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Military Leadership And Diversity

For those who are unfamiliar with the basics of the military, there are two main tiers of rank structure: enlisted soldier and commissioned officer.

In the Army, the enlisted man starts out as a Private, typically a 17-year-old high school graduate and advances through several ranks of sergeant, also known as non-commissioned officer (NCO). The enlisted ranks top off with senior NCOs such as Sergeant Major and up. Army’s commissioned officers start out as Lieutenants, who had just graduated from their university’s ROTC program or from a service academy such as the one at West Point, NY. Lieutenants are promoted to Captain, Major, Colonel, and ultimately to the Generals who command their country’s armed forces.

By doctrine, officers are leaders of the enlisted. And by doctrine and in practice, the experienced enlisted, specifically NCOs or sergeants, are known as the backbone of the Army. The officer is always the senior, so a 50-year-old Sergeant Major will salute the 21-year-old West Point graduate and call him Sir (or ma’am). That’s how it’s always been… but. The young Lieutenant better know who he is: a fresh-face who needs to know when to take charge and when to listen and gain experience as an officer. The sergeant will give him every proper courtesy, but woe to the Second Lieutenant who disrespects a good NCO and their commanding officer hears of this.

I glossed over a lot above, but that’s to give an idea of what that, which follows is about. West Point graduates are newly-commissioned Army officers. The photo is from Time magazine. The article begins with:

The class of cadets preparing to jubilantly toss their caps in the air at the U.S. Military Academy’s graduation ceremony Saturday includes 34 black women, a record number that’s a sign of concerted efforts to diversify West Point’s Long Gray Line.

Black Female Cadets

I don’t know if anyone still reads Time but the article does say that there is still a lot to be done:

West Point remains mostly white and mostly male. The 34 women comprise a thin slice of the roughly 1,000 cadets in the Class of 2019. Sometimes, they’re the only women of color in a classroom. Still, cadets said they’re proud to be part of a milestone at the historic academy after four years of testing their limits.

Help me here. The US military is an asset of globalists (Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” speech). There are enemies of central banking to be crushed, Russia to get into a grind with. So why degrade your asset by phasing out the world’s most talented warrior pool, Anglo-Germanic men, instead of keeping them loyal? If that’s because globohomo wants military leaders who will obey an order to run a napalm sortie on White deplorables — they’re putting their chips on the martial prowess of women?

Diversity among military officers makes a right wing coup more, not less, likely because ethnic and racial friction will polarize the upper ranks.

Maybe I’m overthinking, there is no master plan. Maybe the 34 token cadets are the cost of running the multiethnic American empire. Or those of the ruling class are saps: they feel bad when they see natural inequality and discharge that discomfort by celebrating diversity.

People of different identities can work together effectively. Until things become stressful, and then tribalism reasserts itself. In corporate hierarchical structures, cordial relationships among diverse employees of similar intelligence is the norm. The military, even in peacetime, is where stress spikes into the red.

So there is no military cohesion if there is no ethnic cohesion. There are few things enlisted soldiers resent more than officers of an alien culture. Officers of an alien culture, in turn, don’t have the much in the way of regard for their enlisted subordinates. A poster on Gab shares this anecdote:

I can assure you, having been an instructor at one of the nation’s academies… nine out of ten of the darker students do not belong, and the white students know it and speak about and admit it in hushed tones when among good company.

It’s driving a rift in the military. When I was a young NCO, I had a dipfuck black junior officer give me an order that would have resulted in damage to gear had I passed that word on to my men. Any good NCO knows that junior officers sometimes need time to gain experience and will rise to their station with guidance. Being mindful of this, I asked the lieutenant for a word where I politely explained to him what would happen to the gear if we did as he instructed, and what actually needed doing.

Cocksucker locked horns with me, and threatened to NJP [administrative punishment] my ass. I told him that he had been advised by technically proficient subordinate with the authority of my billet superseding his rank on the matter that his order would result in mission gear damage and I would not pass down that order. Trap set. He doubled down, and hauled me off to charge me. I responded to my SNCO [senior NCO] with a request for mast. Not only was the gear damaged, I got my apology in front of the CO [commanding officer] and SgtMaj.

There were multitudes of times I corrected or advised junior officers with the respect owed to them and in private. White officers, as with most white men, displayed some humility and appreciative attitude for being shown the ropes.

Among the most satisfying relationships a man can have is that between a junior and a senior-ranking man where there is mutual trust and competence. That’s part of esprit de corps. The salute is the traditional acknowledgment of that relationship. Racial diversity and the presence of women zap that spirit.

This crossed my mind as I first read the above anecdote: his commanding officer and others in the chain of command were traditional American military men. He doesn’t say that they were White but it’s reasonable to imagine a different situation, one in which that authority looks like the photo at the top of this post.

Source: PA | 24 May 2019 | 7:50 am EDT

AG Barr will watch the watchers

We finally have an answer to that age-old philosophical question: William Barr.
President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Trump directed the intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Barr’s probe. The directive marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to “investigate the investigators,” as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls for impeachment proceedings.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump is delegating to Barr the “full and complete authority” to declassify documents relating to the probe, which would ease his efforts to review the sensitive intelligence underpinnings of the investigation. Such an action could create fresh tensions within the FBI and other intelligence agencies, which have historically resisted such demands.
To watch the watchers and investigate the investigators. Next, launch The Storm.

Source: Vox Popoli | 24 May 2019 | 7:22 am EDT

Cancel your accounts

I'll be sending out an email to all of the Arkhaven backers involved later today, but if you've set up an account on a certain site and have been awaiting further instructions, please cancel that account today. Last night we were informed that we would not be permitted to use the site because badthink and so forth.

This will not have any effect on the project at all, so please don't worry about that. We have a plethora of options and will be selecting a better one next week. But in order to send a very clear message, it would be good if everyone involved canceled their account today. We do not intend any legal action, as we would much rather not work with any partners who are less than entirely enthusiastic about working with us.

Source: Vox Popoli | 24 May 2019 | 7:04 am EDT

Life in prison for Assange

That's what U.S. Federal prosecutors are aiming for with 17 additional charges:
A federal grand jury has announced 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who is currently in a UK jail awaiting an extradition hearing. The new indictment, made public on Thursday, relates to US documents WikiLeaks published in 2010, and alleges Assange revealed the names of individuals who were working with the US government, thus endangering their lives.

The new charges expand the original one-count indictment of conspiracy to hack into US government computers, announced in March, prior to Assange’s arrest in London. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, on top of another five from a previous indictment, if convicted.
Imagine the charges that will be faced by people who gave much more critical information to the Chinese and Israelis... oh, wait, that's right. Nothing ever happens to them.

Source: Vox Popoli | 23 May 2019 | 8:04 pm EDT

The imperial overreach of the corpocrats

Back in December, Ron Unz observed that sooner or later, China is very likely to strike back against the out-of-control imperial corpocracy that currently rules the USA:
Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior. Perhaps such actions can still be taken against the subservient vassal states of Europe, but by most objective measures, the size of China’s real economy surpassed that of the US several years ago and is now substantially larger, while also still having a far higher rate of growth. Our totally dishonest mainstream media regularly obscures this reality, but it remains true nonetheless.

Provoking a disastrous worldwide confrontation with mighty China by seizing and imprisoning one of its leading technology executives reminds me of a comment I made several years ago about America’s behavior under the rule of its current political elites:

Or to apply a far harsher biological metaphor, consider a poor canine infected with the rabies virus. The virus may have no brain and its body-weight is probably less than one-millionth that of the host, but once it has seized control of the central nervous system, the animal, big brain and all, becomes a helpless puppet.

Once friendly Fido runs around foaming at the mouth, barking at the sky, and trying to bite all the other animals it can reach. Its friends and relatives are saddened by its plight but stay well clear, hoping to avoid infection before the inevitable happens, and poor Fido finally collapses dead in a heap.

 Normal countries like China naturally assume that other countries like the US will also behave in normal ways, and their dumbfounded shock at Ms. Meng’s seizure has surely delayed their effective response. In 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow and famously engaged in a heated “kitchen debate” with Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the relative merits of Communism and Capitalism. What would have been the American reaction if Nixon had been immediately arrested and given a ten year Gulag sentence for “anti-Soviet agitation”?

Since a natural reaction to international hostage-taking is retaliatory international hostage-taking, the newspapers have reported that top American executives have decided to forego visits to China until the crisis is resolved. These days, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, and China is also the manufacturing source of nearly all our iPhones, but Tim Cook, Mary Barra, and their higher-ranking subordinates are unlikely to visit that country in the immediate future, nor would the top executives of Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and the leading Hollywood studios be willing to risk indefinite imprisonment.
And there is nary an American who would shed a tear if they were imprisoned indefinitely over there. It's such a shame that the Meng arrest didn't take place before Mark Zuckerberg's visit to China....

Source: Vox Popoli | 23 May 2019 | 11:02 am EDT

The Defense of Freedom on Dutch Dikes (Part 1)

Editor’s note:  The following is extracted from Ten Great Events in History, by James Johonnot (published 1887)


After the destruction of the Roman Empire all Europe was in a state of anarchy. The long domination of Rome, and the general acceptance of the Roman idea that “the state is everything and the individual man nothing,” had unfitted the people for self-government. While Rome fell, the system of Rome, leading to absolute monarchy, persisted, and out of it grew the present governments of Europe. The conquering Goths brought in a modifying condition which changed the whole relations of monarch to people. In their social and political relations chieftains of tribes or clans divided power with the monarch, and for many centuries there was continuous warfare between these antagonistic ideas. This period is known as the “dark ages,” for while it lasted there was little visible progress, and an apparent almost entire forgetfulness of the ancient civilizations.

During the dark ages roving bands of freebooters wandered about from place to place, engaged in robbery, rapine, and murder. To resist this systematic plunder the people placed themselves under the guardianship of some powerful chieftain in the vicinity, and paid a certain amount of their earnings for the privilege of enjoying the remainder. Hence there grew up, in the Gothic communities of Europe, that peculiar state of society known as “the feudal system.” A great chieftain or lord lived in a strong castle built for defense against neighboring lords. A retinue of soldiers was in immediate attendance, who, when not engaged in war, passed their time in hunting and debauchery. All the expenses and waste of the castle and its occupants were defrayed by the peasants who cultivated the lands, and who were all obliged to take up arms whenever their lord’s dominions were invaded.

In process of time the taxes upon the people became so burdensome that they were reduced to the condition of serfs, when all their earnings, except enough to supply the barest necessaries of life, were taken from them in the shape of taxes and rents. A constantly increasing number were yearly taken from the ranks of the industrious to swell the numbers of the soldiery, until Europe seemed one vast camp.

The feudal system demanded little in the way of industry except agriculture and rude home manufactures to furnish food and clothing. Arms were purchased from other lands, the best being obtained from the higher civilization of the Moslems; but, as population increased, people began to congregate in centers and towns, and cities sprung up. These called for more varied industries, and a class of people soon became numerous who had little or no dependence upon the feudal lord. To protect themselves, craftsmen engaged in the same kind of work united and formed guilds, and the various guilds, though often warring with each other, united for the common defense. The leaders of the guilds gradually became the heads of notable burgher families who became influential and wealthy. As the cities became powerful the feudal system declined, and in many regions the powerful burghers were able to maintain their independence, not only against their old lords, but also against the monarch who ruled many lordships.

Between the monarch and the lords there was a natural antagonism—the monarch endeavoring to gain power, and the lords endeavoring to retain their privileges. The burghers made use of these contending forces; and by sometimes siding with the one and sometimes with the other, they not only secured their own freedom, but laid the foundation for the freedom of the people which is now generally recognized, and which forms the very corner-stone of our republican institutions.

But the rise of the burgher class, and the evolution of human liberty through their work, was by no means an easy task. As the military spirit was dominant, the calling of an artisan was considered derogatory, and lords and soldiers looked down upon the industrious classes as inferior beings. Scott well represents this spirit in the speech of Rob Roy, the Highland chief, in his reply to the offer of Bailie Jarvie to get his sons employment in a factory: “Make my sons weavers! I would see every loom in Glasgow, beam, treadle, and shuttles, burnt in hell-fire sooner!” To break the force of the strong military power, and to secure to the industrious classes the rights of human beings, required a continuous warfare which lasted through many centuries, and which is far from being finished at the present time. But, thanks to the sturdy valor of the burghers of the middle ages, human liberty was maintained and transmitted to succeeding generations.

Hitherto in the history of the world mountains had been found necessary for the preservation of human liberty. Thermopylæ, Morgarten, Bannockburn, were all fought where precipitous hill-sides and narrow valleys prevented the champions of freedom from being overwhelmed by numbers, and where a single man in defense of his home could wield more power than ten men in attack. The tyrants who lorded it over plains had learned by dear experience to shun mountains and avoid collisions with mountaineers; and, in case of controversies, they always endeavored to gain by stratagem what they could not obtain by force. Austrian tyranny had dashed itself in vain against the Alps, and English tyranny had turned back southward, thwarted and impotent, from the Scotch Highlands.

But it was to be demonstrated that liberty might have a home in other than mountain fastnesses. Along the North Sea is a stretch of country redeemed from the ocean. Great dikes, faced with granite from Norway, withstand the tempest from the turbulent ocean, and smaller dikes prevent inundations from rivers. In thousands of square miles the only land above sea-level is the summit of the dikes. In the polders or hollow places below the sea, and saved from destruction only by the dikes, is some of the richest and most productive land in Europe. Here prospered a teeming and industrious population. Agriculture, the parent of national prosperity, flourished as nowhere else. Manufactures and trade had followed in its train, until the hollow lands had become the beehive of Europe. The direction of the most vast commercial enterprises had been transferred from the lagoons of Venice to the cities of the dikes.

This country for centuries had constituted a part of the German Empire. At one side of the great lines of communication, and moored so far out to sea, it had been overlooked and neglected to a certain degree by the reigning dynasties; and out of this neglect grew its prosperity. While the rule of the central government was nearly nominal, the feudal lords never obtained a strong foothold in the country, and the order and peace of the communities were preserved by municipal officers chosen by suffrage. In process of time wealthy burgher families fairly divided political influence with princes, acid dictated a policy at once wise and humane. Extortioners were suppressed, industries fostered, and peace maintained.

In the religious controversies which followed the preaching of Luther, the eastern provinces of the hollow land almost exclusively espoused the new religion, while the western provinces clung as tenaciously to the old. While this difference in religious opinions gave rise to disputes, and tended toward the disruption of social relations, for many years toleration was practiced and peace preserved.

During the reign of Charles V as emperor of Germany, the lowland countries were permitted to go on in their career of prosperity, with the exception of a religious persecution. Charles was a bigot, and, for a time, he tried to put down heresy with a strong hand; but, finding the new doctrines firmly established in the hearts of the people, he relaxed his persecutions, and permitted things to take pretty much their own course.

(Continue to next chapter)

The post The Defense of Freedom on Dutch Dikes (Part 1) appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 23 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

After the Flood: A Critical Review

Bill Cooper’s After the Flood is a study of the history of early Europe based on the genealogies and legends that have been passed down through various European peoples, focusing on those who today make up the United Kingdom. A favorite among young-Earth creationists, After the Flood boasts 4.6 out of 5 stars in 100+ reviews on Amazon.  With the release of an expanded edition in 2015, I thought it time for a re-read, hoping that Cooper had cleaned up a few of the more glaring errors found in the original 1995 edition.  Unfortunately, he has not.


After the Flood

Don’t get me wrong – this is a well-researched and unique book, worthy of a read by any student of European history. By comparison of other genealogies and histories, including the Romans, Irish, and even the (dot) Indians, Cooper demonstrates that the post-flood Biblical patriarchs are not simply a fiction generated by Hebrew storytellers, but the actual progenitors of the modern nations. And while one’s presuppositions are liable to color one’s acceptance of this thesis regardless of the evidence, the evidence is worth a look.

For my part, I am quite sympathetic to Cooper’s argument that modernist scholars tend to vastly overplay their hands, and that many of their studied conclusions are nothing but smuggled assumptions. I have seen too many occasions where scholars have converted an assumption (e.g. the number of generations they reckon a pagan court bard could remember) into a conclusion, without appeal to any facts at all.*

But it’s also worth looking at the places where Cooper’s arguments fall short, which I hope to do herein.

For example, there are several places where Cooper is either careless with his sources or leaves information out on purpose. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but the absence of some very important information severely undercuts his case.

The first case has to do with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, which Cooper notes contain the phrase, “from Adam to the Flood were 2242 winters” (his translation).

It would be interesting to discover whence the Saxons got this figure of 2242 years for the antediluvian period, for it does not appear in the Latin Vulgate which gives 1656 for this period, thus agreeing with the Hebrew; and they were not familiar with the Septuagint version which gives in any case a period of 2256 years for the antediluvian era. However, their figure does agree exactly with that of the Britons, as passed down to us by Nennius.
— P. 94, Revised Edition

That last sentence provides us a clue missed by Cooper. I went to Nennius and checked the sources that he claimed to use – one of them was Eusebius. Cooper apparently figured that Nennius was referring to Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, which would likely not be a useful source to study genealogies – that explains why it does not appear in Cooper’s bibliography. However, Eusebius’ Chronicle, which attempts to present a more universal history, provides a chronology broken down almost exactly like that of Nennius. No surprise there. The period Eusebius notes for Adam to the Flood, according to the Septuagint, is 2242 years. We have a Bingo.

Nennius’ next number, from the flood to Abraham, is noted as 942 years, of which Cooper notes:

We would say today that there are certain points on which this early British chronology is patently wrong. For example, there are not 942 years between the Flood and Abraham, but only ca 427 until Abraham’s entry into Canaan….[Therefore] we have to conclude that [Nennius] passed down to us, characteristically unedited and uncorrected, a faulty (and therefore much older?) source.

However, if one checks Eusebius for the time between the flood and Abraham, the result is unsurprising: 942 years, based again on the Septuagint, which Cooper should have noticed as he just used it to check the previous number.

Nennius doesn’t use all of Eusebius’ numbers, but in a strange twist, neither do Nennius’ numbers add up to his total. Instead, his total is exactly the total provided by Eusebius. Nennius is not passing us a British source here at all but a Roman Christian one that he informs us in his prologue he is using.

Not only that, but Eusebius in that section compares the numbers given in the Septuagint, the Hebrew (which formed the basis of the Vulgate), and the Samaritan texts, and gives his reasons for preferring the Septuagint.

So not only were the British Christians (and therefore probably the Saxon Christians) familiar with the Septuagint, they had a recognized Church authority telling them why it was to be preferred over the Vulgate for this very number! I also added up the Eusebius’ numbers using my own copy of the Septuagint: 2242 years rather than Cooper’s 2256. Cooper is flat out wrong here.

The second case had to do with the itinerary that Geoffrey of Monmouth applies to Brutus in Book I, Chapter 12 (it also appears in Cooper’s translation of Tysilio’s Chronicle, available here).

