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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

George Washington: The Father of America

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show is a July 4th special.  Brian and I consider the historical legacy of our first President, as well as the integration of baseball, the Battle of Gettysburg, and rationing in wartime Britain.  In terms of current events, we cover the controversy over "concentration camps" along our southern border, our renewed effort to negotiate with North Korea, and the state of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after the first debates.  Don't miss a single second!!!

P.S. Apologies to Nike for the highly offensive image above.  Next time I'll stick with something safer, like the hammer and sickle...

P.P.S. Consider reading this great defense of the Border Patrol in the face of AOC's withering attacks:


  1. I am just going to keep it light on the comments. Have a great July 4th.

    LOLOL Thanks Dr. Waddy for the humor; "P.S. Apologies to Nike for the highly offensive image above. Next time I'll stick with something safer, like the hammer and sickle..."

    Booooooo hoooooooo poor AOC. One of those self involved millennials. (grin)

  2. Dr. Waddy and Linda: Washington: what a singularly extraordinary life, what great good luck that we had him - the greatest American ever. I was thrilled to stand on the site of his inauguration and to see a church which was there when he took the oath just half a block away. Went to Fraunces Tavern; just imagine his thoughts when he bade farewell to his officers. We hiked Valley Forge too. If you haven't read it I'd highly commend the book Crucible of War, the best account I know of on the Seven Years War. The first chapter is an astonishing account of Washington's experiences at the beginning of our French and Indian War. He suffered so many hard, hard lessons in his gradual development into a competent General. We almost lost him many times. He hiked from the now Pittsburgh area to Williamsburg. Va in the company of but one man; he was almost killed along the way. Thanx forever to John Adams for nominating him to command the hurly burly "army" brashly besieging Boston. And that 1776 campaign! A lesser man would have folded under the strain. A very profound figure, he yet suffered Congressional fools and some ambitious fops because he knew he had to for the good of the Army. But he had the great good sense to recognize the abilities of unlikely stalwarts such as Greene, Knox, LaFayette and Von Steuben. At Valley Forge, the memorial arch is, I think, the most eloquent tribute to General Washington:the inscription says "Continental Army. Commander - George Washington", then it lists his Major Generals and his Brigadiers - its simple and magnificent. He turned out to be the ideal choice: a nonpareil combination of generous humility, fortitude, perseverance, courage(18th century warfare was fearful, as no doubt is all war, but this, most close, personal and hideous) and a most fortuitous ability to learn from his mistakes. Then, oh just by the way, he turned out to be by far the wisest choice to chair the Constitutional Convention. And his decision not to reign was said to have astonished the crowned heads of Europe. What a life, what a life! We were and are to this day so lucky in his life with us.

  3. Dr. Waddy and Linda: Very much liked your observation that if Trump is an incipient dictator, well, he sure ain't a very good one; what dictator worth his salt would suffer the, uhhh, disrespectful American press. The left ought to know about tyrants, why they are its elite and the dictators are its role models in their inhuman presumptuousness and sociopathy. Too strong a term? Ask a dismembered fetus or one with its head crushed - with the sanction of law, to our profound shame.

    Talking to N. Korea. Nonslouches such as Churchill and Eden sat down with the monster Stalin because they knew it to be necessary to the defense of their great country and the betterment of the world. They knew the totality of the evil of that man. Churchill was an earthy man who had been in close combat and had killed human beings with his own hand, as had Stalin. But even he had his limits and when Stalin casually proposed mass executions in a conquered Germany, he bristled, personally, visibly and emphatically enough to gain even the subhuman Stalin's apology. I think he fully understood Stalin's murderousness but did what he had to do to garner vital
    Soviet alliance in the fight against the incredibly powerful Nazis.Our President displays a similar courage, perception and resolve, in his dialogue with the N. Korean thug.

  4. Dr. Waddy: I think today's public American left may well be as extreme as its increasingly leftist extremist domestic faction is. The increasingly physically violent bent of the American leftist opposition, , both in its continuing intolerance of the election of President Trump and its continuing violently expressed of the same, must be fully regarded!

  5. Dr. Waddy: I couldn't access the article but I heard about AOC's conduct on Fox.She is digging herself a big old political hole; I can just imagine the scene. I wonder if it occured to her that those officers just don't like being bossed around by a foul mouthed whelp. They have a job to do and have no time to posture like her.

  6. Happy 4th, Linda!

    Jack, you know far more about Washington than I do. But the combination of great generalship and great statesmanship in one man is a rarity. Eisenhower comes to mind, but I don't believe Eisenhower ever risked his life in battle. That gives Washington a clear edge. Plus, no one should discount the risks all the Founders took in launching the Revolution, nor should anyone overlook how hard it was to be the FIRST President.

    Good point that any nation that makes common cause with Stalin ought to be willing to talk to the likes of Kim Jong Un.

    I count us very lucky that we have not yet seen a great wave of violence emanating from the Left. I say "lucky" because all the psychological leg work has already been done by the media. I'm not ignoring Antifa and its fellow travelers, mind you, but I'm afraid things could get far worse, and probably will if DJT wins in 2020.

