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Video: Breaking Down “Civil War2” – Part 3

The post Video: Breaking Down “Civil War2” – Part 3 appeared first on Men Of The West.

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

China guards the US border

Yeah, so that's working out about as well as you'd assume it would:
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection watch commander at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has admitted to running an illegal gun operation, authorities said. Wei Xu, 56, of Santa Fe Springs was arrested Feb. 5 after an investigation involving undercover officers to whom Xu sold three guns out of the trunk of his car, including an “off-roster” pistol not certified for sale in California, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

He has been on unpaid administrative leave since his arrest and will be fired, said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

In court Wednesday, Xu pleaded guilty to illegally selling guns on the internet, some of which he obtained by using his power as a law enforcement official, and to creating a fake company to avoid paying taxes, prosecutors said. He also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing unregistered firearms and making false statements to a federal agency about his involvement with a Chinese company to get a secret-level security clearance.
You can warble on about human equality all you like, if you wish. But sooner or later, reality, history, and the observable patterns of human behavior are going to slap you in the face.

Source: Vox Popoli | 19 Jul 2019 | 10:06 am EDT

Friday Music: Riddle of Steel / Riders of Doom (Conan the Barbarian)

The post Friday Music: Riddle of Steel / Riders of Doom (Conan the Barbarian) appeared first on Men Of The West.

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

UNFORGETTABLE on Unauthorized

Unauthorized.TV is very pleased to announce its second documentary available for viewing on the channel, Unforgettable: The Korean War. This powerful and sobering documentary is comprised of veterans of the Korean War telling of their experiences fighting what has been described as "the forgotten war" on the Korean Peninsula. The documentary is available for all Unauthorized subscribers; non-subscribers can also purchase the documentary or viewing access to it there. If, after watching it, you would like to support the filmmakers as well as the channel, please note that all sales proceeds will be split between them and Unauthorized.

On a related note, subscribers may be interested to know that Unauthorized is filming its first original documentary this weekend. We anticipate releasing it in September.

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

Convergence is the corporate cancer

An Australian company intentionally devalues performance:
Atlassian says it will no longer tolerate “brilliant jerks” who deliver results for the company but make life hell for their co-workers as part of a complete overhaul of how the tech firm conducts performance reviews.

The $47 billion Australian software company, which was founded in Sydney in 2002 and floated on the US stock market in 2015, says two-thirds of every performance review will now have nothing to do with job skills.

Instead, equal weighting will be given to how each of its 3000 employees impacts others on their team, and to how they live the company values. Atlassian says the change will “more fairly measure people on how they bring their whole self to work”.
While it's true that teamwork is an important element of success in any organization, establishing feelings as the basis for evaluating performance is assuring rule by the most sensitive. Which in this case means that gamma males and women will soon rule the company and the ability to actually get anything done will become irrelevant.

One need only to look at Apple in the post-Jobs era to see what difference the loss of just one "brilliant jerk" can make to even the most successful corporation. Then contemplate the consequences of eliminating all of them from an organization.

Source: Vox Popoli | 19 Jul 2019 | 5:59 am EDT

Not going anywhere

Sex trafficker to the stars Jeffrey Epstein is denied bail:
Multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail Thursday pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges.

“Starting with my conclusions, the government’s application for continued remand is hereby granted and the defense’s application for pretrial release is respectfully hereby denied,” Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman said at the start of a hotly anticipated hearing.

“The government has established danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence, and the government has established a risk of flight by a preponderance of evidence.”
It's a sign that they might actually be serious. We won't know, of course, until more arrests of the rich and famous start taking place. Which may be coming sooner than anyone thinks, if Vanity Fair has it right:
“There were other business associates of Mr. Epstein’s who engaged in improper sexual misconduct at one or more of his homes. We do know that,” said Brad Edwards, a lawyer for Courtney Wild, one of the Epstein accusers who gave emotional testimony at Epstein’s bail hearing. “In due time the names are going to start coming out.” (Attorneys for Epstein did not respond to a request for comment.)

Likely within days, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will release almost 2,000 pages of documents that could reveal sexual abuse by “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders,” according to the three-judge panel's ruling. The documents were filed during a civil defamation lawsuit brought by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a former Mar-a-Lago locker-room attendant, against Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell. “Nobody who was around Epstein a lot is going to have an easy time now. It’s all going to come out,” said Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies. Another person involved with litigation against Epstein told me: “It’s going to be staggering, the amount of names. It’s going to be contagion numbers.”
Shine the light on them. All of them.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 Jul 2019 | 1:28 pm EDT

The Gatekeeper's Ball

The Z-man infiltrates the neoclowns' attempt to rebrand themselves as "National Conservatives":
The final speaker of the morning session was Yoram Hazony. It was an interesting performance to behold. He started out criticizing neoconservatives, making the absurd claim that the current crop of neocons are not the real neocons. They have strayed from the original into imperialism. Then he let it be known that one of the sponsors for this show was The public Interest, a neocon quarterly founded by Irving Kristol. The fact that he said this without laughing was quite remarkable.

He then moved onto libertarianism. It’s interesting to hear these guys criticize libertarianism, because they don’t really know why they oppose it. They just associate it with the cultural decline, so they assume it is the cause. There’s also a reactionary vibe to their fight with the libertarians. These new nationalists don’t like the libertarians, because libertarians oppose nationalism. For their purposes, maybe that’s enough to dismiss the economic arguments against their brand of nationalism.

The third part of his speech was a trade about white nationalism. He fumbled around trying to say something about biological reality, but that made him sound like a nut from the flat earth society. Then he warned about the threat of white nationalism, especially among young people. Then he made the claim that there is no such thing as tribal loyalty, which is an odd thing, given that he claims a nation is a collection of tribes. As in his book, it’s clear he terrifies himself when he follows his logic to its conclusion....

The funny thing about this event is not a single person has bothered to mention that conservatism, whether neocon or Buckley, managed to conserve nothing.
They managed to derail the Tea Party, but I very much doubt they'll be successful in jumping in front of the nationalist parade. I addressed this very topic in last night's Darkstream.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 Jul 2019 | 12:33 pm EDT

It’s Not About Civility

In this day and time, where we have roving bands of SJWs out to destroy people over the slightest offense against their perceived values, they claim that they merely insist that they are upholding public civility.  We see this argument frequently regarding Trump, he’s not being civil.  This is another word that they have subtlety changed the definition of.  Most people expect for civility to mean minding your manners and treating others the way you’d want to be treated.  What it means to the SJWs is bowing to their idiotic whims.

They are trying to push the symbols and ideas of people who disagree with them outside of the realm of polite society.  There was a time, not too many years ago, when the Confederate Flag was merely a symbol of Southern Heritage.  The SJWs recoil from it like a vampire recoils from sunlight.  It is a powerful symbol.  And that’s why the SJWs have done everything in their power to try to push it out of our society.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/North_Virginia_Third_Bunting.svg/800px-North_Virginia_Third_Bunting.svg.png

Likewise, we have now learned that the Betsy Ross Flag is offensive.  Which is another attempt at destroying our common history.  The symbols of America and the things that unite us.  They’re trying to make us forget what America is and America is about.  They’re trying to convince us that civility means throwing out the things that make us Americans.

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b3/Flag_of_the_United_States_%281777-1795%29.svg/1920px-Flag_of_the_United_States_%281777-1795%29.svg.png

 

There was a time that Civility meant giving people the space to live their own lives as they saw fit.  Now it means bending your knee to the SJW narrative.  And we are not ever going to recognize the 57 different “genders” (or however many there are today).  We’re not going to go along with the homosexual agenda.  And we’re not going to abandon our Christian morals. In fact, there is one verse in Scripture that describes the SJWs perfectly:

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

-Isaiah 5:30

 

It’s not about civility.  It’s about subjugation.  And having just celebrated Independence Day, we’re not about to go quietly.

The post It’s Not About Civility appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 18 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

Medieval History 101: Episode IV


Medieval History 101: Episode 4: Getting Medieval on the English is now available for subscribers on Unauthorized. The Episode Guide is available here.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 Jul 2019 | 10:10 am EDT

Sulla

Editor’s note:  The following comprises the fifth chapter of Seven Roman Statesmen of the Later Republic, by Sir Charles Oman (published 1902).

 

V.  Sulla

Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the man whom Sulpicius and Marius had so recklessly challenged to mortal combat, is one of the most striking figures in Roman history. For mere psychological interest, there is no one who can be compared with him save Caesar alone. He combined in the most extraordinary degree the old Roman political virtues with the personal vices that the new Rome had borrowed from the Hellenised East.

To his credit it must be granted that, throughout his career, he displayed the main qualities which had distinguished those generations of men who had built up the Roman domination in Italy during the fourth and third centuries before Christ. He had an enormous sense of the dignity and importance of the Roman name: the welfare of the state, as he conceived it, stood before any private or party interest. He was entirely lacking in personal as opposed to national ambition: the crown and the purple robe had no attraction for him; in this respect he must be reckoned superior even to Caesar, who was not insensible to such things. Nor was he affected by the more insidious craving for power; he was one of those rare spirits who, after they have achieved the highest things, and risen to practical sovereignty in the state, are content to step down from the throne and to retire into private life. Moreover, he had the solid military ability, the steadfast level-headed perseverance, the freedom from vain theory, which had distinguished the best men of the elder days of the Republic.

Mixed with these old Roman characteristics were all the vices of the decadent half-Hellenised generation into which he had been born. Sulla had learnt to be regardless of human life, not merely of the lives of aliens or barbarians (most Romans were that), but of the lives of citizens also. If a man, great or small, stood in way of his schemes or his reforms, he doomed that man to perish with entire nonchalance. He had the most profound belief in the all-importance of the Roman state, but the sacrosanctity of the individual citizen seemed to him a farce. The old shibboleth, civis Romanus sum, had no protective power against his ruthless hand. Another modern trait in his character, which could only have come from the habitual study of destructive and doubting Greek philosophy, was a frank disregard for the law of the constitution — a thing for which the old Roman had as slavish a reverence as had his contemporary the Pharisee for the letter of the law of Moses. While other men still wrangled over forms and ceremonies, vetoes and auspices, Sulla quietly marched an army against Rome, and showed that neither religious sanctions nor tribunicial mandates had any power to stop a commander with loyal troops at his back. Sulla had a supreme contempt for forms that had grown meaningless, though the majority of the men of his generation were still in bondage to them.

Very un-Roman, again, was another of Sulla’s characteristics — a smooth, plausible, utterly hollow urbanity, the deceptive courtesy of the diplomat. The Roman of the elder republic had been brutally straightforward: his notion of diplomacy was summed up in the two handfuls of “peace” and “war” which Fabius offered to the Carthaginian senate, or in the line which Popilius Laenas drew around the astonished Antiochus Epiphanes. Sulla, on the other hand, took an artistic pleasure in circumventing and cajoling those with whom he had to deal. To out-manoeuvre Jugurtha at Bocchus’s court, to talk round the Parthian ambassador (whom his master afterwards executed for being so outwitted), were great delights to him. To outdo the wily barbarian in his own field of lies had an intrinsic pleasure in the execution.

Another and most unamiable side of Sulla’s disposition may be summed up in saying that he was an epicurean both in the best and the worst sense of the word. He had a keen enjoyment of artistic and intellectual pleasures: he loved beautiful things for their own sake, was an enlightened student of literature, and appreciated and collected Hellenic works of art. He liked to converse with philosophers and authors, with actors and artists, and willingly sharpened his brains and increased his knowledge of every side of life by mixing with all sorts and conditions of men.

But at the same time he had the bad side of the artistic temperament. He was frankly vicious in his private life, as evil a liver as any Greek tyrant of old. He was perfectly destitute of any sense of chastity or shame, and, moreover, habitually indulged to excess in the banquet and the wine-cup. This it was that ruined his splendid constitution, and turned his handsome face into the “mulberry spotted with meal,” to which it was compared in his middle age.

To complete this strange and repulsive character we must add a curious strain of wild superstition. Of the simple and stolid religiosity of the old Roman there was no trace in him: but, like Napoleon, he believed in his star. Though, as far as deeds went, he was a scoffer, yet he professed a belief that he was the chosen tool of the gods. Venus, he said, was his special patroness, and gave him good fortune; he sometimes called himself in gratitude “Epaphroditus.” He claimed to have dreams, omens, and premonitions. He took as surnames the adjectives Felix and Faustus, “the lucky.” His most hazardous steps were made, as he said, under direct inspiration from above. He wrote in his autobiography that his resolutions taken on the spur of the moment, and his enterprises begun without any proper preparation, always succeeded far better than those on which he had bestowed the most time and forethought. We might perhaps have imagined that he assumed this role of the favourite of fortune merely to encourage his followers, had it not been that he carried it into private life, when no end was to be gained by proceeding with the farce. There seems to have been a genuine fantastic vein of superstition in this otherwise practical and cynical mind. We know, for example, that on battle-days he wore under his corslet a small golden image of Apollo which he had got at Delphi. But the strangest development of his beliefs has yet to be told. On his death-bed, when one would have expected that his mind should have been filled with the memory of all the horrors that he had committed, he was visited with comforting visions. He told his friends that he faced the other world with equanimity, for his dead wife and son had appeared to him and had bidden him hasten to join them in a life of perfect rest and happiness beyond the grave. Truly this was a strange ending for the blood stained author of the proscriptions of B.C. 81!

Sulla had spent his youth in dire poverty. His family was ancient but impoverished: no man of this branch of the Cornelii had held curule office for six generations. He had not even a paternal mansion or a hearth of his own, but lived, as we learn from Plutarch, in a set of lodgings one storey removed from the garret, and hired at the meagre rent of 3000 sesterces (about £26) per annum. He was a man who yearned after all the comforts and elegancies of life, who loved good dinners, good wine, and other less reputable luxuries, and who in his youth could not get them. It is this poverty of his early years that accounts for his insatiable addiction to pleasure in middle age, when most men have lost their taste for frivolity. He was making up for the enjoyments of which he had been defrauded in his young days.

Men of the type of Sulla, able, impecunious, and destitute of any family influence, were generally the stuff from which demagogues were made. There are a dozen instances in Roman history of young and penniless aristocrats who started on the career of mob leader and champion of the rabble. It was the easiest trade on which to embark if one loved notoriety, had no scruples, and lacked wealthy relatives to push one forward. But Sulla was above all things an aristocrat: he loathed the urban multitude and all its works, and when he put himself forward as a candidate for the quaestorship in B.C. 107, it was as a strict Optimate. How such a poor and unknown young man ever succeeded in obtaining a magistracy we do not know. That he was able and eloquent is clear enough, but a full purse, or a programme of confiscation and corn-doles, was a much better commendation to the electors than mere ability. How one who was an Optimate, and yet had not the money to buy his way to power, got his foot on the first rung of the ladder that led to the consulship, it is hard to conceive. But the feat was accomplished : Sulla became quaestor, and served under Marius in Numidia during the last year of the Jugurthine war [106-105].

It was here that he won his first distinction, and earned the undying enmity of his superior in command. While the struggle with the evasive Numidian seemed likely to drag on for ever, Sulla suddenly brought it to an end by his clever and unscrupulous diplomacy. By a combination of bribes and cajolery, he induced Bocchus the Moor, Jugurtha’s chief ally, to kidnap his guest and relative, and to hand him over in chains to the Romans. The war came to an end, and Marius took the credit to himself, but he was well aware that Sulla had really brought it to a finish. The quaestor made no attempt to disguise the fact; he took as the device of his signet-ring a picture of Jugurtha surrendered by Bocchus to himself, and he persuaded the Moor to dedicate on the Roman Capitol a group of statues reproducing the same composition. Marius was bitterly vexed; it was probably for this reason that Sulla took a particular pride in the statues; they were placed long after as the device on Cornelian coins. We may still see Sulla in his chair, the captive Numidian king in chains before him, and the Moor in front waving the olive branch with which he sued for peace with Rome.

Once launched on an official career, Sulla came steadily to the front; his only drawback was his want of funds. The first time that he stood for the praetorship he was rejected, because the people had expected from him, and had not received, a great show of African wild beasts. But finding money necessary, he finally succeeded in scraping it together, partly as spoils of war, partly in less obvious and reputable ways. His public services, however, were distinguished in the highest degree: nothing that he took in hand failed to come to a good end; already the “luck” on which he was so fond of insisting made itself felt. He won golden opinions in the Cimbric war while serving under the Consul Catulus. In B.C. 93 he at last obtained the praetorship, and in the following year held as propraetor the turbulent and newly formed province of Cilicia. He had been sent there without an army or a proper supply of money, yet he made his name feared all around. He frightened away Mithradates, who was trying to annex Cappadocia; he restored the rightful king of that country, and protected him against an Armenian invasion. First of all Romans he came in touch with the formidable Parthian power, which was just advancing to the line of the Upper Euphrates. He met the ambassador of King Arsaces IX, and not only cajoled him into a friendly agreement, but induced him to allow the Roman to have the place of honour over the Parthian name in their negotiations. The great king executed his envoy, when he returned, for permitting this humiliation of his majesty, but the peace between the two powers stood firm. In short, Sulla had pacified South-Eastern Asia Minor, and strengthened the boundaries of his province, with no other resources than his ready wit, his capacity for “bluffing” Orientals, and a handful of untrustworthy native auxiliaries. His self-confidence, never weak, is said to have been confirmed by the prophecies of Eastern wizards. The chief soothsayer of the Parthian ambassador was struck by his invariable good fortune, cast his horoscope, and told him “that he was destined to be the greatest of men, and that it was strange that he could endure to be anything less at the present moment.”

When Sulla returned to Rome, it was natural that he should take a high place among the Optimate party: he was the only man among them who had built up a reputation for unvarying success. Hence he was naturally entrusted with high command in the Italian war. He fully justified his promotion, won battles over the Samnites and the Lucanians which far surpassed the successes of any other Roman general in these campaigns, Marius not excepted, and gained such a reputation that he was elected as consul for B.C. 88. It was natural that when the Italian war died down he should be chosen to march against Mithradates, for he was the only living general who knew the East, and had already made a name in that quarter of the world. Sulla was quite satisfied with the commission; he believed that he was competent to save Asia, and he had been deeply grieved by the humiliation which the Roman arms had been suffering in the Mithradatic war.

Hence it was that he was moved to ungovernable wrath when he was informed that Sulpicius had passed a law to remove him from command, and to make over his army to Marius. He had already been in violent collision with the demagogue, who — as it is said — had tried to get him assassinated in broad daylight during the meeting of the Comitia. But there is no reason to suppose that he would have interfered with the sword in domestic politics if he had not been deprived of his Eastern commission. He believed that the turning back of Mithradates was a far more important duty than the quelling of demagogues. Sulpicius had had many predecessors who had all come to a bad end: if sufficient rope was given to a turbulent tribune, he was certain to end by hanging himself. But it was a different matter when he intervened between Sulla and his cherished project of reconquering Asia and Greece from the Pontic king. When the news reached the consul he behaved in the most unexpected fashion. He began by drawing off the greater part of his army from the siege of Nola and bringing it up to Capua. There he harangued the soldiers, told them that he was the victim of the intrigues of bad citizens, and asked them whether they were prepared to follow him. The men were devoted to the general who had led them so well during the Italian war: they cared little for the difference between Optimate and Democrat, but they remembered that Sulla had always been the most indulgent and good-humoured of chiefs, that he had kept their stomachs full and their pockets well lined. They believed, like himself, in his luck, and they had been looking forward to easy victory and endless plunder in Asia. The legions shouted that they would follow him anywhere, even if he marched against Rome itself — which was precisely what he was intending to do. When the praetors Brutus and Servilius met him, forbidding him to advance further, the soldiers fell upon them, tore their robes, broke their fasces, and stoned them out of the camp, glad to escape with their lives. This violence frightened many of Sulla’s chief officers, who slunk away from him lest they should find themselves involved in high treason. But the rank and file stuck firmly to him, and with 30,000 men at his back he began a rapid march on Rome. To those who were appalled at his project, he merely said that all the omens were favourable. The Asiatic Moon- Goddess, who had been so friendly to him in Cappadocia, had appeared to him in a dream, had promised him victory, placed a thunderbolt in his hand, and bade him use it to annihilate his enemies.

When this wholly unexpected news reached Rome, Marius and Sulpicius sent out several embassies one after another to endeavour to stop Sulla. But he deceived them by fair words, inviting them to induce the Senate and the Democratic leaders to meet him in a conference, while he continued to advance at full speed towards the city. As he was approaching it he was joined by his colleague, Pompeius Rufus, a very determined Optimate, whose presence was invaluable to him, for when the two consuls acted together it gave a false air of legality to their proceedings.