Cooper uses it to posit a first century source for Brutus and it is such a source, but perhaps not for Brutus as Geoffrey and Tysilio state. The same itinerary, with exactly the same landmarks noted (but without Geoffrey’s pirates) is found in Nennius 15. But rather than applying to Brutus (of whom Nennius knows as he has several separate Bruts) it comes as a tradition via “the most learned of the Scots” and is supposedly the trek taken by “a Scythian of noble birth” leaving Egypt about the time of Moses. Since Nennius knows of Brutus but does not connect this with Brutus, Cooper needs to explain how this can serve as evidence for the antiquity of Geoffrey’s (and Tysilio’s) Brut rather than simply being lifted from Nennius or the Scots.

The final case has to do with his treatment of the Scaef-to-Woden line as it applies to the Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic kings. In my opinion, Cooper’s illustration of the line from various sources proves both its antiquity and its integrity. He lines up six sources from four nations, and though the sources have linguistic differences (Geat could be Geta or Great or Jat) and gaps in different places, all the names are recognizably the same and in the same order. Three of the sources trace Scaef to Noah, three do not, which shows the line itself is not a pious fraud.

Cooper has Scaef at the top of each list. However, in checking his sources I discovered that his chart is quite misleading. In the Prose Edda (his Icelandic source), there should not be a question mark above Seskef. That genealogy, in part, reads like this:

“Their son was Lóridi, who resembled his father; his son was Einridi, his son Vingethor, his son Vingener, his son Móda, his son Magi, his son Seskef, his son Bedvig, his son Athra (whom we call Annarr), his son Ítermann, his son Heremód, his son Skjaldun (whom we call Skjöld), his son Bjáf (whom we call Bjárr), his son Ját, his son Gudólfr, his son Finn, his son Fríallaf (whom we call Fridleifr); his son was he who is named Vóden, whom we call Odin.”
Prose Edda, Prologue, 3

Seskef is not at the top but in the middle of the Prose Edda genealogy, the something-something grandson of High King Priam of Troy. It does not mean the line itself is corrupt, but it appears to throw a nasty wrench in Cooper’s assertion the Icelanders considered Seskef to be Japheth the son of Noah. And the worst part is that Cooper does not even address it. While it appears that the names in his chart come from Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, a respected source on that epic poem, the name Snorri Sturlson, who is the author of the Prose Edda, does not appear in the bibliography. Perhaps Cooper didn’t even consult it.

These three issues are indicative of the kinds of source problems any author will have to deal with – Cooper is by no means alone here. But it also means that the Christian who takes this study seriously will also be forced to deal with them, and probably in a more comprehensive fashion than Cooper has.

While After the Flood remains a valuable resource for Christian students of European history, it is by no means a book one can accept without giving serious consideration to the occasional places the book falls short of the whole truth.

* Biblical criticism is full of such legerdemain, alas.

The post After the Flood: A Critical Review appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 23 May 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

The thing with an agenda

Gregory Hood points out the creepy Deep State aspects of the strange ending of A Game of Thrones:
The political settlement that ends the series is even more implausible. “Bran the Broken” possesses magical powers of seeing events in the past, present, and future around the world. He has mostly sat around the past few seasons, occasionally making awkward comments. Nonetheless, the lords of Westeros make him king, based on a speech by Tyrion. Democracy is laughed off, but some form of elective monarchy is created. Bran’s sister Sansa declares the North should be an independent kingdom, and Bran agrees, thus ceding a huge part of his realm as his first act. Why other kingdoms don’t also immediately secede is left unexplained.

Obviously, Westeros is a world of fantasy, where magic, dragons, and giants can be found. Yet as George R. R. Martin repeatedly states, it contains a low amount of magic for a high fantasy series, and the focus is on political realism and cynical maneuvering. Naïve audiences who hadn’t read the books got the message when Ned Stark had his head chopped off. Supernatural beings only work in fiction if they operate in a context where they are comprehensible. Characters must respond in believable ways. The idea that lords with their own agendas and interests would agree to have an odd cripple with no blood connection to the ruling dynasty is absurd.

Yet this is just lazy writing and not important unless you are deeply committed to a television show. If we accept “King Bran,” what’s the real message? It’s that he represents the rule of Narrative, which is to say the rule of media, rather than the rule of tradition, heroism, or even intelligence.

Tyrion justifies the choice of Bran by saying he has the best story. “The boy who fell from a high tower and lived. He knew he’d never walk again, so he learned to fly,” he says. “He crossed beyond the Wall, a crippled boy, and became the Three-Eyed Raven.” Many online wits observed just about every other character (Jon, Arya, Sansa) had a better story.

Yet Tyrion says more than this. He argues that stories are ultimately what unite people more than armies, gold, or flags. “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” he says. “Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.” (He obviously hasn’t heard of online deplatforming).

Much earlier in the series, Varys posed Tyrion the question of what power really was. Varys said “power resides where men believe it resides.” Tyrion now goes further—power lies in the ability to shape belief.

If any one person has this power, it is Bran. “He is our memory, the keeper of all our stories,” says Tyrion. “The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines. Our triumphs, our defeats, our past. Who better to lead us into the future?” This is an echo of Orwell—“Who controls the past controls the future.”

Indeed, Bran shows he doesn’t just know about events, he can shape them. Earlier in the series he said he could never be Lord of Winterfell, because he was now the Three-Eyed Raven. He wasn’t really Bran anymore.

Now however, he accepts the crown. “Why do you think I came all this way?” he says. Though he claims he doesn’t want to be king (indeed, earlier in the series he says he doesn’t really “want” anything anymore), he overrules Grey Worm’s objection to making Tyrion Hand of the King. “I’m king,” he says in justification. Bran also shows more emotion and personality after becoming king, though not much. There’s not really “one” person ruling the realm through the power of story (of narrative). However, there’s clearly something with an agenda of its own.
Bran as king doesn't make any sense at all... except perhaps as predictive programming and rule by AI. The obvious king from a logical perspective was the Gendry the blacksmith, the bastard of Robert Baratheon and the most-legitimate claimant to the throne.

Source: Vox Popoli | 23 May 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

China rejects civic nationalism

If you want to know why all the smart long-term money is on China vis-a-vis its strategic struggle with the declining US global empire despite the latter's current military superiority, it is China's growing nationalism that is the strongest reason:
“Make China Great Again” is officially now the agenda of President Xi Jinping. Can “Make the Han Great Again” be far behind? In this interesting if somewhat academic work, Australian China scholar Carrico has examined the rising influence of traditionalist, racially based sentiments within modern China, particularly through study of the Han Clothing Movement (Hanfu yundong) and associated ideas.

At one level, the movement, established in 2001, is a curiosity, seemingly on the fringe of a society rapidly modernizing and engaging with the world. Han clothing is the symbol of a wider commitment to belief in restoration of a largely imaginary era of Han greatness and cultural purity and rejection of foreign-influenced money obsession of China today. But it has important elements in common with the officially promoted emphasis on Confucian principles, and on long held beliefs in the genetic division between Han and the rest.

Nor does this merely appeal to aging traditionalists and those who hanker after a return to traditional script and other pre-Communist aspects of the nation. The book begins with a quote from a Han Clothing Movement supporter, an IT professional based in that hub of Chinese modernism, Shenzhen:

“You can’t have nationalism without race (minzu zhuyi). That’s what we want to do: promote Han racial nationalism (Han minzu zhuyi) …. The multiracial nationalism we have now in China, with 56 races as part of a larger “Chinese race” (Zhongua minzu) is a big scam. It was imposed upon us by the Manchus, forcing us Han, the core of China from the beginning of time, into submission. All that this nationalism has done is to weaken China.  You can’t just destroy the distinction between civilization and barbarism (Hua yi zhi bian), incorporate a bunch of barbarians into our nation and then expect a strong nation. All this talk of “wealth and power” (fuqiang) is empty and meaningless without Han nationalism.”

The principal villains, from this Han perspective, are not the western powers and Japan and the one hundred years of humiliation, they are the Manchus. The dynasty may have been overthrown in 1911, but Manchu ideas, customs and (allegedly) Manchu money continue to prevail. The queue may have gone but the Manchu qipao and magua – both designed originally for horse-riders –are is still viewed as the standard Chinese traditional dress, as for example provided to delegates to the APEC Summit in China in 2015.

The Han movement’s intent is to remove all such foreign impurities, which has also to include inter-marriage with inferior foreign genes, a problem which has supposedly been enhanced by the one child policy.
While China is rejecting the Manchu legacy that was imposed upon its nation, the US is increasingly being forced to submit to its own Manchus, to such an extent that American history is being revised, American heroes are being vanished, and the 1st Amendment is under legal and political siege.

Source: Vox Popoli | 23 May 2019 | 5:25 am EDT

The wages of faithlessness

The Conservative Party in the UK is melting down due to its faithlessness and refusal to deliver the Brexit for which the people voted. They'll be punished tomorrow in the European elections that should never have taken place, and hopefully to a similar extent in the next general election.

Source: Vox Popoli | 22 May 2019 | 4:29 pm EDT

A Prediction For England

The late Lawrence Auster, an anglophile, used to call the UK “the dead isle.” But he stressed that his metaphor allows for a rebirth. Author Francis Meyrick summarizes his own seven predictions thusly:

In “The Coming European Civil War(s)”, we continue to steadily predict:

1) the inevitable -quiet- rise of armed paramilitary ‘neighborhood defense’ patriot-Nationalist forces, organised under a common ideological umbrella, but carefully dispersed in anti-infiltration local cell structures. We suggest that an organisation numbering in the mere hundreds, can fundamentally change the course of History.

2) The possibility of a [N.Z.] type mosque attack is growing, and won’t really surprise anybody.

3) the likelihood of vicious, depraved, MUSLIM (not ‘Asian’) child rape gang members (not ‘grooming gang misguided gentlemen’) getting summarily shot on British streets – much to the hysterical dismay of meckering so-called ‘Liberal’ (ha!) do-gooders.

4) the accelerating procurement of conventional weaponry from Eastern Europe, especially the Balkans

5) the likelihood that CNC computer-mill weapon manufacturing will become a more and more potent factor. We are not talking one-shot plastic death traps, but aluminum & polymer battle ready fire arms. For academic research reasons, I have built several myself, and hurled hundreds of rounds down range. The technology works, and potentially may contribute to the rearmament of Europe.

6) British Intelligence services will ramp up their already feverish surveillance of Social Media, and Patriots just as quickly will VPN their way around that.

7) Christians will increasingly split into two broad groupings. The first will be passive, abhor violence, and will be followers of what we may term “Jesus-meek-and-mild”. The second group of Christians however will be grimly realistic, based, and much more in favor of the exhortation found in Nehemiah 6:16

“Join your section, and pick up your trowel and sword.”

Source: PA | 22 May 2019 | 12:19 pm EDT

Trump Drops a Nuke

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, which store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services, in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people.  I further find that the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services, with potentially catastrophic effects, and thereby constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  This threat exists both in the case of individual acquisitions or uses of such technology or services, and when acquisitions or uses of such technologies are considered as a class.  Although maintaining an open investment climate in information and communications technology, and in the United States economy more generally, is important for the overall growth and prosperity of the United States, such openness must be balanced by the need to protect our country against critical national security threats.  To deal with this threat, additional steps are required to protect the security, integrity, and reliability of information and communications technology and services provided and used in the United States.  In light of these findings, I hereby declare a national emergency with respect to this threat.

I’m not going to pretend I fully understand all the implications of this. But this huge. Like a nuke-on-Beijing huge.

In short, the God-Emperor has declared war against all foreign intelligence interests using China as an attack vector. He’s pissed in the Deep State’s cereal. He’s told China we’re ready to start building our own electronics back on American soil. He’s told the tech industry, all of it, that business as usual is over. Cheap, but compromised, electronics won’t be available from China, excuse me, “adversaries” for purchase by the US.

This goes beyond trade war. This just placed the Chinese electronic industry in a full nelson.

It’s entirely possible “Made in China” will become a rarity in the USA.

There will be a period of adjustment. Some things will be more expensive.  How can they not, since they’ve been subsidized by the Chinese government? Companies will adapt or die. With any luck, manufacturing will come back to the US and her allies. The next generation of electronics will be more secure. A huge weak point will be shored up.

During the Peloponnesian War, Athens had outsourced her food production to foreign soil. The Spartans, not being idiots, ran a naval operation against the grain barges which led to the destruction of the superior Athenian navy and the capitulation of the Athenian state to Sparta.

President Trump seems to have taken that lesson to heart.


The post Trump Drops a Nuke appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 22 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Legend on breaking into comics

The Legend Chuck Dixon discusses how he broke into comics back in the day. For Unauthorized subscribers only.

With regards to the disappearance and reappearance of the Darkstreams and Owen's Livestreams, that was a consequence of the recent site update. A new category was added to which each existing video needed to be independently assigned, which took an amount of time. Everything should be operating correctly now.

Source: Vox Popoli | 22 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition (Luke 7:18-35)

Editor’s note:  The following comprises the fourth chapter, third part (C5), of The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition, by Charles R. Erdman (published 1936).  All spelling in the original.


5. Jesus Praising John (7:18-35)


18 And the disciples of John told him of all these things. 19 and John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to the Lord, saying, Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another? 20 And when the men were come unto him, they said, John the Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another? 21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And, he answered and said unto them, Go and tell John the things which ye have seen and heard; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good tidings preached to them. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.

24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to behold? a reed shaken with the wind? 25 But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. 26 But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written,

Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,

Who shall prepare thy way before thee.

28 I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there is none greater than John: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 And all the people when they heard, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him. 31 Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation, and to what are they like? 32 They are like unto children that sit in the marketplace, and call one to another; who say, We piped unto you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not weep. 33 For John the Baptist is came eating no bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a demon. 34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold, a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! 35 And wisdom is justified of all her children.


Due to the darkness of his dungeon or to the long delay of Jesus in fulfilling his cherished hopes, the mind of John the Baptist became clouded with doubt and he sent messengers to Jesus to ask whether or not he was really the Messiah whom John had declared him to be, “Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another?” John had not lost faith in God or in his promises; he believed that if Jesus were not the Messiah, the Messiah was still to come.

The Master lovingly reassured his great herald by sending back the report of the mighty works which he was accomplishing. John was already familiar with these acts but the recital must have dispelled his fears. Jesus sympathizes with us also in our hours of darkness, but his relief usually consists in reminding us of facts we already know concerning his power and love and presence and the truths of his written Word.

Jesus, however, does not praise us for our doubts; he sent to John a gentle and loving rebuke: “And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.” This benediction he pronounces upon all who in spite of darkness, imprisonment, delay, and mystery still confidently put their trust in him.

It was upon this occasion when John seems to have failed that Jesus pronounced upon him unparalleled praise, declaring that “among them that are born of women there is none greater than John.” He vindicated this deliberate judgment and thereby, showed wherein true greatness lies. He spoke first of the character of John and then of his career. He praised the man and then the messenger. He described his moral and then his official greatness.

His expression as to the character of John is voiced by two questions, to each of which a negative answer of course must be given: first, “What went ye out into the wilderness to behold? a reed shaken with the wind?” Surely true greatness does not lie in the moral cowardice which bends before every breeze; quite on the contrary, John was like a rock which no storm could move.

Then there was a second question: “What went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment?” Surely greatness does not lie along the line of self-gratification and indulgence. John endured all hardships and was oblivious to all human delights because he was so devoted to his divine task. Courage and consecration—these constitute prime factors in moral greatness.

The real greatness of John consisted, however, in his mission. Jesus declared that he was the messenger whom Malachi had predicted should prepare the way of the Lord. Other prophets had appeared and had predicted the coming of the Messiah. It was given to John not only to declare that the Christ would come, but to point to him and to say, “Behold, the Lamb of God! … this is the Son of God.” No greater dignity had ever been conferred upon a human soul; and no higher privilege can now be enjoyed than that of turning the thoughts and hearts of men to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. The present followers of Christ have a larger knowledge of him than was possessed by John. What their relative positions will be in the glory of the perfected Kingdom will depend upon the comparative faithfulness with which they serve their Master.

The praise of John is sharply contrasted with the condemnation of the Pharisees which Jesus now turned to express. He declared that these professed leaders were like children sitting in the market place, complaining one to another that they are willing to play neither at mock funerals nor at mock weddings, for when John came they refused to follow him because his aspect and message were too severe, and when Christ came they criticized him as being too genial, “a friend of publicans and sinners.” The trouble with the Pharisees was that they made an excuse of the demeanor of John and the conduct of Jesus for refusing what was essential in their mission and message. They were unwilling to repent at the command of John or to put their trust in Christ in response to his promise of grace and life. Thus some men are still refusing to accept the salvation which is offered because of something in Christianity which is purely external, while they fail to appreciate its true essence; but there were those in the days of Jesus, and there are those to-day who are willing to accept both the call to repentance and the offer of life, “And wisdom is justified of all her children.”

(Go back to previous chapter)

(Continue to next chapter)

The post The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition (Luke 7:18-35) appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 22 May 2019 | 10:03 am EDT

In defense of Christian nationalism

The anti-imperial omninationalist position is a very old one in Christian circles.

Let them ask, then, whether it is quite fitting for good men to rejoice in extended empire. For the iniquity of those with whom just wars are carried on favors the growth of a kingdom, which would certainly have been small if the peace and justice of neighbors had not by any wrong provoked the carrying on of war against them; and human affairs being thus more happy, all kingdoms would have been small, rejoicing in neighborly concord; and thus there would have been very many kingdoms of nations in the world, as there are very many houses of citizens in a city.

Therefore, to carry on war and extend a kingdom over wholly subdued nations seems to bad men to be felicity, to good men necessity. But because it would be worse that the injurious should rule over those who are more righteous, therefore even that is not unsuitably called felicity. But beyond doubt it is greater felicity to have a good neighbor at peace, than to conquer a bad one by making war. Your wishes are bad, when you desire that one whom you hate or fear should be in such a condition that you can conquer him.
- St. Augustine of Hippo

Source: Vox Popoli | 22 May 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

Eurocrats call openly for empire

They always intended the European Union to be the EUSSR:
The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) told CNN that proposals by European populist-patriots to reform the EU and devolve power from Brussels back to the nation-state would mean that the bloc “will die inside.”

“The world is developing into one not of nation states, but of empires. China is an empire. India is an empire. The US is an empire. We need to create a European Union that is capable of defending our interests,” Mr Verhofstadt stated during the interview, speaking to the leftist American news network in what was described as his “spacious” Brussels office.

Mr Verhofstadt, who is also the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, is an avid supporter of greater federalisation of the European Union.

During a Euronews Raw Politics panel last week, the former prime minister of Belgium compared a proposed United States of Europe to the United States of America, saying: “The United States of Europe is a way to organise a common action on the European level by recognising, by guaranteeing the autonomy of the member states.”

