File this under “things I wish I had said.” A Facebook friend who wishes to remain anonymous has a few suggestions for those who wish to uproot racism and anything that racists have produced.
Just remember, folks, Daimler-Mercedes-Benz built German war machines and Mercedes-Benz designed and built Hitler’s car. Certainly hope you’re not sporting one of those racist deathmobiles as a sign of your affluence.
If you’re black, I certainly hope you don’t work for or own a Volkswagen.
The colossal extent of slave labour used by modern-day German blue-chip companies to get rich during the Third Reich has been laid bare by the nation’s top business magazine.
WirtschaftsWoche has published a league table illustrating the Nazi past of top German firms like Bosch, Mercedes, Deutsche Bank, VW and many others, which involved the use of almost 300,000 slaves.
The league table follows revelations earlier that Audi, which was known as Auto Union during the Nazi period, was a big exploiter of concentration camp supplied slave labor, using 20,000 concentration camp inmates in its factories.
Many of the companies listed by WirtschaftsWoche have already had internal reckonings with their Nazi past.
In 2011, the dynasty behind the BMW luxury car marker admitted, after decades of silence, to using slave labour, taking over Jewish firms and doing business with the highest echelons of the Nazi party during World War Two.
Gabriele Quandt, whose grandfather Guenther employed an estimated 50,000 forced labourers in his arms factories, producing ammunition, rifles, artillery and U-boat batteries, said it was ‘wrong’ for the family to ignore this chapter of its history.
But BMW were not the only German firm to profit from the sudden influx of slave labour.
Slave labor. I know a a number of SJWs who drive Benzes and BMWs; and even more drive the People’s Car aka Volkswagen.
But if some want to purge the USA of anything with racist origins, I’d say that they should start with themselves.
Benzes and Beamers are too expensive to maintain, but I’ll take a VW off your hands.
Ever since the nomination of President Trump the media began to recycle those tired old clichés. I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about. The most often recited claims are that all those on the political right are Fascists and those same people are all bigots. Neither of those claims is remotely true but that does not stop the media from spreading them.
A thorough analysis of the first claim will prove it to be factually and historically flawed. At the historical root of this claim is a tiny bit of truth. Dating back to before the French Revolution, members of the Fascist party did sit on the right side of parliaments in Europe while the Socialists sat on the left side. This artificial model, based on seating arrangements alone, is the historical basis for this claim. There is no commonality between the political philosophies of the European Fascists and the political philosophies of the right-wing political movements that exist in the United States. The framers of the Constitution created their own model to describe the political spectrum, one that is based entirely on fundamental truths about the nature of government. Using this model, which has been called the founders model, you can accurately place any form of government or political philosophy on the political spectrum based on its actual characteristics. W. Cleon Skousen discussed the founders’ model in great detail in his masterpiece “The 5000 Year Leap.”
The founders’ model measures the size and scope of government for any given philosophy. On the absolute right of this model is no government. What results with no government is anarchy because people are not perfect; some injure others and interfere with the fights of others. A certain level of government is needed to prevent this from happening. On the left is an all powerful totalitarian government where no freedom exists.
The first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, created a government that was too far to the right. This government was too limited and anarchy resulted. The framers of the Constitution sought to correct this by creating a government a bit more to the left. The government created by the US Constitution was powerful enough to prevent anarchy but limited enough to prevent it from interfering with the rights of individual citizens. The fundamental characteristics of this government were: all government power rested with the people, a small and limited government of enumerated powers, a clearly spelled out written constitution, government power distributed between many levels, a free market economy, maximum freedom, and a focus placed entirely on individual rights. The philosophy fully embraced by the framers of the Constitution when they wrote the Constitution is Classic Liberalism, which is the opposite of Modern Liberalism. Classic Liberalism and the Constitution are to the right of center on the founders’ modem.