Marius and Sulpicius had barely time to barricade the streets and to arm their followers from the state arsenal, when the arrival of the Sullan army in the suburbs was reported. Without the least hesitation the legions crossed the sacred Pomoerium and pushed into the city. The Democrats, surprised as they were, made a desperate resistance; but though swords and pikes had been served out to them, they were but untrained rioters contending with disciplined soldiery. There was fierce fighting around the Esquiline market and the temple of Tellus, but it did not last for long. When Sulla brought forth torches, and told his men to burn out the enemy if they could not expel them in any other fashion, the Democrats gave way and fled.

The victors bivouacked that night in the squares and along the streets, ready to fight again next morning if necessary: but they soon discovered that the leaders of the enemy had left the city, and that the mob had dispersed. Sulla had broken up the dearest traditions of ancient Rome; he had brought armed legions into the Forum. To lovers of the constitution, whether Optimates or Democrats, it seemed that the abomination of desolation was in the Holy Place. But no thunderbolt descended from heaven to annihilate the impious consul. His luck was still with him, and he faced the situation, which would have appalled anyone less cheerful and unscrupulous than himself, with perfect equanimity.

The Senate was assembled by the consuls, and informed that the “tyrants” had been expelled from the city. It voted that the Sulpician laws had been passed without the proper formalities and were null and void. It also passed a decree of outlawry, by which Sulpicius, Marius and his son, and ten other persons, were declared public enemies, and a price was set on their heads. The tribune was caught lurking in a villa at Laurentum. He was beheaded, and his head was set upon the rostra from which he had so often declaimed, a ghastly innovation in the etiquette of massacre which was to be regularly followed hereafter. But most of the other Democratic leaders escaped from Italy. Marius, after a long series of adventures, culminating in his celebrated mud-bath in the marshes of Minturnae, made his way to Africa, where he was ultimately joined by his son and several others of the outlaws. It would now have been in Sulla’s power to assume the permanent control of the state. He might have proclaimed himself dictator, or have renewed his consular authority, and have settled down to rule as an autocrat with the swords of his legions propping up his throne. But he had no personal ambition. He was a Roman and an Optimate, who desired the triumph of his country and his party, and was determined to do his best for both. But there was nothing of the tyrant in him: his present duty, as he supposed, was to restore his party to power at Rome, and then to sally forth to save the Eastern provinces from Mithradates. These two ends he proceeded to carry out, with no concern for his own private profit.

The executions, as he supposed, had crushed the Democrats. Marius he despised, and considered a negligible quantity; there was no other surviving chief of any note to resuscitate the vanquished faction, and the Senate ought to be able to take care of itself for the present. Accordingly he contented himself with making some comparatively unobtrusive changes in the constitution before his departure. The chief of these was a law providing that the approval of the Senate — senatus auctoritas — had for the future to be granted to any bill brought forward by tribunes, or other magistrates, before it could be laid before the assembly. Another law restored the old order of things in the Comitia Centuriata, where the wealthier classes were replaced in the preponderant position which they had enjoyed under the early Republic. But it was not really by these slight alterations of existing custom that he imagined that the Senate could defend itself. He left behind for their protection two armies under Optimates of assured fidelity and ability — his late colleague in the consulship, Pompeius Rufus, and Q. Metellus Pius, the son of the conqueror of Numidia. For the Mithradatic war he withdrew from Italy only five of his own veteran legions, which had served with him throughout the campaigns of B.C. 90-88, and had won so many successes over the Samnites. With this force he thought that he could master all the Asiatic hordes of Mithradates; nor, as the event showed, was he wrong.

The moment, however, that he set out for the East all went wrong in Italy. He had, as it seemed, taken his good fortune away with him. The Senate proved far too weak to maintain the position to which he had restored it, and the Democratic faction found a new leader in the consul for B.C. 87, L. Cornelius Cinna, a vain heady man, who seems to have been carried away by a sudden lust for establishing a personal domination in the style of Caius Gracchus, rather than by any true zeal for the popular cause. As an Optimate, no statesman could hope to be more than a member of the governing ring; as a Democrat, it was possible to exercise a quasi-monarchical power; hence came the temptation to men of vulgar and unscrupulous ambition to enlist on the Democratic side.

Even before Sulla left Italy, his colleague, Pompeius Rufus, on whose ability to keep order he most relied, had been murdered in a military riot in Picenum. Gn. Octavius, who was consul for B.C. 87 along with Cinna, proved too weak for the task of controlling his exuberant partner, when the latter openly took arms on behalf of the Democrats. A sporadic civil war began to spread all over Italy, which became really formidable when Cinna made an alliance with the Samnites, and called back Marius and the rest of the exiles. The Optimates lost ground; at last Octavius and his army were actually besieged in Rome, and, weakened by desertion and famine, the Senate capitulated. Cinna and Marius entered Rome in triumph, and celebrated their victory by a wholesale massacre, not a mere attack on a dozen leaders, such as Sulla had carried out in B.C. 88. Marius went about at the head of a band of slaves, slaying every man with whom he had ever had a personal quarrel, whether he was a prominent politician or not. Indeed, the old general acted more like a lunatic afflicted with homicidal mania than a responsible party leader. Every prominent man in Rome who had not taken sides with the exiles was doomed to death: not only was Octavius put to death, but a number of respectable ex-consuls were murdered, among them Lucius Caesar, who had enfranchised the Italians in B.C. 90; Catulus, the colleague of Marius in his Cimbrian victory; Antonius, the orator; and P. Crassus, the father of the Triumvir. The Optimate wing of the Senate was almost exterminated; none escaped save a handful of fugitives, and the officers whom Sulla had taken with him to the East. Marius caused the head of every senator who had been slain to be hung up in the Forum, so that for many weeks it resembled the precinct of the king of Dahomey after the “Great Customs,” rather than the meeting-place of a civilised people. The atrocities only ceased when Marius died, on January 13th, B.C. 86, just after he had caused himself to be elected consul for the seventh time. Cinna, glutted with blood, now turned from the work of massacre to the more practical task of taking measures for the suppression of Sulla, who had sailed for the East in the previous year to take up the war against Mithradates.

When Sulla had started from Brundisium for Greece in the spring of B.C. 87, he had taken with him no more than five of his own veteran legions — some 30,000 men at most — and a moderate supply of money. He had supposed that he might look for a regular supply of recruits and subsidies from the Optimate government which he had left behind him at Rome. He found the eastern provinces in a desperate condition; not only had the whole of Asia been lost, but the Pontic armies had crossed into Europe, and had overrun the greater part of Thrace and Macedon. The fleet of Mithradates had subdued the whole of the Cyclades, and had sacked the great central emporium at Delos, where 20,000 Italians are said to have been massacred. Athens had fallen into the hands of the tyrant Aristion, a humble imitator and admirer of the Pontic king. Nearly all the smaller states of Greece had hastened to do homage to the invaders. Sentius, the governor of Macedonia, and his legate, Bruttius Sura, with a handful of Roman troops, were holding out in Thessaly, but would certainly have been overwhelmed had not Sulla come to their aid.

The great proconsul had marched south from Epirus and recovered part of the western regions of Greece, as far as Delphi and the borders of Boeotia, when he received the appalling tidings of the outbreak of the new Democratic rising in Italy and of the treason of Cinna. Many men would have turned back to crush the rebels at home before grappling with the external enemies of the state. But Sulla thought even more of the danger to the Roman empire than of the danger of the Optimate party. Instead of returning to Italy, he pressed with all vigour the campaign against the generals of Mithradates. Without his help Octavius and the Senate were lost, and at mid-winter in B.C. 87-86 he learnt that Rome was in the hands of the Democrats, that his friends had been massacred, and that he himself and his chief officers had been declared public enemies and outlawed. Decrees passed at Rome to that effect did not much injure him, for his army was thoroughly loyal, and not a man left him. But the dreadful part of the situation was that he had for the future to depend entirely on his own resources. He had no money and no fleet, the bulk of Greece was in the hands of the king’s generals, and 100,000 Pontic troops occupied its chief fortresses.

But Sulla showed no sign of discouragement. He paid his legions by the desperate expedient of seizing the temple treasures of Delphi and Olympia. To raise a fleet he sent forth his legate, L. Lucullus, bidding him appeal to all the smaller powers of the East, who were frightened by the conquering career of Mithradates. But the Oriental states were cowed, and Lucullus at first met with many refusals; he could only procure a few galleys from the Rhodians and the Phoenicians, with which he could not make any head against the large Pontic fleet. The armies and supplies of Mithradates continued to pass and repass the Aegean without hindrance during the first two years of the war.

But on land, where Sulla was at work himself, things looked better. The generals of Mithradates were beaten at Mount Tilphossium in Boeotia and pressed back towards Athens. Then the greater part of the Greek states sent to ask for terms: they had not liked their experiences of the last year, while they were under the Pontic yoke. Sulla let them buy safety at a price: he wanted money above all other things, and consented to overlook their treason in consideration of huge fines. Having secured his rear, he proceeded to lay siege to the strongholds of the enemy, the city of Athens and its port the Piraeus. They were two fortresses, and no longer one, for the “Long Walls” which had connected them in the days of Pericles had disappeared, so that their defence was carried out on separate lines.

The first great episode, therefore, in Sulla’s Greek campaign of B.C. 87-86 was the double leaguer of Athens and the Piraeus. He had with a very small army — for many of his troops were detached in the direction of Thessaly — to besiege superior numbers in two strong places, of which one was perpetually receiving succour from the sea. The Pontic garrison and the Athenians held out with great resolution, knowing the massacre that awaited them if they gave way. The walls were too strong for Roman siege-craft, and the city had to be starved out, while at the same time several attempts to relieve it both from the inland and from the side of Piraeus had to be beaten back. But Sulla never despaired, and after many months the garrison of Athens grew so weak from famine that they failed to guard the circuit of the walls with sufficient care. The Romans entered by escalade at a point near the Dipylon gate, and met with little resistance in the streets. Sulla allowed his men to plunder the place as a reward for their long endurance in the trenches, and to put to the sword many of the citizens. When at last he ordered the sack to cease, he observed that “he spared the living for the sake of the dead,” i.e. the degenerate Athenians of his own day obtained mercy in memory of Pericles and Plato [March 1, B.C. 86].

Hardly was Athens won, when a great army of succour, over 100,000 strong, came down from Macedonia, driving before it the Roman corps which had been detached on the side of Thessaly. Sulla hastened up from Athens with reinforcements; whereupon Archelaus, the governor of Piraeus, came round by sea with his garrison and joined his colleague, Taxiles. The armies met at Chaeronea, one of the inevitable battle-spots of Greece, where an invader advancing from the north can be brought to action in the narrow space between Lake Copais and the Phocian foothills. Sulla had only 15,000 foot, and less than 2000 horse, but he never doubted for a moment of success. He had seen Asiatic armies before in their own land, and had the greatest contempt for them. But at first he had some difficulty in bringing over his own men to his opinion; they feared the masses of cavalry and the many regiments of mercenaries equipped in the Macedonian fashion with the brazen shield and the long sarissa. To quiet their minds Sulla had to cover his flanks with entrenchments and stockades; but presently the men grew tired of the spade and asked to be allowed to fight. Sulla told them that they should have their will, “though it seemed that it was not so much courage as dislike for digging that made them so eager.” The event showed that an Oriental army when manfully faced, even by very inferior numbers, would never stand firm before a resolute attack of European troops. There was much confused fighting, but the story of the battle reads like that of the early British victories in India. The odds seemed hopeless, but the balance of courage compensated for them. The scythe-chariots of the Asiatic turned out as great a fraud as they had been at Cunaxa or Arbela. The legionaries soon learnt their futility; “they clapped their hands and asked for more, as if they had been looking at the races in the circus.” The unwieldy phalanxes of infantry got into disorder, and when the line of pikes was broken, fell an unresisting sacrifice to the Roman sword. Only the cavalry of Archelaus gave some trouble; it pierced the Roman line at one point and had to be driven off by hard fighting. But, seeing his infantry cut to pieces, the Pontic general rode off the field and escaped.

We can hardly believe Sulla’s allegation that he slew 100,000 men in this battle, more especially when he couples it with the astounding statement that he himself lost but fourteen legionaries, of whom two were only “missing” and turned up next morning. Even Asiatic armies cannot be routed with such a light butcher’s bill, and the wild lie must have been put about merely to cheer the spirits of the army, and inspire them with contempt for the miserable enemy [March B.C. 86].

But just when the subjection of Greece seemed complete, a new danger fell upon Sulla. The Democrats at Rome had just landed an army in Epirus under the Consul Flaccus, in order to attack him in the rear. For Cinna and his friends had not the magnanimity of Sulla, and would not reserve their swords for the foreigner, or defer civil strife till the state was free from external enemies. Fortunately for the victor of Chaeronea, Flaccus proved a feeble foe, as was to be expected from a hero of the Forum, — one whose only achievement had been to pass a disgraceful law which allowed debtors to pay off their liabilities by tendering one-fourth of what they owed to their unfortunate creditors. The consul marched into Thessaly, spreading proclamations which invited the legionaries of Sulla to desert the standard of an outlaw and to join the legitimate representative of the Roman people. But when the two armies faced each other near Melitaea, Flaccus’s raw levies showed no eagerness to fight; they began to pass over to Sulla, whose reputation as a general and notorious liberality impressed their minds. The Optimate, on the other hand, could thoroughly rely on his men, though he had bought their loyalty by methods of very doubtful morality, not only by paying them well but by allowing them to live at free quarters, to pillage every place that offered resistance, and to maltreat the inhabitants to their heart’s content. Flaccus found his own army much more likely to melt away than that of his rival, and hastily sheered off towards Macedonia, giving out that he would march against Mithradates instead of against the Optimates. This he actually did, to the great relief of Sulla, who not only was relieved of an enemy, but saw that enemy doing good work for him by making a diversion in Asia. For Flaccus crossed the Hellespont, and though he was soon after murdered in a mutiny, his successor, the demagogue Fimbria, continued his policy, left the Optimates alone, and began harrying Mysia and Bithynia.

But long ere Flaccus reached Asia, Sulla was compelled to fight one more great battle in Greece. While he had been marching into Thessaly to face the Democrats, Mithradates had sent reinforcements to join Archelaus, who after his defeat at Chaeronea had taken refuge at Chalcis in Euboea. To watch this new army Sulla had fallen back to Athens, where he spent the winter of B.C. 86-85, waiting for the enemy to make a move on to the mainland. For as long as the Pontic troops were protected by the channel of the Euripus they were unassailable. Sulla had no fleet to ferry him over the strait, and the sea belonged to his adversaries. The Pontic ships wandered far and wide, even as far west as Zacynthus, and there was no Roman squadron to keep them in check.

But in the spring of B.C. 85 Archelaus had been strengthened by new levies, till he had 80,000 men in hand. The king wished him to fight, and he had been sent a colleague named Dorylaus, who was eager to take the offensive. Accordingly the Pontic army crossed the straits into Boeotia, and gave Sulla the opportunity for which he had been longing. His second great battle was fought in the marshy plain near Orchomenus, only ten miles away from the spot where he had won his first victory in the preceding year. The decisive engagement was brought about by the Romans commencing to run lines across the plain, so as to hem in the enemy with their backs to the morasses of Lake Copais. As Sulla had expected, this manoeuvre compelled his adversaries to attack him. The Pontic cavalry came suddenly charging down on the half-completed entrenchments, and drove back for a moment the cohorts which were covering the work. Seeing them give way, Sulla sprang from his horse, seized a standard, and ran to the front. “If any one asks you where you deserted your general,” he shouted to the recoiling battalions, “say that it was at Orchomenus.” The taunt recalled them to their duty, the line was re-formed, the reinforcements brought up, and in the pitched battle which followed the whole Pontic army was hurled into the lake and annihilated. “Even two hundred years after that day,” writes Plutarch, “bows, helms, broken mail, and swords are still continually discovered in the mud, where the fen was once choked with the bodies of the barbarians.” The whole horde perished: only their general Archelaus escaped, as he had done in the previous year at Chaeronea.

Mithradates was now much cowed in spirit. All his chosen mercenaries had been destroyed, his foothold in Europe was lost, and he saw the war about to be transferred to Asia. For Lucullus had at last collected a fleet, which gave Sulla that power of crossing the Aegean which he had not hitherto possessed. Moreover, Fimbria was already across the Hellespont, and though his army was small and raw compared with that of Sulla, it was already giving the king much trouble. Accordingly he sent to ask for peace, offering to abandon all that he had conquered in Europe if he were allowed to retain the province of Asia. He promised in addition to lend the Optimates a fleet, a great sum of money, and an auxiliary army for use against the Democrats in Italy. But Sulla was far too good a Roman to allow the empire to be shorn of its wealthiest province, and scorned to march against Cinna at the head of a barbarian force. He rejected the terms proposed to him, and offered the king merely the restoration of the boundaries that had existed before the war. He might keep his ancestral kingdom, but he must evacuate Asia, surrender his fleet, and pay a heavy war indemnity.

The Pontic monarch at first thought that these terms were harder than his adversaries had any right to ask. He declared that he would continue the war rather than accept them. Sulla then began to make active preparations for crossing the Aegean: at the same moment a great number of the states of Ionia, Lydia, and Caria revolted against Mithradates, whose rule had been rapidly becoming unbearable, as his temper grew worse and his financial demands more pressing. Moreover, Fimbria’s army had pushed south and occupied Pergamus, after defeating the king’s son in a pitched battle.

With a sudden descent from swollen pride to abject servility, very characteristic of an Oriental prince in his day of trouble, Mithradates sent to tender acceptance of the original terms that had been offered him. He evacuated as much of the Asiatic province as was still in his hands, gave up seventy war-galleys, and paid a fine of 3000 talents. He had a formal conference with Sulla at Dardanus in the Troad, where he promised everything that was asked of him, and bore with humility the haughty and trenchant harangue of his conqueror, who told him that he was fortunate to escape so easily as he was now doing, after his unprovoked attack on Rome in the day of her necessity, and his wanton massacre of the Italian residents in Asia during the first year of the war.

The honour of the Roman name being now fully vindicated, and the boundaries of the empire restored, Sulla was at last able to turn against the Democrats. He had first to deal with Fimbria, whose army had pushed southward and was now lying at Thyatira, in Lydia; but when he drew near, the soldiers of his adversary refused to bear arms against the saviour and champion of the Roman cause in the East. Their general, seeing his men melting away from him, made an attempt to get Sulla murdered at a conference, and when this miserable plot failed, fell upon his own sword. The submission of Fimbria’s legions was a godsend to the Optimates, for Sulla was able to leave them behind to garrison Asia, so that the whole of his own veterans could be utilised for the approaching invasion of Italy.

Having completely pacified the East, and carried out in its entirety the programme which he had set before himself when he left Rome in B.C. 87, Sulla now turned his face homeward. He was aware that he had no light task before him: his military chest was full, for he had levied an enormous fine of 20,000 talents on the Asiatic cities which had joined in the massacre of B.C. 88. But his army was very small: he had no more than his original five legions, kept up with difficulty to their full strength, for Roman recruits were hard to find in the East. Even counting a few mercenary troops which he had levied, he had no more than 30,000 men — about the same number with which Hannibal had invaded Italy a hundred and thirty-five years before. They seemed but a handful, when it was borne in mind that Cinna could dispose of the resources of the whole peninsula, not to speak of those of the provinces of Gaul, Spain, and Africa. But Sulla had three causes for confidence — his own generalship (or, as he preferred to call it, his luck), the absolute fidelity of his legions, and the knowledge that comparatively few of those who were to be opposed to him were particularly zealous to fight for the Democratic cause. In military efficiency each of his men was worth two or three of the raw recruits with whom they would have to deal; and what soldier was likely to desert the general who had been giving him of late no less than sixteen denarii a day, just thirty-two times the normal pay of the Roman legionary?

Sulla gave his enemies fair warning of his intentions. Before he set sail he sent a despatch to Rome, in which he laid before the Senate a detailed account of his four successful years of campaigning in Greece and Asia. He then announced that he was approaching to chastise those who had been guilty of the massacres of the winter of B.C. 87-86, not to harm the Roman people. He should not meddle with the rights of the newly enfranchised Italian citizens, nor should he do any wilful damage to Italy. He was the enemy, not of the many, but of the few, and only those who had blood on their hands need fear him.

Such a declaration was well suited to frighten the Democratic government at Rome, for Cinna and his friends knew that they were no longer popular with the country at large. Their three years of rule had been a disastrous failure; it started with a bloody massacre which alienated every citizen of moderate mind. Then, when constructive measures were necessary, the famous Democratic programme had ended in a fiasco. Cinna had no genius in him, and the code of laws which he produced turned out to be no more than a réchauffé of the out-of-date expedients of Sulpicius and the Gracchi, which had already been tried and found wanting. The one startling novelty had been the dishonest debt-law of Valerius Flaccus, which (as we have already mentioned) permitted those who owed money to demand a receipt in full from their creditors when they had paid one-fourth of what they had borrowed. It may be guessed what was the effect of this law on the money-lending Equites, who had hitherto been staunch supporters of the Democratic cause.