Other Eurocrats have also voiced support for a United States of Europe, including former president of the European Parliament and German socialist politician Martin Schulz who called for its formation by 2025.
Fortunately, nationalism is rising across the continent and the various European peoples have no interest in empires, which throughout European history have always been the primary source of bloodshed.

Source: Vox Popoli | 22 May 2019 | 5:03 am EDT

The false flags failed

So the Pentagon is taking credit for preventing Iran from following through on its nonexistent plans to attack the United States:
Washington’s peace-oriented threats towards Iran have paid off – at least according to Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who says that the Islamic Republic had to “put on hold” its violent plans thanks to US efforts.

While Iran has repeatedly denied allegations that they are responsible for recent tensions and said that they prefer diplomacy to threats, Shanahan on Tuesday was certain that Tehran’s dangerous behavior had only been curbed by the US’s proactive measures.

These peace-keeping gestures presumably include sending a navy strike group to Iran’s border, ratcheting up crippling sanctions and President Donald Trump’s amiable threat to end the country altogether.
Meanwhile, another 10,000 or so hostile foreigners invaded the southern border today. The Pentagon did nothing at all about that and had no comment about either the invasion or its inactivity.

Source: Vox Popoli | 21 May 2019 | 7:28 pm EDT

Warfare in Chivalrous Times (Part 2)

Editor’s note:  The following is extracted from Military Manners and Customs, by James Anson Farrer (published 1885).  It is offered here not for its semi-pacifist perspective, but as a useful corrective to the romanticized view of medieval warfare.  All spelling in the original.


It is indeed passing strange that Christianity, which could command so strict an observance of its ordinances as is implied in the transport of boats to catch fish for Lent, should have been powerless to place any check whatever on the ferocious militarism of the time; and the very little that was ever done by the Church to check or humanise warfare is an eternal reflection on the so-called conversion of Europe to Christianity. Nevertheless the Church, to do her justice, used what influence she possessed on the side of peace in a manner she has long since lost sight of; nor was the Papacy in its most distracted days ever so indifferent to the evils of war as the Protestant Church has been since, and is still. Clement VI succeeded in making peace between France and England, just as Alexander III averted a war between the two countries in 1161. Innocent VI tried to do the same; and Urban V returned from Rome to Avignon, hoping to effect the same good object. Gregory XI was keenly distressed at the failure of efforts similar to those of his predecessors. The Popes indeed endeavoured to stop wars, as they endeavoured to stop tournaments, or the use of the crossbow; but they were defeated by the intense barbarism of chivalry; nor can it be laid to the charge of the Church of Rome, as it can to that of the Church of the Reformation, that she ever folded her hands in despairful apathy before a custom she admitted to be evil. The cardinals and archbishops of those days were constantly engaged in pacific, nor always futile, embassies. And the prelates would frequently preach to either side arguments of peace: a fact that contrasts badly with the almost universal silence and impotence of the modern pulpit, either to stay a war or to mitigate its barbarities.

But it is true that they knew equally well how to play on the martial as on the pacific chord in their audiences; for the eloquence of an Archbishop of Toulouse turned sixty towns and castles to the interest and rights of the French king in his quarrel with England; and the preaching of prelates and lawyers in Picardy had a similar effect in other large towns. Nor were the English clergy slower than the French to assert the rights of their king and country, for Simon Tibald, Bishop of London, made several long and fine sermons to demonstrate (as always is demonstrated in such cases) that the King of France had acted most unjustly in renewing the war, and that his conduct was at total variance both with equity and reason.

But these appeals to the judgment of their congregations by the clergy are also a proof that in the fourteenth century the opinion of the people did not count for so little as is often supposed in the making of peace and war. Yet the power of the people in this respect was doubtless as insignificant as it still is in our own days: nothing being more remarkable, even in the free government of modern England, than the influence of the people in theory and their influence in fact on the most important question that regards their destinies.

Nor are the moral causes difficult to trace which in those times made wars break out so frequently and last so long, that those who now read of them can only marvel how civilisation ever emerged at all, even to the imperfect degree to which it is given to us to enjoy it. The love of adventure and the hope of fame were of course among the principal motives. The saying of Adam Smith, that the great secret of education is the direction of personal vanity to proper objects, contains the key to all advance that has ever been made in civilisation, and to every shortcoming. The savagery of the middle ages was due to the direction of personal vanity exclusively into military channels, so that the desire for distinction often displayed itself in forms of perfect absurdity, as in the case of the young English knights who went abroad with one eye veiled, binding themselves by a vow to their ladies neither to see with their eyes nor to reply to anything asked of them till they had signalised themselves by the performance of some wondrous deed in France. The gradual opening up in later days of other paths to distinction than that of arms has very much diminished the danger to the public peace involved in the worthless education of our ancestors.

Nor was the personal distinction of the warrior gained at any great risk of personal danger. The personal danger in war decreased in exact ratio with the rank of the combatant, and it was only the lower orders of the social hierarchy who unreservedly risked their lives. In case of defeat they had no ransom to offer for mercy, and appear almost habitually to have been slain without any. If it was a common thing for either side to settle before a battle the names of those on the other who should be admitted to ransom, it was no uncommon thing to determine, as the English did before Crecy, to give no quarter to the enemy at all. But as a rule the battle-field was of little more peril to the knight than the tournament; and though many perished when powerless to avert the long thin dagger, called the miséricorde, from the interstices of their armour or the vizor of their helmets, yet the striking fact in Froissart is the great number of battles, skirmishes, and sieges in which the same names occur, proving how seldom their bearers were wounded, disabled, or killed. This of course was due mainly to the marvellous defensive armour they wore, which justifies the wonder not merely how they fought but even how they moved. Whether encased in coats of mail, sewn upon or worn over the gambeson or thick undergarment of cloth or leather, or in plates of solid steel, at first worn over the mail and then instead of it, and often with the plastron or breastplate of forged iron beneath both hauberk and gambeson, they evidently had little to fear from arrow, sword, or lance, unless when they neglected to let down the vizor of the helmet, as Sir John Chandos did, when he met with his death from a lance wound in the eye (1370). Their chief danger lay in the hammering of battle-axes on their helmets, which stunned or wounded, but seldom killed them. But the foot soldiers and light cavalry, though generally well equipped, were less well protected by armour than the knights, the hauberk or coat of mail being allowed in France only to persons possessed of a certain estate; so that the knights were formidable less to one another than to those who by the conditions of the combat could not be so formidable to themselves.

The surcoat was also a defence to the knight, as indicating the ransom he could pay for his life. Otherwise it is impossible to account for his readiness to go into action with this long robe flowing over his plate of steel and all his other accoutrements. Had Sir John Chandos not been entangled in his long surcoat when he slipped, he might have lived to fight many another battle to the honour of English chivalry. Richness of armour served also the same purpose as the surcoat. At the battle of Nicopoli, when the flower of the French nobility met with so disastrous a defeat at the hands of the Turks, the lords of France were, says Froissart, so richly dressed out in their emblazoned surcoats as to look like little kings, and many for a time owed their lives to the extreme richness of their armour, which led the Saracens to suppose them greater lords than they could really boast to be. So again the elaborate gold necklaces worn by distinguished officers in the seventeenth century were probably rather symbols of the ransom their wearers could pay, than worn merely for ostentation and vanity. It was to carelessness on this score that the Scotch owed their great losses at the battle of Musselborough in 1548: for (to put the words of Patin in modern dress) their ‘vileness of port was the cause that so many of the great men and gentlemen were killed and so few saved. The outward show, the semblance and sign whereby a stranger might discern a villain from a gentleman, was not among them to be seen.’

War under these conditions chiefly affected the lives of the great by pleasantly relieving the monotony of peaceful days. In time of peace they had few occupations but hawking, hunting, and tilting, and during hostilities those amusements continued. Field sports, sometimes spoken of by their eulogists as the image of war, were not absent during its reality. Edward III hunted and fished daily during his campaign in France, having with him thirty falconers on horseback, sixty couples of staghounds, and as many greyhounds. And many of his nobles followed his example in taking their hawks and hounds across the Channel.

But the preceding causes of the frequency of war in the days of chivalry are quite insignificant when compared with that motive which nowadays mainly finds vent in the peaceful channels of commerce—namely, the common desire of gain. The desire for glory had far less to do with it than the desire of lucre; nor is anything from the beginning to the end of Froissart more conspicuously displayed than the merely mercenary motive for war. The ransom of prisoners or of towns, or even ransom for the slain, afforded a short and royal road to wealth, and was the chief incentive, as it was also the chief reward of bravery. The Chevalier Bayard made by ransoms in the course of his life a sum equal to 4,000l., which in those days must have been a fortune; and Sir Walter Manny in a single campaign enriched himself by 8,000l. in the same way. So that the story is perfectly credible of the old Scotch knight, who in a year of universal peace prayed, ‘Lord, turn the world upside down that gentlemen may make bread of it.’ Loot and rapine, the modern attractions of the brigand, were then in fact the main temptations of the knight or soldier; and the distinction between the latter and the brigand was far less than it had been in the pre-Christian period, or than it is in more modern times. Indeed the very word brigand meant, originally, merely a foot-soldier who fought in a brigade, in which sense it was used by Froissart; and it was only the constant addiction of the former to the occupations of the highwayman that lent to the word brigand its subsequent evil connotation.

But it was not merely the common soldier to whom the first question in a case of war was the profit to be gained by it; for men of the best families of the aristocracy were no less addicted to the land piracy which then constituted war, as is proved by such names as Calverly, Gournay, Albret, Hawkwood, and Guesclin. The noble who was a soldier in war often continued to fight as a robber after peace was made, nor thought it beneath him to make wretched villagers compound for their lives; and in spite of truces and treaties, pillage and ransom afforded his chief and often his sole source of livelihood. The story of Charles de Beaumont dying of regret for the ransom he had lost, because by mistake he had slain instead of capturing the Duke of Burgundy at the battle of Nancy, is a fair illustration of the dominion then exercised by the lowest mercenary feelings over the nobility of Europe.

This mercenary side of chivalrous warfare has been so lost sight of in the conventional descriptions of it, that it is worth while to bring into prominence how very little the cause of war really concerned those who took part in it, and how unfounded is the idea that men troubled to fight for the weak or the oppressed under fine impulses of chivalry, and not simply in any place or for any object that held out to them the prospect of gain. How otherwise is it possible to account for the conduct of the Black Prince, in fighting to restore Pedro the Cruel to the throne of Castile, from which he had been displaced in favour of Henry of Trastamare not merely by the arms of Du Guesclin and the French freebooters, but by the wishes and consent of the people? Any thought for the people concerned, or of sympathy for their liberation, as little entered into the mind of the Black Prince as if the question had concerned toads or rabbits. Provided it afforded an occasion for fighting, it mattered nothing that Pedro had ruled oppressively; that he had murdered, or at least was believed to have murdered, his wife, the sister of the reigning King of France: nor that he had even been condemned by the Pope as an enemy to the Christian Church. Yet before the battle of Navarette (1367), in which Henry was completely defeated, the Prince did not hesitate in his prayers for victory to assert that he was waging war solely in the interests of justice and reason; and it was for his success in this iniquitous exploit (a success which only awaited his departure from the country to be followed by a rising in favour of the monarch he had deposed) that the Prince won his chief title to fame; that London exhausted itself in shows, triumphs, and festivals in his honour; and that Germans, English, and Flemish with one accord entitled him ‘the mirror of knighthood.’ The Prince was only thirteen when he fought at Crecy, and he fought with courage: he was only ten years older when he won the battle of Poitiers, and he behaved with courtesy to the captive French king, from whom he looked for an extortionate ransom: but the extravagant eulogies commonly heaped upon him prove how little exalted in reality was the military ideal of his age. His sack of Limoges, famous among military atrocities, has already been spoken of; nor should it be forgotten, as another indication of his character, that when two messengers brought him a summons from the King of France to answer the appeal of the Gascons of Aquitaine, he actually imprisoned them, showing himself however in this superior to his nobles and barons, who actually advised capital punishment as the fittest salary to the envoys for their pains.

The Free Companies, or hordes of robbers, who ravaged Europe through all the period of chivalry and constituted the greatest social difficulty of the time, were simply formed of knights and men-at-arms, who, when a public war no longer justified them in robbing and murdering on behalf of the State, turned robbers and murderers on their own account. After the treaty of Bretigny had put a stop to hostilities between France and England (1360), 12,000 of these men, men of rank and family as well as needy adventurers, and under leaders of every nationality, resolved sooner than lay down their arms to march into Burgundy, there to relieve by the ransoms they might levy the poverty they could not otherwise avert. Many a war had no other justification than the liberation of one people from their outrages by turning them upon another. Thus Du Guesclin led his White Company into Spain on behalf of Henry the Bastard, less to avenge the cruelties of Pedro than to free France from the curse of her unemployed chivalry; and Henry the Bastard, when by such help he had wrested the kingdom of Castile from his brother Pedro, designed an invasion of Granada simply to divert from his own territories the allies who had placed him in possession of them. This was a constant source of war in those days, just as in our own the existence of large armies leads of necessity to wars for their employment; and even the Crusades derive some explanation from the operation of the motive indicated.

No historical microscope, indeed, will detect any difference between the Free Companies and the regular troops, since not only the latter merged into the former, but both were actuated by the sole pursuit of gain, and equally indifferent to ideas of honour or patriotism. The creed of both was summed up in the following regretful speech, attributed to Aymerigot Marcel, a great captain of the pillaging bands: ‘There is no pleasure in the world like that which men such as ourselves enjoyed. How happy were we when, riding out in search of adventures, we met a rich abbot, a merchant, or a string of mules, well laden with draperies, furs, or spices, from Montpellier, Beziers, and other places! All was our own, or ransomed according to our will. Every day we gained money, … we lived like kings, and when we went abroad the country trembled; everything was ours both in going and returning.’

In the days of chivalry, this desire of gain, however gotten, pervaded and vitiated all classes of men from the lowest to the highest. Charles IV of France, when his sister Isabella, queen of Edward II, fled to him, promised to help her with gold and silver, but secretly, lest it should bring him into war; and then when messengers from England came with gold and silver and jewels for himself and his ministers, both he and his council became in a short time as cold to the cause of Isabella as they had been warm, the king even going so far as to forbid any of his subjects under pain of banishment to help his sister in her projected return. And again, when Edward III was about to make war with France, was he not told that his allies were men who loved to gain wealth, and whom it was necessary to pay beforehand? And did he not find that a judicious distribution of florins was as effective in winning over to his interests a duke, a marquis, an archbishop, and the lords of Germany, as the poorer citizens of the towns of Flanders?

Money, therefore, or its equivalent, and not the title to the crown of France, was at the root of the wars waged abroad by the English under Edward III. The question of title simply served as pretext, covering the baser objects of the invasion. No historical fact is clearer, ignored though it has been in the popular histories of England, than that the unpopularity of his successor, Richard II, arose from his marriage with the daughter of the King of France, and from his desire for peace between the two kingdoms, of which the marriage was the proof and the security. When his wish for peace led to the formation of a war and a peace party among the English nobility, Froissart says: ‘The poorer knights and archers were of course for war, as their sole livelihood depended upon it. They had learnt idleness and looked to war as a means of support.’ In reference to the great peace conference held at Amiens in 1391, he observes: ‘Many persons will not readily believe what I am about to say, though it is strictly true, that the English are fonder of war than of peace. During the reign of Edward, of happy memory, and in the lifetime of his son the Prince of Wales, they made such grand conquests in France, and by their victories and ransoms of towns, castles, and men gained such wealth, that the poorest knights became rich; and those who were not gentlemen by birth, by gallantly hazarding themselves in these wars, were ennobled by their valour and worth. Those who came after them were desirous of following the same road…. Even the Duke of Gloucester, son of King Edward, inclined to the opinion of the commons, as did many other knights and squires who were desirous of war to enable them to support their state.’

No other country, indeed, pleased these English brigand knights so well as France for the purpose of military plunder. Hence the English who returned from the expedition to Castile complained bitterly that in the large towns where they expected to find everything, there was nothing but wines, lard, and empty coffers; but that it was quite otherwise in France, where they had often found in the cities taken in war such wealth and riches as astonished them; it was in a war with France therefore that it behoved them to hazard their lives, for it was very profitable, not in a war with Castile or Portugal, where there was nothing but poverty and loss to be suffered.

With this evidence from Froissart may be compared a passage from Philip de Commines, where he says, in speaking of Louis XI towards the end of the following century: ‘Our master was well aware that the nobility, clergy, and commons of England are always ready to enter upon a war with France, not only on account of their old title to its crown, but by the desire of gain, for it pleased God to permit their predecessors to win several memorable battles in this kingdom, and to remain in possession of Normandy and Guienne for the space of 350 years, … during which time they carried over enormous booty into England. Not only in plunder which they had taken in the several towns, but in the richness and quality of their prisoners, who were most of them great princes and lords, and paid them vast ransoms for their liberty; so that every Englishman afterwards hoped to do the same thereby and return home laden with spoils.’

Such, then, were the antecedents of the evil custom of war which has descended to our own time; and we shall have taken the first step to its abolition when we have thus learnt to read its real descent and place in history, and to reject as pure hallucination the idea that in the warfare of the past any more than of the present there was anything noble or great or glorious. That brave deeds were often done and noble conduct sometimes displayed in it must not blind us to its other and darker features. It was a warfare in which not even women and children were safe from the sword or lance of the knight or soldier; nor sacred buildings exempt from their rage. It was a warfare in which the occasional mercy shown had a mercenary taint; in which the defeated were only spared for their ransom; and in which prisoners were constantly liable to torture, mutilation, and fetters. Above all, it was a warfare in which men fought more from a sordid greed of gain than from any love or attachment to their king or country, so that all sense of loyalty would speedily evaporate if a king like Richard II chanced to wish to live peaceably with his neighbours.

It is not unimportant to have thus shown the warfare of chivalry in its true light. For it is the delusion with regard to it, which more than anything else keeps alive those romantic notions about war and warriors that are the most fatal hindrance to removing both from the face of the earth. We clearly drive militarism to its last defences, if we deprive it of every period and of almost every name on which it is wont to rely as entitling it to our admiration or esteem.

(Go back to Part 1)

The post Warfare in Chivalrous Times (Part 2) appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 21 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The four horsemen of bad science

A scientist addresses the irreproducibility problem presently plaguing what passes for professional "science":
I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research. How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations.

Yet many researchers persist in working in a way almost guaranteed not to deliver meaningful results. They ride with what I refer to as the four horsemen of the reproducibility apocalypse: publication bias, low statistical power, P-value hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known). My generation and the one before us have done little to rein these in.