Right leaning Libertarians are the closest modern equivalent to classic liberals. Conservativism is more to the left on the founders’ model because that philosophy wants the federal government to intrude more when it comes to social issues. This move to the left results in a government large enough to move the needle just to the right of center. Conservatives believe in individual rights, a constitutionally limited government, and free markets. They however try to use the federal government to ban those practices that they find morally unacceptable.
Here is how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines Fascism. As you can see Fascism is primarily characterized by a strong totalitarian central government, collective rather than individual rights, and a market that is not free at all. Fascism in near the absolute left of the founders’ model. Unlike Fascists, Conservatives believe in free speech so they do not silence those they disagree with. Also conservatives do not focus on race. Conservative favorites include Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and so many other African Americans,
Socialism and Communism are both farther towards the absolute left of the founders’ model. They feature more totalitarian government, more collectivism, and less freedom. Modern Liberalism and Progressivism have a lot in common with Fascism, Socialism, and Communism. Liberalism and Progressivism both feature much larger and oppressive government, less freedom, collective rights rather than individual rights, and a much less free market economy. Also these philosophies focus extensively on race with identity politics.
Intolerance and bigotry are not the exclusive domain of the political right unfortunately the media continuously makes that claim. Intolerance and bigotry are tragic human failings that encompass the entire political spectrum. Because the political left believes in much larger governments intolerant and bigoted people on left can do more harm. Hitler was a fascist therefore he was a left winger. The Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party, sounds very left wing to me.
All hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and neo Nazis are labeled right wing but are they? Democrats formed the Klan during reconstruction. Most Klan members are Democrats. The Southern, slave holding States were controlled by Democrats along with the Southern states during Segregation. As I stated earlier Nazis were on the political left. The Neo-Nazis advocate for the same National Socialism therefore they are also on the left. This article shares my assessment.
The Tea Party, which is the most right wing of all political movements based on its political philosophy, was vilified right from the start as a mob of racists and bigots. There was never any proof of these accusations. There were racist signs seen at Tea Party rallies but these racist signs made up roughly 3 percent of all Tea party signs, that is according to the a New York Times survey.
We must correct these incorrect statements whenever possible.
Marshall Rooster Cogburn:…you can forget about your duty. Eula Goodnight:Your own General Lee thought it was the most beautiful word in the English language. Marshall Rooster Cogburn:What the devil do you know of General Lee? Eula Goodnight:That he was a christian gentleman who was soundly whipped in the field by Yankees!
Rooster Cogburn 1975
As a general rule I’m opposed to playing games with history and reality. History is what it is and a lot of trouble happens when you try to fiddle with it for the sake of an agenda. That basis also is sufficient to oppose removing the confederate monuments in the south, much better, in my opinion to put up other monuments near and/or with them and explain how and why these folks thought what they thought, why they choose to fight and what the general condition of both American and world culture was so people understand how a nation’s decision to kick the slavery can down the road for 60 years led to a destructive Civil War. And given our current situation lessons on how to avoid such a war might be a pretty good idea.
But there is one more point that I think overrides all of these considerations in my mind and should be taken into account by all those self righteous virtue signaling folk trying to use this to raise their own political profile by playing the “triggered” card.
There were hundreds of thousands of Union causalities in the civil war. According to the US Parks service over 340,000 died (over 110K in battle). Furthermore another 275,000 were wounded meaning tens of thousands of US soldiers spent the rest of their lives maimed because of the various generals honored by those statues and the troops who served under them.
Yet not only didn’t those Union Soldiers begrudge the south honoring those who tried to kill them or succeeded in crippling them, but the elected representatives of the Union survivors not only felt no need to force the removal of said monuments but were perfectly happy to vote honors in those directions even though:
The southern states never at any time held a congressional majority
The Union vets and their children were a significant voting block that drove elections nationally for decades.
After the Civil war no southerner occupied the White House until every single Civil War Vet from both sides was dead and said southerner (LBJ) only became president due to Kennedy’s assassination.
Why didn’t they care? I suspect it was because they understood that the south had lost the war and lost it big time.