Cinna and his friends, in short, had staked their success on their power to satisfy all Italy, and to provide a purer and a more efficient government than that of the old senatorial oligarchy. In this they had notoriously failed. So far from being a return to the Golden Age, the three years’ domination of the Democratic party had been a time of massacre, bankruptcy, and discontent. The chiefs of the dominant faction had proved windbags, and dishonest windbags too. Of all the men who emerged as leaders in these troublous years, none showed the least sign of genius save the praetor Q. Sertorius; the rest were noisy rather than energetic, and bloodthirsty rather than resolute. Indeed, the only men who fought with zeal against Sulla were those who had compromised themselves in the massacre, and knew that they were beyond the hope of pardon.

Sulla’s great advantage, then, was that he and his followers meant business, while the majority of those arrayed against him were lukewarm. But still the odds seemed so desperate, in point of mere numbers, that it was thought that his little army would be overwhelmed. Cinna had 100,000 men enrolled in B.C. 84, and in the next year it is said that his successors hurried double that number into the field. But few were eager for the fray. It seemed that they were to be sacrificed to save the necks of their leaders, not to defend Italy, for Sulla kept asserting that he came as a friend to every one but the fanatics who had murdered his friends, razed his house to the ground, and declared him a public enemy. Noting the slackness of the people and the army, the majority in the Senate, who felt themselves less compromised than their leaders, voted that an embassy should be sent to Sulla, to see if he could not be reconciled and brought home without a war. But when, amid many protestations of his moderation and good intentions, the proconsul answered that he must bring his army at his back to give him security, and that the guilty must be punished, it was evident that there was no way of avoiding the struggle.

Cinna meanwhile had been seized with the idea that the best way to keep Sulla out of Italy would be to attack him in Greece. He collected an army at Ancona, with the intention of crossing over into Epirus. The first cohorts sailed, but when the main body was ordered to embark in very stormy weather, the men mutinied. Cinna came hurrying down to appease them, but was received by a volley of stones and beaten to death. The control of his party fell into the hands of men even less capable than himself, the chief of whom were his colleague, the consul Papirius Carbo, Marius, the son of the great general, and L. Junius Brutus Damasippus. The Democratic party had no longer a single autocratic leader — Cinna’s three consulships had been styled a dominatio and almost a tyranny — but was ruled by a council of war destitute of any commanding personality.

In the spring of B.C. 83 Sulla landed in safety at Brundisium, which opened its gates without opposition — an event of evil augury for the Democrats. It was his object to show from the first that he came as the friend of Italy, and the enemy only of those who had proscribed him. All through his first campaign he was fighting with his brains as much as with his sword, by proclamations no less than by battles. He began by granting the Brundisians immunity from all taxation as a reward for their surrender. As he marched through Apulia he kept his army in such order that neither man nor beast, cottage nor cornfield, was harmed: yet it must have been hard to hold in veterans accustomed to the plunder of the East. Wherever he came, he announced that there was full amnesty and pardon for every one who did not actually appear in arms against him. This conduct had the most marked effect on the hostile army: from the very first the Democratic legions showed great lukewarmness in the cause of their commanders. The two consuls for the new year, C. Norbanus and L. Cornelius Scipio, were entrusted with the opening of the campaign against the invader. They were both very incompetent officers, and foolishly separated their armies by such a wide gap that Sulla was able to deal with them in detail. Norbanus was defeated near Canusium, in Apulia; he hastily fell back across the Apennines, but received a second beating at Mount Tifata, after which he shut him self up in Capua. His colleague Scipio marched to his aid, but his army was dispersed more by intrigue than by fighting. For Sulla proposed an armistice, and took advantage of it to tamper with the consul’s men, who, when the resumption of hostilities was proclaimed, refused to fight. Part of them dispersed, part went over to Sulla, and Scipio fell into the hands of his enemy. Still maintaining his ostentatious affectation of magnanimity, the latter sent him away unharmed, giving him an escort as far as the nearest Democratic camp. He then returned to blockade the army of Norbanus. The Democrats complained, as Plutarch tells us, that “in contending with Sulla they had to fight at once with a lion and a fox, and the fox gave the more trouble of the two.”

Sulla’s first successes emboldened the surviving members of the Optimate party, who had escaped the sword of Marius, and had been lurking ever since in obscure hiding-places, to take arms. The senior in rank was the proconsul Q. Metellus Pius, but by far the most able were two young men, Gn. Pompeius and Marcus Crassus, each of whom had to avenge a father slain in the civil war, the one in a mutiny, the other in the great massacre of B.C. 87. Both were active, enterprising, and fortunate. Pompeius gathered in Picenum, where his family was popular, a tumultuary force that gradually swelled to three legions. Crassus levied a small army in the Marsian territory. These insurrections distracted the attention of the Democrats, who were forced to turn against them a considerable portion of their new levies, and had in consequence less men to oppose to Sulla.

It thus came to pass that the proconsul found himself strong enough to march on Rome when the spring of B.C. 82 came round. He planned a diversion on the east side of Italy, where Metellus and Pompey made such a bold advance that Carbo, with the main army of the Democrats, went off to hold them in check, leaving the younger Marius, with 40,000 men, to guard Latium and the Appian Way. When Sulla started for a sudden rush on Rome, he found only this latter army in his path. At Sacriportus, near Signia, he inflicted a crushing defeat on the young general, who was a brave soldier but no tactician. The Optimates were much outnumbered, but the slackness of the rank and file among their enemies gave them every advantage. In the thick of the fight five cohorts threw down their standards and went over to Sulla: this broke the line, the enemy fled, and Marius only succeeded in saving a fraction of his host within the walls of the fortress of Praeneste. The road to Rome was open, and Sulla marched hastily on the city: he occupied it without having to strike a blow, but found to his disgust that he was too late to prevent a fresh massacre. On getting news of the defeat at Sacriportus, the praetor L. Brutus Damasippus had laid violent hands on every person in the city who was suspected of sympathising with the Optimates. Mucius Scaevola, the Pontifex Maximus, and many other respectable men, perished in this disgraceful slaughter.

After the fall of Rome Sulla’s star was manifestly in the ascendant, and he possessed the obvious advantage of appearing to be the legal representative of the people, since he could compel the Senate and the Comitia to vote whatever he pleased. The war assumed a very confused and chaotic aspect, for fighting was now going on all over Italy, and each side had dispersed its main force, in the endeavour to seize or to hold as many important districts as was possible. But the whole business came to a head on November 1 , B.C. 82: while Sulla was facing Carbo in Etruria, and young Marius was still being besieged in Praeneste, the enemy made a vigorous attempt to seize Rome. A division detached by Carbo made a junction, behind Sulla’s back, with the national levy of the Samnites, who were helping the Democrats more in the character of independent allies than in that of Roman citizens. Caius Pontius of Telesia, a namesake of the ancient hero of the Caudine Forks, led his country men to join Damasippus and Carrinas. The whole mass came rushing down from the Apennines upon the city, which the Samnites intended to sack rather than to save. Sulla received news of this concentration in his rear so late that he almost despaired of arriving in time. Rome was within an ace of destruction, for the vanguard of the Optimate cavalry arrived when the enemy were only two miles from the gates. If their generals had pushed for ward a little farther on the preceding night (October 31st), instead of encamping close to the city, they would have found no one to oppose them. As it was, Sulla’s legions had to be placed in line directly they arrived, after a fatiguing night march, and without being granted time to take a proper meal.

The battle that followed was far the fiercest of the whole civil war, for Sulla had to deal not with the lukewarm levies of Carbo, but with the sturdy Samnites. Pontius rode round his army crying, as Velleius tells us, that “Rome’s last day had come; that the tyrant city must be destroyed to her foundations; that the Roman wolves, the bane of Italian liberty, would never be got rid of until their lair was laid waste.” The armies met outside the Colline gate, on the northern side of the city, the Optimate legions being ranged with their back to the walls, and only a few hundred yards from them. Sulla had the left wing, his lieutenant, M. Crassus, the right. For some hours the fortune of the day was hardly contested: Crassus gained ground, but Sulla’s own division was pressed backward, till some of the cohorts were crushed against the walls, and others vainly tried to re-enter the gates, which were closed against them by the citizens. The general himself was in imminent danger of death: those who were near him saw him draw from his breast the little golden figure of Apollo which he always wore, kiss it, and mutter to the god that it would be a scurvy trick if he allowed Sulla the lucky to fall at last on his own threshold by the hands of traitors.

Apollo was not unpropitious: the wreck of Sulla’s wing held out at the foot of the walls till the night fell: soon after the news came that Crassus had completely routed the force opposed to him, which seems to have been mainly composed of the Democratic levies of Damasippus and Carrinas, not of Samnites. This caused the enemy to draw off from Sulla; their general, Pontius, had been mortally wounded, and it seems that there was no capable man to take his place. At dawn the two Optimate divisions joined and swept away the dislocated forces of their opponents: one Democratic legion came over to Sulla’s side; the rest dispersed, but not so quickly but that 8000 of them were captured in their flight. The generals Damasippus, Marcius, and Carrinas suffered the same fate on the next day. Sulla cut off their heads and sent them to Praeneste, to be exhibited to young Marius and his famishing garrison. The dreadful sight had its effect: Marius committed suicide and Praeneste surrendered. The victor sorted out the Romans from among the prisoners, beheaded those of senatorial rank, but let the rest go free. The Italians were all put to death to the number of several thousands. The same fate had already befallen the captives taken at the Colline gate; 8000 of them — all save the Roman rank and file — were slain in the Circus Maximus, which had been utilised as their prison. The Senate, sitting hard by in the Temple of Bellona, heard the groans and shrieks of the victims, and showed signs of terror. But Sulla bid them “stick to their business and not allow themselves to be distracted; it was only some malefactors who were suffering the reward of their crimes.”

There was still much fighting to be done in Italy: Carbo deserted his army in Etruria and fled over-seas, but his partisans held out for some time in isolated bands. Norba and Nola stood long sieges, and Volaterrae held out for the incredible length of two years. But the main war in Italy practically came to an end with the victory of the Colline gate and the fall of Praeneste. The struggle after that date mainly consisted of the savage harrying of Samnium and Etruria, the two districts where the Democratic party had made itself most strong.

Proscription

Leaving the completion of this guerilla warfare to his lieutenants, Sulla had set himself to the great work of his latter years, the remodelling of the Roman constitution on an oligarchical basis. With this object he had himself appointed dictator in November 82. But a dreadful preliminary to his political work was his great “Proscription,” the formal revenge for what Marius and Cinna had done in B.C. 87-86. “Down to the moment of his victory,” it was said, “he showed himself far more moderate and humane than could have been expected; after it was won, he was more cruel than could have been believed possible.” He spared indeed the rank and file of the Roman Democrats, but he systematically cut off every man of note in their party. It seemed that he was determined that not one leader should survive to rally the partisans of the lost cause. He started his operations by issuing three long lists of persons on whose heads a price was set; the first contained 80 names, the second and third 220 each. He then coolly gave notice that he had condemned every one whom he could remember, but that those whom he had forgotten should be put into supplementary catalogues. These dreadful appendices kept coming out for many weeks, and not till they ceased could any Roman who had not taken the Optimate side feel himself secure. Many comparatively obscure names crept into the lists, for the generals and favourites of Sulla often got him to insert their personal enemies among the executed. He himself seems to have been as impervious to corruption as to pity, but those about him were not, and all sorts of old grudges were paid off under a pretence of political vengeance. In all, some 50 senators, 1600 equites, and at least 2000 private persons were executed in the Sullan proscriptions. The heads of the fallen were exhibited in the Forum, according to the disgusting custom which had begun at the death of Sulpicius. Their property was confiscated, and their children and grandchildren were declared of tainted blood and incapable of holding any public office. The “sons of the proscribed” formed a well-known group of malcontents during the next generation, on account of this disability which was now laid upon them.

But the Proscription was only, in Sulla’s estimation, a necessary preliminary to the great work of reconstruction which he had taken in hand. He had resolved to rearrange the whole constitution, with the definite object of transferring the sovereignty of the state from the people to the Senate.

We have already pointed out that in the Roman politics of the last fifty years the main difficulty that lay at the bottom of all disputes was the quarrel for sovereignty. Should the Senate, according to recent usage, or the tribes, according to ancient constitutional theory, be the body that really ruled the city and the empire? Senatus Populusque Romanus was a sounding phrase, but neither Optimates nor Democrats had any love for the mutual interdependence which the words postulated.

Now Sulla thought that all the troubles of the time came from the fact that neither Senate nor people had full sovereignty; and, as a consistent oligarch and a conscientious party-man, he was determined to put the balance of power to an end, by conferring complete autocratic authority on his own senatorial order. The Optimates had, during the last fifty years, suffered from three different sorts of foes — from unruly tribunes galvanising into spasmodic life the cumbrous but all-powerful machinery of the Comitia; from over-great magistrates, like Marius or Cinna, who renewed their power from year to year and kept an army at their backs; and from the newly created Equestrian Order, the body of financiers, fighting for their own interests by the power of the purse, however sordid and anti-national these interests might be.

Sulla’s laws, so far as they dealt with things political, resolve themselves into an ingenious and systematic attempt to break down the power of all these three enemies of the Senate — the Comitia Tributa and its tribunes, the great magistrates, and the equites. If all three were politically annihilated, there would be for the future no check on the omnipotence of the Senate. The dictator’s object was to combine the maximum of real with the minimum of formal change; for though he was himself completely emancipated from that slavish respect for the letter of the constitution which swayed the average Roman, he knew that this was the case neither with his friends nor with his enemies.

The hardest blows were aimed at the most powerful enemies, the tribunes and the Comitia Tributa, whose power of issuing and repealing any laws that they pleased had been the greatest danger of the Senate. As long as any Democratic tribune could bring forward whatever bills he chose, and as long as such bills, when passed by the Plebeian assembly, became binding on the state, there was no security against a reaction that might annul the whole of the Cornelian Laws the moment that their author should have passed away.

Sulla’s action against the Comitia was very ingenious. He made no pretence of abolishing it, or of abrogating the omnipotence of such bills as it might pass. He only determined that no dangerous bill should ever come before it. This was accomplished by reviving and making indisputably valid the old claim of the Senate that every law should of right be laid before them and receive their auctoritas, or certificate of legality, before the tribune introduced it to the assembly. Now, obviously, such bills as the Senate would pass on as harmless and useful, would be measures that did not cut short their own authority or clash with their ideas of expediency. Sulla therefore compelled the Comitia to pass a law which made the grant of a senatus auctoritas a necessary preliminary for the production of a law before the people. Henceforth, as he hoped, there would be no chance of tiresome and dangerous bills for land distributions, or corn-doles, or grants of abnormal powers to magistrates, being passed by the assembly. All such schemes, if broached in the Senate, would be stifled there and go no farther. No measure of a Democratic complexion would ever reach the Comitia. All that the people would be able to do would be to reject bills sent down to them with the senatorial sanction, if they had the pluck to contradict the governing power in the state. Their power of initiative would be gone. Thus reduced to impotence, the assembly was no longer an object of dread to Sulla; and for that reason he did not think it worthwhile to abolish it, or even to turn out from it the hordes of Italians whom Cinna had thrust into the midst of the old citizens. He made no attempt either to confine them to a few tribes or to suspend their franchise. Thus he kept to the letter the promise which he had made to the new citizens when he landed at Brundisium. Personally, as an old aristocrat, Sulla probably felt much less contempt for the Italians than for the original Plebs Urbana. What he thought of the freedmen, who were so prominent a feature in that body, may be guessed from the fact that he not only put them all back into the four city tribes, but actually foisted in among them in a single day no less than 10,000 voters of the lowest class, enfranchised slaves of those who had fallen in his own proscription. They all took him as their patron, and adopted his name of Cornelius, which was henceforth one of the commonest appellations in the slums.

To destroy completely the powers of the Plebeian assembly as an element in the constitution, it was necessary not merely to subordinate its legislative functions to those of the Senate, but to cut short the dangerous and anarchical privileges of its presiding magistrates, the tribunes. Some legislators would have abolished the tribunate altogether; and considering the way in which Tiberius Gracchus and Saturninus had used it, there would have been a fair excuse for so doing. Sulla, however, merely resolved that he would invent rules which should for the future keep tribunes out of mischief. It was not enough that a senatus auctoritas should be required for any bill that they might bring forward. He determined that they should for the future be nonentities, men unlikely to disturb the state by their personal ascendency or ambition.

This end was secured by the ingenious law which provided that for the future the acceptance of the tribunate should be a complete bar to the holding of any subsequent magistracy in the state. The man who chose to be a tribune would put himself out of the running for any further political promotion. But in spite of this disability, it was conceivable that an ambitious man might become tribune with the intention not of sacrificing any external career, but of being perpetually re-elected to this office like Caius Gracchus of old. Sulla provided against this possibility by repealing the law of B.C. 129, which had made it legal for a man to hold the tribunate in successive years. He enacted that tribunes (and, as we shall see, other magistrates also) should not be chosen again without an interval of ten years between their two tenures of the post. Thus it was secured that for the future no man of more than fifth-rate ambition would become a tribune, since by putting in for a nomination he cut himself off from all hope of a brilliant and continuous public career.

But even the nobodies who would now hold the office were not to be left shackled only by their own nothingness. Sulla gave the Senate a power of fining the tribunes for any conduct that it might consider illegal or unbecoming, so that they had to live in awe of the governing body all their days. If they held too many noisy public meetings or dared to use their veto freely, they might find themselves saddled with a crushing penalty and reduced to poverty. The only power, in short, which remained untouched among the tribune’s privileges, was that which he had been given when the office was first invented in the days of the early Republic, the jus auxilii ferendi, or right to intervene in behalf of the individual Roman citizen who might be suffering oppression.

Having dealt thus with the tribunes and the assembly, Sulla had next to take in hand the second power in the state which was dangerous to the sovereignty of the Senate — that of the individual magistrates. According to the theory of the Roman constitution, the consul or praetor, deriving his authority directly from the people because he had been elected by them in the Comitia Centuriata, had a very independent position in face of the Senate. That body, indeed, had in early days been nothing more than the band of advisers chosen by the consul, whose monitions he was equally free to accept or to reject. Even in these latter times a headstrong consul could practically disregard the voice of the Senate for his whole term of office: and if he was chosen for several years in succession, he could go on administering things much as he pleased, without being restrained to any appreciable extent. Such had been the position of Marius during the years of the Cimbric war, and of Cinna in B.C. 86-84.

Sulla therefore had to guard against the ambition of the magistrates of the future. His main weapon for this end was his lex annalis: this law provided that all the officers of the state must be taken in strict rotation — first the quaestorship, then the praetorship, and lastly the consulate. No one was to hold two offices in successive years; and the different limits of age prescribed for each secured that a considerable time must elapse between the tenure of them, otherwise, of course, an ambitious politician might, by taking aedileship, praetorship, and consulate in successive years, get a long spell of continuous power, and make himself permanently disagreeable to the Senate. Much less was it to be permitted that any magistrate should hold the same office continuously: one of Sulla’s ordinances was to the effect that there must be a gap of no less than ten years before a man could be re-elected to the same post. We have already come across this provision when dealing with the tribunate. There would, therefore, no longer be any place in the constitution for a Marius or a Cinna: but, in the true oligarchic style, each man would get his turn, and no man more than his turn. Every politician would be able to calculate with precision when he ought to hold each office, without the danger arising that some interloper of genius might sweep down and monopolise the series of praetorships or consulships that ought to have been divided among half-a-dozen minor persons.

It is curious to note that Sulla, with all his acuteness, overlooked one fact — that an ambitious proconsul in a province, at the head of an army, might be quite as troublesome to the Senate as an ambitious consul at Rome proposing laws to the people. Yet his own career ought to have taught him that a governor in Greece or Gaul with half-a-dozen faithful legions was the greatest danger of all. He did realise the peril, as it would seem, but merely provided against it by enacting that any imperator who crossed the frontier of his province at the head of an army, or refused to quit it within a month of his successor’s arrival, should become ipso facto a public enemy. This, no doubt, clearly defined high treason, but it gave no sufficient security against it. The Republic was ultimately to be overthrown by an adventurer of this kind — by a provincial governor who dared to cross the Rubicon, whatever might be the legal consequence, because he was well aware that his legions would follow him against any enemy whom he might choose to indicate to them. The real remedy against this peril would have been to separate the military from the civil command in each province — to have a governor who was merely an administrator, and a commander-in-chief who reported directly to the Senate. But this plan does not seem to have entered into the dictator’s mind.