In 1975, psychologist Anthony Greenwald noted that science is prejudiced against null hypotheses; we even refer to sound work supporting such conclusions as ‘failed experiments’. This prejudice leads to publication bias: researchers are less likely to write up studies that show no effect, and journal editors are less likely to accept them. Consequently, no one can learn from them, and researchers waste time and resources on repeating experiments, redundantly.
It's fascinating to see how science has not only demonstrated itself to be utterly useless as a device to adjudicate ethics, morals, or philosophy, but has actually corrupted itself in attempting to replace Christian ethics and moral philosophy.

Source: Vox Popoli | 21 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

On Abortion: An Open Letter to Michael S. Rozeff at

Mr. Rozeff:

Given the current uproar about Alabama’s abortion law, I was doing some additional research on the issue and found your blog post (again – I’m a long time reader of LRC and have read many of your pieces).

I think you may have failed to consider some aspects of the issue with your “sensible answer”, which you stated as:

“The question is when does a fetus gain the right to life. A sensible answer as well as one not at variance with actual abortions is that it gains this right when it is capable of surviving outside the womb, with assistance, of course.”

Your position is pretty similar to the “viability” argument made by the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”).  In Roe v. Wade the Court defined “viable” as: “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.”

Yes, I realize that both you and SCOTUS referred to other “assistance” and/or “artificial aid”. Let’s leave those issues aside for the moment.

I posit that both theories make no sense, logically, or scientifically, when examined in more depth (and neither does Walter Block’s evictionism theory, which is silly… unless she was raped, the mother invited the sperm into her body, and she was almost certainly aware that the express biological purpose of sex is… PREGNANCY and propagation of the species).

I don’t think I’m being unfair to your theory to represent it alternatively as:

“The entire dependency of the fetus on the mother (a human being) to continue living means that the fetus doesn’t have an independent right to live until it is free of that dependency on the human being carrying it”.

Let’s take that concept one step further.

Is a newborn baby entirely dependent on a human being to survive? Hmm… Let’s see what science has to say about it.

Some time ago, I ran a Google search for the terms: “human babies completely helpless at birth”. It returned 1,130,000 results. The first result stated:

“Human babies enter the world utterly dependent on caregivers to tend to their every need. Although newborns of other primate species rely on caregivers, too, human infants are especially helpless because their brains are comparatively underdeveloped. Indeed, by one estimation a human fetus would have to undergo a gestation period of 18 to 21 months instead of the usual nine to be born at a neurological and cognitive development stage comparable to that of a chimpanzee newborn.”

There are many other articles and studies that confirm those facts. They cannot be disputed.

Thus, the only practical difference between a newborn baby and an early stage fetus is that one is inside a human’s body and the other is outside the human’s body. BOTH are UTTERLY DEPENDENT on one (or more) human beings for their continued existence. If the baby is born and no one feeds it, changes it, clothes it, etc…, then that baby will die. Quickly. A baby being deprived of food can die in as soon as 3 days.

That’s probably quicker than the time between a woman deciding to have an abortion and the doctor actually performing the abortion.

Therefore, I posit that the entire concept of “viability” or the “right to live” being based on the idea that neither is applicable until a fetus can survive outside the human being carrying it is ridiculous. Even a two (2) year old toddler cannot survive very long without the care of at least one other human being.

Now, I’ll circle back to other “assistance” or “artificial aid”. Babies and small children cannot survive without human contact and care. And love. It appears that babies will quite literally die – merely from lack of affection – even if you feed and change them. See links:

And babies are better off growing up in prison with their mothers than being raised in an orphanage with little human contact other than feeding and changing.

And note this:

“… premature infants who were massaged for 15 minutes three times a day gained weight 47 percent faster than others who were left alone in their incubators – the usual practice in the past. The massaged infants also showed signs that the nervous system was maturing more rapidly: they became more active than the other babies and more responsive to such things as a face or a rattle.

”The massaged infants did not eat more than the others,” said Tiffany Field, a psychologist at the University of Miami Medical School, who did the study. ”Their weight gain seems due to the effect of contact on their metabolism.”

The infants who were massaged were discharged from the hospital an average of six days earlier than premature infants who were not massaged, saving about $3,000 each in hospital costs, Dr. Field said.

Eight months later, long after their discharge, the massaged infants did better than the infants who were not on tests of mental and motor ability and held on to their advantage in weight, according to a report by Dr. Field in The Journal of Pediatrics.”

Regardless of other “assistance” and “artificial aid”, human care and love are ABSOLUTELY necessary for babies to thrive and even for them to live.

Finally, as to the other “assistance” and “artificial aid”, that creates another conundrum: a moving timeline as advances in technology occur.

100s of years ago, ventilators did not exist. Thus, under Roe v. Wade, a fetus would be legally abortable much later in the pregnancy after ventilators were invented than before they were invented. Future technological advances could theoretically result in the development of devices which allow the development of fetuses outside the mother’s womb from conception and thereafter. If such devices were, in fact, developed, then it would become illegal to abort a fetus at ANY stage of pregnancy because any fetus would become “potentially” able to live outside the mother’s womb with artificial aid.

How do you think the pro-abortion people would feel about that? Under the current “viability” theory, they’re only some technological advances away from seeing abortion made completely illegal. Do you suppose those pro-abortion people will gladly accept the changes such advances may bring? Or will they look for another argument to justify killing their unborn children?

We both know the answer to that. Those people largely don’t care about whether the arguments for their position are valid. They insist on the position and make up arguments to justify it. Typically illogical arguments based on selfishness (“I don’t want to be pregnant, so let’s make me not pregnant. How can I justify that?”).

If babies (and even toddlers) are entirely dependent on human beings to continue existing and living, then arguing that a fetus has no right to live because it is entirely dependent on a human being is an illogical position to take. And being illogical, it creates a slippery slope. If being entirely dependent on a human being for your existence means you have no right to live, then it’s not difficult to argue that newborns have no right to live. Indeed, we’ve already seen some move towards “after-birth abortions”.

For example, from the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2011, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”:

“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual. Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her…

Those who are only capable of experiencing pain and pleasure (like perhaps fetuses and certainly newborns) have a right not to be inflicted pain. If, in addition to experiencing pain and pleasure, an individual is capable of making any aims (like actual human and non-human persons), she is harmed if she is prevented from accomplishing her aims by being killed. Now, hardly can a newborn be said to have aims, as the future we imagine for it is merely a projection of our minds on its potential lives. It might start having expectations and develop a minimum level of selfawareness at a very early stage, but not in the first days or few weeks after birth…

Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life. It might be claimed that someone is harmed because she is prevented from becoming a person capable of appreciating her own being alive. Thus, for example, one might say that we would have been harmed if our mothers had chosen to have an abortion while they were pregnant with us or if they had killed us as soon as we were born. However, whereas you can benefit someone by bringing her into existence (if her life is worth living), it makes no sense to say that someone is harmed by being prevented from becoming an actual person…

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred…

The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends, is overridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence. Actual people’s well-being could be threatened by the new (even if healthy) child requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of. Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible. In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions.”

I hope you will thoughtfully consider the above and, if you like, review the article I wrote (linked below) from which I pulled some of the ideas used in my email.

Legal and Logical Issues Related to Abortion

The post On Abortion: An Open Letter to Michael S. Rozeff at appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 21 May 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

The answer to post-Christian globalism

And to the Culture of Death is Christian nationalism:
While European nations languish with rapidly declining birthrates, Hungary stands out with rising marriage rates, falling abortions, and its highest birthrate in 20 years, Breitbart reports. Marriage is up by 43 percent since 2010, while divorce has dropped by 22.5 percent in the same period. This demographic turnaround has not been an accident, but the fruit of deliberate programs to promote marriage and the family while defending Hungary’s cultural identity and Christian roots.

“After we won the election in 2010 with a two-thirds majority, we decided to build a family-friendly country and to strengthen families raising children”, said Hungary’s Minister for the Family, Catalan Novak.

Standing firm in its position despite fierce opposition from the socialist left, the Orbán government enacted legislation resulting in “a comprehensive family-support system, a family-friendly tax system, a housing program, 800,000 new jobs, and many opportunities to create a balance between life and work”, Ms. Novak stated.

“We are living in times when fewer and fewer children are being born throughout Europe. People in the West are responding to this with immigration”, Prime Minister Orbán said at the State of the Nation address in Budapest in February.
Be fruitful and multiply or be replaced. Those are the choices. Choose wisely.

Source: Vox Popoli | 21 May 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

Which Historic Parallel With President Trump?

“And we are here as on a darkling plain.” I swing between the black pill and the white pill. Western countries are under genocidal alien rule. Poz chokes the civilized world. It’s not natural but that’s the reality of the early 21st century.

What’s Trump’s analogue in east-central European history? Let’s assume that to be a helpful question, one that shines a light on perhaps some parallel between one occupied nation then, and unfree nations now.

Americans are ruled by malicious transnational interests, as are Canadians, New Zealanders, English, Swedes, etc. Poland was under foreign occupation for from 1772 to 1918, an era knows as the Partitions during which her people were stateless under the rule of Russian, Prussian, and Austro-Hungarian empires and endured campaigns of forced russification and germanization under their respective occupant. Commonly, historic judgment blames the decadence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the height of its power in the latter half of the 18th century for the Partitions, along with the treason of nobles who sold out to the three partitioning empires. A parallel with present circumstances.

Is Trump our man? Great things happened over the past two years. Hungary’s bold national project is thriving. There is the Gilets Jaunes uprising in France and Matteo Salvini in Italy. At the very least, Trump can be given credit for this apparent US non-interference with Europe’s nationalist awakening. There are also signs that elements of the globalist cabal are losing their cool. And lest we forget, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord, averting the planned demographic collapse of Republican-majority regions of the country.

Yet immigration is unprecedented in volume, in direct opposition to Trump’s promises during his Presidential campaign. Jarvanka, MIGA, SOTU, WTF. Who is Trump’s historic parallel?

The man who seized destiny…

I was once convinced that Józef Piłsudski (1867 – 1935) is an analogue for Donald Trump. He was a man of extraordinary personal magnetism. A dreamer of the multi-ethnic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s past imperial glories with a resolve to revive that past. From the hostile perspective of the nationalist Right of his time, Piłsudski was an imperialist. From the hostile perspective of the revolutionary Left, he was a mere socialist and unacceptable due to his loathing of Soviet Communism. Yet he captured the hearts of his nation for an eternity. My grandmother told me that she remembers seeing people crying in the streets when news broke that he had died.

Piłsudski’s pivotal moment took place during the waning years of WWI. He commanded 25,000 Polish legionnaires under allegiance to Austria, under whose flag they scored key victories against Russia on the eastern front. Piłsudski was asked to transfer his allegiance from Austria to her ally Germany. This is from historian Norman Davies’ 1981 edition of God’s Playground:

The extent of the German success, and the imminent collapse of Russia, undermined Piłsudski’s original motives. He no more wanted a complete German victory than a Russian one. So on 21 July 1917 he refused to transfer his allegiance from Austria to Germany. Piłsudski’s interview with [Hans Hartwig] von Besseler, the German Governor of Warsaw, was entirely uncompromising:

PIŁSUDSKI: Your Excellency, do you imagine for one moment that you will win the nation’s confidence by hanging Polish insignia on each of the fingers of the hand which is throttling Poland? The Poles know the Prussian stranglehold for what it is.

VON BESSELER: Herr von Piłsudski, you know that in these stirring times Poland needs a leader of vision, and you are the only one whom I have been able to find. If you go along with us, we will give you everything — power, fame, money…

PIŁSUDSKI: Your Excellency does not understand me, and does not wish to understand. If I were to go along with you, Germany would gain one man, whilst I would lose a nation.

(If you just skimmed over the above, re-read von Besseler’s offer and Piłsudski’s reply. Idle thought: did globalists make Donald Trump a similar offer?)

Piłsudski was arrested and imprisoned in Germany for the remainder of WWI. But with the Central Powers’ collapse in 1918, Piłsudski stepped into the power-vacuum created by the chaotic departure of German garrisons from Warsaw and became the head of the newly independent Poland. Two years later, he routed the Soviet Union in a battle that became known as “The Miracle on the Vistula,” strangling Vladimir Lenin’s dream of marching his armies on to Berlin to ignite a Bolshevik Revolution in continental Europe. 

Piłsudski’s physiognomy: soldier, leader, visionary.


… or the man who wanted to work with the system?

But what if instead of that story of deliverance and destiny, Trump’s historic parallel is a different figure? Namely, margrave Aleksander Wielopolski (1803 – 1877). Margrave is a hereditary title of the Holy Roman Empire’s legacy. Wielopolski ran Poland’s civil administration within the Russian Empire. To forestall the bloodshed that would result from Poland’s growing independence movement, he ordered a conscription of Polish nationalists into twenty-year enlistments in the Tsar’s army. That decision sparked the January 1863 Uprising that lasted almost a year and a half, the very outcome Wielopolski wanted to avoid.

Wielopolski’s physiognomy: diplomat, thinker, conservative.


When following along with this song about the ill-fated 1863 Uprising, my translation below, replace “Margrave Wielopolski” with “President Trump” and “Tsar” with (((globalists))). Does the analogy work? It’s too soon to tell.

Margrave Wielopolski

Through Saxon square, Circassian hundreds gallop
And by the palace, a hundred campfires burn
How do you do it, Your Excellency
That you’re despised on every side?

Lord Margrave, you don’t think in lockstep
So with the Tsar you’re already suspect
Neither Petersburg nor Moscow will trust
A Pole who has his own plans

Lord Margrave still walks the tightrope
It’s dangerous to walk so high
After all, disaster won’t spare him
Because bad luck has he, who is born here

Your contempt, no one will forgive
We’re superstitious, fervent and teary
And you’re proud, you won’t deign wallow
In the national borscht with us

Why splash logic in our faces?
We did not read Hegel, sire
For us it’s Chopin, peas and cabbage
And from time to time an uprising

Lord Margrave still walks the tightrope
Abyss on the left, abyss on the right
If he avoids death at countryman’s hand
He’ll leave office in disgrace

All that work, Lord Margrave, and for nothing
In vain, the forced conscription
Things will be as they must – business as usual
To battle unarmed, backbreak and welts

Lord Margrave, you won’t change a nation
Here, being reasonable is seldom heard of
And the one thing we do truly well
Is lose most beautifully in the world

Lord Margrave still walks the tightrope
Awkwardly and with a wild boar’s posture
And when he falls, he’ll merely earn
A traitor’s shame instead of a monument

That you fell, that’s normal Polish fate
In the end, everyone falls off that rope
Only why did you forget, Wielopolski,
That the fall must look pretty?

Lyrics: Jerzy Czech; music/performance: Przemysław Gintrowski (c. 1980)

Back to Donald Trump and America

Trump’s physiognomy. Is it “businessman, playboy, neophyte” or is it “chess-player, wolf, king”?

America doesn’t get the Romantic spirit of beautiful loss, of futile sacrifice… right? Except for the death-scene of Sergeant Elias in Platoon. I’m not bringing this up flippantly. The Vietnam war was a beautiful loss. Civil Rights, in contrast, was a hideous loss and so has been every setback since then, from the negrification of Detroit through drag queen storytime at America’s public libraries. A national tragedy, once felt and understood as such, can cleanse the collective psyche of its hubris and forge a people’s fanatical will to never perish.


Source: PA | 21 May 2019 | 6:46 am EDT

Darkstream: the Game of Thrones finale

My take on the finale of A Game of Thrones relied somewhat upon this article on Scientific American explaining the way in which the shift from George Martin's sociological storytelling to Hollywood's psychological storytelling all but ruined the HBO show, but allowed for a moderately satisfying end to the saga nevertheless.
It’s easy to miss this fundamental narrative lane change and blame the series’ downturn on plain old bad writing by Benioff and Weiss—partly because they are genuinely bad at it. They didn’t just switch the explanatory dynamics of the story, they did a terrible job in the new lane as well.

One could, for example, easily focus on the abundance of plot holes. The dragons, for example seem to switch between comic-book indestructible to vulnerable from one episode to another. And it was hard to keep a straight face when Jaime Lannister ended up on a tiny cove along a vast, vast shoreline at the exact moment the villain Euron Greyjoy swam to that very point from his sinking ship to confront him. How convenient!

Similarly, character arcs meticulously drawn over many seasons seem to have been abandoned on a whim, turning the players into caricatures instead of personalities. Brienne of Tarth seems to exist for no reason, for example; Tyrion Lannister is all of a sudden turned into a murderous snitch while also losing all his intellectual gifts (he hasn’t made a single correct decision the entire season). And who knows what on earth is up with Bran Stark, except that he seems to be kept on as some sort of extra Stark?

But all that is surface stuff. Even if the new season had managed to minimize plot holes and avoid clunky coincidences and a clumsy Arya ex machina as a storytelling device, they couldn’t persist in the narrative lane of the past seasons. For Benioff and Weiss, trying to continue what Game of Thrones had set out to do, tell a compelling sociological story, would be like trying to eat melting ice cream with a fork. Hollywood mostly knows how to tell psychological, individualized stories. They do not have the right tools for sociological stories, nor do they even seem to understand the job.
This is why it's going to be challenging to make A Throne of Bones properly. But we'll find a way to do it, and the success of A Game of Thrones is why we'll have the opportunity.

Source: Vox Popoli | 21 May 2019 | 2:24 am EDT

What an astonishing surprise

Nearly one-third of immigrant children are unrelated to their "parents":
DNA tests of migrant children arrested at the US-Mexico border with their families have revealed the minors were not related to the adults accompanying them, the US media have reported. In a pilot program conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) DNA tests were being taken of immigrants who are suspected of arriving at America’s southern border with children who were not theirs.

“There’s been some concern about, ‘Are they stepfathers or adopted fathers?’” an official involved in the system's temporary rollout told Washington Examiner. “Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members.”
It's going to be tough on all the sanctimonious conservative virtue-signalers once they understand that they have been actively championing sex trafficking on a scale the world has never seen before. And so much for the "keeping families together" argument against repatriation.

Source: Vox Popoli | 20 May 2019 | 11:54 am EDT

John Wick IS Gen X

Author’s Note: This article is going to have lots of info about John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. If you have not seen the movie yet, I would recommend that you do so before reading. Beware of spoilers below.


This past Thursday, I teased this current article. In fact, I got more involved when writing the teaser than I had intended, but it worked out pretty well, I think. In that teaser, I mentioned:

I have another article idea percolating, but I have to actually watch the movie to see if it will work. I mean, I can do the article anyway, but I want to use the movie as the subtext for my points, and after watching the trailers for the movie, I think it is going to be fine, but I need the specifics.

NB: Second Warning. Spoilers Ahead.

Well, now I have watched the movie. And I was pretty much on point with my expectations, though there were a few things I had not foreseen, and to be honest, they make my overall observations even stronger. In fact, they align well with things I have observed in the real world, but had not yet noticed in the John Wick franchise.