Again turning to park service numbers out of a population of 5.5 non slaves the south suffered over 483,000 casualties, nearly a tenth of the entire population. Over 194,000 confederate soldiers came home wounded and when they did come home they found cities destroyed, their countryside practically picked clean by the armies that had slaughtered and maimed their military age population and found that their wealth had been drained faster than a sink unclogged by liquid plumber.
The Union vets and their children were wise enough to understand that no monument even if carved of the best marble or stone whether in a city square or on the side of a mountain could change the fact that the south in general and the southern armies in particular were thoroughly and utterly defeated.
To my mind if the children of those union soldiers, not to mention the men themselves who were targeted for death and destruction by the subjects of those figures depicted in those statues, weren’t offended enough by them to force their removal how much less of a claim do we have generations later to be so offended that those monuments must go?
Last week the 50th anniversary of the five-day long Detroit Riot passed. Or uprising or rebellion, depending on who you speak with.
I’m going with the first one, riot. It started after midnight on July 23, 1967 in the city’s Virginia Park neighborhood when an illegal bar, known locally as a “blind pig,” was raided by Detroit police officers. After arresting 85 patrons who had gathered to celebrate the return of two soldiers from Vietnam, the cops were confronted by 200 more people who threw rocks and bottles at them. The police left and crowd started smashing windows and looting stores.
Which is why I’m calling it a riot.
It took 17,000 people, a mixture of Detroit and state police officers, federal and national guard troops, and firefighters to quell the riot. Over 2,000 buildings were destroyed and 43 people were killed. Only the 1863 New York City Draft Riot and the 1992 Los Angeles Riot were worse among domestic urban disturbances. Many of the buildings that were laid waste were never rebuilt, and 12th and Clairmount–now Rosa Parks Boulevard and Clairmount–was like most of the rest of Detroit when I visited in 2015, forsaken and quiet.
Sure, there were solid reasons for black Detroiters to be angry 50 Julys ago. Police brutality was rampant in the Motor City, and as had thousands of blacks migrated there from the Deep South for automobile industry jobs, many whites made that northern trek too. And the latter brought their prejudices with them. Yes, many blacks had good-paying jobs with the Big Three but often they were clustered, make that segregated, into the less desirable segments of the assembly line, the sweltering foundries or the fumous paint rooms. After World War II urban renewal and expressway building came to Detroit, as it did in other major cities, but African-American neighborhoods were usually targeted for these “improvements,” which caused blacks to sardonically label these programs “negro removal.”
What the 1871 Chicago Fire was to that city, or the 1906 earthquake was to San Francisco, the ’67 riot was to Detroit. It’s a historical demarcation line. Only Chicago and San Francisco successfully rebuilt and emerged as better and more livable cities afterwards. After 1967 white flight accelerated in Detroit–and thousands of businesses followed. Jobs too. Crime soared. In 1960 Detroit had over 1.6 million residents–now there are fewer than 700,000 Detroiters.
“The riot was the seminal moment in Detroit’s history, the point from which nothing would be the same,” the Detroit News’ Nolen Finley wrote eight days ago.
Riot or rebellion? If it was the last one, I know who lost. Detroit did.
But bankruptcy–and the confession of defeat–like an alcoholic finally admitting addiction–offers Detroit a chance to turn things around. When I stood on the corner of Clairmount and Rosa Parks two summers ago, there was no attestion of the historical significance of the site. But last Sunday a Michigan historical marker, “Detroit July 1967,” was dedicated there.
Update December 17: Today at DTG I review Kathryn Bigelow’s movie Detroit, which provides an update of sorts as I recall last month’s return trip to Rosa Parks Boulevard and Clairmount. Also, the old retail space and with second floor apartments pictured above has been razed, a vacant lot sits there, of which Detroit has plenty.
Deep in southwestern Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate state lies the small village of Kallstadt, which has about 1,200 residents.