Sulla made a large increase in the number of the annual magistrates, raising the praetors to eight and the quaestors to twenty; but it is improbable that he intended, as some have supposed, to decrease the importance of each office by multiplying the numbers of those who held it. Incidentally this result might follow, but it is probable that the dictator was merely studying the convenience of the state, for till his day the administration was decidedly undermanned. Nor, again, does it seem to be true that he deliberately deprived the consuls of their military power for their year of office, by arranging that they should stay in Rome, where no legions would be at their disposal, and only utilise their imperium when they went out as proconsuls to their provinces in the succeeding year. The usage that the consul should remain at home, unless urgent military affairs drew him out of Italy, had already begun to grow up before Sulla’s time. And on the other hand there are a few cases after his death in which the consul left the city and assumed command of an army before his year had expired — e.g., this was certainly done by Cotta and Lucullus in the first year of the third Mithradatic war.

It would seem that Sulla made the quaestorship qualify its holder for a seat in the Senate, so that the governing body of the state was no longer filled up by the censors, but recruited automatically by the influx of young magistrates. In this way he abolished the necessity for a censorship, and made the Senate independent of the likes and dislikes of individual holders of that office.

Having thus muzzled the tribunes and curbed the consuls, Sulla had next to deal with the third enemy of the Senate, the Equestrian Order. It will be remembered that a disproportionate share of the massacre of the fourth proscription had fallen upon them — no less than 1600 had been put to death, so that the Democratic wing of the knighthood had been almost exterminated. At the other end of the line Sulla had promoted a very large number of Equites of Optimate views to a seat in the Senate, so that in legislating against the body he was not striking at his own friends. His object was to loosen the bonds which held together the rather heterogeneous classes which formed the Equestrian Order. These bonds were, firstly, their honorary privileges, — the augusticlave toga, the gold ring, and the rows of reserved seats in circus and theatre; secondly, their monopoly of the control of the Jury Courts, which they had used so unscrupulously as a weapon against the Senate and the provincial magistrates; thirdly, their tax-farming privileges, especially that most profitable enactment of Caius Gracchus, which handed over the collecting of the tithes of Asia to the Societates.

Sulla, therefore, launched a whole series of measures against the Equestrian Order. One bill took away the entire control of the law-courts from them, and restored it to the senators. Once more the latter became the only persons eligible as jurymen, as in the days before Caius Gracchus; they could look forward to being tried by a friendly instead of a hostile court if they incurred prosecution, and were able to audit their own accounts inside the family. The Equites suffered, but not the empire, for the previous state of things had been so bad that any change must have profited the provincials. A second bill put an end to the system of tax-farming in Asia, and imposed on each of its cities a fixed tribute, instead of the tithes. This was an enormous boon to the Asiatics; but probably the way in which the measure commended itself to Sulla’s mind had nothing to do with their point of view. He made the change because it would be unpalatable to the knights, who lost an unparalleled source of money-making when the tax-farming disappeared. We may compare him to the Puritans of old, who abolished bear-baiting, not because it was cruel to the bear, but because it gave so much pleasure to the audience. Yet another bill, of which the details have unfortunately perished, would seem to have deprived the Equites of many of their honorary privileges, especially of their seats in the circus. These they did not recover till the law of Roscius Otho restored them in B.C. 67.

There were many other Cornelian Laws outside the three great groups with which we have been dealing. One abolished the corn-dole, a most admirable measure, for which we should admire the dictator more if we could only suppose that he was acting on economic reasons, and not merely doing his best to disoblige the urban multitude. Others systematised the organisation of the Law Courts, which had hitherto been arranged in a very haphazard fashion. Very prominent among his innovations was the law which added new courts for the trial of criminal offences (quaestiones perpetuae) to those already existing, so that every form of offence had for the future its proper venue. But of these legal matters we have no leisure to speak. Nor need we say much concerning his colonial schemes: he settled many of his veterans in Etruria and Samnium, on the lands of the cities which he had destroyed for obstinate adherence to the Democratic cause. But he can hardly have expected his colonies to prove economic successes, considering the character of the settlers, who had long been estranged from the soil, and the indisputable fact that farming had long ceased to pay in Central Italy. They were, no doubt, merely intended to last out Sulla’s own day, and to supply him for a time with compact blocks of adherents, accustomed to arms and cantoned in the close vicinity of Rome. It is a curious commentary on the wisdom of the step, that ruined Sullan veterans formed, sixteen years later, an appreciable element in the army of Catiline.

Sulla, as everyone knows, laid down his dictatorship in January B.C. 79, after holding it for two years. When he had passed all his long code of constitutional enactments, and had seen the last embers of civil war die down, he laid aside the trappings of power and retired into private life. He had no personal ambition, and when his work was finished and the new constitution had been set going, he resolved to let it have the chance of a fair start, with out the danger of overbalance caused by the perpetual presence of his own mighty personality. For the Sullan regime had in it no place for Sullas. The whole scheme of laws had been framed to keep down over-great men, and he was well aware that he was himself over-great. As a conscientious oligarch, it was his duty to remove himself from power, and to resign the abnormal office that he had held throughout B.C. 81 and 80. His function for the future was to stand by, outside the machine, to watch it work, and to step in to lend his aid if ever it showed signs of getting out of gear. His notion of how the new constitution could best be maintained may be gathered from the curious story of the death of Lucretius Ofella. That distinguished officer, the captor of Praeneste, so far presumed on his late services that he boldly proposed to break Sulla’s Lex Annalis by standing for the consulate before he had held the praetorship. Sulla gave him fair warning that he would not be allowed to take the office, but he refused to listen, and made a formal canvass in the Forum after the usual style. While Ofella was going his rounds with his white toga in the crowded market-place, his chief quietly told two centurions to cut him down. They did so; and when an uproar began, Sulla stepped forward to take all the blame and responsibility, and to offer to stand his trial for murder. No one dared to come forward as a prosecutor, and so he got off scot-free. The story has several morals; clearly the constitution was still so weak that an ambitious man could venture to attack it ere it was two years old; only Sulla himself could defend it, but as long as he survived it was safe. If he could have looked forward to twenty years of life, he might have dragooned the Roman people into an acceptance of it; but he was already elderly and ailing. Innovators should start young and live long, like the Emperor Augustus. What would have happened to the imperial system if Augustus had died at the age of forty, instead of living on till he was seventy-six ?

No doubt Sulla’s constitution was doomed from the first to failure. But, at any rate, the experiment of restoring the oligarchy was worth trying. The opposite political device of the Democrats, that of endeavouring to transact all the business of the city and the empire in the Comitia, had proved utterly impracticable. Under Cinna’s domination such a regime had been working for nearly four years with the most deplorable results — the popular programme had been tried and found wanting — it had run to nothing more than corn-largesses and the repudiation of debts. At the touch of the sword the Democratic government had fallen to pieces, merely because it commanded neither respect nor affection from any quarter.

Sulla’s scheme, — to set up a Senate unhampered by any other power in the state, and possessing full and complete sovereignty, was at least equally worthy of a trial. It failed no doubt, mainly from the want of men able and willing to work the system when the old dictator had passed away. For he left behind him a Senate most unfitted to carry on his great plan — not a number of men of good average ability, each ready to take his turn of duty and power and not desirous of grasping at more, but quite the opposite sort of assembly — a multitude of nonentities and incapables mixed with a few ambitious young generals. The heart and core of the old Optimate party had perished in the Marian massacres; in spite of all its faults, the Senate, down to the days of the civil war, had always contained a certain number of men of mark and respectability — persons such as Antonius the orator; Catulus, the victor over the Cimbri; Crassus, the father of the Triumvir; the consuls Octavius and Merula. All these had been slain by Marius and Cinna. Of the Optimate senators none survived, save those who had been protected by their own insignificance, and the few who had been absent with Sulla in Greece when the civil war broke out. The reconstructed Senate of B.c. 81, therefore, was mainly composed of a mass of trivial and unimportant persons, whose nothingness had caused them to escape Cinna’s eye. But seated among them were the military men who had come to the front during the fighting, such as Ofella, Crassus, and Pompey. These young generals — as was but natural — were not content to take their single turn of power and office in company with the herd of nobodies. They were ambitious, and yearned for the carrière est ouverte aux talents, in which the able man could not only reach the front, but stay there. The slow oligarchic rotation, which Sulla had invented, was odious to them, and they were in the end driven to overthrow the new constitution in order that they might be able to assert themselves over the mediocrities. There was no resisting power among the majority — no true heir of Sulla’s breed survived to bind them together and to rally them to fight in behalf of the oligarchic system. So the great dictator’s constitution fell, almost undefended, only ten years after it had been created.

This, at any rate, was not Sulla’s fault. He did his best with the materials set before him. He constructed the first logical and well-planned constitution that Rome had ever known — a triumph of ingenuity, because it changed the essentials while leaving the external features still in existence. It was a thoroughly practical scheme for the governance of city and empire by a pure oligarchy. If it failed, it was because the machine was cleverly built, but its mainspring was not strong enough to keep the wheels moving, i.e. it demanded that the average senator should attain a certain moderate level of courage, capacity, and patriotism, — but the Fathers, as a body, were lacking in all these three essentials. In the hands of the senators of the third century before Christ the Sullan constitution could have been worked; but in B.C. 80 the motive power was too weak, through no fault of Sulla’s, and the machine was bound to run down. As long as he stood beside it to give the pendulum an occasional swing, the clock continued to go. When he died, it ticked feebly for a short time and then stopped.

It was ruinous to the oligarchy that Sulla should have survived only a little more than a year after he laid down the dictatorship. For himself, his early death was probably not so unfortunate: it saved him from many disappointments. Even before he died he had suffered one at least, in seeing M. Lepidus elected to the consulship contrary to his expressed desire. But on the whole his last year was one of prosperity ; for the first time for many a long day he was free from the cares of office and could live as he pleased. His powers of enjoyment do not seem to have been the least impaired by advancing years: he had still to make up for that youth spent in involuntary frugality. Just before he laid down the dictatorship he had married a young wife: the story of their first meeting, as told by Plutarch, gives an amazing picture of the light-heartedness of the man who had just waded through all the blood of the Proscription.

“The dictator was one day presenting the people with a show of gladiators, and it chanced that a lady of great beauty and good family sat close behind Sulla. Her name was Valeria, the daughter of Messala, and the sister of Hortensius the orator: she had lately divorced her first husband. This lady, coming gently behind Sulla, pinched off a thread from the edge of his toga, and then passed back to her seat. But he, much amazed at the familiarity, looked round at her, whereupon she said, ‘Do not wonder, sir, at what I have done; I had only a mind to get a shred of your good luck.’ Sulla was far from being displeased: on the contrary, it appeared that he was agreeably flattered, for he sent to ask her name, and to inquire into her family. Then followed, all through the games, an exchange of side looks and smiles, which ended ultimately in a contract of marriage. Now it seems to me that Sulla, though he got a wife of great beauty and accomplishments, came into the match on wrong principles, for, like a boy, he was caught with soft looks and languishing airs.”

Sulla’s last year was spent in his villa in Campania, near Puteoli, whither he retired and dwelt amid a court of clever and dissolute companions who kept him amused. He devoted his time partly to writing his memoirs — he finished the twenty-second book of them two days before he died — partly to pleasures (reputable and disreputable) of all sorts. The tale that his last months were vexed with a loathsome disease, which rendered life insupportable, is probably an invention of his enemies. It has been attributed to half-a-dozen well-hated tyrants, the last of whom was Philip II of Spain. But it is certain that Sulla died from breaking a blood-vessel rather than from any lingering ailment. In the leisure of his last year he found time for business: he kept a keen eye on Roman affairs, and drafted a constitution for the neighbouring town of Puteoli at the request of its inhabitants. His last recorded act was a strange and violent interference in politics, which much recalls the story of Ofella. The Quaestor Granius was making himself notorious by embezzlements, and openly said that he should escape punishment because the ex-dictator was dying. Sulla lured him to his bedside by a polite message, and then had him seized and strangled in his very presence by his slaves. The excitement of the scene caused him to rupture a blood-vessel, and he died of exhaustion next day.

His party being still in power, he received the most magnificent funeral that Rome had ever seen. His monument was erected in the most conspicuous part of the Campus Martius, and two centuries later was still visible. Plutarch says that it bore a curious and characteristic epitaph, composed by the dictator himself, in which he said that “No friend ever did him so much good, or enemy so much harm, but that he had repaid him with full interest.”

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The post Sulla appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 18 Jul 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

Gladstone on free trade

A reader sends an informative quote from the great 19th-century British advocate of free trade, Prime Minister William Gladstone:
Advocacy of Free Trade goes back to the United Kingdom of 1846-1860.  However, what William Gladstone actually said as a defense of free trade is "It is a mistake to suppose that the best way of giving benefit to the labouring classes is simply to operate on the articles consumed by them. If you want to do them the maximum of good, you should rather operate on the articles which give them a maximum of employment."

However, in 1846-1860 English manufacturing was the best in the world, though America had surpassed them in some fields. Free trade meant far larger markets abroad for English goods, and cheaper foodstuffs at home, meaning that the English labouring classes had more money to spend on their own manufactures.

For precisely the same reason, the French have rigorous protections of their somewhat inefficient agriculture, namely it creates a maximum of employment.

For the United States of 2019, our labor is relatively expensive, so in many areas our industries are not competitive with places where labor costs little. Gladstone's rationale for free trade thus indicates for us that protectionism, not free trade, is to our advantage.
Translation: it is a fundamental mistake for economists to focus on providing the US population with access to cheap imported goods instead of jobs that permit them to pay for more expensive domestic goods.

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 Jul 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

Impeachment attempt fails

And it wasn't even close, because "racist, racist" isn't working any better than "Russia, Russia" did:
The House voted on Wednesday to table a resolution from Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, to impeach President Donald Trump over racist comments he made about four Democratic congresswomen of color, effectively killing the measure.

The vote — 332 to 95, with one lawmaker voting "present" — marked the first time the Democratic-controlled chamber had weighed in on impeachment, an issue that has created a widening schism within the party. Progressive newcomers and several 2020 candidates have pushed for impeachment proceedings, but the House leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been resistant.

All Republicans joined with 137 Democrats and the lone independent, Justin Amash, to table the resolution.
Meanwhile, Americans are chanting "send her back" about the Somali woman squatting in the US Congress who allegedly married her own brother:
President Donald Trump slammed Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the members of 'squad' at his campaign rally Wednesday night with supporters responding with shouts of 'send her back, send her back.'

While the president raged against all four lawmakers who make up the squad individually - and railed against several of the Democratic presidential contenders - it was Omar, who is a frequent target of his ire, who bore the brunt of his criticism.

Trump accused Omar of blaming terrorists attacks on our country just hours after igniting a debate over rumors she was married to her brother.

'She smeared U.S. Service members involved in Black Hawk Down,' he said referring to the failed 1993 raid in Mogadishu by the U.S. military. 'In other words, she slandered the brave Americans were trying to keep peace in Somalia. Omar minimized the September 11th attacks on our homeland saying some people did something,' he added.

Outside the White House earlier that day he had said, 'I hear that she was married to her brother,' repeating claims which have swirled around Omar since her 2016 campaign.

A Somali blog first accused her of marrying her brother and of being a bigamist. It prompted her to issue statements which have not helped in disproving the claims.
That sound you're hearing is the Overton Window shattering again. And I do so enjoy the delicate phrasing of the term "prompted her to issue statements which have not helped in disproving the claims" which is considerably more accurate than the false US narrative of the claims being "baseless".

Source: Vox Popoli | 18 Jul 2019 | 5:10 am EDT

National Cuckservatives

It's a totally new and hip movement! Never mind the neoclowns behind the curtain:
Politics in America, Britain, and other Western nations have taken a sharp turn toward nationalism—a commitment to a world of independent nations. This has been disorienting to many, not least the American conservative movement, which has, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, grown increasingly attached to a vision of a global “rules-based liberal order” that would bring peace and prosperity to the entire world while attenuating the independence of nations. 

The return of nationalism has created a much-discussed “crisis of conservatism” that may be unprecedented since modern Anglo-American conservatism was formulated by Russell Kirk, William Buckley, and their colleagues in the 1950s. At the heart of this crisis is a question: Is the new American and British nationalism a hostile usurper that has arrived on the scene to displace political conservatism? Or is nationalism an essential, if neglected, part of the Anglo-American conservative tradition at its best?

The conference on “National Conservatism” will bring together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.

We see this public conference as the kick off for a protracted effort to recover and reconsolidate the rich tradition of national conservative thought as an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race. Our aim is to solidify and energize national conservatives, offering them a much-needed institutional base, substantial ideas in the areas of public policy, political theory, and economics, and an extensive support network across the country.
Conservatives couldn't conserve the ladies room. Don't count on them to save the American nation. They're not nationalists, they're Neoclowns 2.0.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 Jul 2019 | 8:56 pm EDT

The illogic of atheism

Miles Mathis explains why he finds atheism to be illogical:
A modern skeptic is like an agnostic, and he or she is likely to lean to a “no” answer every time. Are there gods? Probably not. Are there unicorns? Probably not. Is there a Bigfoot? Probably not. And so on. I resist this “skeptic” tag because leaning toward a “no” answer is a prejudice itself. It is unscientific. Beyond that, the so-called skeptic societies are stiff with atheists and agnostics and cynics and other faux-scientists, and I prefer to remain as far away from all that as possible.

Of course, with the existence of Bigfoot and unicorns and so on we do have a great deal of information. We have made searches. The Earth is a limited environment and we have populated it widely and heavily and long. Even so, the mountain gorilla was not discovered until 1902, and huge populations of lowland gorillas were only recently discovered in the Congo (this very decade). Which is to say that we may lean a bit to a “no” answer for existence of larger beings in smaller areas we have scoured quite thoroughly, but even then we may be wrong.

But in looking for proof of gods, our search is pathetically limited. By definition, a god is a being whose powers are far greater than ours, who we cannot comprehend, and whose form we cannot predict. This would make our failure to locate a god quite understandable. A very large or small god would be above or below our notice, and a distant god would also evade our sensors. Not to mention we only have five senses. If we are manipulated by gods, as the hypothesis goes, then it would be quite easy for them to deny us the eyes to see them. Only a god of near-human size in the near environs would be possible to detect.

Again, this does not mean I believe in gods, any more than I believe in aliens or unicorns. I only point out that, as a matter of logic and science, a hypothesis that has not been proved is not the same as a hypothesis that has been disproved. I agree with the atheists and agnostics that the existence of gods has not been proved, but I do not agree that the existence of gods has been disproved. It would require a much more thorough search of the universe than has so far been completed to even begin to lean. As it is, our data is near-zero.

For this reason, I find atheists to be just as sanctimonious, illogical, and tiresome as the deists and theists, if not moreso. Because the atheists are often more highly educated and often better able to argue (in limited ways), they use this education and argument to prop themselves up in the ugliest ways. They blow apart the beliefs of religious people and imagine this solidifies their own beliefs in some way. But it never does. People of faith are actually more consistent in their views, since they never claim to believe in science anyway. They are not immediately hypocritical, at least, since it is possible for them create a closed system of illogic that circles back in a self-affirming way. The search for truth is no part of their system, so it is no failure when they find none. But atheists cannot say the same. They base their system on science, so that the very first instant they fail to act scientifically, they are back to zero. Yes, it is the same zero as the theists' zero, but the theists aren't measuring and the atheists are. A theist at zero is just a theist, and no harm done. But an atheist at zero has had a fall, and must be damaged.
I would go farther, of course, as I observe most atheists to be not only illogical, but irrational. And thank God for that! It's the rational atheists who are by far the most problematic.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 Jul 2019 | 1:00 pm EDT

Video: The Gulag Archipelago

The post Video: The Gulag Archipelago appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 17 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

Support for the President rises

A poll shockingly discovers that Americans don't like being ruled over by invaders who hate them:
Support for U.S. President Donald Trump increased slightly among Republicans after he lashed out on Twitter over the weekend in a racially charged attack on four minority Democratic congresswomen, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll shows.

The national survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday after Trump told the lawmakers they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” showed his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points to 72%, compared with a similar poll that ran last week.
On the imaginary downside, the paper citizens who didn't vote for him and would never, ever vote for him under any circumstances now double-dog won't vote for him.

They have to go back.

Naturally, the Republican establishment professional politicos got it all wrong:
President Donald Trump's advisers are concerned that his attack on four Democratic congresswomen Sunday may have backfired, Politico reported. The advisers reportedly think that Trump veered wildly off his campaign message and helped unite a Democratic Party that the week before was split by infighting.
Fire those idiot advisers, Mr. President. Listening to them will not help you win re-election in 2020.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Case For Private Healthcare

Editor’s Note: One of our good friends, Harambe, shares his views on healthcare, based upon his personal experience.

