So, to day is June 6th.

65 years ago today, a whole lot of American, British, Canadian, and French soldiers stormed Fortress Europe.

General Eisenhower called it a 'great crusade'. It probably was.

He'd probably get into big trouble using those words these days, though.
Scratch four flattops!

So, today is June 4. I have read that the Japanese intended to rename Midway "The Glorious Month of June" after they captured it.

Things don't always work out the way they were planned, which is a lesson that apparently has to be learnt over and over again.

The US Navy won that battle, but it was not a sure thing. Battles never are.

If people out there want to 'read more about it' (assuming they have not already) I will heartily recommend Jonathan Parshall's and Anthony Tully's "Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway" which is an absolutely amazing piece of historical writing, dissecting the battle from mostly the Japanese perspective. You will not think about the battle same way again after reading this book, I will guarantee that.

But today, let us remember Admiral Fletcher and the brave crews of the USS Yorktown, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet and all the rest. For as long as there is a US Navy, we will remember their deeds this day.
On Prostitution:

Cassandra, that delightful woman, has once again deleted a discussion thread just as I was beginning to enjoy it. :)

We had settled the issue of shooting abortion doctors to my satisfaction, but I hadn't had time to engage the prostitution question at all. I left it alone initially because it doesn't strike me as being all that hard or troubling. I suppose, though, that I might explain why; and since I can't do it there, we may as well discuss it here.

I think Cassandra had the largest part of it in her appeal to human dignity: that it is wrong to let people be treated as commodities. Why is it wrong? Aristotle said that there are some people who are natural slaves, and as I get older, I think that's really true: but not chattel slaves. I mean that I think he was right to say that there are some people who really just want to be taken care of, and are willing to do whatever they're told in return for not having to worry. They will trade whatever they must, including freedom, including their dignity, to obtain whatever such promise of 'I will care for you' that they can find.

As a nation consecrated to liberty, and therefore to dignity, we should always oppose such a mindset. The American way is surely to call people to lift up their eyes and their hearts, and to claim the dignity and liberty that come from self-reliance.

Too, and more, the Western tradition is unique in the world in its value of women. Perhaps the single greatest difference between our culture and the Middle East's, or China's, is not the difference in Christianity or Islam or Confucian social principles. Rather, the greatest and most obvious difference is the development of the culture of high respect of women by men that characterized the nobility and knightly classes of the High Middle Ages, and which came to characterize the whole of the aristocracy, gentry, and eventually the middle classes over the next centuries. Though never universal, the ethic of chivalry was rightly described in the introduction to the works of Chretien de Troyes as the cult of the West.

So far as we know he was the first to create in the vulgar tongues a vast court, where men and women lived in conformity with the rules of courtesy, where the truth was told, where generosity was open-handed, where the weak and the innocent were protected by men who dedicated themselves to the cult of honour and to the quest of a spotless reputation. Honour and love combined to engage the attention of this society; these were its religion in a far more real sense than was that of the Church.
We have discussed this topic before, at length: I am thinking especially of here and here, for example -- anyone who wishes to engage the discussion anew may wish to familiarize themselves with the debate, as several of us have fairly hardened positions on some of these issues.

One of those discussions was on the occasion of Governor Palin's run for office, pondering what it would be like to have a woman who could be loved from afar -- in the sense of the poetic tradition of which Chretien was a part -- in our national consciousness.

Alas, we never found out because it was decided instead that we should all hate and despise her. It was not enough to edit her interviews, but to frame her inexperience on the national stage so that it appeared to be idiocy. Having done this on national "news," the same networks let loose their comedians to hammer it home. So effectively was scorn and mockery deployed against her -- even after she was a good sport about it, showing up on Saturday Night Live in some clever self-parody, and extending to Tina Fey the offer of free babysitting -- that the tactic now seems to be acceptable toward any conservative woman.

This is not only about women, mind you, but about men as well. The audience for these poems about love and honor were not children: these were no nursery rhymes. They were stories for a fighting class, who embraced life in the knowledge that they might not long enjoy it. It is a poetry of urgency: how to live best, how to love deepest.

A man who knows how to love has no reason to care about prostitution; what use is it? What he wants is a love to guide his dreams and his steps, and to lift him up for his short span into the highest realm for men.

To be such a man is to want such women. Where will you find them, if you let them be scorned?
Heraldry, IV:

I mentioned 2/1 Armor had just returned home to Germany. Here is some of the heraldry they left behind.

Sadly, the last one requires this note: three soldiers from the 47th FSB died overnight in Germany. Having so long suppressed their hearts to better prepare for the dangers of war, they were overcome by the sudden joy of liberty. All of us who were once young men know that there were times when we did as recklessly, as it is the way of young men; only fate spares us to mourn. Requiéscant in pace.

For Grim:

Storm that fort!

Looks like the Russians remember too.

Heraldry III

Heraldry III:

This one's for Eric.

I think that heraldry is a lot like poetry: the best of it comes from the most strict traditions. It is in testing yourself against the form that you push your limits.