It is well-known for two reasons. It’s a stop on the German Wine Route and it’s the ancestral home of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, and President Donald J. Trump. In fact, Heinz and Trump’s grandfather, Kallstadt-born Friedrich Trump, were second cousins.
I was digging deep–very deep–on Netflix for something interesting to watch when I stumbled across Trump’s face on a movie poster for Kings of Kallstadt, a documentary by Simone Wendel, a Kallstadter. It was filmed in 2012 and released in 2014; her movie probably would have been forgotten outside of Rhineland-Palatinate had the Trump Train not steamrolled into Washington last year.
Much of the dialogue is in German–with subtitles of course.
There is a Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon feel within Kallstadt, because Wendel tells us that “the sun always shines and the wine never runs out.” And while Kallstadt has only 1,200 inhabitants it counts 1,600 members in its 27 clubs. “That amounts to 135 percent of love,” Wendel beams. Does Kallstadt have a Miss Kallstadt? No, it has a Wine Princess. No, make that two of them, which is a situation you might expect to find in the Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry. Kallstadt’s culinary delicacy is saumagen, that is, stuffed sow’s stomach.
Trump is interviewed here, along with the family historian, Trump’s cousin John Walter. If you ever imagined what our president would be like if he was a modest accountant–that’s Walter. Because he’s a modest, albeit retired, accountant.
Fascinatingly, even before he officially entered the political world, the man who was then simply known as the King of New York felt compelled to bring up his troubled relationship with the media.
“Okay, I think (there are) a lot of misconceptions about me,” Trump explains to Wendel in a Trump Tower conference room. “I’m a lot nicer person than the press would have you think. I don’t want to ruin my image by telling you that, but I believe that.”
Not discussed in the film is what Donald and his father, Frederick, said about their heritage–the Trumps were Swedish–which the legions Trump-haters jumped on during the presidential campaign. But the Swedish fib is an understandable distortion of the truth. During World War I it was quite common for German-Americans to hide their ethnicity. I regularly run into people who tell me stories of a grandfather or great-grandfather who changed his name from say Muller, to Miller, after being hounded out of a town as Americans fought the Kaiser’s army. After World War II Trump’s grandmother, Elizabeth, and Frederick rented many apartments and sold many houses to Jewish New Yorkers, who understandably had extremely uncomfortable feelings about Germans.
“He had thought, ‘Gee whiz, I’m not going to be able to sell these homes if there are all these Jewish people,'” Walter told the now-failingNew York Times last year about the dilemma of Trump’s dad.
More on Grandma Elizabeth in a bit.
“After the war, he’s still Swedish,” Walter continued. “It was just going, going, going.”
As for the Swedish tale, Donald repeated it for his best-seller, The Art Of The Deal. Frederick was still alive then. But by 1990 the Swedish stuff was dead lutefisk.
Friedrich Trump left Kallstadt at age 16 for America where he enjoyed great success in Seattle, Yukon, Alaska, and then New York. Walter tells Wendel that Grandfather Trump married Elizabeth Christ, a Kallstadter. She demanded that he sell his American properties and return to Kallstadt, which, in a story Trump confides to Walter that he never heard, Prince Leopold of Bavaria deported Friedrich. Yes, a Trump was deported! Friedrich died in 1918 in Queens, likely an early victim of that year’s flu pandemic. Elizabeth and Frederick then founded Elizabeth Trump and Son Company, now known as the Trump Organization.
Back to the almost present: a group of Kallstadters are invited as guests of New York’s German-American Steuben Parade. Trump was the parade’s grand marshal in 1999. They also visit Pittsburgh and the Heinz History Center, where amazingly, no members of the Heinz family meet them. Say what you will about Donald J. Trump, but he earnestly tries to make himself accessible except to those who are openly hostile to him. Trump could have easily dismissed Wendel’s request for an interview for her quaint little film. But Trump has alway been a salesman.