The case for private healthcare. Or how greedy capitalists saved my daughter’s life.

 

Let me just preface this by saying that I am not an American citizen and this is not about the merits of the American healthcare system vis a vis the healthcare system of [insert nice Scandinavian country here].  

I am a South African living in South Africa. Like most of the European countries, we have a dual healthcare system in which the government runs various hospitals and clinics to serve the poor or otherwise uninsured public, while the private sector is free to provide the same services at a premium.

My wife fell pregnant with our first child four years ago. It was fantastic news and we were counting the days until her expected due date. However what actually transpired was that she went into labour at 24 weeks. Not having a medical aid at that time, we had to go to the nearest public hospital. That night while my wife was giving birth, a nurse informed me that since our son was not yet at 26 weeks of gestation, they had a policy of not providing oxygen or resuscitating him if he had any trouble breathing. They would however be willing to provide the minimum care as set out in their policy documents and an incubator and such would be provided. As a 24 week old fetus’ lungs have not yet developed, I was actually relieved when our son died during birth and was spared the agonising death that would have awaited him otherwise. My wife was discharged the following day, and we were informed that we would not be billed for the birth because it forms part of the minimum standard of care that the public healthcare system is required to render free of charge.

Two years later my wife fell pregnant again. This time we had joined a medical aid. At 24 weeks, the thing I feared most happened again: my wife was showing signs of premature labour. We rushed her to the private hospital where her gynecologist practiced. Upon admittance, her gynecologist informed us that they would be doing everything in their power to ensure that our daughter survived. I gave them our medical aid membership number, confirmed a couple of personal details, and my wife was ushered into a semi-private room where she would spend the next five weeks being giving various medications to suppress her labour. At week 29 though, it was clear that the little rascal wanted out and she was booked for an emergency C-section that Friday. The operation itself took all of 25 minutes. Cutting the umbilical cord, giving us a quick photo-op, and then putting her on oxygen and rushing her to the Neonatal ICU took all of two minutes. She spent the next 11 weeks in one of the best Neonatal units on the entire African continent. While she did have one or two setbacks during her time there, I am happy to report that our little one has caught up and is just slightly above-average for babies of her corrected age. While the medical aid did give me a hard time because some specialists’ rates were higher than the scheme rate, they were in the end forced to pay every single cent because medical scheme legislation requires certain things called “Prescribed Minimum Benefits” to be paid in full, and being born prematurely and having to spend time in an NICU counts as a PMB.

So why the difference in care between public and private healthcare in the same country? Well the reason is simply economics. You see, public hospitals receive funding from the government. With this funding, they have to pay salaries, buy supplies and train medical and administrative staff. The funding is determined ahead of time, usually at the start of the financial year. Even if we discount the levels of corruption found in every single public enterprise on the entire planet, we are still left with an institution whose first priority is to keep costs as low as possible so as to service the largest number of people possible with the budget they have. A $1000 natural birth is much cheaper than a $100,000 NICU stay for an infant with a very low chance of survival under a “minimum level of care” regime. You can deliver 100 babies the natural way and send them home in two days, or you can deliver one preemie and try to keep them alive for three months. It’s a tough choice, but 100 is always going to be more than 1.

The private hospital on the other hand is run for-profit. (Although I should mention that legislation prohibits medical schemes from operating as for-profit institutions). Since we were charitable and disregarded corruption at the state hospital, let’s also disregard the potential for greed at the private hospital. The better the quality of care provided, the more money the hospital makes. It is that simple. A natural birth would have netted them $3000, even if they had done nothing but give my wife an epidural and offered to cremate our dead child. But because they were “greedy capitalists,” as these institutions are often painted, they made (and in my opinion EARNED) the $100,000 for saving our child’s life. The private hospital is funded after the fact. They do not have a set budget with which to treat as many people as possible. Every patient they admit increases their income. Each pill they prescribe and each treatment they administer increases the amount of money in their account. It does not dwindle like at the public hospital.

The examples I have shared are extreme in that I am contrasting third world public healthcare with what is regarded as first world private healthcare. But it is even seen in Western countries like the Netherlands, the UK, or Scandinavia where even though the public option is normally adequate, citizens often elect to acquire additional cover for private medical care regardless of this “adequacy”.

Thus even in a perfect world, the private healthcare system must always be superior because of the simple fact that their quality of care correlates positively with their bank balance. The public option on the other hand must by its nature turn over every penny in an attempt to spread it around as much as possible. And if a thing does not work even in a perfect world, how much less would it work in our imperfect world?

 

The post The Case For Private Healthcare appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 17 Jul 2019 | 10:19 am EDT

Animal Control in Augsburg

An African invader in Augsburg, Germany harasses local women at a cafe and is dealt with by local men. The short video is embedded in the linked article. Augsburg is a city in Bavaria, one of Germany’s oldest cities and one with gorgeous traditional architecture.

Rule of law throughout the modern West tends to discourage the use of fists in solving problems. In the schoolyard, there is some leeway as far as legal consequences go. Among adults, not so much. We hesitate and pull our punches as long as it’s possible.

With the use of physical violence, there are honor codes instinctive in European men. The big one being the use of proportional force. Ordinarily, you don’t have many men beating up a few; if it’s a fight to settle a score, we do it one-on-one. Multiple-on-one is done to subdue a troublemaker, not to hurt him. One also would deal with a fully developed young male aggressor differently than with, say, a handicapped, a very young or old, or a drunken one.

As adults, we’ve learned to be careful even in these “fair fight” scenarios. If you’ve ever been in a serious confrontation, you probably know that it’s prudent to let the other guy make a move or touch you first. Not the ideal arrangement, as it leaves the offender a lot of room to be a pest short of assaulting you first. In fact, it encourages effeminacy because you often end up with two men trash-talking to provoke the other to swing first. But as long as there is perceived fairness in the letter and enforcement of the law, along with the feeling that the justice system works for its rightful beneficiaries (ie the legitimate citizens of a given country, das Volk inside German borders), then you are satisfied that your government provides for public order and is therefore legitimate.

That’s not the case in many parts of the West, including Germany, where their people live under anarcho-tyranny. As such, those governments are illegitimate and people know it. We know the deal: afroasian migrants are pumped in to biologically replace the European nations and so there will be war. In the meantime, it’s salutary to see masculine behavior in Europe; there is a point past which the splashing-up of those cherry-picked images of eurocuck behavior becomes harmful.

See the video. Fundamental rules of proper conduct were violated by the alien, who is shown dragging a nicely dressed, attractive woman from the cafe so by natural law he has forfeit any claim on the protection of civilized restraint and hospitality toward guests (had he in fact been a guest such as a tourist and not an invader). A White man, unclear if he’s her companion, stands up and takes it outside with the African. Three other White men follow them outside, and then more. To the extent that you can see that fight, you can see that the migrant is in the so-called “chimpout mode.” Deescalation is ineffective against him at that point, only decisive force.

People whose governments grant them absolute dominion over their public space (otherwise known as liberty) are free to enforce rules of acceptable behavior in that space. A government that would in any manner and to any degree side with the dark-bodied foreigner in the above case is a government that’s ripe for overthrowing.

Source: PA | 17 Jul 2019 | 8:41 am EDT

Red flags in Germany

But the German political class just keeps doubling down on immigration:
Mayor of Hockenheim, a city in southwest Germany, was left bloodied and hospitalized after an unknown assailant punched him. One politician has already died, and reports suggest that such attacks are becoming more common.

Dieter Gummer, a member of the left-wing Social Democratic Party, answered his door on Monday evening to find an unfamiliar face outside. The visitor punched the 67-year-old politician in the face, according to police in nearby Ludwigshafen. Gummer fell on the floor and hit his head, requiring treatment in hospital. The culprit fled the scene. The attacker was unknown to the mayor, and is described by police as a man of slim build, around 40 years old, with dark skin. More puzzling is the fact that Gummer is set to retire in August, and anyone disagreeing with his policies will get a chance to vote for his successor.

Police in the southern German town say they’re baffled as to the motive, and are “investigating in all directions.”

However, across Germany, anger and violence against public officials is on the rise. Last year, more than 1,200 threats, criminal insults, and acts of physical violence were committed against officials, Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung – who also chairs the German Association of Cities – told a meeting of concerned mayors last week. Nearly all German states have reported yearly increases in violence since at least 2017.

At the meeting, the mayors described how rude comments in public and on social media would progress to action. They told of finding the wheel nuts loosened on their cars, discovering rifle cartridges on their doorsteps, and receiving death threats in their mailboxes.

“The people in my administration are afraid to open their doors,” said one Bavarian mayor, quoted by Der Tagesspiegel. “This cannot be.”
I'm amused by the way they are all affecting to be surprised by the inevitable. What could possibly be the motive when the mayors are aiding and abetting the invasion of the country? It is, indeed, a mystery.

If Deutsche Bank goes down and the Germany economy implodes, all bets are off.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 Jul 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

America is for everyone

“America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.”
– George W. Bush

“America is not only for the whites, but it is for all. Who is the America? The American is you, me, and that. When we go to America we will become Americans and there is no a race or nationalism called America and the Americans are those Africans, Indians, Chinese, and Europeans and whoever goes to America will become American…. American is for all of us and the whole world had made and created America. All the people all over the world had made America and it shall accordingly be for all of us.” 
— Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya

Both men are liars. Civic nationalism is a lie. The proposition nation is a lie. The nation of immigrants is a lie. Immigrants, and their descendants, are not, and will never be American any more than the original settlers have become Indians over time by virtue of their possession of the Magic Dirt.

Nations are not soil, they are blood and birth. Because nations are people, extended families that share genetics, language, religion, culture, and traditions.

If America is for everyone, if anyone can become American, then America does not exist. Which, of course, is the insidious objective of the entire exercise in redefining it.

Source: Vox Popoli | 17 Jul 2019 | 5:30 am EDT

Deutsche Bank in trouble

Those massive layoffs weren't the only sign that Germany's largest bank appears to be in difficulty:
Here are the dynamics in a nutshell: Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing is pulling back from catering to risky hedge-fund clients, i.e. running a prime brokerage, as he attempts to radically overhaul the troubled German lender while BNP CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe wants to expand in the industry. A deal of this magnitude would be a stark example of the German firm’s retreat from global investment banking while potentially transforming its French rival from a small player in the so-called prime-brokerage industry to one of Europe’s biggest.

Of course, publicly telegraphing that DB is in dire liquidity straits and needs an in-kind transfer of its prime brokerage book would spark an outright panic, and so instead the story has been spun far more palatably, i.e., "BNP is providing “continuity of service” to Deutsche Bank’s prime-brokerage and electronic-equity clients as the two companies discuss transferring over technology and staff", according to a July 7 statement. The ultimate goal of the talks is for BNP to take over the vast majority of client balances, which are slightly less than $200 billion currently.

There is just one problem: nothing is preventing those clients who would be forcibly moved from a German banking giant to a French banking giant from redeeming their funds. And that's just what they are doing. Or rather, nothing is preventing them from moving their exposure for now, which is why they are suddenly scrambling to do it before they are suddenly gated.
And the stock price comparison below is not the most encouraging thing I've ever seen, particularly given that we are currently at the height of a bull market.


Source: Vox Popoli | 16 Jul 2019 | 6:49 pm EDT

Turkey chooses Russia

A major crack in the NATO wall:
President Donald Trump has said Washington will not sell Turkey its next-generation F-35 jet fighter, after Turkey took delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. Turkey has been a partner in the F-35 program.

“The situation with Turkey is very complex and tough. We are in contact with Turkish officials,” Trump said. US officials had long threatened to exclude Turkey from the F-35 program, claiming that operating the jet alongside the S-400 would allow Moscow to learn its secrets.

As Trump made the announcement to reporters on Tuesday, his nominee for Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, reiterated the president’s position during his Senate confirmation hearing. Turkey “can either have the S-400 or...the F-35,” Esper said. “You cannot have both.”

At a speech in Ankara one day earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the arrival of his newly acquired S-400 batteries from Russia. Erdogan promised to go “much further” and set up “joint production with Russia” in future.

Source: Vox Popoli | 16 Jul 2019 | 2:20 pm EDT

Rio Grande: Some Observations

I finished up the Cavalry Trilogy, watching Rio Grande. As with the other two films, this is a John Ford picture, starring John Wayne. This was the Duke’s first movie with Maureen O’Hara, who would go on to become one of his closest friends. As I mentioned in the last installment, we have several crossover characters and actors from the first two films, though the actual connection between the movies is not overly clear. We have characters with the same (or similar) names, often played by the same actors, and yet, there is no real continuity between the movies. Perhaps these similarities are just the writers and director being efficient, or perhaps there is some thematic connection. In any event, all three movies can stand alone, or be watched in succession (as I did). Along with Wayne and O’Hara, we have Ben Johnson, Victor McLagen, Hary Cary, Jr., and Claude Jarman, Jr. in starring roles. In order to add some length to the film, and to provide a current Western ethos, the Sons of the Pioneers sing several songs as the “Regimental Singers.”

The dominant themes of Rio Grande are pretty easy to discern: loyalty, duty, sacrifice, and reconciliation. We can simply take them in that order.

At every level, the movie presents us with characters who are steadfastly loyal – to one another, their families, and to their nation. Johnson’s character was wanted for manslaughter back home in Texas, where he had killed a man who had attempted to take advantage of his sister. He is perfectly willing to face the music and even fight the charges, but wants to wait until after his sister is married and moved away to spare her the embarrassment that would come from a public trial. His loyal friends help him avoid arrest and extradition several times.

Jarman plays Wayne and O’Hara’s son, who flunked out of West Point, but then immediately enlisted. He wants to serve his country, regardless of how that is done. He is a loyal friend to his compatriots.

These are just a couple of examples, but serve to demonstrate the theme of loyalty that permeates the entire story.

Duty also plays a central role. Wayne and O’Hara are an estranged married couple, due to the fact that during the War Between the States, the Yankee Wayne had ordered the burning of his Southern wife’s plantation (carried out by McLagen’s character). Neither man wanted to do this, but it was the right decision militarily, so they did it.

In one scene, the US Troops are chasing renegade Indians, who then cross the border into Mexico, where they overwhelm a small Mexican military unit. Wayne meets the Mexicans in the middle of the river and asks for their permission to cross and help them defeat the Indians. When the Mexican officer says that he is not allowed to offer such permission, both men thank one another, and return to their own sides of the river. They follow orders – their duty. As Wayne states, referring to his son, “But he must learn that a man’s word to anything, even his own destruction, is his honor.”

The main characters all make sacrifices, often related to their adherence to doing their duty. As mentioned, Wayne and O’Hara had not seen one another for 15 years, since the tragic events of the war. This also means that Wayne had not seen his son in that time.

Families are separated because of the tensions and potential conflict with the Indians, and one brave soldier loses his wife when the Indians attack the wagon train trying to move the non-combatants to safety at Ft. Bliss. In the ongoing battles, lives are lost, men are wounded (including Wayne), and things that had been hoped for are lost.

These troops lived a hard life, eschewing the easier life that was available had they remained civilians. Wayne warns his son, early in the film, “But put out of your mind any romantic ideas that it’s a way of glory. It’s a life of suffering and hardship, an uncompromising devotion to your oath and your duty. ”

Highlighting these first three themes of loyalty, duty, and sacrifice, Wayne’s character warns new soldiers, “I don’t want you men to be fooled about what’s coming up for you. Torture, at least that. The War Department promised me 180 men. They sent me eighteen. You are the eighteen… so each of you will have to do the work of ten men. If you fail, I’ll have you spread-eagled on a wagon wheel. If you desert, you’ll be found, tracked down and broken into bits. That is all.”

Of all the themes, Reconciliation stands out. We find that time does help to heal wounds. The estranged couple is reconciled, and Wayne is able to reconnect with his son. This is the most obvious example of reconciliation, but it really just serves as the starting point.

In an early scene, Wayne’s son gets into a fight with another trooper, who believes the boy is being singled out for favoritism, due to his parentage (which is really not true). By the end of the fight, the two men begin to respect one another and become good friends.

Toward the end of the films, Gen. Philip Sheridan orders that “Dixie” be played by the band, as the troops pass in review. He does this to honor O’Hara’s character, recognizing that she has sacrificed as much as her husband. As the song wafts across the parade ground, she twirls her parasol merrily, a huge grin on her face. Recognizing that this hated former foe of the Confederacy can offer such a consolation indicates the healing of rifts that had previously torn apart families and the country.

As I conclude my look at these three films, I appreciate the depth and quality of the works that Ford gave us. I have seen Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon several times, but I think this might be the first time I have watched Rio Grande, and I am glad that I did. It is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy, and highlights some thematic elements that are presented in all three movies. If you have not watched them before, or if it has been awhile, I encourage you to give all three a viewing. You will be glad you did.

The post Rio Grande: Some Observations appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 16 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Christian view on Diversity

Archcuck David French on why he imported an Ethiopian to the USA:
I’m an evangelical Christian, and ever since I was a young man, two Bible verses have tugged at my soul. The first comes from the Book of James, and defines “pure” religious practice in part as looking after “widows and orphans in their distress.” The second, from the Book of Galatians, declares an eternal truth: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As a result, my wife and I not only felt called to adopt, but we believed that race was no barrier to unity for a family of genuine faith.

And so, in the summer of 2010, we journeyed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to pick up our youngest child. Then we chopped off his penis, gave him a girl's name, and brought him to America where there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Diversity.
"Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid; Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish; Ekron also, because it's hopes are confounded. The king shall perish in Gaza; Askelon shall be uninhabited, a mixed people shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut of the pride of Philistia."
(Zech. 9:5-6)

Reader Matt notes: In the Bible, the destruction of national identity is a clear sign of the judgement of God, therefore it is very bad for a nation. This speaks volumes about what is happening in the West; multiculturalism is literally a sign that we have been very, very bad. As you said in a recent Darkstream, we need to stop tolerating those who are tempting God to smite them. 

Immigration, diversity, and assimilation are God's collective curse on a nation, because it is a way of destroying a nation even more completely than war. Just ask your nearest American Indian who belongs to one of the 562 tribes that haven't been completely extinguished yet.

And I can't help but wonder how long it will take Churchians to declare transgenderism to be proper theology on the basis of that verse from Galatians.

Source: Vox Popoli | 16 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition (Luke 9:10-17)

Editor’s note:  The following comprises the fourth chapter, fourth part (D2), of The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition, by Charles R. Erdman (published 1936).  All spelling in the original.

 

2. The Five Thousand Fed (9:10-17)

___________________________________________________

10 And the apostles, when they were returned, declared unto him what things they had done. And he took them, and withdrew apart to a city called Bethsaida. 11 But the multitudes perceiving it followed him: and he welcomed them, and spake to them of the kingdom of God, and them that had need of healing he cured. 12 And the day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages and country round about, and lodge, and get provisions: for we are here in a desert place. 13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy food for all this people. 14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each. 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake; and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 And they ate, and were all filled: and there was taken up that which remained over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.

___________________________________________________

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded by all four evangelists, in fact the only incident of the Galilæan ministry of our Lord common to them all. Here this ministry attains its climax. This was the hour of the greatest popularity of Jesus; the multitudes would have offered him a crown, but he saw before him the shadow of the cross.

The Twelve had returned weary with labor but elated by success. Jesus desired for them a season of retirement, of rest, and instruction. They withdrew to a secluded place beyond Bethsaida on the east shore of the lake; but there they were discovered by the eager multitudes. Jesus showed his infinite sympathy by cordially welcoming the crowds which had intruded upon his privacy and interrupted his plans; he gladdened their hearts with the gospel message and healed their diseases. And as the day declined he pitied their hunger and met their needs by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fishes which the disciples had secured.

For the disciples of to-day there are serious messages in this familiar story; perhaps none is more obvious than that of the measureless compassion of Christ. With something of his sympathy we should look upon the multitudes perishing for lack of physical and spiritual food. Their call for help should not be regarded as an interruption but as a guide in shaping our personal plans. While of ourselves we are unable to give relief, yet if our all is offered to the Master, it will be multiplied marvelously by his divine power. The miracle seems to have been wrought as Jesus looked up in prayer. We must surely look to him and seek his blessing in our service. We must allow no broken fragments to be lost; some families could live on what other families waste; then, too, the followers of Christ must learn a true economy of time and talents and wealth if the Bread of life is to be brought to a famishing world.