  7. Dr. Waddy: Great point about Ike; one major similarity he shared with Washington was his diplomatic skill. Both were willing to do what they had to to get along with a wide variety of difficult people when in critical military command. I would add George Marshall to the list of great Generals who were great statesmen too. Churchill was never a General but he was, on balance, a good First Lord of the Admiralty and a courageous, well liked and respected regimental (I think) commanding officer on the Western Front. I would have said he was beyond great as a statesman and maybe he was but my views on him have been tempered much by the concerns about him which you have expressed. Oh yes, perhaps TR should be on the list with Washington, Eisenhower, Marshall and Churchill and one other: MacArthur. Of course he was a great General and a most fortuitous choice for American Commander in occupied Japan; his administration there was brilliant, combining compassion and measured forgiveness for a vicious enemy with a profound and demonstrated understanding of Japan which made of it a real friend and ally. I think his flexible, powerful mind could have made him a good President but I harbor one doubt there: his apparent willingness to drop the A Bomb on Chinese cities during the Korean War MAY have been terribly inadvisable. Yes, the post war leadership had been understandably convinced by Hitler of the folly of incremental resistance to technologically enabled 20th century totalitarians and MacArthur perhaps (I'll have to reread Manchester's American Caesar) thought a complete reversal of the communist conquest of Korea would send the right message to Stalin. But Chinese cities are so densely populated! Though it might have driven the Chinese out of Korea, what a price! MacArthur, a visionary with a mind yet firmly and productively anchored in the past, might well have foreseen the catastrophic reality of Chinese and N. Korean rule . He was an arch anticommunist, rightfully so and he may have thought that use of the bomb in 1951 might have prevented far greater evils, as did Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anyway, let's also add Napoleon to the list (?). But I agree, Washington is #1 among them all. "Extraordinary" cannot suffice to describe him.

  8. A great list of soldier/statesmen, Jack! Napoleon is a tough man to pass judgement on. Ultimately his diplomatic and political skills failed him, clearly. Rather like Hitler he leaned too heavily on military force, and so came up empty. Your mention of MacArthur intrigues me. It's a pity he never got a chance to be President, because I agree with you that he might have been a good, or even a great, one. As for nuking China, one has to ask the obvious question -- was he for threatening China with nukes, credibly and imminently, or was he for dropping them? That's an important distinction. Remember, Ike's approach to the Cold War was a high risk one: let our conventional forces wither, and threaten the Reds with massive nuclear strikes every time they stepped out of line. They never called our bluff, so I guess it worked, but Kennedy and all subsequent Presidents weren't willing to rely as heavily on the nuclear card. Now, had we dropped the bomb on China in 1951, would we have been better off? Maybe. We were by far the world's strongest power, and it would have been folly for Mao and Stalin to do anything other than back down...

  9. Dr.Waddy: You're right; was MacArthur resolved to use it if his proposal was approved or was he trying the idea out in expectation that threatening it first would be? The Japanese probably didn't know what they were in for when we threatened them with destruction but Mao's expressed and perhaps sincere contempt for the bomb ("the A bomb is a paper tiger")may have bred in him a similar resolve not to be intimidated. As he proved in the "Great Leap Forward" he was willing to hazard the lives of many millions. We had already used the bomb and that may have given the Reds pause;" maybe they actually would"- and that could have deterred war weary Russia. So MAYBE its best MacArthur didn't get the chance. Do you think Napoleon may have been a brilliant domestic statesman though? Imagine writing the entire U.S. Code (sans the case law).

  10. Dr.Waddy: By Googling "Atomic weapons Korean war" I got an article describing the deliverance of atomic bombs to bases within easy distance of Korea during the war. It also says President Truman gave General Ridgeway, General MacArthur's successor, "conditional authorization" to use them if he thought it necessary. It also raised the possibility that the Chinese leadership (i.e. Mao) may well not have been deterred by the possibility of their use. They've never been used on troops; one would think they would be effective at least at first but perhaps the Chinese would have spread out. I think, in the long run, Kennan's policy of containment by selective use of measured force in sensitive areas was proven out; communism did fall and WWIII didn't happen.

  11. Jack, it does seem as though the US considered the use of nuclear weapons and had them ready to use against troop concentrations and Chinese bases in Manchuria...although I agree with you that the effectiveness of such strikes might have been limited. From what I read, the Brits and the French were key to putting a damper on any use of nuclear weapons in Asia, because they wanted us focused on defending them. I also read that we considered a blockade of China. To the best of my knowledge, that never happened, and we never bombed Chinese staging areas either. Those would have been actions that would have put increased pressure on Mao without risking nuclear war. Then again, the tactical use of nukes might have shocked China into withdrawal too. I take your point that Mao was inclined to scoff, but one would hardly expect him to do otherwise. Plus, if we had demonstrated our willingness to use tactical nukes, our defense strategy in Europe would have gained credibility. But once the genie was out of the bottle, other countries, including Russia, might also have used nukes more liberally. As you say, it all worked out, and we can be thankful for that!

    Incidentally, based on what Wikipedia has to say, MacArthur may NOT have advocated the use of nuclear weapons against China. He was fired for insubordination, and the nuclear issue appears to have been raised later on.

  12. Dr. Waddy Good points and probably better informed and supported than mine.