Tag: Patton

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Memorial Day: Patton


So we’re celebrating Memorial Day and I wrote an essay on Patton, the greatest American war movie. It’s a good day to watch the movie again, and to remember the great man. In my essay, I talk about the importance of great men in times of crisis, the limits of institutions and the specific character of the modern executive, and the way this ties to American character.

If I may also recommend VDH on Patton, perhaps as good a starter for conversation as the movie itself:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Living and Dying


“Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.” — Josey Wales

You know the scene. Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales is being chased by the entire Union Army and every bounty hunter in Texas:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. George


George was 77, going on 78 when we met. He owned a firm that rather suddenly had become my client due to an emergency failure in their IT network – an emergency that lasted 20 years. A protégé of George’s at the firm would end-up becoming one of my best friends – a relationship that will last forever.

George was remarkable: full-bird Colonel on General Patton’s staff, DoD project manager for the implementation of the world’s first mainframe computer, editor of a military journal for decades, college teacher, business owner, founder of the Pachyderms – a group of folks with thick skins, a sense of humor, and a keen interest in politics and bourbon.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Reflections on Self-esteem in Education


patton_1Probably the best way to begin a discussion about self-esteem is to issue a trigger warning for our snowflake community. That is, it seems only fair to warn our campus’s gravitas-challenged evanescences that the following words might propel a hasty scrambling toward the fainting couch. Likely few have subjected their delicate eardrums to the gravelly tones of George C. Scott’s rendition of General Patton’s famous presentation, given many times, and simply referred to as “the speech.” Here is a sampling: “We don’t want yellow cowards in the army. They should be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war, [expletive] cowards, and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the [expletive] cowards and we’ll have a nation of brave men.” Which is not perhaps the gentlest manner to talk about genetic inheritance, but still effective in its own way.

Patton’s spiritual offspring currently are defending our country, snowflakes and all, in a world replete with evil and aggressive people who wish to destroy us, and it is always an honor to meet America’s guardians in person. Closer to home we find the inspiring life and recent act of Pittsburgh Steelers’ fearsome linebacker, James Harrison, who refused to permit his sons to receive “two trophies for nothing.” He just couldn’t stomach his young men getting “2015 Best of the Batch Next Level Athletics Student-Athlete Awards” — a title so vacuous it makes even a snowflake sound heavy. Then there’s that superb Kia commercial, now gone viral, about another father who can’t believe his victorious son received a “participation trophy” after his team won every game. He peels off the namby-pamby plate, writes in bold letters “Champs,” and hands it back to his son, proclaiming, “Here you go, champ!”