The Kallstadters attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game–big league baseball–but one cranky woman constantly complains that there is “no action” in the game.
But is there is a lot of action in a 0-0 soccer match, frau? Other than the brawls in the bleachers?
Then comes the Steuben Parade. As the Kallstadters–two of whom are carrying a giant model of a saumagen–and Walter gather on the route, an “Obama 2012” sign is seen from a window behind them.
Late in the film Wendel asks Trump if would like to visit Kallstadt. “When I’m over there I will certainly visit,” he replies. “Absolutely.”
We are getting yet another threat from our Democrat Friends concerning the potential firing of the Special prosecutor:
Several Democrats in Congress warned President Trump on Friday that he will face consequences if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“All Americans, regardless of party, agree on the fundamental principle that no one is above the law,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told MSNBC Friday. “And if President Trump were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, and then [get] special counsel Mueller fired, I believe Congress would begin impeachment proceedings.”
Now normally I would not get in the way of the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot but if I was Donald Trump I would find Democrat threats to bring up impeachment in the house an incentive to fire the entire Special prosecutor team rather than a disincentive, in fact if I’m Donald Trump the thing I’d want most of all is a Democrat filing a resolution of impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives as soon as possible, maybe by the end of next week.
Now you might find this an odd thing to think, but there are two simple reasons for this, the first being that as I’ve already explained the people who actually buy all this impeachment nonsense are hyperpatrisian Democrats and such a move would not only politically hurt him with is base, it might actually help
But more importantly getting the Democrats to push impeachment now would be learning a lesson of Watergate, To Democrats and the left, that word is magic, but the reality is it was an actual political event and if President Trump studies that event he would know how the Democrat’s impeachment push would end. Let me explain:
In 1973 Fr. Robert Drinan who was a member of congress from Massachusetts introduced an impeachment resolution in the house, primarily on the grounds of Nixon’s actions on Cambodia. Tip O’Neill one of the savviest Democrats in the house understood that this had the potential to blow up in their faces, the evidence for impeachment was not there and once one vote failed it would be hard to get another passed. O’Neill talked about the issue in his autobiography Man of the House
At (Speaker) Cal Albert’s request, I went to Drinan and tried to talk him out of it. “The timing is wrong,” I said, “It’s premature. Let’s wait a few months until the evidence is in and we get the votes we need.”
Drinan agreed not to press the issue, but by then the resolution had already been filed and could not be withdrawn. According to the rules of the House, any resolution on impeachment is, by definition , a privileged resolution, which means that any member, at any time can call it up for an immediate vote. We could certainly see to it that no Democrat would bring it up, but who knew what the Republicans might try? If I had been in their shoes, I would have brought up Drinan’s resolution immediately, because an early vote on impeachment would have been an excellent insurance policy against having to vote on a similar resolution at a later date.
Tip O’Neill Man of the House pages 247-248
They were so concerned that Tip, then majority leader, and the two whips made it a point to make sure one of them was always on the floor to make sure such a resolution was tabled on the spot until finally he got assurances from minority leader and future President Gerald Ford that the GOP had no plans on bring it for a vote.
The fact is President Trump is much more like Tip than he is like Nixon, he has finger on the pulse of the working class of the nation and knows that an impeachment resolution would energize his base to no end, furthermore such a resolution would expose every Democrat in the place as the radical leftist they are and would have laudable effects on election 2018.
If I was President Trump I’d take careful note of this example and do all I could to bait one of the house radicals like Maxine Waters to introduce a resolution of impeachment as soon as possible, perhaps by baiting the very gullible radical left, particularly in Hollywood and in the black lives matter movement to demand such a resolution. It would take little effort to make it an internet cause celebe. In fact I would beat the bushes of the left to find a radical democrats on the state level demanding impeachment and quietly encouraging them to primary sitting democrat congressmen and bankrolling pacs backing them with the express purpose of pressuring a member of the Democrat caucus to introduce such a resolution. Because those democrats would be a lot easier to beat in the general election in anything that isn’t a completely blue state.
