Monday, July 05, 2010

Gates of Vienna at Big Peace

Andrew Breitbart has a new startup. It’s called Big Peace; the main page can be found here.

I like their banner:

Big Peace

Gates of Vienna will have a small niche at Big Peace. Working under their aegis, the Baron will be able to utilize the pool of talent in Europe and Australia who already contribute to Gates of Vienna. At Big Peace he can introduce them to a larger audience, and introduce Americans to important European points of view.

For example, his first two offerings on Big Peace will be from Fjordman in Norway and Gandalf in France.

The Baron will also be publishing there under his real name, but his pseudonymous contributors will continue to use their various nics. It is not a good time to travel under your real identity in Europe. The costs are too high.

As our readers know, the Baron has long been interested in European affairs. That focus arose originally from having lived in the north of England all through the formative years of high school and a bit beyond. Living there permitted him to travel extensively throughout Europe (and the Middle East, but that’s another story) and to glimpse his own country through the eyes of European friends. (And yes, what his friends saw was not the reality which the Baron had lived — but this misapprehension works both ways. We don’t understand well the realities of Europe over here.)

When we labeled our blog “Gates of Vienna” we were returning to a moment in European history, a moment that the continent remembered well. However, high schools in this country don’t study European history much so it was an awakening for some of our American readers to understand the deep historical resonance of September 11th.

[An aside: a friend’s children, who are in the process of transferring from a private Catholic high school to a public school, have run into a problem: their years of studying European history will likely not be credited towards their graduation. In that geographical area the focus is on African history. Thus these students are considered deficient in their knowledge of history. Agreed, the public school policy is ignorant on too many levels to count. However, this particular program proves our point about the harm of government schooling and the spread of “ignorance through education”. It takes tremendous vigilance to raise a child today.]

Big Peace has been almost a year in the making.

Andrew Breitbart recounts:

A little less than a year after announcing it, in front of Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and many other American foreign policy elites at Frank Gaffney’s “Keeper of the Flame” Award Dinner in October 2009, we are finally launching Big Peace.
- - - - - - - - -
It took nine months because this site has to be done right, and with Hoover Institution Research Fellow and bestselling author Peter Schweizer, we found the perfect editor. Because I am not a foreign policy or military expert, I needed to create a core editorial unit that represented the highest-end understanding of policy while at the same time bringing, at a time of war, a “boots-on-the-ground” perspective.

Frank Gaffney, the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy provides over thirty years of expertise in national defense including as stint as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under Ronald Reagan. Jim Hanson and the mil-bloggers at Black Five are bringing years of cutting edge reportage from the front lines of multiple wars.

For the last 10 months, Big Government has been the “Big home”“ for these stories but Big Peace is now their proper venue…

There are a great many contributors to this project. As Mr. Breitbart notes, it concerns foreign policy, national defense issues, and military reporting.

Gates of Vienna’s small niche in this effort will reflect the concerns of Europe when it comes to America’s foreign policy. Despite President Obama’s inapt attempts to reduce America’s influence on other countries and to denigrate American culture and contributions, we remain (for the time being) the elephant in the room. Or, as it all too often plays out during the current administration, the ass taking up more than its share of oxygen and trampling the curtains.

That Gates of Vienna is included in this start-up is due to the Baron’s tireless efforts to build connections to those Europeans who do not like the way things are going in their realms, either. Thus, our first post at Big Peace is an essay by Fjordman. ’Tis only fitting that he be featured in our initial offering. His theme, NATO, is particularly germane at the moment. NATO appears to be yet another increasingly questionable transnational enterprise.

The Baron considered carefully before joining in the Breitbart project. Without a doubt, this is a good initiative but was it the right time to shrug off his nic and go public? The more we talked about it, the more we realized that it was indeed timely. Our situation now, compared to when we began blogging, has changed considerably over the years.

Back then he worked for an insurance company. It was family-owned and they were lovely people. However, they were also truly bleeding-heart-liberals and would’ve been to dismayed to discover their senior analyst was a (gasp!) conservative. Like so many others in our position, he had to be covert about his political philosophy.

Well, that job and the one following it are both gone. Nor is paid work in his field likely to come tripping up to the door anytime soon.