(Go back to previous chapter)
(Continue to next chapter)

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Source: Men Of The West | 16 Jul 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

The party of open borders

Hey, America is just an idea held by immigrants, right? How are "borders" even relevant these days? They're just an arbitrary line on a map, right? They don't even exist!
Elizabeth Warren has an immigration plan. Here are the highlights:
  • Decriminalizes unauthorized immigration and returns to the civil enforcement we had before George Bush began Operation Streamline.
  • Eliminates abusive immigration enforcement and keeps law enforcement at arms length from CBP and ICE.
  • Reduces and reforms immigrant detention.
  • Reforms immigration courts.
  • Raises the refugee cap to 125,000 and affirms refugee protections.
  • Reforms legal immigration and creates a path to citizenship.
This is a curious plan. As near as I can tell, it recommends no actions to improve border law enforcement in any way. There’s nothing about either a wall or a “virtual wall.” There’s nothing about E-Verify. There’s nothing about “smarter” or “more efficient” enforcement. No one will ever be deported—except, presumably, for serious felons, though Warren doesn’t even say that explicitly. Expedited removal will be ended. The Border Patrol will be reshaped from “top to bottom,” and will focus their efforts on “homeland security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods, and preventing smuggling and trafficking.” The whole thing is very similar to Julian Castro’s plan.

I have previously criticized Republicans who accused liberals of wanting “open borders.” President Trump tweets about this endlessly. But I have to admit that it’s hard to see much daylight between Warren’s plan and de facto open borders.
The Trumpslide cometh.

Source: Vox Popoli | 16 Jul 2019 | 8:03 am EDT

Definitely not Americans

If they were, these "congresswomen" would understand that President Trump correctly identifying them as people who should go back is not an impeachable offense:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her 'squad' fired back at Donald Trump on Monday, calling on House Democratic leadership to bring impeachment proceedings against him. But despite a sizable backlash against the President's earlier rant against the four congresswoman, he unleashed a flurry of tweets during their joint conference to double down on his call for them 'leave' the US if they weren't happy.

While the left-leaning lawmakers addressed reporters, Trump declared that the United States would never bow to socialism and - in a clear swipe - said that 'certain people hate our country.' 

Yet Rep. Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of Trump's twitter fury, said: 'We can either continue to enable this president and report on the bile of garbage that comes out of his mouth.

'Or we can hold him accountable for his crimes. It is time for us to stop allowing this president to make a mockery out of our constitution. It is time for us to impeach this president.'

'This is the agenda of white nationalist,' she charged. 'He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender orientation or immigration status, because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences.'
Looks like these Fake Americans are desperate to save the pedos... President Trump's approval rating hasn't budget one little bit. What are the odds at least one of them is involved with sex trafficking into the United States?

The 2020 Trumpslide is building strength.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; and the clerk of such court shall record such application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States. And the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.  Also, children of citizens born beyond sea, &c. or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Exceptions. Provided also, That no person heretofore proscribed by any state, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an act of the legislature of the state in which such person was proscribed.
- the Naturalization Act of 1791

The first naturalization act, by the way, further settles the Posterity issue: "the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States." Speaking of fathers, the Founding Fathers would have done much better to put that line directly in the Constitution and left it at that.

By the way, this is what it now takes to be just as American as the President: 9 years and setting aside $500k for four years. Or, alternatively, have your illegal immigrant mother sneak across the border and give birth on the Magic Dirt.

Source: Vox Popoli | 16 Jul 2019 | 5:45 am EDT

Not a target

Ehud Barak attempts to explain to the media why he was meeting with Jeffrey Epstein, without actually explaining the nature of his relationship with Epstein:
In an exclusive interview, Barak told The Daily Beast his dealings with Epstein were entirely on the level.

“The man who introduced me to Epstein about 17 years ago was Shimon Peres,” Barak said, uncertain if the event took place in New York or Washington, but recalling it was at an event where “there were many famous and important people, including, if I recall, both Clintons and hundreds of others.”

Since then, Barak says, he has met Epstein “more than 10 times and much less than a hundred times, but I can’t tell you exactly how many. I don’t keep count. Over the years, I’ve seen him on occasion.”

“I never attended a party with him,” Barak told The Daily Beast. “I never met Epstein in the company of women or young girls.”

Barak recalls having visited Epstein at two of his Manhattan residences and said he did visit Epstein’s private Caribbean island “once, for several hours—and years after the publications about sex parties or orgies there.” But, Barak says, “I've never been there at a party.”

“To the contrary,” Barak says, “at his home, I met many very respected people, scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and I met him also in Boston, at MIT or the Harvard labs he supports.”

At these events, Barak says, he “unequivocally” never met any women or girls. Asked if any compromising pictures of him could yet surface, he responded “there is no chance whatsoever.”
Of course not. Barak wasn't there to party. It's considerably more likely that he was there to receive the compromising pictures of all those famous, important, and very respected people directly from Epstein. Remember, Barak wasn't just a politician and a much-decorated soldier, he was military intelligence.

Source: Vox Popoli | 15 Jul 2019 | 9:24 pm EDT

Bastille Day

Laramie Hirsch first posted this on his own site, but has agreed to post here at MOTW, as well.

 

This week’s Bastille Day in Paris featured a man flying around on a brand new flyboard prototype, designed by inventor Franky Zapata. This “future soldier” buzzed through the air above the crowds and underneath a sky clouded in the colors of France’s flag. In his hands he brandished a rifle in the hopes of demonstrating the tactical application of this new technology for law enforcement and the military. At first blush, this wondrous spectacle looks by all intents like a peek into a hopeful and advanced future of scientific wonders. But after a moment’s thought, when you’ve had time to unpack and realize the implications of such a technology, an uneasy feeling settles into your gut, and you begin to realize that maybe—just maybe—what you’re truly seeing is a glimpse into a horrific dystopian future of oppression and fear.

You would not be wrong to experience these kinds of negative feelings towards French police power on Bastille Day. This is not a day to celebrate. Not for the world, not for the French. It is a day that celebrates atrocities committed against a Catholic people—atrocities that inspired the Bolshevik mass murder of Christians in pre-Soviet Russia. It inspired the Nazi mass extermination of Hitler’s enemies. And, in fact, it would not be surprising at all if we were to see this bloody period celebrated by today’s jackboot Antifa thugs, who bring their violence to various major U.S. cities.

The “Enlightenment” horrors that took place in France were a direct assault against the Logos. It was an attack against Catholicism, an attack against Christian monarchy, and an attack on the liberty of decent, God-fearing Frenchmen. Those wicked armies of the Republic, led by “modern, progressive” radicals killed more than 300,000 Catholic peasants in their day. The king and queen were beheaded, their very young son left to die in prison. Churches were looted. Clergy were sent running. Any remaining priests were forced to swear allegiance to the French state instead of the pope—much like the Chinese are forced to give in to a state-run Church today. And after this horrible period, French armies were launched into the rest of Europe to “liberate” the continent from the annoyance of their Catholic traditions.

The horrors of that day cannot be overstated. Heads were paraded through the streets on pikes or even thrown at loved ones. Mobs of feral revolutionaries—like a riot of zombies—climbed over the walls of abbeys to slaughter clergymen with clubs, pikes, and axes. Common people, faithful church-goers, were targeted and killed. More than 1,800 people were drowned at Nantes, dropped in the frozen water and sunken down to the bottom to die.

Some tried to fight back, such as the faithful Catholics of the Vendee. But there was to be no mercy for enemies. Those who ambushed revolutionary killers from the cover of forests and brambles would be caught and butchered like pigs. Leaders were shot, beheaded, or hanged. The National Convention demanded the execution of every last man, woman, and child of the Vendee. Not one was to be left alive.

“Their instruments of fanaticism and superstition must be smashed.”

The French National Convention

Not even the dead were allowed to rest. Bodies of dead royals were dug up and unceremoniously reburied in mass graves. Many people who were killed had their bodies torn apart or desecrated in different ways. Sometimes their bodies were stuffed with straw. Sometimes their heads would be put on display. One particular Vendee leader had his body cut up and distributed to scientists. His head was pickled in a jar, and his brain examined to seek out the seed of rebellion.

This was a time of paranoia, hysteria, and pure hate. The Old Order had to be destroyed. Society, the revolutionaries believed, needed to be culturally reconstructed through a new program of social engineering. The Left’s hated classes had to be rooted out, and the opponents of secularism and progress had to be destroyed. Scientism was the new god. Notre Dame was transformed into the “Temple of Reason.” All vestiges of the Logos were attacked. Even the calendar had to be remade. Months of the year were renamed according to rationalist ideology, and the reckoning of the year was to be shifted away from Christ’s birth and fixed on the inauguration of the Republic. Democracy was claimed as the only valid government, and all remaining European monarchies were now illegitimate.

There was a paranoia that more subtle counter-revolutionaries would take advantage of any remaining legal technicalities that would give them cover. There was a concern that those opposed to The Revolution would use loopholes to avoid detection and punishment, and that they would somehow spread their traditional agenda underground. And ultimately, conditions became such that informers carefully listened to conversations, took notes, and paid attention to the jokes and conversations of their neighbors. Surveillance was amped up in the hopes of disclosing the location of any hiding priests or nobles.

The radical mindset of the French Revolution was a frame of mind and action that today’s modern Left desperately wants to return to. They long to have another period in which people are literally torn apart in the streets. They yearn to cut the babies out of the tummies of church-going mothers. They want to force the sons of good families to fight their evil wars. These wicked people want a long line of their enemies ending at the bloody, gory blade of a guillotine. They desire for blood to flood the gutters once more. Today’s Left wants to liquidate their opponents, much as the French Revolutionaries did in their wicked day. Joseph de Maistre puts it best when he states:

“There is a satanic quality to the French Revolution that distinguishes it from everything we have ever seen or anything we are ever likely to see in the future.”

The storming of The Bastille—and the French Revolution as a whole—was a complete abandonment of piety, humility, and goodness, and it was the embrace of pride, hate, and terror. The apostles of The Revolution howled for liberty, equality, and fraternity. But in truth, they wanted to replace the true liberty they already had with license. There was no desire for equality whatsoever; rather, the revolutionaries wanted to overpower their moral superiors—the same we-just-want-tolerance game the Left played in the U.S. this past century. And there certainly would be no fraternal love for any of those who continued to cling on to their traditional past. They would be scrubbed out of the public mind forever. The institutions that had preserved and protected the people for over a millennia were viewed as stifling obstacles that were to be relegated to a bonfire. They wanted to destroy l’ancien regime and replace it with the sick, bent world we endure today. Today’s Left and France’s revolutionary forefathers may have been initially asking for tolerance and a chance to co-exist with normies, but their true motives were later displayed for the entire world. And once they took power, it became clear that there was no room for anyone else in France but their own:

“Social protection is due only to peaceful citizens; there are no citizens in the Republic but the republicans.”

Maximilien Robespierre

Those who would not cooperate with the new hostile takeover would be “forced to be free,” as Rousseau put it. There could be no escape if the Revolution were to work out at all. Everyone must submit to the new program, history would have to be rewritten, and anyone holding onto old assumptions would have to be sterilized from public memory.

Today, French Revolutionary ideals are enshrined throughout most political parties in the West. (In fact, the three-pound key of The Bastille, itself, was once given to president George Washington as a gift.) Celebrations of these kinds of mournful-yet-lionized periods still abound. No one in authority has been smart enough to unpack history and realize its implications and overall message.

Celebrating Bastille Day is like celebrating Hitler. It is like a parade for Stalin. It is like cheering for Pol Pot’s purges in Cambodia. Bastille Day is an evil remnant from an evil time. It should be a day of mourning, repentance, mortification, and prayer. Instead, our overlords continue to publicly hold that event in high esteem, knowing full well that the ignorant proletariat can’t grasp what really happened. How darkly fitting that this year, an oppressive police figure on a hoverboard is this year’s symbol for Bastille Day.

 

The post Bastille Day appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 15 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

The Thucydidean trap closes

China is beginning to wield its economic power:
The Chinese foreign ministry has warned that American firms would be banned from doing business in China if they are involved in any arms deals with Taiwan.

“In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US companies involved in arms sales to Taiwan,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday. “The Chinese government and Chinese companies will not cooperate and do business with these US firms,” he added.

Answering reporters’ questions, Geng said the details about such companies and the timeline of any penalties against them will not be disclosed at present.
As the world's sole economic superpower, the USA has been throwing its weight around this way for decades. But now China has the ability to do so as well, and due to its much larger population and larger economy (in PPP terms), it will likely be able to wield this power more effectively than the USA in the future.

Source: Vox Popoli | 15 Jul 2019 | 11:00 am EDT

“The Idle City” by Lord Dunsany

Editor’s note: The following is extracted from A Dreamer’s Tales, by Lord Dunsany (published 1910).


There was once a city which was an idle city, wherein men told vain tales.

And it was that city’s custom to tax all men that would enter in, with the toll of some idle story in the gate.

So all men paid to the watchers in the gate the toll of an idle story, and passed into the city unhindered and unhurt. And in a certain hour of the night when the king of that city arose and went pacing swiftly up and down the chamber of his sleeping, and called upon the name of the dead queen, then would the watchers fasten up the gate and go into that chamber to the king, and, sitting on the floor, would tell him all the tales that they had gathered. And listening to them some calmer mood would come upon the king, and listening still he would lie down again and at last fall asleep, and all the watchers silently would arise and steal away from the chamber.

A while ago wandering, I came to the gate of that city. And even as I came a man stood up to pay his toll to the watchers. They were seated cross-legged on the ground between him and the gate, and each one held a spear. Near him two other travellers sat on the warm sand waiting. And the man said:

“Now the city of Nombros forsook the worship of the gods and turned towards God. So the gods threw their cloaks over their faces and strode away from the city, and going into the haze among the hills passed through the trunks of the olive groves into the sunset. But when they had already left the Earth, they turned and looked through the gleaming folds of the twilight for the last time at their city; and they looked half in anger and half in regret, then turned and went away for ever. But they sent back a Death, who bore a scythe, saying to it: ‘Slay half in the city that forsook us, but half of them spare alive that they may yet remember their old forsaken gods.’

“But God sent a destroying angel to show that He was God, saying unto him: ‘Go into that city and slay half of the dwellers therein, yet spare a half of them that they may know that I am God.’

“And at once the destroying angel put his hand to his sword, and the sword came out of the scabbard with a deep breath, like to the breath that a broad woodman takes before his first blow at some giant oak. Thereat the angel pointed his arms downwards, and bending his head between them, fell forward from Heaven’s edge, and the spring of his ankles shot him downwards with his wings furled behind him. So he went slanting earthward through the evening with his sword stretched out before him, and he was like a javelin that some hunter hath hurled that returneth again to the earth: but just before he touched it he lifted his head and spread his wings with the under feathers forward, and alighted by the bank of the broad Flavro that divides the city of Nombros. And down the bank of the Flavro he fluttered low, like to a hawk over a new-cut cornfield when the little creatures of the corn are shelterless, and at the same time down the other bank the Death from the gods went mowing.

“At once they saw each other, and the angel glared at the Death, and the Death leered back at him, and the flames in the eyes of the angel illumined with a red glare the mist that lay in the hollows of the sockets of the Death. Suddenly they fell on one another, sword to scythe. And the angel captured the temples of the gods, and set up over them the sign of God, and the Death captured the temples of God, and led into them the ceremonies and sacrifices of the gods; and all the while the centuries slipped quietly by, going down the Flavro seawards.

“And now some worship God in the temple of the gods, and others worship the gods in the temple of God, and still the angel hath not returned again to the rejoicing choirs, and still the Death hath not gone back to die with the dead gods; but all through Nombros they fight up and down, and still on each side of the Flavro the city lives.”

And the watchers in the gate said, “Enter in.”

Then another traveler rose up, and said:

“Solemnly between Huhenwazy and Nitcrana the huge grey clouds came floating. And those great mountains, heavenly Huhenwazi and Nitcrana, the king of peaks, greeted them, calling them brothers. And the clouds were glad of their greeting, for they meet with companions seldom in the lonely heights of the sky.

“But the vapours of evening said unto the earth-mist, ‘What are those shapes that dare to move above us and to go where Nitcrana is and Huhenwazi?’

“And the earth-mist said in answer unto the vapours of evening, ‘It is only an earth-mist that has become mad and has left the warm and comfortable earth, and has in his madness thought that his place is with Huhenwazi and Nitcrana.’

“‘Once,’ said the vapours of evening, ‘there were clouds, but this was many and many a day ago, as our forefathers have said. Perhaps the mad one thinks he is the clouds.’

“Then spake the earth-worms from the warm deeps of the mud, saying ‘O earth-mist, thou art indeed the clouds, and there are no clouds but thou. And as for Huhenwazi and Nitcrana, I cannot see them, and therefore they are not high, and there are no mountains in the world but those that I cast up every morning out of the deeps of the mud.’

“And the earth-mist and the vapours of evening were glad at the voice of the earth-worms, and looking earthward believed what they had said.

“And indeed it is better to be as the earth-mist, and to keep close to the warm mud at night, and to hear the earth-worm’s comfortable speech, and not to be a wanderer in the cheerless heights, but to leave the mountains alone with their desolate snow, to draw what comfort they can from their vast aspect over all the cities of men, and from the whispers that they hear at evening of unknown distant gods.”

And the watchers in the gate said, “Enter in.”

Then a man stood up who came out of the west, and told a western tale. He said:

“There is a road in Rome that runs through an ancient temple that once the gods had loved; it runs along the top of a great wall, and the floor of the temple lies far down beneath it, of marble, pink and white.

“Upon the temple floor I counted to the number of thirteen hungry cats.

“‘Sometimes,’ they said among themselves, ‘it was the gods that lived here, sometimes it was men, and now it’s cats. So let us enjoy the sun on the hot marble before another people comes.’

“For it was at that hour of a warm afternoon when my fancy is able to hear silent voices.

“And the awful leanness of all those thirteen cats moved me to go into a neighbouring fish shop, and there to buy a quantity of fishes. Then I returned and threw them all over the railing at the top of the great wall, and they fell for thirty feet, and hit the sacred marble with a smack.

“Now, in any other town but Rome, or in the minds of any other cats, the sight of fishes falling out of heaven had surely excited wonder. They rose slowly, and all stretched themselves, then they came leisurely towards the fishes. ‘It is only a miracle,’ they said in their hearts.”

And the watchers in the gate said, “Enter in.”

Proudly and slowly, as they spoke, drew up to them a camel, whose rider sought entrance to the city. His face shone with the sunset by which for long he had steered for the city’s gate. Of him they demanded toll. Whereat he spoke to his camel, and the camel roared and kneeled, and the man descended from him. And the man unwrapped from many silks a box of divers metals wrought by the Japanese, and on the lid of it were figures of men who gazed from some shore at an isle of the Inland Sea. This he showed to the watchers, and when they had seen it, said, “It has seemed to me that these speak to each other thus:

“‘Behold now Oojni, the dear one of the sea, the little mother sea that hath no storms. She goeth out from Oojni singing a song, and she returneth singing over her sands. Little is Oojni in the lap of the sea, and scarce to be perceived by wondering ships. White sails have never wafted her legends afar, they are told not by bearded wanderers of the sea. Her fireside tales are known not to the North, the dragons of China have not heard of them, nor those that ride on elephants through Ind.

“‘Men tell the tales and the smoke ariseth upwards; the smoke departeth and the tales are told.

“‘Oojni is not a name among the nations, she is not know of where the merchants meet, she is not spoken of by alien lips.

“‘Indeed, but Oojni is a little among the isles, yet is she loved by those that know her coasts and her inland places hidden from the sea.

“Without glory, without fame, and without wealth, Oojni is greatly loved by a little people, and by a few; yet not by few, for all her dead still love her, and oft by night come whispering through her woods. Who could forget Oojni even among the dead?

“For here in Oojni, wot you, are homes of men, and gardens, and golden temples of the gods, and sacred places inshore from the sea, and many murmurous woods. And there is a path that winds over the hills to go into mysterious holy lands where dance by night the spirits of the woods, or sing unseen in the sunlight; and no one goes into these holy lands, for who that love Oojni could rob her of her mysteries, and the curious aliens come not. Indeed, but we love Oojni though she is so little; she is the little mother of our race, and the kindly nurse of all seafaring birds.

“And behold, even now caressing her, the gentle fingers of the mother sea, whose dreams are far with that old wanderer Ocean.

“And yet let us forget not Fuzi-Yama, for he stands manifest over clouds and sea, misty below, and vague and indistinct, but clear above for all the isles to watch. The ships make all their journeys in his sight, the nights and the days go by him like a wind, the summers and winters under him flicker and fade, the lives of men pass quietly here and hence, and Fuzi-Yama watches there—and knows.”

And the watchers in the gate said, “Enter in.”

And I, too, would have told them a tale, very wonderful and very true; one that I had told in many cities, which as yet had no believers. But now the sun had set, and the brief twilight gone, and ghostly silences were rising from far and darkening hills. A stillness hung over that city’s gate. And the great silence of the solemn night was more acceptable to the watchers in the gate than any sound of man. Therefore they beckoned to us, and motioned with their hands that we should pass untaxed into the city. And softly we went up over the sand, and between the high rock pillars of the gate, and a deep stillness settled among the watchers, and the stars over them twinkled undisturbed.