On Thursday, I highlighted three major groups that make up the movies’ characters and how they might be related to the real world. I said those groups were:

  1. The Establishment. In the movies, these are the people of power. We are talking about Winston and Julius, and the members of the High Council. They are in charge, making and enforcing the rules. Primarily, these people represent Baby Boomers, though there are a few Gen X folks who seem to be coming into these positions, such as Gianna D’Antonio. We also see Millennials who are trying to “jump the gun” and gain these positions, though they are neither equipped, nor qualified, for such positions (Santino D’Antonio is an example).
  2. The Older/”Honorable” Assassins. From Marcus to John Wick himself, this group goes about their task, following the rules, doing what must be done. We see folks on both sides of our movie conflict from this group: Viggo Tarasov, Cassius, etc. They do not necessarily buck the system, but follow the rules. They are vicious and tenacious, but by following the rules, they demonstrate their sense of honor. It may have limits, but they do their best. A good example would be in the second film, where John and Cassius are trying to kill each other, but when they enter the Continental grounds, they stop the fight, as that is what should be done. They pick up the violence later, but they follow the rules. This group is composed of Baby Boomers (though there are few of these, as they are getting too old to do the job) and Gen Xers.
  3. The Younger/”Dishonorable” Assassins. In this group, we see the Millennial cohort, from Iosef Tarasov and Ms. Perkins in the first movie to Ares and Santino in the second. (Yes, I realize that the actor playing Santino is actually a Gen Xer, and presumably his character is, as well, but he acts just exactly like a freaking Millennial, so we are going to assign him to his chosen group). They do not follow the rules, but feel themselves entitled to whatever they want. They take, without consideration of consequences. This group is the one that tends to push the Older Assassins, and even The Establishment, to the edge of their devotion to rules.

Here is where we can add something new, especially regarding Group 1, The Establishment.

The Establishment is not monolithic. It is not simply The High Table and The Continental. In fact, we find out that there is one man who is over all of those entities. He is able to override “lower” decisions. In a sense, he is the emperor, and the whole world is his domain. Not only that, but the various sub-groups can be in tension with one another. So Winston and the NYC Continental can be declared “Desanctified” and no longer hold authority, meaning that killing can take place there. The High Table and Winston’s groups can even fight with one another, not to mention the fact that The Bowery King can also be punished, and turn on the recognized authorities. All of these sub groups are part of the Establishment, but they all have their own agendas.

Even more striking is that every single one of them is corrupt. Without exception. When John, hoping to find a way out of the contract on his life, finally meets the ultimate Overlord, he finds that the man is just as corrupt and petty as those subgroups that he oversees. There is no real concern for John, beyond what he can provide to The Establishment.

In a sense, The Establishment has come to exist only for the sake of existing. The powers that be work to maintain their hold on power. There is no real reason or purpose. Just power. And big spoiler here – I meant it when I said WITHOUT EXCEPTION. I don’t care if Winston has been friendly to John in the past; when push comes to shove, Winston, The Bowery King, The High Table, The Grand Poobah — all of them — strive to keep power, and John is seen as merely a means to an end. (OK, to be fair, I am projecting a bit on The Bowery King, but I think this description will fit him, as well. We will see in Chapter 4). *

If I would equate The Establishment to a real-world entity, it would be the Government/Corporation/Media conglomerate that tends to hold power. They do usually support one another, with money changing hands and back-scratching galore, while they have the occasional internal dispute. Those disputes are usually fairly minor, in the grand scheme of things, and they all work together to maintain hegemony. They are not afraid to banish or destroy a single subgroup, if that will (in their minds, at least) keep the whole organization in power. Meanwhile, the other groups all suffer in the long run.

Now, to shift focus a bit, one thing that John Wick 3 does not really have, compared to the first two films, is the third group – The Younger, “Dishonorable” Assassins. In this third film, that group is not really represented in a meaningful way. In a sense, the movie has moved past them, perhaps equating them as a failed product of a failed system. They are who and what they are because of the system, and John’s focus is no longer on the symptom. He is trying to target the disease, and  that resides in the system itself – The Establishment.

This is where I really failed to notice something important in my earlier analysis. At the end of John Wick, Chapter 2, I thought John was already gunning for The Establishment,  hence the quote he provides there:

“tell them… Tell them all… Whoever comes, whoever it is… I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.”

Well, in reality, he was simply in survival mode. He was not looking at the big picture. He was simply looking at killing whoever came after him, which is understandable. What we find in the third movie is that John still wanted to work within the system to solve his problems. It is this third installment that opens his eyes, and makes him realize that it is the system that is the enemy.

For many of us, we came to that realization long ago, in the real world. We know that, at least, there needs to be a shaking up of The Establishment. Forgive me for thinking John Wick had realized that by the end of part 2. I put thoughts into his head. Without a doubt, however, by the end of part 3, he has made the connection. No longer is he going to focus on individuals who come after him. Now he will be coming after the whole shebang. The final scene in Parabellum has the severely injured Bowery King asking the even more drastically hurt John Wick if he is pissed off yet. John’s concise reply, and the final word of the movie is, “yeah.” Suffice it to say, I am eagerly anticipating Chapter 4…

But to return to the second group listed above, the Older, Honorable Assassins, which would include John Wick himself, we get a good glimpse of this group in Chapter 3. The members of this group are often pitted against one another, with special focus on Zero and John, but both do their tasks with honor. John, and a few others, are coming to realize the system must be shaken and torn down, while others are not yet that far along in their thinking, but they do maintain honor. They do what they do because they think it is the right thing to do.

Not so much for The Establishment. As mentioned earlier, their only goal is to maintain power, and they do not care who gets hurt in the process.

OK, that is enough of the movie analysis. Let’s look more at how this fits our own real-life situation.

So I have argued that The Establishment represents the Powers-That-Be, including government, corporations, media, etc. That is the reality in our world today. We also see that the Establishment is not afraid to turn on its own subgroups, if that is what it takes to keep the whole edifice in place. So, by the end, The Bowery King is no longer aligned with the Establishment. We see that these rulers have cut off their nose to spite their face. They open the door for John Wick to bring down hell-fire on them, supported by a former Establishment component.

We see this today. We see members of our own Establishment turning on themselves. How friendly do you think James Comey and John Brennan are today? They are taking turns throwing each other under the proverbial bus.  That is just indicative of even larger rumblings that are taking place beneath the surface. Seriously, have you listened to the dementia-laden ramblings from the addled mind of Nancy Pelosi, and realize that she was chosen to be Speaker of the House? Why? Because she was seen as being most likely to help them keep the masses satiated with soma, thereby keeping power where these folks think it belongs.

John Wick represents the group that was happy to be left alone. He represents the group that tried to work within the system, making as few waves as possible. He represents the group that tried to follow the rules to the very end, just trying to survive.

John Wick also represents the group that simply would not be left alone. He represents the group that was thwarted at every turn. He represents the group that The Establishment simply would not allow to live in peace and survive.

John Wick has no choice but to bring The Establishment down.

John Wick is Gen X.


* It is possible that Winston has not really turned on John, but only wanted to seem to kill him, but knowing that he would survive. If so, we have two possibilities: 1. Winston also wants to bring down the High Table. Why he would do this is unclear, but we either have a guy who wants to become the new Grand Poobah, or someone who is very altruistic, especially regarding John; 2. Winston just wants to keep his place at the Continental, and knew he had to at least appear to be trying to kill John, but hoped that he would not be successful (we see something similar with the Chinese doctor at the beginning of the movie, when John had to shoot him twice so that it appeared that John had tried to kill him). So I leave this one open for now. My gut feeling is that Winston was trying to kill John, but I am not so convinced that I will close the door on it. We will have to wait for Chapter 4.

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Source: Men Of The West | 20 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

Warfare in Chivalrous Times (Part 1)

Editor’s note:  The following is extracted from Military Manners and Customs, by James Anson Farrer (published 1885).  It is offered here not for its semi-pacifist perspective, but as a useful corrective to the romanticized view of medieval warfare.  All spelling in the original.


Voi m’avete fatto tornare quest’arte del soldo quasi che nulla, ed io ne l’aveva presupposta la più eccellente e la più onorevole che si facesse.—Machiavelli, Dell’Arte della Guerra.


For an impartial estimate of the custom of war, the best preparation is a study of its leading features in the days of chivalry. Not only are most of our modern military usages directly descended from that period, though many claim a far remoter ancestry, and go back to the days of primitive savagery, but it is the tradition of chivalry that chiefly keeps alive the delusion that it is possible for warfare to be conducted with humanity, generosity, and courtesy.

Hallam, for instance, observes that in the wars of our Edward III, ‘the spirit of honourable as well as courteous behaviour towards the foe seems to have arrived at its highest point;’ and he refers especially to the custom of ransoming a prisoner on his parole, and to the generous treatment by the Black Prince of the French king taken captive at Poitiers.

In order to demonstrate the extreme exaggeration of this view, and to show that with war, as with the greater crimes, moral greatness is only connected accidentally, occasionally, or in romance, it is necessary to examine somewhat closely the warfare of the fourteenth century. Chivalry, according to certain historians, was during that century in process of decline; but the decline, if any, was rather in the nature of its forms and ceremonies than of its spirit or essence. It was the century of the most illustrious names in chivalry, in France of Bertrand du Guesclin, in England of the Black Prince, Sir Walter Manny, Sir John Chandos. It was the century of the battles of Crecy, Poitiers, Avray, and Navarette. It was the century of the Order of the Star in France, of the Garter and the Bath in England. Above all, it was the century of Froissart, who painted its manners and thoughts with a vividness so surpassing that to read his pages is almost to live in his time. So that the fourteenth century may fairly be taken as the period in which chivalry reached its highest perfection, and in which the military type of life and character attained its noblest development. It is the century of which we instinctively think when we would imagine a time when the rivalry of brave deeds gave birth to heroism, and the rivalry of military generosity invested even the cruelties of the battle-field with the halo of romance.

Imagination, however, plays us false here as elsewhere. Froissart himself, who described wars and battles and noble feats of arms with a candour equal to his honest delight in them, is alone proof enough that there seldom was a period when war was more ferociously conducted; when the laws in restraint of it, imposed by the voice of morality or religion, were less felt; when the motives for it as well as the incentives of personal courage, were more mercenary; or when the demoralisation consequent upon it were more widely or more fatally spread. The facts that follow in support of this conclusion come, in default of any other special reference, solely from that charming chronicler; allusions to other sources being only necessary to prove the existence of a common usage, and to leave no room for the theory that the cases gathered from Froissart were but occasional or accidental occurrences.

Even savage tribes, like the Zulus, spare the lives of women and children in war, and such a restraint is the first test of any warfare claiming to rank above the most barbarous. But in the fourteenth century such indiscriminate slaughter was the commonest episode of war: a fact not among the least surprising when we remember that the protection of women and the defenceless was one of the special clauses of the oath taken by knights at the ceremony of investiture. Five days after the death of Edward III, and actually during negotiations between France and England, the admirals of France and Spain, at the command of the King of France, sailed for Rye, which they burnt, slaying the inhabitants, whether men or women (1377); and it is a reasonable supposition that the same conduct marked their further progress of pillage and incendiarism in the Isle of Wight.

Nor were such acts only the incidents of maritime warfare, and perpetrated merely by the pirates of either country; for they occurred as frequently in hostilities by land, and in connection with the noblest names of Christendom. At Taillebourg, in Saintonge, the Earl of Derby had all the inhabitants put to the sword, in reprisals for the death of one knight, who during the assault on the town had met with his death. So it fared during the same campaign with three other places in Poitou, the chronicler giving us more details with reference to the fate of Poitiers. There were no knights in the town accustomed to war and capable of organising a defence; and it was only people of the poorer sort who offered a brave but futile resistance to the army. When the town was won, 700 people were massacred; ‘for the Earl’s people put every one to the sword, men, women, and little children.’ The Earl of Derby took no steps to stop the slaughter, but after many churches and houses had been destroyed, he forbade under pain of death any further incendiarism, apparently for no other reason than that he wished to stay there for ten or twelve days. A few years later, when the French had recovered Poitiers, the English knights, who had been there, marched away to Niort, which, on the refusal of the inhabitants to admit them, they forthwith attacked and speedily won, owing to the absence, as at Poitiers, of any knights to direct the defence. The male and female inhabitants alike were put to the sword. All these instances occur in one short chapter of Froissart.

Sometimes this promiscuous slaughter even raised its perpetrators to higher esteem. An episode of this sort occurred in the famous war between the citizens of Ghent and the Earl of Flanders. The Lord d’Enghien, with 4,000 cavaliers and a large force of foot, besieged the town of Grammont, which was attached to Ghent. About four o’clock one fine Sunday in June, the besiegers gained the town, and the slaughter, says Froissart, was very great of men, women, and children, for to none was mercy shown. Upwards of 500 of the inhabitants were killed; numbers of old people and women were burnt in their beds; and the town being then set on fire in more than two hundred places, was speedily reduced to ashes. ‘Fair son,’ said the Earl of Flanders, greeting his returning relative, ‘you are a valiant man, and if it please God will be a gallant knight, for you have made a handsome beginning.’ History, however, may rejoice that so promising a career was checked in the bud; for the young nobleman’s death in a skirmish within a few days made his first feat of arms also his last.

A similar story is connected with the memory of the fighting Bishop of Norwich, famous in those days. Having been authorised by Pope Urban VI to make war on Pope Clement VII, he went and besieged the town of Gravelines with shot and wild-fire, ‘till in the end our men entered the town with their Bishop, when they at his commandment destroying both man, woman, and child, left not one alive of all those who remained in the town.’ This was in 1383; and it will be observed how then, just as in later days, the excuse of superior orders served as an excuse for the perpetration of any crime, provided only it were committed in war.

It would be an error to suppose that these things were the mere accident of war, due to the passion of the moment, or to the feeble control of leaders over their men. In a very curious old French poem, called ‘The Vow of the Heron,’ indisputable evidence exists that the slaughter of women and children was not only often premeditated before the opening of hostilities, but that an oath binding a man to it was sometimes given and accepted as a token of commendable bravery. The poem in question deals with historical events and persons; and if not to be taken as literal history, undoubtedly keeps within the limits of probability, as proved by other testimony of the manners of those times. Robert, Count of Artois, exiled from France, comes to England, and bringing a roasted heron before Edward III and his court, prays them to make vows by it before eating of it (in accordance with the custom which attached to such oaths peculiar sanctity) concerning the deeds of war they would undertake against the kingdom of France. Edward III, the Earl of Salisbury, Sir Walter Manny, the Earl of Derby, Lord Suffolk, having all sworn according to the Count’s wishes, Sir Fauquemont, striving to outdo them in the profession of military zeal, swore that if the king would cross the sea to invade France, he would always appear in the van of his troops, carrying devastation and fire and slaughter, and sparing not altars, nor relations, nor friends, neither helpless women nor children.

Let the reader reflect that these things occurred in war, not of Christians against infidels, but of Christians with one another, and in a period commonly belauded for its advance in chivalrous humanity. The incidents related were of too common occurrence to call for special remark by their chronicler; but the peculiar atrocities of the famous sack of Limoges, by the express orders of Edward the Black Prince, were too much even for Froissart. It is best to let him tell his own story from the moment of the entry of the besieging force: ‘The Prince, the Duke of Lancaster, the Earls of Cambridge and of Pembroke, Sir Guiscard d’Angle, and the others, with their men, rushed into the town. You would then have seen pillagers active to do mischief, running through the town, slaying men, women, and children, according to their commands. It was a most melancholy business, for all ranks, ages, and sexes cast themselves on their knees before the Prince, begging for mercy; but he was so inflamed with passion and revenge that he listened to none, but all were put to the sword, wherever they could be found, even those who were not guilty; for, I know not why, the poor were not spared, who could not have had any part in this treason; but they suffered for it, and indeed more than those who had been the leaders of the treachery. There was not that day in the city of Limoges any heart so hardened or that had any sense of religion, who did not deeply bewail the unfortunate events passing before their eyes; for upwards of 3,000 men, women, and children were put to death that day. God have mercy on their souls, for they were veritable martyrs.’ Yet the man whose memory is stained with this crime, among the blackest in history, was he whom not his own country alone, but the Europe of his day, dubbed the Mirror of Knighthood; and those who blindly but (according to the still prevalent sophistry of militarism) rightly carried out his orders counted among them at least three of the noblest names in England.

The absence in chivalry of any feeling strong enough to save the lives of women from the sword of the warrior renders improbable à priori any keen scruples against making them prisoners of war. In France such scruples were stronger than in England. The soldiers of the Black Prince took captive the Duchess of Bourbon, mother to the King of France, and imprisoned her in the castle of Belleperche; whence she was afterwards conducted into Guyenne, and ransom exacted for her liberty. Similar facts mark the whole period from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. When the Crusaders under Richard I took Messina by assault, they carried off with their other lawful spoils all the noblest women belonging to the Sicilians. Edward I made prisoners of the queen of Robert Bruce and her ladies, and of the Countess of Buchan, who had crowned Bruce. The latter, he said, as she had not used the sword, should not perish by it; but for her lawless conspiracy she should be shut up in a chamber of stone and iron, circular as the crown she gave; and at Berwick she should be suspended in the open air, a spectacle to travellers, and for her everlasting infamy. Accordingly, a turret was fitted up for her with a strong cage of lattice-work, made of strong posts and bars of iron. In the fifteenth century, the English, in their war upon the French frontier, according to Monstrelet, ‘made many prisoners, and even carried off women, as well noble as not, whom they kept in close confinement until they ransomed themselves.’ The notion, therefore, that in those times any special courtesy was shown in war to the weaker sex must be received with extreme latitude. In 1194, Henry, Emperor of the Romans, having taken Salerno in Apulia by storm, actually put up for auction to his troops the wives and children of the chief citizens whom he had slain and exiled.

To pass to the treatment of prisoners of war, who, be it remembered, were only those who could promise ransom. The old historian Hoveden, speaking of a battle that was fought in 1173, says that there fell in it more than 10,000 Flemings; the remainder, who were taken captive, being thrown into prison in irons, and there starved to death. There is no evidence whether, or for how long, starving remained in vogue; but the iron chains were habitual, down even to the fourteenth century or later, among the Germans and Spaniards, the extortion of a heavier ransom being the motive for increasing the weight of chain and the general discomfort of prison. To let a prisoner go at large on parole for his ransom was an advance initiated by the French, that sprang naturally out of a state of hostilities in which most of the combatants became personally acquainted, but it was still conduct so exceptional that Froissart always speaks of it in terms of high eulogy. It was also an advance that often sprang out of the plainest necessities of the case, as when, after the battle of Poitiers, the English found their prisoners to be double their own numbers, wherefore in consideration of the risk they ran, they either received ransom from them on the spot or gave them their liberty in exchange for a promise to bring their ransom-money at Christmas to Bordeaux. Bertrand du Guesclin did the same by the English knights after their defeat at Pontvalin; and it was in reference to this last occasion that Froissart calls attention to the superiority of the French over the Germans in not shackling their prisoners with a view to a heavier ransom. ‘Curses on them for it,’ he exclaims of the Germans; ‘they are a people without pity or honour, and they ought never to receive quarter. The French entertained their prisoners well and ransomed them courteously, without being too hard upon them.’