The main issue, though, is my health. He is concerned with taking a job in which he would be gone for days at a time on a regular basis. He envisions coming home to find me in some sort of puddle. I can’t say that his fears are unfounded. Fibromyalgia can disturb your balance and proprioception. Just ask me.

Jobs in our rural area aren’t plentiful but he’s investigated a few. Meanwhile, some freelance editing has come his way, and this kind of work may build into something more robust over time. Those jobs, plus the generosity of our donors and our savings have permitted us to stay afloat. It remains to be seen how long we can maintain, though, even with severe frugality.

The Baron has invested time and energy in building the European network. His dogged persistence has begun to bear fruit, but not yet in a way that brings in money. The money part may happen, which would gladden us — and gladden the hearts of his volunteer translators — no end!

I strongly believe in this mission in this time and place. There is a fittingness about it that makes both of us eager and willing to stay the course as long as we can. My role has become more limited as my health has declined, but I remain convinced that what the Baron does — his work in connecting people to one another — is important and will grow, given enough time.

Big Peace is a new pathway. It requires a new name — his real one this time — but the work will be the same: creating connections between Europe and America that will permit us to remain united against the Islamic menace poised to consume Western culture.

We are fortunate to have Mr. Breitbart in the forefront of that work and pray for his success in this new venture. The future of our culture depends on people like him. Of course if he does well, it might mean enough money to go around for his contributors. Now wouldn’t that be nice??

Meanwhile, to see the ‘real’ Baron, click here, and read Fjordman’s post about NATO.

By the way, we’ve decided to keep the “Baron Bodissey” nic here rather than change to his real name. After almost six years, through thick and thin, Gates of Vienna has been branded with Jack Vance’s character’s name and the picture of Bismarck. However, as things move forward there are bound to be further ventures under his “real” name, so who’s to say what change will bring?

For the moment, though, given all the time and turmoil “Da Baron” seems real enough to me.

15 comments:

bewick said...

North of England eh Baron. I actually live in the far North with Hadrian's wall just 2 miles away and the Scottish border within spitting distance.
I came from beautiful Derbyshire which I always said was "north".
Some differ. Some southerners think the North starts at Gerrard's Cross and others think it starts at Watford. Some even seem to think that Derbyshire is "the midlands". Geographically it is and administratively is but to me it still is "north".
Whatever. North of both the "north" becomes many things. East is Lancashire etc and West is Yorkshire etc in general but it really isn't as simple as that. Many tribal factions exist in everything north of Watford. We hate each other and we love each other! Actually, and this gets to the heart of GoV, MANY insults are traded between these "tribes". All taken in very good humour. I tend to be called a "sheep sh****" by those from Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire. I expect it and I don't take offence. I just respond with similar jibes. ( and perish the thought of sheep - lie down Dolly and just enjoy).
Mmmm. Who takes offence at jibes or even innocent comment or simple humour? Guess. You have one try only.
You refer to "public" school. Do you mean that in the American understanding - that is state provided - or the British meaning which is fee paying?

Baron Bodissey said...

bewick --

Are you classified as a Geordie?

I lived in Harrogate, Yorkshire, for four years, 1966-1970. Back then it was in the West Riding. I attended a grammar school, and took my O-levels and A-levels there.

I'm well aware of the local distinctions of ethnicity in northern England. We used to say, "Wogs begin at Settle." This made sure that all Manchester United supporters were included among the wogs.

Within in Yorkshire were several distinct groups, with different accents and dialects. There were the city folk from Leeds, Bradford, Donny, etc. There were the East Riding people, and then there were the Dalesmen. I used to be able to distinguish all their regional accents, but I'm not sure I could anymore.

It was Lancashire that was ridiculed the most, at least in my part of Yorkshire. And Southerners might as well have been foreigners.

bewick said...

Baron
Ha ha. I arrived in Leeds, for a job, about the time you left Harrogate. A bloke I shared a house with played hockey for Harrogate and I became his best man at his wedding. He's been in New Zealand for 35 years and he should stay there I reckon. NZ seems so far to be "original".
I also attended Grammar School and did 0s and As. So that makes your comment of "public" to be in the American sense ( I actually won a scholarship to an English Public School and rejected it). The dates suggest I may be about 20 years older than you.
Am I a Geordie? Well no because I wasn't born here. I think though that I am now an honorary Geordie.
A Geordie was once defined as being born within "the smell of the Tyne". Actually it no longer smells and that description was inaccurate anyway.

