Friday in Tripoli Open Comments

Libya Battle of Derne

When Thomas Jefferson was sworn in as the third U.S. President in March of 1801, he was almost immediately asked for a tribute payment of $225,000 from Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha of Tripoli. After sixteen years of recommending against continued extortion payments, Jefferson now forcefully refused the demand. Two months later, on May 10, 1801, the Pasha declared war on the U.S., not through any formal written documents but in the customary Barbary manner of cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate. This marks the beginning of the First Barbary War.

As a result, nearly every major ship in the U.S. Navy was sent to the western Mediterranean to combat the Barbary depredations. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed American vessels to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli “and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify.”

And in the end,

In the meantime, Eaton and his men had assaulted the main city fortress, and were initially thrown back. Grabbing a musket, Eaton then led the Marine contingent in an assault of the fortress walls. For his trouble, Eaton was wounded by a musket ball in his left wrist. Finally, after about an hour of fighting, Lt. O’Bannon led his men over the wall, driving the Barbary gunner from their artillery. The Tripolitans left in such haste that they left their cannon loaded and did not spike them to render them useless to the enemy. Soon afterwards, Lt. O’Bannon brought out a flag he had been carrying with him, and raised it over the battlements of the fortress.

Turning the liberated cannon on the Barbary defenders, Eaton, O’Bannon and friends shelled the city, driving the Tripolitans westward. The fleeing defenders then promptly ran into Karamanli’s men approaching from the west. Caught in a vice, the defenders promptly surrendered. After about two hours of savage fighting, the Battle of Derne was over.

The first battle flag of the United States of America was raised over foreign soil in victory on that day.

Get Ready For the Stupid – Wednesday Comments

Materialists vs Post-Materialists

I’m sure I shocked a lot of readers when I published the first profile and interview article about Camille Paglia years ago on Lone Star Times.  I wasn’t looking for shock value but truth from the Left and found it in the unlikeliest of places, a scholar of indeterminate, opportunistic sexuality with rapier wit and explosive intelligence.

Rod Dreher, who posted the above graph, quotes her here:

Which, of course, brings us, as all things do, to Camille Paglia, and this bit from her interview with Reason‘s Nick Gillespie:

Paglia: There [comes] a time when these fine gradations of gender identity—I’m a male trans doing this, etc.—this is a symbol of decadence, I’m sorry.Sexual Personae talks about this: That was in fact the inspiration for it, was that my overview of history and my noticing that in late phases, you all of a sudden get a proliferation of homosexuality, of sadomasochism, or gendered games, impersonations and masks, and so on. I think we’re in a really kind of late phase of culture.

reason: So that the proliferation of cultural identities, the proliferation of all sorts of possibilities is actually a sign that we’re…

Paglia: On the verge of collapse? Yes! Western culture is in decline. There’s absolutely no doubt about it, in my view, looking at the history of Egypt, of Babylon, of Byzantium, and so on. And so what’s happening is everyone’s so busy-busy-busy with themselves, with this narcissistic sense of who they are in terms of sexual orientation or gender, and this intense gender consciousness, woman consciousness at the same time, and meanwhile…

reason: Is that also racial or ethnic consciousness as well?

Paglia: Right now, to me, the real obsessions have to do with gender orientation. Although I think there’s been this flare-up [regarding race]. I voted for Obama, but I’ve been disappointed. I think we had hoped that he would inaugurate a period of racial harmony, and I think the situation has actually become even worse over recent years. It seems to be overt inflammatory actions by the administration to pit the races against each other, so I think there’s a lot of damage that needs to be healed.

But I think most of the problems as I perceive them in my students and so on, is that there’s this new obsession with where you are on this wide gender spectrum. That view of gender seems to me to be unrealistic because it’s so divorced from any biological referent. I do believe in biology, and I say in the first paragraph of Sexual Personae that sexuality is an intricate intersection of nature and culture. But what’s happened now is that the way the universities are teaching, it’s nothing but culture, and nothing’s from biology. It’s madness! It’s a form of madness, because women who want to marry and have children are going to have to encounter their own hormonal realities at a certain point.

reason: Do you see your personal liberation as having helped to grease the skids for decadence, for the collapse of Western civilization?

Paglia: I have, yes.

reason: Do you feel at all ambivalent about that?

Paglia: I’ve defined myself as a decadent. One of my first influences was Oscar Wilde. I stumbled on a little book called The Epigrams of Oscar Wildein a secondhand bookstore in Syracuse, New York, when I was like 14, and I was fascinated by his statements. So I am a Wildean, and he identifies himself as a kind of decadent in that period of aestheticism.

reason: And certainly he was toward the end of the great hegemony of England as a world power, at least in a cultural sense.

Paglia: Yes, that’s true too, the decline of an empire. Absolutely.


Monday Commentaries

Theodore Dalrymple

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple

His books, essays, and columns for The Spectator, The Times and the New Statesman, have been compared to Orwell in their observations of Britain. But the plight of Orwell’s working class, stricken by the Depression and the collapse of employment is moving and dignified in a way that Dalrymple’s post-welfare state underclass is definitely not. He shows a new Gin Lane, a Hogarthian horror show of self-destructive behaviour: drink- and drug-addled deadbeat parents, feral children, random violence and chosen idleness. Chaos and ignorance, encouraged by the welfare and education systems, and treated as both normal and unavoidable.

“I didn’t start out to write that. I was just describing what I saw. I probably made it less terrible,” he recalls as we sit down to lunch at the less fashionable end of Sydney’s Pitt Street. “But I saw almost straight away that raw want was not the explanation. It just hit me in the face.”

Theodore Dalrymple’s  23 Books

I think you can find most all of the other prolific writings of Dalrymple archived here.

Thursday Mental Assault Thread


With more of Hillary’s emails being exposed to the nation’s mindset, certain previously suppressed memories begin to emerge out of the subconscious, causing us to doubt her ability to control our reality.

We were not supposed to know or care about Hillary’s ties to Sid Blumenthal. It was for our own good that we didn’t remember who this man was. We were all better off thinking and feeling only what Hillary wanted us to think and feel. Now that the Republicans have ruined this blissful relationship, we begin to feel disturbed by unsolicited facts and unauthorized memories that lead us to question our trusted Democratic leaders.

In what can only be described as mental breaking and entering, the Republicans brutally drag us outside of our safe spaces and repeatedly penetrate us with facts, inseminating us with unwanted ideas, and causing us to perform painful intellectual abortions. This effectively makes us victims of non-consensual mental rape.

The harm becomes obvious already as we begin to wonder, how come Hillary couldn’t protect us from these traumatic facts? Has she lost touch and is no longer all-powerful, allowing the Republicans to send an information tsunami into our previously safe seas of controlled tranquility?  Read More Here