For how short a while man speaks, and withal how vainly. And for how long he is silent. Only the other day I met a king in Thebes, who had been silent already for four thousand years.

The post “The Idle City” by Lord Dunsany appeared first on Men Of The West.

Source: Men Of The West | 15 Jul 2019 | 10:00 am EDT

Backing REBEL'S RUN

The Alt-Hero Cinematic Revolution begins with REBEL'S RUN

We continue to ramp up preparations for the production of Rebel’s Run.  For those of you who have not yet heard the news, a group of Arkhaven backers have set up a new film production company, Viral Films Media, which will be producing a live-action superhero film based on characters from the Alt-Hero comic book series.  The Legend Chuck Dixon and I are writing the script. Viral Films Media will be working together with Galatia Films, a Georgia-based production company, to develop, produce and market Rebel’s Run.  The movie is based upon an entirely new story that expands upon the existing comics and will not simply be a movie version of them.

If you want to be a part of it, there are a number of ways you can support this project:

Invest in REBEL'S RUN

First, if you are interested in investing in Rebel’s Run, Viral Films Media is running a crowd-investing campaign.  The campaign is already successful, but there are still some slots available for those who are interested in joining it. You can also visit Viral Films Media’s website to learn more about the film project.

Support REBEL'S RUN

We will be putting together other ways to support the movie and get involved in supporting it besides the crowd-investing campaign.  We plan to provide supporters with a range of products, including early release access to the film. Here are some of the ideas that have been kicked around.
Feel free to let us know what other products and perks might be of interest to you.

Source: Vox Popoli | 15 Jul 2019 | 8:00 am EDT

Macrocorruption in California

Ron Unz provides a genuinely eye-opening look at the history of macrocorruption in the state of California and its relationship to the Chicago Mob. It's a long and detailed article that is absolutely worth reading in its entirety.
Money was undoubtedly the mother’s milk of postwar California politics. But the speed with which these recent Chicago transplants transformed themselves into powerful financial figures in their new state was greatly assisted by their participation in a particular financial windfall. They were leading beneficiaries of one of the worst governmental violations of constitutional rights in our national history, and Russo devotes an entire chapter to this dark tale.

Like all other Asians, California’s ethnic Japanese population had long suffered under the harshest sort of racial discrimination, being denied naturalized citizenship and therefore prohibited from owning land, while nearly all additional immigration from their homeland had been banned in the 1920s. Yet although they had arrived as penniless farm laborers mostly around the turn of the century, their intense work-ethnic and diligent savings had established them as a small but reasonably prosperous community by the late 1930s. The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to their American-born children, thus allowing their families to eventually acquire large amounts of farmland and other properties, with their visible success sometimes provoking considerable envy from their white neighbors and competitors.

As I have discussed elsewhere, FDR’s desperate attempt to circumvent overwhelming public opposition America’s involvement in World War II eventually led to his endless 1941 provocations against Japan, which successfully culminated in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Soon afterward, demagogic appeals by politicians and media pundits led much of the public to begin demanding the incarceration of all ethnic Japanese, U.S. citizens or not, and by early 1942 FDR signed an executive order shipping some 120,000 Japanese-Americans off to grim concentration camps, with those individuals sometimes being forced to leave their homes on very short notice. As a result, they lost nearly all the property they had steadily accumulated over two generations, most of which was either seized or otherwise ended up in government hands. Similar government edicts led to the confiscation of numerous German-owned businesses throughout America, many of which had enormously valuable assets.

Within a couple of years, these federal holdings has swelled to include half a million acres of the state’s best farmland, some 1,265 small Japanese-owned hotels, and numerous urban parcels throughout Los Angeles, San Jose, and other cities. In 1942 the federal government estimated the value of these former Japanese-American properties at around $3 billion in present day dollars, but the huge postwar California economic and population boom would surely have greatly increased the value of this real estate portfolio by the early 1950s. The business assets and patent holdings of the seized German companies were worth additional billions.

Following the end of the war, all this property needed to be sold off, and powerful Chicago interests recognized this tremendous opportunity. The 1946 elections had produced a crushing national defeat for the ruling Democrats, with the Republicans regaining control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1932. Thus, President Truman faced an desperate battle for reelection, and Chicago’s powerful political machine deployed its considerable political clout to place the sales process in the hands of David L. Bazelon, a young Chicago lawyer and leading Democratic fund-raiser with deep Syndicate ties. Bazelon had taken a pay cut of 80% to enter government service, but he soon boasted to the Washington Post that he had become “one of the largest businessmen in the country.” His motive quickly became apparent as he arranged the sale of assets for a fraction of their real value to his circle of Chicago friends and associates, sometimes apparently receiving a secret slice of the lucrative ownership stakes in return.

As an extreme example, Bazelon almost immediately sold Chicago’s Henry Crown a twenty-six thousand acre California mine site, containing tens of millions of dollars worth of coal, for a mere $150,000. A private $1 million sale of seized German property in 1948 to a group formed by his lifelong best friend and former law partner Paul Ziffren was worth $40 million by 1954, and Ziffern soon rewarded Bazelon with a 9.2% share of his multimillion-dollar real estate holding company. Another major beneficiary of Bazelon’s unusual sales practices later told a Congressional investigating committee that he gave Bazelon a 25% share of his large hotel holding company because he “was just feeling good and generous and was grateful.”

These particular hidden gifts to Bazelon only later came to light through happenstance references that were eventually uncovered by diligent researchers, so we may assume that such transactions probably represented just the tip of an enormous iceberg. It seems plausible that Bazelon received quiet kickbacks totaling many millions or perhaps even tens of millions in present-day dollars in exchange for his very favorable distribution of billions in government assets to the network of beneficiaries who shared his roots in the Chicago Syndicate.

This vast transfer of wealth in the early postwar years from the plundered Nisei gave all these mobbed-up Chicago newcomers the financial wherewithal to soon gain substantial control of California’s money-based political system.
One of the things I quickly noticed upon moving to Europe was that while the corruption in the European countries was very open and obvious, it wasn't anywhere nearly as systematic and structural as in the United States.

Source: Vox Popoli | 15 Jul 2019 | 5:30 am EDT

A crack in the civnattery

Has President Trump noticed the Magic Dirt isn't working?
Donald Trump told progressive representatives Sunday morning to go fix the countries they are originally from before getting involved with American politics.

The president is likely referencing a group of four freshmen congresswomen who have recently been at odds with Democratic House leadership, which includes Rep. Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia.

'So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,' Trump posted to Twitter Sunday.

'Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,' he suggested. 'Then come back and show us how it is done.'
For all his flaws and shortcomings, he is still the greatest president of the last 179 years.

"You can’t leave fast enough."

Amazing rhetoric. The President has spoken. They have to go back. And that crashing sound you just heard was the Overton Window being shattered into pieces.

Bill Kristol@BillKristol
The president has once again (but even more obviously than usual) made clear his unapologetic bigotry, nativism and racism. Are GOP leaders, donors and voters still fine with re-nominating Donald Trump for president? Do they really believe the Republican Party can do no better?

You have to go back too, Bill.

Source: Vox Popoli | 14 Jul 2019 | 2:18 pm EDT

Zero interest in the drama

As you've probably heard me say on occasion, I genuinely don't care what Suzy said to Jenny about Sara. Or about me, for that matter. This Internet drama is literally never-ending and there is always something at which one can decide to take offense if one chooses.

So, from this point on, I'm going to do my best to completely ignore literally everyone else who isn't an active enemy of Western civilization and refuse to answer any questions about what I happen to think about anyone else. For example, I think it was a mistake to answer questions about Jared Taylor no matter how idiotic I might happen to believe his decision to engage with CNN was, just as I think it would be a mistake to weigh in publicly regarding the bitter dispute between Owen Benjamin and Mike Cernovich.* I should have just kept my mouth shut and refused to answer the question.

So, please keep this in mind when you are asking me questions in the future. Don't even bother asking "what do you think about X" if X is a public figure, however petty. The answer to all such questions is: "I probably don't, at all, but in the unlikely event that I do, I'm not going to tell you."

I will, of course, continue to express my opinions of the various enemies of Western civilization, especially those who fraudulently pose as its defenders. By which I mean the likes of Jordan Peterson, Dennis Prager, and Ben Shapiro.

* There isn't any such dispute. I'm making a general point here.

Source: Vox Popoli | 14 Jul 2019 | 10:45 am EDT

You don't even protect the border

I don't see any reason alien enthusiasts shouldn't storm Area 51. Since the US military doesn't shoot foreign invaders actually invading the country by crossing the border, it isn't going to shoot US citizens exercising their rights to life, liberty, and happiness inside the country either.
With the number of UFO enthusiasts volunteering to raid Area 51 growing uncontrollably amid an avalanche of memes on Twitter, the Pentagon seems to be worried that some might actually show up to try and break ‘them aliens’ free.

The #Area51memes hashtag has gone viral on Twitter, indicating that the majority of the 750,000+ ‘going to’ and 700,000 ‘interested’ in staging a mass raid on the secretive US government base probably understand that the event planned for September 20 is just a joke.

However, the US Air Force apparently took the potential threat to the Nevada base seriously, with spokeswoman Laura McAndrews saying she would like to “discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”
Seriously, they should just do it and underline what a complete paper tiger the US military is.

Source: Vox Popoli | 14 Jul 2019 | 8:12 am EDT

A Day in the Countryside

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein held a meeting with his senior advisers to set the course of action during the stalemate of that protracted war. One of his advisers suggested that Hussein publicly step down as leader of Iraq, just as a ruse of course, with the desired result being Iran standing down their belligerence. Saddam Hussein heard his adviser out. Then he asked the rest of the men in the conference room: “Who else supports this idea?” Nobody raised his hand. Hussein gestured for the adviser to follow him out of the room and once outside, shot him in the head. Then he rejoined the meeting.

What does that have to do with a visit to the American countryside? You’ll see.

We recently went out into the countryside to visit a family farm in the rolling hills where we picked apples last fall. The place is run by robust country boys and beautiful healthy girls. But there was insanely loud, alien music booming from just behind the main store. It was Central American laborers having a party. Are the owners trying to keep the customers away?

We spent a short time on the farm doing what we came there for. But with how hot and humid it was, we wrapped it up quickly. By the time we walked back, the volume of the music had been turned way down.

Aside: there is a short history lesson here. It’s on importing third world agricultural labor: Haiti, antebellum South, French Algeria, Rhodesia, South Africa. The first generation of laborers is grateful to work. The second generation thinks that they should own the land.

That story about Saddam Hussein executing his advisor. Looking ahead to after the West is reconquered by European man, there will once again be hand-rubbing about bringing in cheap foreign labor. In every such instance our descendants will be wise to ask, “Who else supports this idea?” Then put a bullet in everyone who does.

We’re on course toward interesting times, when with the passing of the Baby Boomer generation which, for all of its failings, does provide a measure of competence in public service along with demographic ballast, the institutions of the United States will not be seen as legitimate by anyone. The nationalist American Right will see the US federal government as a hostile occupant. The brown Left will see it as an impediment to violence against Whites and to the confiscation of our property.

(End aside.)

So we drove all that distance just to head back home after fifteen minutes? No way. I said, “Let’s go to Amish country.” The beautiful day was ours and ours only. My idea was enthusiastically received. After a long drive, we were among the Amish.

A recent post about Eighties movies had a bit about the 1985 film Witness and some discussion in the comments about the Amish.

Just a few observation: young Amish men, teenage boys in particular, look like rock stars. Literally, that was my first and lasting impression. Lean, confident, and all had the same scissors-cut hairstyle where their locks of hair abruptly ended without tapering. The young women were slender plain-Janes. With female vanity being frowned upon in that culture, their natural beauty expresses itself in their bright eyes. And there were the occasional stunners. One I did a transaction with was a tall, gorgeous blue-eyed young woman in a white bonnet and modest traditional dress. White bonnets are worn by married women. Single women, which is practically none over the age of 20, wear black bonnets. Amish women don’t wear makeup or jewelry because that’s considered vain.

The glow of nordic human beings who had never gazed into a glowing screen.

A funny thing I noticed behind a business where the Amish park their horse-drawn buggies was a sign in their German-derived dialect: “Denkie fa da gaul sie scheisse uf picka!” I speak enough German to figure out what that means: “Thank you for picking up your horse shit!”

It was a fantastic day out in the country. Soul cleansing. It was time to head back and of the various anecdotes, I’ll end on this one:

Starting my drive home, I crested a hill and saw two young Amish girls on a roadside pulloff area selling home-baked pies. That’s what the sign said. I pulled over just as they came into my view over the hilltop. The older girl wore a black bonnet and she stood further back. The younger girl, still a child and so without head covering, approached my open passenger window with a smile.

“Hi ladies, what kinds of pies do you have?” I asked.

The little girl resolutely explained: “We had the large pies but they are sold out. But we still have the small pies.”

She spoke with an overenounciation of someone whose English is excellent but not her native language. Come to think of it, that’s how I talk. Anyway, I thought her reply adorably missed the meaning of my question.

“What kinds of fruits in the pies, I mean.”

Beaming with pride about her home baking and with a what other kind of pie could it possibly be, she cheerfully said: “We have shoofly pies.”

I had no idea what a shoofly pie is but I said: “I’ll take one.”

What a sunny way of ending our visit to the Amish. The world felt so good and so young. Weeks later, it still does.

We each had a bit of the shoofly pie as I drove home. My wife said, “I can tell the crust is made with fresh cow’s milk.” She was right. The pie crust, solid but powdery as all good pie crusts are, nevertheless had a creamy sort of taste. Yeah, that organic whole milk from the store is not exactly real milk. The modern world is fake and it will continue to get more and more fake until we take back what’s ours.

***

If you liked this travelogue, visit its older companion piece: my account of a daytrip to the big city.

Source: PA | 11 Jul 2019 | 6:28 am EDT

St. Sylvester’s in July

How many of you here in the northern hemisphere miss the winter? All in good time. The European spirit runs on the four-seasons cycle. Here is the second-greatest pop act of all time, the Italian duo Albano Carrisi and Romina Power. They are performing at the 2018/2019 New Year’s Eve concert in Zakopane:

They sing these four of their hits:

Their performances of that song always end on a cliffhanger. The song ends with, loosely translated, “There will be a sweeter way of saying… I love you.” The two are divorced, so their fans want to see them reunited. They have four children, one of whom, Ylenia, went missing in New Orleans in 1994. Albano had a private investigator on the case for twenty years and believes that his daughter is dead. Romina believes that she’s still alive.

After their divorce, Albano went on to have a son and a daughter with a new girlfriend. He joked about doing his part to help Italy’s demographics.

The cliffhanger: at 3:30 the fans watch Albano pause just before the last three words as Romina looks on. Catering to their audience, he belts out: “Kochamy Was,” or “we love y’all!”

They don’t perform “Libertà,” their serious song, but here it is.

The arc of life. They are young in the scene from a 1967 musical below. As I gather from the film’s plot summary, she is a rich debutante with her rich friends, he is a poor but talented suitor. Even her sexy patrician mother approves as she looks on. A great scene. Romina was preternaturally gorgeous when young; she’s about 16 that year, Albano is in his mid-twenties. As Jaded Jurist once remarked:

OMG they were cute in that piece. They make Sonny & Cher look like retarded muppets.

Here is the original post about this act. Albano is Italian, named in honor of his father who was on the WWII Albanian front during his birth. Romina is American or Mexican, depending on how that’s counted. She’s of mixed western European ancestry.

Someone who remembers the Sixties said that it was in fact a straightlaced decade. The hippie aesthetic didn’t catch on until the Seventies. Yeah, going by what those characters are wearing. The portal to Hell was reopened shortly after the election of George W. Bush.

Open thread.

Source: PA | 6 Jul 2019 | 10:56 am EDT

Exquisite twists in ordinary songs

A bridge, a guitar hook, or a transcendent lyrical verse can lift an ordinary song to a higher level. This post is about young eros.

Air Supply, The One that You Love – As revealed by the music video, the ballad is about an intergalactic romance. Human female, space alien male. Just look at Russell Hitchcock’s munchkin face and that extraterrestrial poof-fro.

AirS1

OK, I’m being a dick. Maybe not everyone has the look of a romantic lead. But as the saying should go, in a well-ordered civilization there’s someone for everyone.

The key change after 2:55 is what makes this otherwise formulaic song great. Air Supply’s secondary vocalist Graham Russell, who does look like a blond romantic lead, enters with a falsetto: “The night is gone, a part of yesterday.” And like clear cascading waters, Russell Hitchcock responds with his unearthly voice.

While in Army basic training, I got a ‘Dear John’ letter from my high school girlfriend. We both sort of knew it, as I was going into the military and she was heading off to college, that this is the end. But we got together after my three-month training. My hair was shaved, which she remarked is a good look on me. It was a warm night, the streetlamps cast a green glow through the leaves as we walked. The finality of a breakup.

Another girl, a couple of years later: I had her on an emotional roller-coaster over the summer that we dated and she loved every moment of it. Young dumb and full of __ means peak vigor, peak testosterone. I was maxing out every physical fitness test and ran in an alpha clique. She was a doll. Perfect legs, twinkling green eyes. I broke up with her callously but, and this is important, I did not leave her feeling used.

That’s when the scorned woman unleashes hell. Certainly, you risk getting hit with a false rape accusations when you stick your dick in crazy. But a sane woman will still loathe you afterwards if she feels that she was either tricked into sex by a fake alpha or, as mentioned, if you leave her feeling used. I talked with her a few weeks after the breakup. Asked her how she’s doing. “There’s this guy who likes me but he’s too nice, not fun like you.” She looked like a mess. Heartbroken.

Radiohead, Creep. It’s the lock-and-load sound that occurs just before the chorus, the first time at 0:57. The late comedian Patrice O’Neill, as guest on the late Opie and Anthony show, did a monologue about how that hard click speaks to wypipo soul.

Pink Floyd, Dogs. The song played while I read a newspaper article about a serial killer on a Florida college campus. Just as I looked at a photo of a shrine that a murdered girl’s friends had cobbled together, the guitar hook after 3:30 came on. A synchronicity of the tragic story, the anguish of people I never met, and Gilmour’s plaintive guitar.

Anna Nalick, Breathe. Women have maternal feelings for wounded boys, which is why they fell for homosexualist propaganda. They don’t see a bug-chasing pederast, they see an unloved boy and they feel protective of him. Their instincts aren’t entirely wrong, as in many cases they do pick up on evidence of childhood abuse in his past.

May he turn twenty one on the base at Fort Bliss
“Just a day” he sat down to the flask in his fist
“Ain’t been sober, since maybe October of last year.”

Here in town you can tell he’s been down for a while
But my God it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles
Wanna hold him, maybe I’ll just sing about it.

A fair question: why are women so prone to showing tenderness for gays, but not for unloved incels? The answer: because it’s the difference between what they see as a boy vs a man. With the young gay’s Peter Pan asexuality (toward women), reproduction is not in the picture; a chance to nurture and heal a “child” such as Matthew Shepard in that iconic photo is. That, in fact, is also the reason for liberal women’s sympathy for Trayvon and other causes involving nonwhites playing the victim in a Leftist narrative.

But with the unattractive heterosexual man, reproduction is part of the psychosexual calculus so women instinctively recoil from potential contamination.

As female headship is mockery of family, so is love without Christ an abomination. The things we tell those we’re breaking up with. Pretty lies.

Meat Loaf, For Crying Out Loud. It’s a directionless song defined by its great, long ode to his woman beginning at 6:20. The entire five-verse interlude counts the ways in which she is valued, including this one:

For taking in the sun when I’m feeling so cold
For giving me a child when my body is old
And don’t you know, for that I need you

Mother Love Bone, Stargazer. Not every song on this list is ordinary. “Stargazer” is the most sublime obscure song in all of Rock because of its bridge. As goes the Seattle sound that the late Andrew Wood never knew as “Grunge” (those guys thought they were bangin’ out Metal/Punk), the lyrics were idiosyncratic. That was the magic, really. You just listen to the song as though it were in a foreign language and your idle imagination creates its own images. The song meanders, and then that magical bridge just after 3:20, and that vocal chorus:

stargazer you cry in blue
anything i’ve ever seen
it ain’t as good as you, child
[guitar: D Dsus4 D Dsus2 D]
i’m not trying to push your feelings
but i know you hold me like putty in yo’ hands
…oh xana come back again

From an old fan site:

This song is about Xana [La Fuente] (Andy Wood’s girlfriend) … She was his lover, his only one, he loved her madly and she did the same (maybe she still does) She was his muse and she tried to help him, but his addiction was bigger.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tuesday’s Gone. The greatest Rock song of all time, edging out Guns N’ Roses’ November Rain, another epic ballad about love’s loss. The long instrumental part begins at 3:20. First it’s the upstart keyboards, then the guitars reassert their rightful place but the piano will not yield and they duel it out until the strings section takes the stage.