Nevertheless we must suspect that this sort of courtesy was rather occasional than habitual. Of this same Du Guesclin, whom St.-Palaye calls the flower of chivalry, two stories are told that throw a different but curious light on the manners of those times. Having on one occasion defeated the English and taken many of them prisoners, Du Guesclin tried to observe the rules of distributive justice in the partition of the captives, but failing of success and unable to discover to whom the prisoners really belonged, he and Clisson (who were brothers in arms) in order to terminate the differences which the victorious French had with one another on the subject, conceived that the only fair solution was to have them all massacred, and accordingly more than 500 Englishmen were put to death in cold blood outside the gates of Bressière. So, on a second occasion, such a quantity of English were taken that ‘there was not, down to the commonest soldier, anyone who had not some prisoner of whom he counted to win a good ransom; but as there was a dispute between the French to know to whom each prisoner belonged, Du Guesclin, to put them all on a level, ordered them to put all to the sword, and only the English chiefs were spared.’ This ferocious warrior, the product and pride of his time, and the favourite hero of French chivalry, was hideous in face and figure; and if we think of him, with his round brown face, his flat nose, his green eyes, his crisp hair, his short neck, his broad shoulders, his long arms, short body, and badly made legs, we have evidently one of the worst specimens of that type which was for so long the curse of humanity, the warrior of mediæval Europe.

In respect, therefore, of Hallam’s statement that the courtesy of chivalry gradually introduced an indulgent treatment of prisoners which was almost unknown to antiquity, it is clear that it would be unwise to press too closely the comparison on this head between pre-Christian and post-Christian warfare. At the siege of Toledo, the Besque de Vilaines, a fellow-soldier of Du Guesclin in the Spanish war, in order to intimidate the besieged into a surrender, had as many gallows erected in front of the city as he had taken prisoners, and actually had more than two dozen hung by the executioner with that object. In the pages of Livy or Thucydides there may be many a bad deed recorded, but at least there is nothing worse than the deeds of the Besque de Vilaines, or of Du Guesclin, Constable of France, or of Edward the Black Prince of England.

There is another point besides the fettering of prisoners in which attention is drawn in Froissart to the exceptional barbarity of the Spaniards; and in no estimate of the military type of life in the palmiest days of chivalry would it be reasonable to omit all consideration of Spain. In the war between Castile and Portugal, the forces under Don John of Castile laid siege to Lisbon, closely investing it; and if any Portuguese were taken prisoners in a skirmish or otherwise, their eyes were put out, their legs, arms, or other members torn off, and in such plight they were sent back to Lisbon with the message that when the town was taken mercy would be shown to none. Such was the story told by the Portuguese ambassador to the Duke of Lancaster, and repeated on his authority by Froissart. For the credit of humanity, to say nothing of chivalry, one would fain disbelieve the tale altogether, or regard it as an episode that stood by itself and apart from the general practice of the age, since it is the only one of the kind related by Froissart. But the frequency as much as the rarity of a practice may account for the silence of an annalist, and there is little doubt that mutilation of the kind described was common in the chivalrous period, even if obsolete or nearly so in the fourteenth century. Blinding and castration were not only punishments inflicted for offences against the forest laws of the Norman kings of England, but were the common fate of captive enemies in arms throughout Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This, for instance, was the treatment of their Welsh prisoners by the Earls of Shrewsbury and Chester in 1098; as also of William III, King of Sicily, at the hands of Henry, Emperor of the Romans, in 1194. At the close of the twelfth century, in the war between Richard I of England and Philip Augustus of France, blinding was resorted to on both sides; for Hoveden expressly says: ‘The King of France had the eyes put out of many of the English king’s subjects whom he had made prisoners, and this provoked the King of England, unwilling as he was, to similar acts of impiety.’ And to take a last instance, in 1225, the Milanese having taken prisoners 500 Genoese crossbowmen, deprived each of them of an eye and an arm, in revenge for the injury done by their bows. So that it would be interesting, if possible, to learn from some historian the date and cause of the cessation of customs so profoundly barbarous and brutal.

By the rules, again, of chivalrous warfare all persons found within a town taken by assault were liable, and all the male adults likely, to be killed. Bertrand du Guesclin made it a maxim before attacking a place to threaten its commander with the alternative of surrender or death; a military custom perhaps as old as war itself, and one that has descended unchanged to our own times. Only by a timely surrender could the besieged cherish any hope for their lives or fortunes; and even the offer of a surrender might be refused, and an unconditional surrender be insisted upon instead. This is proved by the well-known story of Edward III at the siege of Calais, a story sometimes called in doubt merely for resting solely on the authority of Froissart. The governor of Calais offered to surrender the town and all things in it, in return for a simple permission to leave it in safety. Sir Walter Manny replied that the king was resolved that they should surrender themselves solely to his will, to ransom or kill them as he pleased. The Frenchman retorted that they would suffer the direst extremities rather than submit to the smallest boy in Calais faring worse than the rest. The king obstinately refused to change his mind, till Sir Walter Manny, pressing upon him the reluctance of his officers to garrison his castles with the prospect of reprisals which such an exercise of his war-right would render probable, Edward so far relented as to insist on having six citizens of Calais left to the absolute disposal of his revenge. When the six who offered themselves as a sacrifice for the rest of their fellow-citizens reached the presence of the king, the latter, though all the knights around him were moved even to tears, gave instant orders to behead them. All who were present pleaded for them, and above all, Sir Walter Manny, in accordance with his promise to the French governor; but it was all in vain, and but for the entreaties of the queen, those six citizens would have fallen victims to the savage wrath of the pitiless Edward.

Two facts support the probable truth of the above narrative from Froissart. In the first place, it is in perfect keeping with the conduct of the same warrior at the taking of Caen. When the king heard what mischief the inhabitants had inflicted on his army by their vigorous defence, he gave orders that all the rest of the inhabitants should be slain and the town burnt; and had it not been for the remonstrances of Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, there is little reason to doubt but that he would thus have glutted, as he craved to do, the intense native savagery of his soul. In the second place, the story is in perfect keeping with the common war-rule of that and later times, by virtue of which a conqueror might always avail himself of the distress of his enemy to insist upon a surrender at discretion, which of course was equivalent to a surrender to death or anything else.

How commonly death was inflicted in such cases may be shown from some narratives of capitulations given by Monstrelet. When Meaux surrendered to Henry V, six of the defenders were reserved by name to be delivered up to justice (such was the common expression), and four were shortly after beheaded at Paris. When Meulan surrendered to the regent, the Duke of Bedford, numbers were specially excepted from those to whom the Duke granted their lives, ‘to remain at the disposal of the lord regent.’ When some French soldiers having taken refuge in a fort were so closely besieged by the Earl Marshal of England as to be obliged to surrender at discretion, many of them were hanged. When the garrison of Guise capitulated to Sir John de Luxembourg, a general pardon was granted to all, except to certain who were to be delivered up to justice. When the same captain, with about one thousand men, besieged the castle of Guetron, wherein were some sixty or eighty Frenchmen, the latter proposed to surrender on condition of the safety of their lives and fortunes; ‘they were told they must surrender at discretion. In the end, however, it was agreed to by the governor that from four to six of his men should be spared by Sir John. When this agreement had been settled and pledges given for its performance, the governor re-entered the castle, and was careful not to tell his companions the whole that had passed at the conference, giving them to understand in general that they were to march away in safety; but when the castle was surrendered all within it were made prisoners. On the morrow, by the orders of Sir John de Luxembourg, they were all strangled and hung on trees hard by, except the four or six before mentioned—one of their companions serving for the executioner.’ One more of these black acts, so common among the warriors of chivalry, and this point perhaps will be accepted as proved. The French had gained possession of the castle of Rouen, but after twelve days were obliged to surrender at discretion to the English; ‘they were all made prisoners, and put under a good guard; and shortly after, one hundred and fifty were beheaded at Rouen.’

Let us pass next from the animate to the inanimate world as affected by warfare. The setting on fire of Grammont in more than two hundred places is a fair sample of the normal use of arson as a military weapon in the chivalrous period. To burn an undefended town or village was accounted no meanness; and was as frequent as the destruction of crops, fruit trees, or other sources of human subsistence. The custom of tearing up vines or fruit trees contrasts strongly with the command of Xerxes to his forces to spare the groves of trees upon their march; and any reader of ancient history will acknowledge the vast deterioration from the pagan laws of war which every page of the history of Christian chivalry reveals and exposes.

But little as was the forbearance displayed in war towards defenceless women and children, or to the crops and houses that gave them food and shelter, it might perhaps have been expected that, at a time when no serious dissent had come to divide Christianity, and when the defence of religion and religious ceremonies were among the professed duties of knighthood, churches and sacred buildings should have enjoyed especial immunity from the ravages of war. Even in pagan warfare the temples of the enemy as a rule were spared; such an act as the destruction of the sacred edifices of the Marsi by the Romans under Germanicus being contrary to the better traditions of Roman military precedent.

Permissible as it was by the rules of war, says Polybius, to destroy an enemy’s garrisons, cities, or crops, or anything else by which his power might be weakened, it was the part of mere rage and madness to destroy such things as their statues or temples, by which no benefit or injury accrued to one side or the other; nor are allusions to violations of this rule numerous in pre-Christian warfare. The practice of the Romans and Macedonians to meet peaceably together in time of war on the island of Delos, on account of its sanctity as the reputed birthplace of Apollo, has no parallel in the history of war among the nations of Christendom. The most that can be said for the fourteenth century in this respect is that slightly stronger scruples protected churches and monasteries than the lives of women and children. This is implied in Froissart’s account of the storming of Guerrande: ‘Men, women, and children were put to the sword, and fine churches sacrilegiously burnt; at which the Lord Lewis was so much enraged, that he immediately ordered twenty-four of the most active to be hanged on the spot.’

But the slightest embitterment of feeling removed all scruples in favour of sacred buildings. Richard II, having with his army crossed the Tweed, took up his quarters in the beautiful abbey of Melrose; after which the monastery, though spared in all previous wars with Scotland, was burnt, because the English had determined, says Froissart, to ruin everything in Scotland before returning home, in revenge for the recent alliance entered into by that country with France. The abbey of Dunfermline, where the Scotch kings used to be buried, was also burnt in the same campaign; and so it fared with all other parts of Scotland that the English overran; for they ‘spared neither monasteries nor churches, but put all to fire and flame.’

Neither did any greater degree of chivalry display itself in the matter of the modes and weapons of warfare. Although reason can urge no valid objection against the means of destruction resorted to by hostile forces, whether poisoned arrows, explosive bullets, or dynamite, yet certain things have been generally excluded from the category of fair military practices, as for example the poisoning of an enemy’s water. But the warriors of the fourteenth century, even if they stand acquitted of poisoning rivers and wells, had no scruples about poisoning the air: which perhaps is nearly equivalent. The great engines they called Sows or Muttons, like that one, 120 feet wide and 40 feet long, from which Philip von Artefeld and the men of Ghent cast heavy stones, beams of wood, or bars of hot copper into Oudenarde, must have made life inside such a place unpleasant enough; but worse things could be injected than copper bars or missiles of wood. The Duke of Normandy, besieging the English garrison at Thin-l’Evêque, had dead horses and other carrion flung into the castle, to poison the garrison by the smell; and since the air was hot as in midsummer, it is small wonder that the dictates of reason soon triumphed over the spirit of resistance. And at the siege of Grave the chivalry of Brabant made a similar use of carrion to empoison the garrison into a surrender.

Even in weapons different degrees of barbarity are clearly discernible, according as they are intended to effect a disabling wound, or a wound that will cause needless laceration and pain by the difficulty of their removal. A barbed arrow or spear betokens of course the latter object, and it is worth visiting the multi-barbed weapons in Kensington Museum from different parts of the world, to learn to what lengths military ingenuity may go in this direction. The spear heads of the Crusaders were barbed; and so were the arrows used at Crecy and elsewhere, as may be seen on reference to the manuscript pictures, the object being to make it impossible to extract them without laceration of the flesh. The sarbacane or long hollow tube was in use for shooting poisoned arrows at the enemy; and pictures remain of the vials of combustibles that were often attached to the end of arrows and lances.

The above facts clearly show the manner and spirit with which our ancestors waged war in the days of what Hallam calls chivalrous virtue: one of the most stupendous historical impostures that has ever become an accepted article of popular belief. The military usages of the Greeks and Romans were mild and polished, compared to the immeasurable savagery which marked those of the Christians of Froissart’s day. As for the redeeming features, the rare generosity or courtesy to a foe, they might be cited in almost equal abundance from the warfare of the Red Indians; but what sheds a peculiar stain on that of the Chevaliers is the ostentatious connection of religion with the atrocities of those blood-seeking marauders. The Church by a peculiar religious service blessed and sanctified both the knight and his sword; and the most solemn rite of the Christian faith was profaned to the level of a preliminary of battle. At Easter and Christmas, the great religious festivals of a professedly peace-loving worship, the Psalm that was deemed most appropriate to be sung in the chapels of the Pope and the King of France was that beginning, ‘Benedictus Dominus Deus meus, qui docet manus meas ad bellum et digitos meos ad prœlia.’

It was a curious feature of this religion of war that, when Edward III’s forces invaded France, so strict was the superstition that led them to observe the fast of Lent, that among other things conveyed into the country were vessels and boats of leather wherewith to obtain supplies of fish from the lakes and ponds of the enemy.

(Continue to Part 2)

The post Warfare in Chivalrous Times (Part 1) appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 20 May 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

Then they came for Thomas Jefferson

And Andrew Jackson:
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg fully supports erasing the names of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from titles of prestigious annual political dinners around the country, due to their slave-owning history.

The Indiana politician shared his view on The Hugh Hewitt Show Friday after the radio host asked if Jefferson-Jackson dinners be renamed everywhere because both were holders of slaves.

'Yeah, we're doing that in Indiana. I think it's the right thing to do,' Buttigieg said ahead of his June 15 appearance at the event that is now named the Blue Commonwealth Dinner in his state.... He said scrubbing the names of the 1801-1809 President Jefferson and 1829-1837 7th President Jackson from event titles was not an attempt to erase history.

However he regards the move as a way to not only acknowledge the damage of the enslavement of people but to make it clear racism still thrives in America.

'The real reason I think there is a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and present that we're finding in a million different ways that racism isn't some curiosity out of the past that we're embarrassed about but moved on from,' he said. 'It's alive. It's well. It's hurting people and it's one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that.'
It is always Year Zero for the antichrists, whether they call themselves montagnards, liberals, socialists, progressives, or SJWs. And yet, the Fox News crowd loves this guy:
Pete Buttigieg received a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of his Fox News town hall in Claremont, New Hampshire Sunday night.

Source: Vox Popoli | 20 May 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

No one knows anything

Especially the so-called experts:
The idea for the most important study ever conducted of expert predictions was sparked in 1984, at a meeting of a National Research Council committee on American-Soviet relations. The psychologist and political scientist Philip E. Tetlock was 30 years old, by far the most junior committee member. He listened intently as other members discussed Soviet intentions and American policies. Renowned experts delivered authoritative predictions, and Tetlock was struck by how many perfectly contradicted one another and were impervious to counterarguments.

Tetlock decided to put expert political and economic predictions to the test. With the Cold War in full swing, he collected forecasts from 284 highly educated experts who averaged more than 12 years of experience in their specialties. To ensure that the predictions were concrete, experts had to give specific probabilities of future events. Tetlock had to collect enough predictions that he could separate lucky and unlucky streaks from true skill. The project lasted 20 years, and comprised 82,361 probability estimates about the future.

The result: The experts were, by and large, horrific forecasters. Their areas of specialty, years of experience, and (for some) access to classified information made no difference. They were bad at short-term forecasting and bad at long-term forecasting. They were bad at forecasting in every domain. When experts declared that future events were impossible or nearly impossible, 15 percent of them occurred nonetheless. When they declared events to be a sure thing, more than one-quarter of them failed to transpire. As the Danish proverb warns, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”
As it happens, I've occasionally taken part in the project as one of the forecasters, although I haven't even logged in to the system for years. The one time I was moderately active, my team was in second place, although that was largely thanks to one guy who was easily the best in our group. If I recall correctly, I was better than the average forecaster, but not in the top ten percent. I still get emails from time to time asking me about the prospects for a Russian attack on Estonia before September and so forth, but I lost interest in it pretty quickly.

Anyhow, the article is right. Everyone is wrong about the future and most people are actually much more reliable as negative predictors, which I interpret as meaning that events proceed in a non-linear manner that is contrary to normal human expectations. That's my best guess as to why the future is so hard for everyone to predict, or even anticipate.

Source: Vox Popoli | 20 May 2019 | 5:27 am EDT

Barcelona Life Episode 6

The new episode of Barcelona Life is now available on Unauthorized.TV. If you thought the Roast Beast was something else, you'll definitely want to check out Jamon Jamon!

Source: Vox Popoli | 19 May 2019 | 2:45 pm EDT

Sermon: Thank God, Even In Dark Days!

Editor’s Note:  This sermon was originally preached during World War II by Walter A. Maier.


“He kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God.”

—Daniel 6:10

Back in November, 1930, when unemployment was high, farm prices low, bread lines long, shelters for the homeless full, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism sent a petition to the President asking that the annual Thanksgiving proclamation be omitted. How, these deniers of truth argued, can anyone give thanks with so much suffering and want throughout the land? How can people praise a God who permits such widespread anguish?

The A.A.A.A. petition has not been repeated this year, for the present-day evidences of outward prosperity are many and striking. From coast to coast Thanksgiving orators have called attention to America’s unparalleled blessing even in war time; and today many have applied the Psalmist’s words, “He hath not dealt so with any nation’ to our unequaled prosperity. Thanks be to God! ours is the greatest and, in point of habitable, useful territory, the largest country in the world. We have immeasurable natural resources hidden in treasure houses beneath our soil, spreading in almost unlimited extent over its surface in forests, fertile farmlands, bounteous orchards. We now have more gold and silver than the rest of the world. While diseases ravaged large areas in Europe, this country has escaped serious epidemics. Eleven thousand were destroyed by a single typhoon in India, but no such disaster has swept through our States. Millions in China and Greece hover on the very edge of starvation; yet the past year, despite restriction and rationing, has not deprived our people of necessary and wholesome food. We have had bounteous harvests.

Even in war’s afflictions God has been good to us. No enemy troops have landed on our shores. No enemy planes have bombed our cities. No enemy invasion has even threatened our borders. True, we have blackouts, but only for practice. With all our casualty lists, we have suffered less than any other country actively engaged in the war.

