Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America

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Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America

Postby Charles » Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:06 pm

Virginia Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate, James Webb will probably get my vote just because of manner in which he has conducted himself as Secretary of the Navy and former Secretary of the Navy.

Case in point,

In the military the seemingly arcane concepts of tradition, loyalty, discipline and moral courage have carried the services through cyclical turbulence in peace and war. Their continuance is far more important than the survival of any one leader. It is the function of the military's top officers to articulate that importance to the civilian political process. And an officer who allows a weakening of these ideals in exchange for self-preservation is no leader at all.

Key military officially began making such swaps during the Vietnam War, beginning an unhealthy pattern that still predominates. Too often, gaining high promotion means, hitching one's wagon to a political star, all the while either ducking or finessing politically sensitive issues. Today at the highest levels of the U.S. military one searches vainly for a leader who deserves mention along with the giants of the past. Those who might have reached such heights failed the "political correctness" test and were retired as colonels or junior flag officers.

This reality, more than any other factor, explains the devastating and continuing effect of the Tailhook scandal.. Our ranking admirals have learned full well to bob and weave when political issues confront them. And few issues are as volatile as those surrounding the assimilation of women into the military, particularly since ardent feminists have focused on the military as an important symbolic battlefield. Military leaders are at best passive and most often downright fearful when confronted by activists who allege that their culture is inherently oppressive toward females and that full assimilation of women depends only on a change in the mind-set of its misogynist leaders


http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/nytim ... chhunt.htm

Even though I think he's the real deal, James Webb's almost autobiographical call to awaken populist support from he calls an almost invisible ethnic group is almost too jingoistic for me.

This culture has more power than it understands. it has shaped the emotional fabric of the nation, defined America's unique form of populist democracy, created a distictively American musical style, and through the power of its insistence on personal honor and adamant individulalism has become the definition of "American" that others gravitate toward when they drop their hyphens and join the cultural mainstream. It has produced great military and political leaders, memorable athletes, talented performers, and successful entrepreneurs. it also has the most powerful issue in American politics on its side: simple fairness. Indeed the Scotts-Irish notion of fairness has dominated the most insistent rhetoric about the American democratic system since the days of Andrew Jackson - that the life and acces to the future of every human being has equal value, regardless of wealth or social status. And the Scots-Irish people brought this concept to reality through the frequently bloody, brutally confrontational process of refusing, over and over again, to be dominated from abofe for reasons that benefited only the ruling classes.


Arnold Toynbee took a much harsher view of the Scots-Irish in America:

Obviously this American challenge has been more formidable than the Irish challenge in both its aspects, physical and human. Has the increased challenge evoked an increased response? If we compare the Ulsterman and the Appalachian of today, two centuries after they parted company, we shall find that the answer is once again in the negative. The modern Appalachian has not only not improved on the Ulsterman; he has failed to hold his groundand has gone downhill in a most disconcerting fashion. In fact, the Appalachian 'mountain people' today are no better than barbarians. They have relapsed into illiteracy and witchcraft. They suffer from poverty, squalor and ill-health. They are the American counterparts of the latter-day White barbarians of the Old World - Rifis, Albanians, Kurds, Pathans and Hairy Ainus; but, wheras these later are belated survivals of an ancient barbarism, the Appalachians present the melancholy spectacle of of a people who have acquired civilization and then lost it.


Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History
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Postby Carl_Reginstein » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:17 pm

Toynbee was/is right.... See the article in the link (the relevant section is about halfway down the first page...)

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles ... 00031.html
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Postby Charles » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:49 pm

Carl,

I knew this might catch your eye, so I put the Toynbee bit in especially for you. :D
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A bit from Robbie Burns

Postby uncle janko » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:26 pm

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, and a' that;
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a 'that!
For a ' that and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a 'that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a 'that.
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an a' that,
Gie fools their siks, and knaves their wine,
A Man's a Man for a ' that,
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.
Ye see yon birkie ca'd, a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
His ribband, star and a' that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Gude faith he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities and a' that,
The pith o' Sense, and pride O' Worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a' that,
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that
That Man to Man the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

(I was made to memorise this as a child. There are, all told, worse things.)
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
"Airplane music? Just like music for big bees, only louder."--Arnold Schoenberg
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Postby Carl_Reginstein » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:32 pm

Charles wrote:Carl,

I knew this might catch your eye, so I put the Toynbee bit in especially for you. :D


And, this isn't the best time to get my opinion on life in Appalachia since we are drowning in rain now for four straight days with no let up. People used to whine about the "rainy season" in Florida, which was about an hour of late afternoon downpours followed by and preceded by beautiful sunny skies each and every day of the summer except for when there was a hurricane.