From the moment our people begin to feel their first primal urges, they crave an ordering of a society that arranges love and lust according to our better nature. Wolves that are made to live by rabbit-rules go insane.

Source: PA | 3 Jul 2019 | 10:08 am EDT

What Went Wrong? Part 2

If you’ve ever dealt with a desouled female, you will hear her icy voice as you read this:

sms1

The cynicism that aims in the direction of truth but lacks the range to embrace it: “Soul of a woman was created below.”

Complementarian realism has longer range: Men are expendable, women are perishable. A boy must earn his value, a girl must preserve hers. Men respect honor, women respect strength. Disown the faithless daughter, wait for the prodigal son’s return.

How to help prevent mudsharking: my guidance on raising a girl. It transcends its title.

How to repair a bad daughter: Begin by not petitioning her. She is sitting on that high perch and by extending unconditional love after she had already turned her back on you, all you do is validate her attitude. If she talks to you like in that screenshot, anything short of completely cutting her off will make her feel bottomless contempt for you. It’s not so much about the NPC idiot girl mouthing this or that ideological line she had been fed, it’s about the fact that she placed the abstractions that her little head can’t handle above family. If her rebellion weren’t about Trump, it would have been about something else.

Just looking at people I know… a good daughter, one that’s already a married mother, can be one of the brightest joys in life. A bad daughter, though, is a heartache best excised with no regret.

What Went Wrong, Part 1 is about the rebellious son.

Source: PA | 28 Jun 2019 | 10:49 am EDT

500th Post

The comments here have been top caliber from day-one, when I started the blog in a fit of ire over an eaten comment at Chateau Heartiste in 2015. Graciously, CH linked to here on that same day, sending massive traffic my way. I will always be grateful to him for that and much more.

I read all of the comments here closely, no skimming. All 30,049 as of press time. Two recent short ones that blindsided me in a good way:

“Generally when internet characters get into a dispute that crosses a line, but otherwise seem to agree on the principles, it is to neither’s credit, and almost always reflects their [real-life] personal problems, which are typically frustration.” – Suburban_elk

“Don’t ever forget, they are all against us. Our only ally is the creator.” — Amon Ra

___

The eight of the last 100 to revisit:

The Execution Of Franz Kutschera. The conclusion/coda of this article ties everything together, bringing it home to the concerns of the present day.

It’s great history, a great story. I did a ton of research for that post. Western Rifle Shooters Association distilled the four elements of the described whacking of enemy leadership: intel, adjudication, cached weapons and ammo, courage.

The next time I visit Warsaw, which is probably next summer, I’ll visit the site of the action. It’s not much different now than it was in 1944: the street looks mostly the same, as does the adjacent park. The SS Headquarters in front of which this happened is still there, though now the building houses the Hungarian embassy.

The sidewalk along the action route has plaques marking the spots on which two of the three signals-girls were posted ahead of the assassination. Both of them, “Kama” and “Dewajtis,” lived long lives, both passing in 2016.

I will then go to Powązki Cemetery where team leader Bronisław Pietraszewicz (pseudonym “Lot”) is resting. He died at age 21, several days after the action, of complications from the abdominal wound he took in the firefight. The more I read about him, the more of an ideal he is to me. From Lot’s father’s c. 1950 reminiscences on his son’s heroism under foreign occupation:

We couldn’t believe our eyes: yesterday’s children were suddenly so grown up. There was so much care and seriousness on their faces. They were now doing the thinking for us, their passive elders. And they acted in our stead.

Idle Thoughts: Songs About The City At Night. Here I shared the thoughts I had, in my early teens through my early twenties, on the subject of manhood.

Ghey Tales 2: Sapphic Slip. On telepathy. Also, my unlikely connection with a butch lesbian whose femme partner wanted me dead.

Remember The Greaseman? When they start making good comedians again, those comedians will be a bit like The Greaseman. Thanks for the laughs, Doug Tracht.

First-Person Account of The ’44 Uprising. My translation of 106-year-old Armia Krajowa (Home Army) veteran’s recollection of the Occupation years. It feels like you’re there.

Idle Thoughts On Pop Songs And The Seasons. Pop music as catalyst for a contemplative state of mind. Here, it’s about the cycle of American civilization.

Derb’s “Unpleasant Truths” 16 Years Later.  I traveled back in time to 2002 and recorded this conversation with a local man.

Man’s and Woman’s Best Years. When it’s said that late forties are a man’s best years, they’re talking about the optimal intersection of vigor and wisdom. Slide that point back to thirty or forward to sixty as you wish.

Women have their best years too, but not this broken elf:

bz-5d0d80fa7e54f

Bonus: Yes, elves are real and they launch the best comment threads.

Open thread.

Source: PA | 22 Jun 2019 | 10:09 am EDT

What went wrong in this particular case?

Before going farther, listen to this song by Joshua Tillman, stage name Father John Misty:

It’s an existential contemplation framed by environmentalism. Excellent vocals. Expressive and earnest. From his online bio:

Tillman grew up in an Evangelical Christian household in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. He is the son of … an engineer at Hewlett-Packard, who met [his wife] at a Christian youth group. His mother was raised in Ethiopia, where her own parents were missionaries. The oldest of four children, he has a brother and two sisters. Before Tillman settled on a career as a musician, he briefly had ambitions of becoming a pastor because of the performance aspect when he was approximately six years old. He comments that his parents focused on the spiritual aspects of his upbringing, which he describes as “culturally oppressive”. They were estranged for many years, but they reconciled. After learning drums at a young age, Tillman learned guitar when he was 12.

Tillman was raised in a Baptist church, attended an Episcopal elementary school, then a Pentecostal Messianic day school. Tillman said he was naive when he was growing up because there was almost no cultural influence and no secular music allowed. Around the age of 17, there were new stipulations from his parents – he was allowed to listen to secular music that had a “spiritual theme”. So his early purchases included albums like Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming as he was able to establish that Dylan was classified as a “Christian artist”.

Inflexibility backfires. Going with the assumption that those biographical bits are true… You can’t beat a bright boy with an independent spirit into conformity and expect good results. He once said in an interview:

I was so angry and terrified that I’d been raised that way that, at some point, my number one mission became to make as big of a joke out it as I could.

If you wall your family off from mainstream culture, you have to connect yourselves with like-minded peers. Everyone needs a community, which is why the Amish are thriving as a counterculture.

***

Millennials are the hardest-kicked generation, which is also why Tillman is a blasphemer with gamma’esque antics in his live videos. But talent overcomes a lot. One of Tillman’s finest songs:

My love, you’re the one I wanna watch the ship go down with
The future can’t be real, I barely know how long a moment is
Unless we’re naked, getting high on the mattress
While the global market crashes
As death fills the streets we’re garden-variety oblivious
You grab my hand and say in “I-told-you-so” voice:
“It’s just how we expected”

The soulful voice, the lyrics about the simulacrum of private peace in the midst of social chaos. Good video, too. One of the best death-scenes in cinematography.

Every Man Needs a Companion is a similar slow-tempo contemplation. It lays bare his conflict with God, with his popular culture, and with his patrimony:

Joseph Campbell and The Rolling Stones
Couldn’t give me a myth
So I had to write my own
Like I’m hung up on religion
Though I know it’s a waste
I never liked the name Joshua
I got tired of J [his earlier stage name – PA]

Something went wrong. Heavy-handed parenting, unlucky “secular horoscope” a.k.a. generational cohort, or was Tillman born irredeemable?

What Went Wrong, Part 2 is about the rebellious daughter.

Source: PA | 21 Jun 2019 | 8:13 am EDT

How?

A thought-provoking post on Gab from Tom Kawczynski:

Stop thinking of how to win the next election.  Start thinking of how to have a nation worth defending.

Winning the former at the expense of the latter is counter-effective.

In what ways can your/our nation be made worth defending?

Source: PA | 18 Jun 2019 | 10:43 pm EDT

Hot Girls

Mostly brunettes. The best one is at the very end with that big smile. Open thread.

Source: PA | 14 Jun 2019 | 7:01 am EDT

History’s Frivolous-Heroic Cycles and “Ranczo”

On the centrally coordinated Third World invasion of Western countries. It’s World War III in every way but formally named as such in retrospect, and that’s only because “retrospect” is still in the future:

Hungary must protect its ethnic and cultural composition,” [Viktor Orbán] said at Kötcse… “I am convinced that Hungary has the right—and every nation has the right—to say that it does not want its country to change.” France and Britain had been perfectly within their prerogatives to admit millions of immigrants from the former Third World. Germany was entitled to welcome as many Turks as it liked. “I think they had a right to make this decision,” Orbán said. “We have a duty to look at where this has taken them.” He did not care to repeat the experiment. (Link)

Culture moves in Frivolous-Heroic cycles, you can also call them Comedy-Tragedy cycles. People immersed in the spirit of one such era will not understand the feelings and motivations of those who lived under the opposite spirit of its time.

20190611_133323

Heroic state of mind

Fifteen or even ten years ago, frivolity was the the state of mind in east-central Europe, specifically in Poland. Popular culture from that time reflects the enthusiasm for the newly-joined European Union. It was a materialistic period. With that thought in mind, I recently re-watched the first five seasons of the popular comedy series Ranczo (The Ranch), which premiered in 2006. It’s a well made, engaging show set in a fictional village in rural eastern Poland.

The main character is a young American woman who unexpectedly inherits a dilapidated country manor in that remote Polish village. Newly divorced and jobless at that point in her life, she travels there with the intention of selling the manor to a ready buyer, who happens to be the town’s strongman Mayor. But she sees the property in its bucolic setting and her plans change. She becomes enamored of the house and to the Mayor’s chagrin, decides to keep it, renovate it with the money made from the sale of her Manhattan apartment, and live there on that manor. That’s the shows premise, established in the first episode.

Cynically, I can say that Ranczo was a vehicle for feminism that intensified as the series went on, as well as a little bit of multicultural propaganda. Generously, however, I will qualify that judgment by adding that its politically-correct messages were more of a reflection of Poland’s upbeat attitude about the West and “progress” during that decade.

This fan-made video in (American) English nicely introduces the series:

Here is a behind-the-scenes video about the series. No subtitles unfortunately, but you can see the actors/characters on the set in high definition. Good commentary by the creative team, if you understand the language. The actor who plays the lead male character Kusy says:

It’s a great joy for an artist, the feeling that, at that one moment in your life, you took part in something that gave so many people pleasure. We did it nobly, thoughtfully, from the heart, always respecting our viewers as thinking, feeling, sensitive beings.

And in the words of the actress who plays the coquette waitress Wioletka:

I started acting in Raczo after my first year of college. I remember when my mom asked me after the first day of filming the first season: “What kind of a show is it?” I told her that it’s a strange show, there is nothing like it on Polish television because up until then, everything was kind of an imitation of what’s in Europe but nothing that really spoke of Poland. So I told her: “Mom, it’s such an odd show that it will flop after the first season. Nobody is going to watch it.” Well, I think my intuition was off. I had no idea that I’m taking part in something so exceptional.

The series in fact turned out to be spectacularly successful. It ran for ten seasons, from 2006 through 2016. I only saw the first five seasons, which my in-laws gave me as a gift DVD set.

National survival strategies

European nations are not easily absorbed into larger empires because the differences in language form a barrier that protects the integrity all of the other aspects of national identity: religion, blood, temperament, folkways. That’s unlike America’s experience of growing into its contiguous 48-state country, which was facilitated by the common English language of its settlers and assimilated European immigrants.

Where there are unique languages in proximity to one another, there is a resistance to a multi-ethnic togetherness under a singe point of political control. This is Europe’s kaleidoscope of its many different nations. On such a polyglot continent, the strong nations will jostle against one another until a continental balance of power is found, the weak ones will go along with the dominant powers as long as their distinctness is respected.

And here is modern Poland’s uncommon condition: too strong to bend to the will of its larger neighbors, too weak to be a continental power in its own right. As a result, the country has availed itself of each of these three approaches to national security:

1. The Faraway Ally. One strategy has been to ally with a more distant power, with mixed results. Nationalists’ alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte during the Partitions era did bring about a short-lived independent Duchy of Warsaw but at too great a cost of life on his Russian campaign. An alliance with France and England in 1939 failed to deliver when it mattered. And since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the non-regional ally, and not without benefits: NATO membership modernized Poland’s military, including combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the alliance also makes Poland subject to US cultural hegemony with its homosexual and anti-racist agenda.

It remains to be seen where the limits to the positives in this alliance are encountered. There is always the peril of insufficient cynicism about the US government among the older generation of politicians, whose Russophobia is a relic of the Communist decades.

2. Regional Coalition. The second security strategy is a central European alliance. The great statesman Józef Piłsudski (1867 – 1935) wanted to create an Intermaerum of east European countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea as bulwark against both German and Russian territorial ambitions. This alliance would include a number of small nations peeled away from Russian Empire’s (and later Soviet) control on the model of the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Visegrád Four alliance with culturally-kin Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary today serves a similar purpose, as does the Three-Seas Initiative of twelve east-central European countries.

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Three Seas Initiative (dark blue)

3. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. A third strategy is to join the strong neighbor. The Communist era was, in effect, a forced partnership with Russia that in retrospect delivered long-term blessings. And afterwards, Poland’s joining of the European Union was a voluntary indenture to Germany, with its short-term costs and payoffs.

A balance of strategies. Poland presently plays a tripartite balance of foreign policy:

The optimism and the wariness

A dialogue in one of the early episodes of Ranczo caught my attention. There are four Village Drunk characters whose function is part comic relief, part meta-commentary. One of them is Stan Japycz, an old man who’s seen his share of historical changes. By unspoken hierarchical order, he sits at the right end of the storefront bench (from viewer’s perspective) as the elder of the group. His drinking companions are talking about the EU’s lavish financial investment in Poland. As a witness to history, he expresses his wariness of such generosity. Paraphrasing the dialogue:

“So, what will the EU want from us in return for all that free money?”
“Maybe they are just generous”
“There is no such thing as something for nothing.”
“But what about the [post-war Communist] land reforms? That was something for nothing.”
“It’s easy to take someone’s stuff and give it away to someone else. Here, the EU is giving us their own money. Mark my words, one day they’ll come to collect.”

The EU “visited to collect” in 2015, in the form of European Commission’s directive to eastern European states, including tiny countries like Latvia, take in their massive quotas of Muslim immigrants. Thank God for Viktor Orbán, who was the first to say No and stand firm on his refusal. From what I observed in Poland, remotely from here as well as during my visit three years ago, is that the Frivolous era has passed. Ranczo’s sanguine westward longing feels anachronistic today.

The idealism of its time

Imagine a television comedy series made for three-digit IQ audiences united by a common culture. No vulgarity, no gratuitous innuendo, slow narrative pace for people with normal attention spans, camera that captures the pastoral beauty of its setting. And zero Diversity; even the foreign characters were played by Polish actors, which no doubt helped foster good chemistry on the set.

I haven’t decided if the feminism, which is laid on thick in certain episodes, is conscious subversion or if it’s that era’s faith in Progress as personified by the EU. It was a campaign of eliminating (highly exaggerated) national pathologies such as wife-beating, drunkenness, laziness, corruption… things that you could say festered in the less advanced parts of Europe. But now, knowing what we know in 2019, it’s complicated because we know that thots aren’t gonna patrol themselves. Some girls like to be choked and we need them in our social fabric too. We need men who aren’t afraid of a little prison time in our social fabric too.

People who subscribed to Ranczo ideals thought that you could create a better world by eradicating common human vices. They were wrong. Pride, as all of tradition teaches us, is the downfall of the ambitious. No, dear reader in 2006. The EU will not make Poland better. It will instead try to send inbred brown rapists to your daughter’s middle school under the full protection of the state.

In another dialogue, the four storefront drunks talk about how EU will one day exploit them as cheap foreign labor and on top of it, ban their favorite activity. Which of course is open-air drinking as long as they hide the bottle from the passing village policeman. Who in turn, in accordance with prevailing social mores, pretends to not-see them drinking illegal moonshine. One character drives his point home: “Have you ever heard about open air drinking in the EU?”

Ten years later, the EU murdered the eleven-year-old Ebba Åkerlund in a country where there is no open-air drinking of moonshine. It humiliated our entire civilization in Rotherham and ignited the Gilet Jaunes uprising. No, reader from 2006, the EU can’t fix Poland’s problems. The EU is the enemy.

The characters

Ranczo is an allegory for Poland itself, with the various the characters representing certain national archetypes.

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Kusy and Lucy

Lucy. The main character, who is a young, recently-divorced Polish-American woman who moves into the village and brings Progress with her. She teaches English to children and birth control to teenagers. She solves everyone’s problems with her cheery can-do attitude. She’s Poland’s westward gaze, a hope that “this half” of our identity will lift us above the eastern backwardness.

Kusy. Her eventual love interest; they get married and have a baby in a later season. An artist earlier in his life, he works as Lucy’s handyman, self-destructively haunted by his past tragedies. He represents the national spirit over the rocky course of history. Lucy soon discovers that despite being at a low point in his life, Kusy is a brilliant, educated man of high character and she inspires him to overcome his personal demons.

The Village Mayor and the Parish Priest. My favorite characters, in a way. They are twins, played by the same actor. The Mayor represents the Communist-era despotism, corruption, and atheism. The Priest represents, of course, Roman Catholicism and the compassionate but straight-and-narrow moral code. And this is important: the twin brothers despise each other, but they often find themselves in situations where they have to work together.

Other primary characters. A few of them start out as comic-relief figures and some as villains. But each develops into a fuller character who finds redemption and of course, love:

A globalist Blue Pill

One of the regular characters is Klaudia, the Mayor’s teenage daughter. She adopts a different subculture in each episode, according to an always-off-screen new boyfriend. She goes through a Punk phase, Goth, morose existentialist, vegan, Hare Krishna, businesswoman, Feng Shui enthusiast, Grunger, etc. etc. In one episode, she dates a Skinhead and as expected, shows up dressed like one. She tells Lucy about this latest thing she’s into. Lucy is Klaudia’s confidant through her normal teenage stuff.

Lucy listens with a worried look on her face as Klaudia tells her: “You know, my boyfriend says things that make a lot of sense.” She then summarizes his nationalist case, nothing more extreme than what Marine LePen would say. Overhearing this, Kusy gives Klaudia an enraged earful about hate being bad.

Kusy’s heavy-handed appeal to tolerance is a product of the Frivolous era, incomprehensible to today’s audiences in the Heroic era. The upside to having had to stomach this moment of vile globalist propaganda wrapped in such a nice television show and think about all the other viewers who saw that, is the fact that the West has now seen the fruits of tolerance and those fruits are crawling over with worms.

A nationalist Red Pill

The village Priest is in a bit of a panic because the Bishop from the big city had called him, informing him of his of his plan to visit the village. He tells the Priest not to tell anyone that he’s in fact a Bishop; he wants to come off as an ordinary Priest so that people act naturally in his presence. He wishes to see the parish as it really is, and also to take a break from the trappings of rank he deals with daily.

Beside himself with anxiety, the Priest arranges things so that the village is on its best behavior. The church dignitary arrives. It’s worth noting that the he is a tall, distinguished man with an authoritative voice. He is also a sympathetic one-time character.

Meanwhile, word gets out that the visitor is a Bishop. Oops, the priest’s housekeeper may have let that slip. So all of the townspeople prepare themselves to pretend they don’t know who he is when they meet him. The village policeman, out of uniform for the sake of being inconspicuous, trails him on his solo walks around the village to ensure his safety. The Bishop quickly notices that he’s being followed and assumes the worst: secret police surveillance.

He then runs into Kusy, whose odd words as he contemplates his next artistic project deepen the Bishop’s paranoia. Finally, Lucy approaches the Bishop in a friendly manner. Because of her foreign accent, she mentions that she’s American. But by the workings of verbal comedy, the Bishop concludes that she’s a US intelligence agent. So now his conviction that he’s under surveillance becomes more than he can stand: it’s not just domestic security organs any more, it’s now a foreign superpower that spies on an incognito clergyman visiting an obscure village. The memorable moment when the Bishop sternly lectures the bewildered Lucy:

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Before, it was the KGB that persecuted us. Now, it’s the CIA. Well, let me tell you something, Missy! This here is a free, sovereign nation. We’re not some damn colony of yours. Are we clear on that?

World War III

Our civilization will get through it if we enforce the words of Victor Orbán: “Hungary must protect its ethnic and cultural composition. Every nation has the right to say that it does not want its country to change.”

The village in Rancho represents our respective homes. This is why Lucy held on to her inheritance.

Source: PA | 11 Jun 2019 | 3:33 pm EDT