My Mother was born here but in Sunderland so was a "Mackam" (roughly they MAKE them - no longer fact. They no longer build ships but do build Nissan cars).
HER language though made sure that the Geordies couldn't confuse me with their strange language because I had grown up with it and understood however hard they tried. Same is true of Yorkshire (whichever Riding) because I understood that as well. MY accent only vaguely resembles my native accent. The Grammar School encouraged Queen's English and accent.
Thank you though for your tiny window into your history.
In the meantime my friend in NZ seriously wants me to visit again and my sister is seriously anxious that I finally return "home". My friends here say I should stay. I'm seriously torn because I do recognise "home" and stil own my Mother's house.
Accents. Well, and you will not believe this, I once did some consultancy at a school just north of Newcastle. At break time in the staff room I heard an accent I could immediately recognise. It was that of someone who came just 2 miles from where I originated. Only slightly different from my own native accent. The changes in speech, in my time, really were that fine. I approached her and she revealed that she really did come from that village.

Baron Bodissey said...

bewick --

Notice that Dymphna only referred to "public school" when talking about our friend, and that refers to a school in the USA. When she talked about my time in England, she said "high school".

To make matters more interesting, there were two grammar schools in Harrogate. To distinguish one from the other, mine was called "Harrogate High School". A year or two after I left, it went comprehensive -- merged with a Secondary Modern school just next door. I was lucky I missed that.

bewick said...

Baron
Correction. I was 25 when I moved to Leeds so that is perhaps 8 years older than you rather than 20

bewick said...

OUCH
My own Grammar School also went "comprehensive" shortly after I left in 1962.


I seriously remember excellent teachers saying that they were "decamping" in protest. As I remember the USA seriously appreciated the UK Grammar School system which gave impoverished people like me the opportunity to climb out of poverty. Today I am prosperous exactly because of the Grammar School system. Sad that it is all but gone now.
As for Dymphna. Well "high school" is not a term used in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. It may be used in Scotland though. Then again Scotland always had higher educational standards.
We seem to have drifted to reminiscence unrelated to the original post. Perhaps a new thread is called for. I have little doubt that it would be highly supported

Jewel -The Testy Infidel said...

So, Baron, in your time in Yorkshire, did you ever get a chance to meet Patrick Stewart? I believe he was from your neck of the woods.

Natalie said...

Bravo to you, Baron, for blogging under your own name at Big Peace. You have more courage than I do :)

no2liberals said...

I was perusing the new Big Peace site a little earlier and found some excellent pieces.
In particular I liked Mr. Gaffney's piece on Influence Operation.
At least a small mention was made of the offspring of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Hopefully more will follow.
I wish all involved great success with Big Peace.

rickl said...

Well, this sounds exciting. Congratulations!

Breitbart is starting to become a major force in the blogosphere, and a major pain in the side of the Powers That Be.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jewel --

The name doesn't ring any bells. Is Patrick Stewart someone I should have heard of?

Jewel -The Testy Infidel said...

Hahahah! Baron, I'm sorry. You are way above the riff raff, so I don't expect you to know anything Star Trekian....Captain Picard, Shakespeare, actor. You are way too busy a man to have trivial pursuits. Congrats on your new gig!

Baron Bodissey said...

Jewel, you have to remember that I haven't lived in a house with a television for almost 40 years. As far as I'm concerned, there is only one Star Trek, and it has Kirk and Spock in it.

PatriotUSA said...

Damn fine thing here, Baron.
have been at Big Peace for a
spell last night and will be
there on a regualr basis. I
feel this is a really good thing
and the timing seems right.
You have a tremendous amount of
knowledge to share with so many
more people and I hope this
provides the avenue for that.
With you an Dymphna, always in
prayer and whenever I can help
out!

Jewel -The Testy Infidel said...

And yet, Baron, you are more informed than the majority of people who have many televisions in their homes!