Add to these material blessings the liberties that are ours- We have a democratic government, while other peoples are crushed beneath the heel of tyranny. Freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of education all these, though now necessarily restricted, are still ours in principle, while other nations are regimented by destructive dictatorships. Above all, we still have religious freedom, the personal privilege of worshiping the Almighty according to His Word without state direction. No wonder, with all these material and spiritual advantages, the President of the United States this year has asked for two days of prayer to God instead of one! Yet despite these reasons for gratitude, many among you are seized with bitterness because of financial reverses, family losses, personal afflictions. You read in the newspapers that a New York department store records a profit five times larger than last year’s; that a fur store advertises, “We have sold more mink coats this year than in any previous year,” and you know that you will never have even a small piece of mink in your home but must be satisfied with enough fuel and food to keep your family warm and properly fed.

You hear of happy Thanksgiving reunions, when soldiers on furlough sit around the holiday table; yet some of you soldiers and civilians are far from your families today, downhearted, inwardly distressed; and some of you parents know that you will never see your sons again. They lie buried at Bataan, in North Africa, on the Solomons, or even un- buried in the sea, beneath Alaskan snows, or in a New Guinea jungle. Again, Thanksgiving finds many of you in hospitals, on sickbeds, or in a house divided against itself, with growing fear concerning the things that are to come. Crepe may hang on your door; tomorrow you may stand at the cemetery to pay the tribute of your love to a departed one. Every time you hear the word “thanksgiving,” a feeling of resentment may well up within you. Now, I would speak to you, the lonely, distressed, spiritually shaken, destitute, bereaved but also to you, the satisfied, secure, socially prominent, financially firm with larger incomes than you have ever before received and the heaviest prosperity you have ever enjoyed. To all of you I say in the name of Jesus Christ: Take as your example heroic Daniel, of whom it is written in our text (Daniel, chapter six, verse ten), “He kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God.”

Heart-shaking sorrow must have gripped Daniel at the time to which these words refer. He was in exile in Babylon, far from his beloved Judah and Jerusalem, a stranger in a strange, hostile nation. Many of you know the pangs of that loneliness right here in your homeland, separated as you are today from your husband or wife, your parents or children. Keep in- mind, however, that Daniel lived among a pagan and perverted people!

Besides, many personal enemies surrounded him. By maintaining strict allegiance to the Lord, he who had come as a captive slave had risen to a high position in the Persian kingdom; and the greater his achievement, the more numerous the jealous opponents who sought to dis- credit him before King Darius. Many of you have like- wise suffered from slander and envy. You know by ex- perience the indescribable agony caused by lying, deceitful individuals who smile when they face you, but who loose foul, slanderous tongues when they leave you.

Yet few, if any, I am sure, have ever felt the brunt of an attack as steady, evil, and systematic as this assault directed against that young Israelite when, as the verses preceding our text declare, “all the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counselors, and the captains . . . sought to find occasion against Daniel”

Daniel’s heaviest burden, however, was imposed by Darius* decree, demanding that all people in his realm pray to him, the king. This meant that, if Daniel continued to kneel before the true God, he would be thrown to hungry lions. Can you imagine how that weighted his heart and mind? He loved his Lord and had consistently prayed to Him; but to continue this loyalty meant public disgrace, the sacrifice of his high office, the loss of any influence he might have wielded in restoring his people to their homeland, and above all, death in the jaws of ravenous beasts. No hope could be held that the royal edict would be changed, for it was officially sealed and signed. Such laws of the Medes and Persians were un- alterable. Therefore Daniel had to obey either God or man, do or die. It takes much less than this to make people renounce their faith today. None of you except some of our missionaries has ever been placed before the danger of giving up your life for your religion, but many of you have denied Christ under the slightest pres- sure. You thought that it would cost you business or popular favor to remain loyal and the price was too high to pay. It meant foregoing sinful pleasure, andyou were unprepared to make such sacrifice. It required breaking off destructive friendships, and you did not love the Savior enough for that. Then, when adversities swirled down on you, unfaithful and disloyal, you screamed and shook your fists at God.

What did Daniel do? Knowing that every movement of his was being watched by his enemies, he did not swerve even slightly from his daily prayer habits. He went, as was his custom, before the open window, where official spies could easily see him. As our text tells us, “He kneeled down upon his knees,” not in a single hurried gesture, but “three times a day and prayed.” And now comes the climax although his public career, his reputation, his happiness, his very life were at stake, he “gave thanks before his God.” What magnificent courage! And how gloriously it was rewarded by the Lord!

You know the rest of the story. His enemies stealthily watched his house, found him on his knees worshiping God, accused him at the royal court, and insisted that Darius sentence him to death. Unwillingly the monarch obeyed, and before the day closed, Daniel was cast into the lions’ den. Yet, instead of being torn to pieces by the bloodthirsty beasts, he was miraculously protected. An angel shut the lions’ mouths. The Lord’s servant was rescued and returned to his position. His deliverance provoked another decree, directing men throughout the kingdom to bow before Jehovah, since, as King Darius declared, “He is the living God and steadfast forever” What a glorious Thanksgiving* Day that was for Daniel!


What a blessed Thanksgiving Day this can be for you if with all your heart you follow Daniel by turning to the Almighty in Christ and, despite war’s sorrows or personal hardships, thank Him for His marvelous mercies! No matter how hard the past has been, how uncertain the future, if you have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, the twenty-four hours of Thanksgiving Day will not be long enough to express your gratitude for His mercy in redeeming you from sin and its sentence of eternal death. Can you say and believe sincerely, “Jesus died for me”? Then thank God without ceasing for the greatest gift even His love can give you this assurance of your salvation! What if you have financial problems? Through the Redeemer heaven is yours. Are you born again into a new, Christ-centered life? Then join the Psalmist in declaring, “O give thanks unto the Lord, -for He is good, because His mercy endureth forever!” What if you are seized by worry and fears concerning your Christian son in Tunisia or the South Sea Islands? Praise the Almighty that he is under divine protection, that nothing can happen to him except by Heaven’s good and gracious will. Do you own a Bible, the errorless Word of redemption, “which is able to build you up”? Thank God for this sacred truth which can direct you safely in every dark hour, along each uncharted path! Even if you have been guilty of many and serious sins, read the promises of Sacred Scripture to learn, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shatt be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” all through the complete, assured grace of the Savior who gave Himself for you! Do you know the power of prayer uttered in Jesus’ name, accompanied by the confession of all your sins, spoken with grateful acknowledgment of divine mercies? Then, before tins day closes, kneel, as Daniel did, before God to glorify Him with all your heart and soul for this privilege of communion with Him. What if doubt of divine goodness tries to invade your heart? Rejoice because you have Christ’s promise, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”! That pledge never fails.

Are you tempted to refuse thanking God since your happiness has been small? When the Plymouth Pilgrims observed their first Thanksgiving, they had harvested the yield of only twenty acres of corn, six acres of barley and peas. Their world was but a few square miles surrounded by the perils of pathless wilderness, yet they set aside a special day to praise their Lord. How much more you have for which to sing your gratitude to the heavenly Father! Count your blessings, one by one, and believe that the almighty Creator and Sustainer, with whom “nothing shall be impossible” can, if it be for your eternal good, multiply your earthly benedictions overnight.

Do not think that your voice must be raised in lament instead of praise because you have suffered repeated afflictions! If you have Christ as your Savior, you know the secret of human suffering, for at the cross you understand that the Lord of love, far from punishing His children in His wrath, only corrects them in His mercy. What seems a crushing blow may. in reality, through Jesus, prove a marvelous, uplifting power. The other day I read of a shipwrecked man who managed to reach an uninhabited island. There, to protect himself against the elements and to safeguard the few possessions he had salvaged, he painstakingly built a little hut from which he constantly and prayerfully scanned the horizon for the approach of a ship. Returning one evening after a search for food, he was terrified to find the hut completely enveloped in flames. What a crushing disaster that seemed! Yet by divine mercy this hard affliction was changed into a mighty advantage. Early on the following morning he awoke to find a ship anchored off the island. The captain stepped ashore and explained, < We saw your smoke signal and came.” Everything the marooned man owned had to be destroyed before he could be rescued.

Some of you have likewise had to face complete loss of your pride, your overconfident self-reliance before you could be saved and realize this glorious comfort, “All things work together for good to them that love God.”

Do not be discouraged when you find opposition on all sides I Remember Daniel! When his enemies sought to destroy him, he turned to the Lord in thanksgiving for His mercies. If you show a similar loyalty to your heavenly Father, if with the Apostle Paul you learn to rejoice in your afflictions and thank God for your infirmities, as they reveal Christ’s power more clearly, then the Almighty will stand by you, as He supported Daniel. This help may not come in the spectacular deliverance by which that Prophet was rescued from the lions. Indeed, it may often seem that your faith brings you too much of the cross, too little of the crown; but finally, in your Father’s good time, in His perfect way, you, too, will be preserved for His celestial kingdom. You will be able to rise over all obstacles and opposition, all trials and temptations, all agonies and afflictions, to challenge, “If God be for us” and He is for us, because He gave His only Son to redeem us from sin then “who can be against us?”

Do you not see, therefore, that for full Thanksgiving blessings you should dedicate your souls in unswerving loyalty to Jesus? Acclaim Him your Savior, and He will proclaim you His eternally redeemed. His promise is, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” If the Holy Spirit now grants me the privilege of speaking into the souls of some of you who up to this Thanksgiving Day have spent your own lives apart from the Lord and against Christ, only to realize that your plans have been battered in the past and your hopes shattered for the future, then may the Spirit help you make this a day of the truest thanksgiving a time of rejoicing even in heaven as you stop your rebellion against the Almighty and turn to His Son for pardon, joy, salvation! We read of Saint Paul that in one of his many difficulties “he thanked God, and took courage. May you, my fellow redeemed, on this wartime Thanksgiving praise God for the Savior and take courage in Christ for whatever may confront you! In true courage stand beneath the cross and, with your arm raised in the oath of allegiance to the crucified Redeemer, cry out, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!’  The Lord grant you that supreme Thanksgiving joy for the Savior’s sake! Amen.

The post Sermon: Thank God, Even In Dark Days! appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 19 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

Hymns: Sacred Medieval Chants

The post Hymns: Sacred Medieval Chants appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 19 May 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

Rule by immigrant

Tucker Carlson correctly identifies the fundamental failure of the US immigration system that was created by the confluence of immigration and excessive democracy:
For the left, whether the country benefits is not the point. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar––herself a symbol of America’s failed immigration system if there ever was one, someone who hates this country coming here at public expense––spent yesterday demanding the abolition of ICE, the decriminalization of illegal immigration itself, and an end to all deportation programs. She demands open borders, the unlimited arrival of anyone who wants to come to America, whether they have anything to contribute or not, and by the way you get to pay for it.
Tom Wolfe saw this coming at the turn of the century. I doubt it escaped his attention that the disastrous 1965 Naturalization Act that destroyed the USA was championed by immigrants and the children of immigrants.

Did anybody high or low look for a Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi to create a new tribute on the order of the Statue of Liberty for the nation that in the twentieth century, even more so than in the nineteenth, opened her arms to people from all over the globe—to Vietnamese, Thais, Cambodians, Laotians, Hmong, Ethiopians, Albanians, Senegalese, Guyanese, Eritreans, Cubans, as well as everybody else—and made sure they enjoyed full civil rights, including the means to take political power in a city the size of Miami if they could muster the votes?

And as soon as American immigration restrictions were relaxed in the 1960s, people of every land, every color, every religion, people from Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, began pouring into the United States.
- Tom Wolfe, Hooking Up

Source: Vox Popoli | 19 May 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

The Syrian false flag

Don't believe any of the new stories about Iranian "attacks" that are now beginning to appear as the neocons continue banging their idiot war drums. All of these purported justifications for military action in the Middle East and the Gulf are fraudulent and they have been for decades. It has now been reported that the "poison gas attacks" supposedly conducted by Syrian government forces were no more real than Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction".
A huge international news story broke last week, but I doubt you will hear about it anywhere else. It seems very likely that the decision we, France and the USA made in April 2018 to bomb Syria was based on a mistake as big as the fictional weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international body which examines alleged incidents of the use of poison gas, has just confirmed to me that a devastating leaked document from its Dutch HQ is genuine.

The document, written by one of the OPCW’s most experienced investigators, shows that it is highly unlikely that gas canisters found at the scene of an alleged poison gas attack in Douma, Syria, were actually dropped from helicopters – as has been widely believed and claimed. The claim is crucial to the case for bombing Syria. A copy of the leaked document can be found on my blog on Mail Online.

Yet the OPCW’s official report on the event made no mention of any such doubts. What is going on? The OPCW is a valuable organisation, containing many fine people, with a noble purpose, but has it been placed under pressure, or even hijacked, by political forces which seek a justification for military intervention in Syria?

Given that a decision between war or peace, affecting the whole planet, could one day hang on its judgments, I think the world is entitled to an inquiry into what is happening behind its closed doors.
The treason committed by the FBI isn't the only treason that has been committed in the last twenty years. There are a whole host of warmongers in Washington DC whose lies are directly responsible for tens of thousands of American dead and wounded. And the inevitable false flags directed at Iran are the one thing that have real potential to derail the 2020 Trumpslide, but only if President Trump is foolish enough to fall for them:
Asked this week if the U.S. was going to war with Iran, Trump said simply: “I hope not.” Aware of the potential backlash from within his party, the president is trying to play down the possibility of hostilities. He held the door open for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region amid reports that he was pushing back against his more hawkish advisers’ preference for a military solution.

Prominent Trump supporters offered a pointed warning on Friday about the prospect of a new war, which they view as a direct violation of his “America First” pledge.

“It would be a disaster for him and for the country getting into another military engagement in the Middle East,” said Corey Stewart, who led Trump’s 2016 campaign in Virginia. “It does concern me that the president has (national security adviser John) Bolton and a lot of these neocons advising him. That’s clearly not what he ran on and what most Americans want.”
No more war in the Middle East. It is neither America's concern nor America's business. If the New Palestinians want war with Iran, then they can go and fight it themselves. It would certainly be entertaining to see Ben Shapiro, Bill Kristol, and Max Boot go up against the Revolutionary Guard.

Source: Vox Popoli | 19 May 2019 | 5:08 am EDT

Hey, it worked for Wakanda

The US Army's officer class is more vibrant than ever:
Thirty-four black women are expected to graduate from West Point next week.

That will be the largest class of African-American women to graduate together in the military academy’s lengthy history, West Point spokesman Frank Demaro said.

“Last year’s graduating class had 27,” said Demaro. “And the expectation is next year’s class will be even larger than this year’s.”

Last year, the school appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent. In 2017, the academy for the first time selected an African-American woman, Simone Askew, to serve at the top of the chain of command for cadets.
As Steve Sailer noted, "the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians must be quaking in their boots." Meanwhile, women are improving the U.S. Navy's submarine service:
Sailors aboard a US submarine created a “rape list,” ranking female crewmembers and detailing sexual acts they wanted to perform on them, a report says. The boat’s commander was sacked following a probe into the case.

Just two year after the USS Florida became the second navy submarine to integrate enlisted women, a “rape list” was shared among its crew, news outlet wrote, citing an investigation report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The probe is said to have discovered that “lewd and sexist comment and jokes were tolerated” on board, while trust among the crewmembers and senior officers “was nonexistent.”
Well, who needs that boat commander anyhow. If there is anything that is a dime-a-dozen and easily replaced, it is a nuclear-missile armed submarine captain. I cannot wait to see the US Navy put a black woman in command of one of its nuclear submarines. The only question is whether she will a) accidentally nuke a foreign country, b) sink the sub, or c) accidentally nuke a foreign country while the sub is sinking, before d) the crew mutinies.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 May 2019 | 1:00 pm EDT

Catholicism is not paganism

I have no idea who this "Red Pill Religion" moron is or what he is smoking with regards to my theological opinions:
Red Pill Religion
Vox Day, Rockin MrE, and others these days suggest Catholic Christianity is "Pagan." Or even that the Trinity is "pagan." Do those who make this suggestion know what they're saying, especially when they try to defend "Western Civilization?"
All we know at this point is that he is both a) an acquaintance of John C. Wright and b) a shameless liar who is observably bearing false witness against me. At no point have I ever stated, suggested, or even implied that either Catholic Christianity or the concept of the Trinity is pagan. To the contrary, note that even the link provided to my blog contains a quote from Isaac Newton which states that the concept of the Trinity dates back to Athanasius, a 4th-century Christian.

Now to be clear, the Trinity is NOT a theological concept that appears explicitly in either the Nicene Creed or the Bible. Like the Rapture and the Immaculate Conception, the Trinity is non-Scriptural theological dogma that is historical conjecture based on what appears to me to be incorrect logic applied to Scripture. And I have made my position on these extra-Biblical traditions very clear:

I have no religious regard whatsoever for the various extra-Biblical traditions of the various Christian churches, although I do respect them in the same manner I respect many of the non-religious traditions of Man. But I consider Churchian dogma such as the Trinity, the Rapture, infant baptism, transubstantiation, purgatory, female pastors, bans on alchohol and dancing, Papal infallibility, and Bishop Ussher's historical chronology to be no more theologically legitimate or Biblically supported than I do the sale of indulgences, Dante's geography of Hell, or Milton's history of Lucifer's Fall.

The fact that I believe these various traditions to be erroneous does not mean that I believe them to be pagan or even materially detrimental to the faith. After all, are we not told that every Christian, beginning with the Apostle Paul, sees the truth as though through a glass, darkly? Furthermore, as I have noted previously, what most people incorrectly believe to be the Nicene Creed is not the Nicene Creed at all, but rather, a later declaration more accurately known as the Niceno-Constanopolitan Creed, which was adopted 56 years later by a council that did not even meet in Nicaea.

In fact, it's even possible that the later Trinitarian creed is fictitious and was produced more than a century after the original Nicene Creed. "A local council of Constantinople in 382 and the third ecumenical council (Ephesus, 431) made no mention of it, with the latter affirming the 325 creed of Nicaea as a valid statement of the faith... No extant document gives its text or makes explicit mention of it earlier than the fourth ecumenical council at Chalcedon in 451."