But, it is sad... to see the wasted lives, the ignorance of what it might be like to live someplace else, and the lack of desire to leave the area. Religion, culture, and family bind these poor souls to the soil - such as it is, clay, gravel, muck, and rock.

Almost heaven..... I guess.
- Carl
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Postby Charles » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:27 pm

Perhaps I should have read one of his novels.
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Postby FWD » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:56 am

Shouldn't that be born drinking? Hey I'm Irish!

Once watched a documentary on the building of Chicago that noted the Irish were the least respected of all cultures and races in the 1800's. They were given the worst and most dangerous jobs that somehow was linked to their heritage. Then they also noted was their tremendous drinking habits. Might not this be the true source of their problems?
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Postby Charles » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:45 am

FWD wrote:Shouldn't that be born drinking? Hey I'm Irish!

Once watched a documentary on the building of Chicago that noted the Irish were the least respected of all cultures and races in the 1800's. They were given the worst and most dangerous jobs that somehow was linked to their heritage. Then they also noted was their tremendous drinking habits. Might not this be the true source of their problems?


Whatever.

The Scots-Irish are not the same people as the Irish. One of Webb's points is that although the Scots-Irish are almost invisible as an ethnic group in the United States, there are millions of them and he wants their votes.
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Postby FWD » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:26 am

It's my understanding though that they referred to themselves as Irish as many lived in Ireland for a few generations. The term Scot's Irish did not come about until the Irish Catholic immigration of the 19th century as a way to differentiate between the immigrants and was I believe an American term. Both from my readings had a reputation for drinking and brawling.
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Postby FWD » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:46 am

I should say that from my understanding the term Scot's- Irish, while in use in the 18th century, came into much greater use later as a way to differentiate from the Irish Catholics immigrants.

Anyway the Scot's - Irish did indeed have a reputation as rugged frontiersman.
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Postby KontupeR77298 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:05 am

is it okay if I put up an animated avatar on my profile?
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Postby FWD » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:25 am

I have noticed that houses are a bit expensive these days. :shock:
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Belfast Telegraph on James Webb

Postby Charles » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:12 pm

Throughout the heavily Ulster-Scots mountain towns of Virginia, Mr Webb referred time and time again to his book, 'Born Fighting, How The Scots-Irish Shaped America', telling supporters that they had built America, yet their ethnic background had been deliberately besmirched by the establishment in favour of more "politically correct" ethnic groups.

His view of US history has been a huge hit with voters, particularly in the Scots-Irish strongholds in southwest Virginia.

It helped him close in on the incumbent Mr Allen, who looked certain to win the race at the start of the election.

Mr Webb's "love your inner Ulster Scot" message also won some big-name supporters - most noticeably commentator Christopher Hitchens in the Wall Street Journal, who wrote that Mr Webb "is right to stress the huge rage felt by those of Scots-Irish provenance who feel that they have borne the heat and burden of the day in America's wars, and been rewarded with disdain".

Mr Webb is a hugely contradictory - an anti-war candidate who revels in celebrating the military and who toasted his son's departure for Iraq as a US marine.

Mr Webb is nominally a Democrat yet was Republican president Reagan's navy secretary - a fact he used time and again in his campaign commercials.

His basic Scots-Irish message pulls these contradictory strands together with a new message: "The Scots-Irish were pushed out of Scotland, battled Catholics in Ireland, came to the US where they fought everyone from native Americans to the French and were packed overseas to fight the Germans, the Viet Cong and the Iraqis and what do you have to show for it? You're treated as Bible-thumping rednecks by cultural elitists in Hollywood, New York and Washington."


http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/ ... ory=713635
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Postby FWD » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:26 am

Well I guess Carl can thank the Hillbillies for Democratic control of the Senate.

The "Alchoholiday" article link on same page seems yet another stereotypical joke. Being of Irish
ancestry myself (albeit nondrinking Catholic) I find this humor tiresome. Yet even at my church such
drinking jokes seem to be common as is the drinking among those of Irish descent.
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Postby Charles » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:03 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Do you assume that Dom Joly's Happy Hour is Irish or about the people of Ireland or Northern Ireland?
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