Saturday, April 30, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt on the Indians

As a nation, our Indian policy is to be blamed because of the weakness it displayed, because of its shortsightedness and its occasional leaning to the policy of the sentimental humanitarians; and we have often promised what was impossible to perform; but there has been little willful wrongdoing. Our government almost always tries to act fairly by the tribes; the governmental agents (some of whom have been dishonest and others foolish, but who as a class have been greatly traduced) in their reports are far more apt to be unjust to the whites than to the reds; and the federal authorities, though unable to prevent much of the injustice, still did check and control the white borderers very much more effectually than the Indian sachems and war chiefs controlled their young braves.

The tribes were warlike and bloodthirsty, jealous of each other and of the whites; they claimed the land for their hunting grounds, but their claims all conflicted with one another; their knowledge of their own boundaries was so indefinite that they were always willing, for inadequate compensation, to sell land to which they had merely the vaguest title; and yet, when once they had received the goods, were generally reluctant to make over even what they could; they coveted the goods and scalps of the whites, and the young warriors were always on the alert to commit outrages when they could do it with impunity.

On the other hand, the evil-disposed whites regarded the Indians as fair game for robbery and violence of any kind; and the far larger number of well-disposed men, who would not willingly wrong any Indian, were themselves maddened by the memories of hideous injuries received. They bitterly resented the action of the government which, in their eyes, failed to properly protect them, and yet sought to keep them out of waste, uncultivated lands which they did not regard as being any more the property of the Indians than of their own hunters. With the best intentions, it was wholly impossible for any government to evolve order out of such chaos without resort to the ultimate arbitrator--the sword.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

FDR Invites Stalin to meet in Bering Straits - 1943

President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin
WASHINGTON, May 5, 1943.
________________________________________
MY DEAR MR. STALIN:

I am sending this personal note to you by the hands of my old friend, Joseph E. Davies. It relates solely to one subject which I think it is easier for us to talk over through a mutual friend. Mr. Litvinov is the only other person with whom I have talked about it.

I  want to get away from the difficulties of large Staff conferences or the red tape of diplomatic conversations. Therefore, the simplest and most practical method that I can think of would be an informal and completely simple visit for a few days between you and me.

I fully appreciate the desirability for you to stay in daily touch with your military operations; I also find it inadvisable to be away from Washington more than a short time. There are two sides to the problem. The first relates to timing. There is always the possibility that the historic Russian defense, followed by taking the offensive, may cause a crack-up in Germany next Winter. In such a case we must be prepared for the many next steps. We are none of us prepared today. Therefore, it is my belief that you and I ought to meet this Summer.

The second problem is where to meet. Africa is almost out of the question in Summer and Khartum is British territory. Iceland I do not like because for both you and me it involves rather difficult flights and, in addition, would make it, quite frankly, difficult not to invite Prime Minister Churchill at the same time.

Therefore, I suggest that we could meet either on your side or my side of Bering Straits. Such a point would be about three days from Washington and I think about two days from Moscow if the weather is good. That means that you could always get back to Moscow in two days in an emergency.

It is my thought that neither of us would want to bring any Staff. I would be accompanied by Harry Hopkins, an interpreter and a stenographer—and that you and I would talk very informally and get what we call “a meeting of the minds”. I do not believe that any official agreements or declarations are in the least bit necessary.

You and I would, of course, talk over the military and naval situation, but I think we can both do that without Staffs being present.

Our estimates of the situation are that Germany will deliver an all-out attack on you this Summer, and my Staff people think it will be directed against the middle of your line.

You are doing a grand job. Good luck!

Always sincerely,

/s/  President Roosevelt

Saturday, February 06, 2016

We're not going to take it anymore - unless we're Rubio

Then we'll take it and like it.  'Cause we have to win for the *right* reasons.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Our Responsibility To Immigrants

Peter Hitchens:
Actually we can’t do what we like with this country. We inherited it from our parents and grandparents and we have a duty to hand it on to our children and grandchildren, preferably improved and certainly undamaged. It is one of the heaviest responsibilities we will ever have. We cannot just give it away to complete strangers on an impulse because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
As William Blake rightly said: ‘He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars. General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer.’

Saturday, June 20, 2015

McClellan Vs. Grant

Any Grant Vs. Mac comparison has to begin with the understanding that Grant had it much, much easier in April ’64 than McClellan in April ’62. Others have listed the advantages. Of course Grant was also much more willing to go along with Lincolns military “suggestions” then McClellan. (And if Grant got ticked off at Lincoln, he certainly never made the mistake of venting his anger in letters to his wife). Of course, they were too different kinds of men and were in different circumstances. The Civil War was Grants big chance to make it big and he doesn’t seem have been very political before the war. McClellan OTOH was a RR President and going back into the Army was a financial sacrifice for him. He was also opposed to the Radical Republican agenda. So when Stanton and Halleck started bad mouthing and treating with contempt after Seven Days he wasn’t the least bit inclined to pander to them; instead it was more of “I’ll tell you what I think and if you don’t like it – fire me”. Something Grant never would do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Great NBA Quotes - Rick Barry

"Around the league they thought of him as the most arrogant guy ever. Half the players disliked Rick. The other half hated him.” - Billy Paultz, Rick Barry's Friend