Finally, anyone who is stupid enough to claim that my opinion has anything whatsoever to do with Arianism is either a liar or very, very stupid indeed, as the original Nicene Creed, the actual and only Nicene Creed, the Nicene Creed to which I subscribe, was adopted specifically in order to reject Arianism.
The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy, whose leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, "objected to Alexander's (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation". In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too "Jewish" and "Greek" in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius' doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy.
Whoever runs the Red Pill Religion channel may or may not be a Christian, but he is obviously both ignorant and untruthful. As for defending Western civilization, it should be obvious that I know considerably more about its history than he does.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 May 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Legend on Bane

The Legend Chuck Dixon talks about the creation of Bane, the famous Batman villain, in the second episode of Chuck Dixon on Comics. For Unauthorized subscribers only. Sadly, rumor has it that Kellen Lutz will be playing Bane in the next round of DC films, in opposition to Robert Patterson's Batman.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 May 2019 | 6:00 am EDT

Urban combat: the battle of Marawi

I remember hearing a little about this Islamic uprising in the Philippines two years ago, but I had no idea that the combat was so intense, or that it took place on such a large scale:
Marawi: a vicious urban siege

On 23 May 2017, security forces from the Philippines conducted a raid in the city of Marawi to capture an insurgent named Isnilon Hapilon—the former leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and self-proclaimed Emir of Islamic State in East Asia. The forces who conducted the raid reported much tougher resistance than expected. The insurgents were rapidly reinforced and quickly revealed extensive preparations throughout the city—well constructed defensive positions, concealed routes, hidden ammunition and arms caches, and an almost doctrinal urban defensive plan. The raid was repulsed, and by the end of the day the so-called Islamic State in the Philippines (IS-P) had triggered their long-laid plans to dominate the city.

Martial law was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte and a five month urban siege to regain the city commenced. The battle was pitched against a well-resourced, sophisticated enemy who had the ‘home ground advantage’. Extensive preparations had been conducted throughout the city and an intense, protracted and close-quarters battle – the likes of which has not been seen in the region in decades – became the only way to destroy the enemy and recapture the City. On 23 October, following 153 days of war, this gruelling mission was achieved.

The costs of the Battle of Marawi were high. Opinions on infrastructure damage vary but aerial imagery indicates that huge swathes of the city have been devastated by the fighting – the mass destruction flattening entire city blocks. The World Bank estimates it may take two decades to restore Marawi to its original condition. However, the true price of the battle is that paid by the people of Marawi and the lives of those fighting. 165 members of the AFoP were killed in action, with over 1,000 injured. Some reports indicate over 1,000 insurgents were killed in the siege, which also took the lives of 47 civilians. The fighting drove over 400, 000 people from their homes.
This article would make for a magnificent piece in the next volume of THERE WILL BE WAR, as it is a detailed review of the tactics utilized by the armed forces of the Philippines as well as the insurgents.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 May 2019 | 5:58 am EDT

Immigration Debate

Two comments on immigration I posted on Gab:

A radical proposal: no immigrants. Why is this a bickering over ‘what kjnd’ in the first place.

The countries with the “best” potential immigrants are in no position to send their surplus talent abroad because low tfr = no surplus. Radical proposal: “That America not be a vampire on the civilized world.”

Immigration Debate, the Home Version

Boomer Dad: “Let’s stuff some beaner babies into Junior’s room. I’ll make ’em do chores.”

Cuckian Mom: “Those underprivileged black keeyeeds, bring them all in they need hugs!”

Gay Brother: “Can Chong and Pajeet move in? They have high IQs.”

Slutty Sister: “Syrians please? Turks are nice too. Oh and Arabs! Can-we can-we pleeeease?”

Creepy Houseguest: [rubbing hands]

Junior: [humming The Doors]

“The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where…”

Open thread.

Source: PA | 17 May 2019 | 6:48 pm EDT

Not a man of the Right

The American Right is finally beginning to grasp that Ben Shapiro is not, and never was, one of them... and he is not helping them either.
Suffice to say, Ben Shapiro was long overdue for his opportunity to be the one who gets “destroyed” in a debate. And who would’ve guessed that the occasion for his destruction would be in an interview with the septuagenarian Andrew Neil of the BBC?

And here’s the real twist: It was not even Neil who destroyed Shapiro. Rather, Shapiro “destroyed” Shapiro. And that was quite a feat.

From his ridiculous suggestion that Neil—a longtime member of the Conservative Party—is on the Left, to his pompous declaration that he is somehow superior because he is “more popular” than Neil, there is enough in the arrogance he displayed to undo him.

But rather than belabor the question of Shapiro’s childish behavior and what it says about his temper, his inability to debate anyone who’s not a blue-haired college feminist, and his unjustly inflated ego, it would be more useful to to examine what Shapiro revealed about his actual ideas, such as they are.

For even in that brief interchange before Shapiro stormed off in a rage, quite a lot was revealed about his political ideas. These are ripe for more careful examination, and that examination will demonstrate the inconsistencies within his own beliefs. In this case, his arrogance—though difficult to miss—should not overshadow how objectively wrong he is on the substance. Nor should it obscure how—in more ways than the damage that comes from such petulant displays—he is not helping the American Right.
One by one, the charlatans are being exposed. And it's particularly interesting to observe that this well-deserved dismissal of Ben Shapiro is being delivered by one of the young college Republican men who are supposed to be his primary supporters.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 May 2019 | 11:11 am EDT

A Perspective on Chateau Heartiste

Heretic Phi wrote this excellent analysis:

A few years ago I heard Roosh giving a speech about the history of Game theory. The first phase were the PUA, iconized by Mystery, which was the purpose-driven gathering of practical data for real-world personal use (what works, what doesn’t).

Roosh calls the second phase the “Roissy-sphere,” where the empirical knowledge provided by Game flowered our understanding of female sexual psychology, and evolutionary psychology in general. (Paraphrasing from memory here.) This is where the average dude with some book smarts can actually come to understand why what worked for his dad and his grandpa is worthless for him.

That led to great advancements in our social knowledge of what is wrong with our society, that is forcing us to mate under unnatural conditions that we did not evolve to survive and reproduce under. We now can see many defects in the outdated “Social Science” theories under which our institutions are run. Heartiste is described in his early years as the core of a massive intellectual development from the PUA side of the Manosphere, which at that time had nothing to do with WN. The way he describes it, Roosh himself sprung from the “Roissy-sphere”.

Roosh then pushes Neomasculinity (which would naturally center around himself) as the third phase, about transforming our forbidden knowledge of hypergamy back into personal self-improvement and a gentle anti-feminist political agenda.

But what Heartiste did for our side was even better. For he gave this knowledge to… dissidents. We now know things about the human animal that our seemly almighty enemies in their pride and vanity, have little comprehension of. The risk that they will suddenly figure it out before their ignorance destroys them is very small, for their hearts are too weak to question their faith. And in 2016 we saw what a Natural can do with that knowledge.

… his legacy is all around you and will never go away. If he retires tomorrow, he is still here. Every single one of us thinks, understands, and sees the world differently in part because of Heartiste.

It really should have been almost time for him to take a break anyhow. Twelve years is a big chunk of your life to be able to come up with material of that volume, of that quality, with that consistency. He needs to cocoon up for a while so he can evolve into a higher form.


Source: PA | 14 May 2019 | 8:55 am EDT

Open Thread: Chateau Heartiste

“Le Chateau shone a bright light of truth onto sex, love, culture, and politics; but the lamps are going out all over the West.” — Corvo

Whether on orders from the top or at the caprice of an imbecile employee of WordPress, the great Chateau Heartiste was shut down. Initial reactions by many of the Chateau’s regulars, including yours truly, appear under the previous article.

Sclerotic bureaucracy vs. ideas whose time has come. We know how that works out. Someone wrote on Gab and I agree fully:

In a more sane era, the writings of Heartiste would be considered just as important as Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams or John Locke.

They will be.

Source: PA | 11 May 2019 | 9:26 pm EDT

Intolerance Of Blasphemy

This is how a Western state fights cultural barbarism: a 51-year-old female “artist” was arrested in Poland for profaning the image of Virgin Mary and Jesus by filling their halos with rainbow colors. She faces two years in prison.

Freedom and tolerance, and the enforcement of those ideals, has always been a who-whom deal.

Polish interior minister Joachim Brudziński announced the arrest, saying she was detained for “carrying out a profanation of the Virgin Mary of Częstochowa.” The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a Byzantine icon that is housed in the country’s holiest Catholic shrine.

Telling stories about freedom and ‘tolerance’ doesn’t give anyone the right to offend the feelings of believers,” Brudziński said, adding that the paintings are “cultural barbarism.”

I won’t post an image of her work, it’s shown under the link above. The witch went for full blasphemy: the Madonna of Częstochowa is the most sacred of Poland’s national relics. The painting’s history prior to its arrival in Poland in the 14th century is shrouded in legends, some of which trace the icon’s origin to Christ’s apostle St. Luke himself.

What this is in fact about:

“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children – the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling rightwing Law and Justice party, told supporters last month. “This is imported, but they today actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.”

“This is imported.” Yes, it is.

Commercial advertisement is where a great deal of cultural warfare takes place. You know the Gillette ad, the ubiquitous interracial couple ads, all serving the same purpose as the obscene rainbow painting, which is to demoralize the national psyche with the goal of destroying a people. Therefore I’m happy to see this Volvo ad dealt with properly — on the left it’s the original graphics presumably from Sweden (Volvo is a Swedish company) and on the right, as altered in Poland:


Bonus for fixing the adult male’s soyboy face. And if you look closer, the child was changed from a girl to a boy.

Images of sexual perversion is just one kind of weapon of psychological wafare. Images of racial incoherence is another. Here is a MicroSoft ad altered in Poland for the domestic market from some years back:


If I can name one of the simple things that is necessary for the survival of Western civilization, it’s that U.S. military leaves Eastern Europe.

Source: PA | 9 May 2019 | 7:53 am EDT

Season Two of Cobra Kai

Season 2 spoilers follow. Just throwing out some thoughts.


Major theme:

“I wasn’t taught the difference between mercy and honor, and I paid the price.” — Johnny Lawrence

“Second chances” is another overarching theme of the second season of Cobra Kai. That’s obvious. What’s subtle is the question of whether people deserve a second chance. John Kreese does not. He is a sociopath, redemption is irrelevant.


The two cartoon villains are Tory and Kreese. A word on each. Tory is a product of neurotic-male fascination with butt-kicking babes. For everyone else, such unrealistic female characters break the suspension of disbelief. Kreese: he is the articulation of their fears when they see us starting to turn to nationalism.


In earlier comments, CMC writes:

LaRusso’s looking across the Pacific, to another civilization for answers. Recall that the original was from the mid 80’s. The east was recognized as rising, as a worthy ancient culture whose defeat may have just been an aberration. For instance, Japan’s cars had been a cheap joke in the 60’s, then just cheap in the 70’s, then no joke in the 80’s. He ain’t some home schooled neo-Medici condottiere wrestling with Christian concepts like honor and meekness, he’s in another world.

Similarly, Johnny’s not looking to King Arthur’s court or Beowulf or the Illiad, he’s looking to a snake, he’s crawling along as low as he can go —or as basic as you want to go if we’re being generous.


I liked Season 2 through I think the 8th episode, when Johnny and Daniel shook hands after that accidental double-date. That was the time to start tying up the loose ends for the series. Leave the Ali loose end open though, as there wouldn’t be enough episodes in the season to work her in without rushing that. But if a third season is needed to introduce Ali, then we’re now milking the Johnny/Daniel dynamic, turning it into one arbitrary mishap or misunderstanding after another. In short, I wanted the series elegantly wrapped up in S2.

Johnny Lawrence carries the series. He is us. Ralph Macchio and the writers did a good job making Daniel a stronger and more sympathetic character in S2. The way his devotion to karate was jeopardizing his auto business was very well done. He doesn’t have Johnny’s pathos, righteousness, heroic honesty. But he does have a look in his eyes that reveals that he really wants to do the right thing.


Minor stuff I disliked, very much: the lesbian kiss at that party. Gratuitous (((filth))).

And I very much liked the single-episode subplot in which Johnny and his high school friends get together, even if under grim circumstances. Funny, isn’t it, how flashbacks of the guys riding their motorbikes are now conveyed as joyful moments of youth, while in 1984 Karate Kid they were meant to be menacing scenes.

There is something to be said about the meta phenomenon of Cobra Kai. The show is about White GenX men, now approaching or just past 50. What do they, the showbiz producers, want from us? America is on the verge of racial/demographic collapse. The all-around hate in the air is dialed up to the max. And here we have an ’80s vibe Valley in Cobra Kai.


Another theme… predestination? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Eli was right to do something about his awful nerdhood. But then he turned into a monster… almost literally, in that horror-movie lab scene when he was stalking Dimitri.

And Robbie. He had the full benefit of Miyago-do training. He wanted to be good. He was strong and had integrity. But then that dishonorable kick that might have paralyzed Miguel, who paid a price for showing mercy. The author can do whatever he wants. It’s his fictional world. The show’s writers wanted that implausible melee in episode 10, that had upset the series’ narrative arc.

Source: PA | 6 May 2019 | 10:18 pm EDT

Such a Landscape

Harold Bloom memorably wrote that great literature either makes the familiar strange (Milton), or the strange familiar (Shakespeare). Let’s go with that. The landscape of Washington State was made, unforgettably, phantasmagoric in “Twin Peaks.” Poland’s landscape, the familiar roadside wildflowers and white birch forests, takes on a surreal atmosphere in “Such a Landscape,” as performed by Ewa Demarczyk in 1967.

I was curious about the background of this poem-song, and cursory search took me to what appears to be a fan-page ( There, I found a short analysis of her vocal interpretation of the song’s lyrics, which I translate here:

In this interpretation, the singer pays much less attention to the content, to the actual meaning of words. They only serve as vehicle for the building of mood. Especially, however, what becomes important in this work is the color and sound of these words… In “Landscape” Demarczyk blurs and obscures the phonics, allowing them to create a glittering, opalescent grid of sounds, interrupted once and again by a sharp syllable explosion. Her vocals, the prolonging of syllables and the special way of articulating them makes them swell with dramatic passion, creating a tense crescendo. “Such a landscape” evokes some unnamed visions, distant landscapes worthy of a Bosch’s or Böklin’s brush. Painful, perverse, and terrifying.

Ewa Demarczyk, “Taki Pejzaż” (Such a Landscape) – 1967

psy kulawe / lame dogs
stroją drogi / adorn the roadsides
diabeł dziewkom / the devil girls’
plącze nogi / legs entangles

drzewa kwiatom / trees to blossoms
kwiaty cierniom / blossoms to thorns
po marzeniach / over dreams
trupy biegną / the corpses run

taki pejzaż / such a landscape [x4]

nieraz zbrodniarz / sometimes a murderer
łzą zapłacze / sheds a tear
ślepy żebrak / a blind beggar
znajdzie pracę / finds a job

błędny ognik / an errant firethorn
ciemny parów / a dark ravine
bosy rycerz / a barefoot knight
złoty laur / a golden laurel

taki pejzaż / such a landscape [x4]

wiatry wieją / blowing winds
sosny krzywe / crooked pines
nieprzydatne / useless
lecz prawdziwe / but authentic

grajek piosnkę / a song from them
z nich wyładzi / a bard will weave
snem napoi / fill with slumber
gwiazdkę zdradzi / expose a star

będzie pejzaż / there’ll be a landscape
śpiewny rzewny / melodious wistful
taki pejzaż / such a landscape [x2]

grajek piosnkę / a song from them
z nich wyładzi / a bard will weave
snem napoi / fill with slumber
gwiazdkę zdradzi / expose a star

taki pejzaż / such a landscape [x4]


Lyrics: Andrzej Szmidt. Music: Zygmunt Konieczny

Source: PA | 3 May 2019 | 10:42 pm EDT

Cobra Kai, S2E1 – “to show them a different way”

Season 2, episode 1. That’s all I’ve seen of the second season so far. Minor spoilers ahead. A look back at Season 1:

Back to Season 2. This dialogue between Daniel LaRusso and his student Robbie Keene is a show-stopper:

ROBBIE: You lost focus?

DANIEL: Not anymore. Ever since the tournament, all I’ve been thinking about are ways to destroy Cobra Kai.

ROBBIE: [smiling] And now you have the answer?

DANIEL: Yes. The answer is, we won’t. Cobra Kai isn’t the enemy. There are no enemies. Your dad, his students, they’re just like you and me. They’ve just been taught the wrong way. The goal of Miyagi-Do Karate isn’t to fight them, it’s to show them a different way. Right? A better way. For them and everyone in the Valley.

That bolded line blindsided me. My blog’s tagline is “we don’t have to live like this” because I know, along with everyone else on the alternative/nationalist Right, that there are alternatives to the Tower of Mudworld Babel.

The best and most honest propagandists let people see for themselves that evil is evil and good is good. We live in a world that hisses abandon all hopeThe men who run it guard their power by censoring anything that is contrary to their nation-wrecking program. They do not want anyone to know that there is, as Daniel says, a different way.


Two killer komments about the first episode of the second season:

Johnny Lawrence — “His emotional turmoil is as attractive as his redemption arc and blue eyes”

Chakrates makes observations about several of the minor characters and Johnny Lawrence, the most compelling pop culture protagonist in the past 30 years:

The black girl, I rather like her. I know girls like her, mixed, smart, looking to fit in. I don’t really mind it, but I’m sad for her. You can see the lines being drawn. She’s not a thug or a hipster, or a rich kid, or anything other than a (former) wallflower who has found a place. She’ll be either the wise negra savior or a sacrificial lamb. Either way, not pleased, but she has pathos, it’s undeniable.

Hawk is Kreese/Johnny 2.0, they cannot telegraph that any harder. I pity him, too, and frankly, I worry about Miguel and Robby. Both are fatherless children, metaphorically if not literally, like Daniel and Johnny, looking for a replacement figure.

Billy Zabka is still hot. His emotional turmoil is as attractive as his redemption arc and blue eyes. Yes, that jazzes me. He’s as much a lost soul as the kids he mentors and seeing his humble admission that he was never taught the different between mercy and honor. It’s a simple thing, but a “wow” moment for anyone not used to paying attention. I love his character.

And I just knew that greasy smile was going to cross Kreese’s face, at the end…ugh and arghh and thicker plots.

[end quote]

Daniel LaRusso — “You can see it in his eyes”

Suburban_elk snapped me out of my complacency about the series with this observation:

The lifestory theme that Life can be a long journey and some form of redemption may yet still. Or to put it in American: you didn’t necessarily peak in high school. (or did you?)

These themes have always been around, but they are topical now to 40-somethings aka gen xers. And here’s the point to remember: These themes are fairly “better left unsaid.” By their nature, everyone knows about them on a gut level: There’s the big gorilla (and it’s not you). Or if it is, wow: very impressive silverback you got there! (can I touch it?)

Some meta commentary though, about how these manly yet sensitive (and therefore better left unsaid) themes, these very lifestagey themes, is particular to clown world and even more particularly to America. Because somehow such life stagey themes get buried under pavement of amusement park reality. They get lost entirely. The unconscious superstructure or whatever tf, even that has gone away and disappeared for with which to guide us.

LaRusso gets all this. You can see it in his eyes.

[end quote]

Source: PA | 30 Apr 2019 | 11:30 pm EDT