Department of Defense Casualty Reports)
My customary reserve on this matter is hereby exhausted. Twelve days into the surge, a high-risk fight in which our soldiers are daring valiant things... and this piece of rhetoric is thought worthy of a minor appearance in a complaint over Senatorial maneuvers.

There are no civil words to convey my feelings about this. The man lies in his throat. Those of you who know me well enough will understand what I mean.

On a happier note, the RCT-6 email project was successful, reaching the full six thousand requested emails. That is good; that is fit.

Finally, one of my earlier pieces has apparently drawn Matthew Yglesias fans to attack an old piece I wrote on the South and Western High Culture. I've been as generous as I prefer to be, until the last answer, which was based on the foolish assertion that the American South has no more link to Western culture than to the Mongols. Seriously.
If that was your point, forgive my saying so, it is without value.

I believe one of your fellows has already mentioned Mark Twain's disgusts with his homeland. One of the particular features of that disgust was his hatred of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, and Tennyson's Idylls of the King. He was furious to find New Orleans enchanted, as he said, by it:

"Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his enchantments, and by his single might checks this wave of progress, and even turns it back; sets the world in love with dreams and phantoms; with decayed and swinish forms of religion; with decayed and degraded systems of government; with the sillinesses and emptinesses, sham grandeurs, sham guads, and sham chivalries of a brainless and worthless long-vanished society."

So you may have Mark Twain, and his cynical opinions; I myself credit him a great writer, but do not wish to emulate his deep personal misery. But if you will have him and his critique, you must also have its foundations. The tie between the South and the great British writers of the 19th century was the tie between themselves and the Medieval order of chivalry; and the tie to that is the tie to Aquinas, and past him, to Aristotle and Jerusalem.

You are free, as Twain, to scorn it. But there it lies.
Regular readers will realize that Sir Walter Scott's collected works appear on the sidebar; Twain's do not. I am a Southerner, and a proud one; but first, a man of the West.

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