Furthermore an impeachment vote now would put any republican in the house who might consider for one moment to vote for it on the spot. Such a pro-impeach vote would guarantee a pro-trump primary challenge that would likely not end well for the sitting congressman, after all consider what Robert Costa discovered about GOP voters when he left his bubble.
The left lives in a bubble amplified by Culture, but Trump has actual power backed up by the law. I suggest he use it.
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Lt. Tom Keefer: Can’t you see what he’s doing? He’s re-enacting his big triumph, the cheese investigation. He wants to be as hot as the young Ensign Queeg.
The Caine Mutiny 1954
Norma Desmond: All right,Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.”
Sunset Boulavard 1950
One of the advantages of age is perspective of having gone through things and having the experience of living through events. It’s even better when you study history is you get the perspective of people who have been dead for years, decades or even centuries because in the end, there really is nothing new under the sun.
That’s one of the reasons why the offensive against President Trump doesn’t surprise me, anyone who lived through that era would know the media had the same hatred and contempt for Ronald Reagan. I remember being in college and having my own history professor speak of his fears of Ronald Reagan. The main difference being in those days being that there was no conservative media to push back. That’s why if you think that the disaster of the Comey hearing for the left would have humbled them, you’d think wrong as Byron York explains:
Fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee marked the full shift of the Trump-Russia investigation from a probe dedicated to discovering collusion to a probe dedicated to proving the president obstructed justice. (See “At this rate, it won’t matter if Trump colluded with Russia.”) Democrats at the Comey hearing barely touched on collusion, which appears to have turned out to be a dry hole. When it did come up in Comey’s appearance, it was during questioning from Republicans, who wanted to highlight their point that collusion — the core of the case and the reason everybody got so excited in the first place — has so far turned out to be nothing.
To Democrats, that no longer matters. Now, it’s all about obstruction of justice, or alleged obstruction of justice, or fantasized obstruction of justice, depending on your partisan perspective. Senate Democrats focused almost exclusively on obstruction in their questioning of Comey, and their House counterparts are sure to do the same. As far as the Justice Department investigation of the president is concerned, we know that as of the time Comey was fired on May 9, there was no investigation of the president concerning collusion, which strongly suggests that after 10 months of probing, authorities had nothing against him on that issue. Now, however, after the Comey memos and the Comey firing, it seems safe to predict that special counsel Robert Mueller will investigate Trump for obstruction. So it is a new game, even if Republicans keep trying to play the old one.
When I see the Democrats and their media allies going all Watergate on Trump that I see get what’s goign on. I know and perhaps they know there is no there there, but it’s not about that, to some degree it isnt’ even about power.
It’s about glory days., those wonderful days of yesteryear when the Democrats and the media were at their apex of respect and presteege in the eyes of the public, a press that spoke with only one liberal voice supporting a Democrat party that in congress was practically unchallenged.
Unfortunately for the left the lessons of Watergate don’t apply mainly due the admidded lack of evidence of any crime, which is not a big surprise as there is also the lack of an actual crime to have evidence of unless of course you’re counting, as Don Surber puts it : “James Comey’s multiple ethics and likely legal violations.”
But all that doesn’t matter, to paraphrase River Song, the Democrats/Media will believe any story that they are the hero of and no matter what the reality, in their minds, they are the heros, as brave or braver than those who marched in Selma or fought in the getto of Warsaw.
After all they don’t call themsevles the resistance for nothing.
Last fall in my review of the first season of The Last Kingdom I wrote:
I’ll be back for season two, hoping for more. (More meaning better shows, not bare buttocks.) After all, the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood didn’t hit its stride until season two and it didn’t achieve consistent greatness until The Children of Earth in season three.
And so I have returned for season two of the show, which is now a co-production of Netflix and the BBC. The series is based on books by Bernard Cornwell.
The Last Kingdom didn’t reach the stride that I was hoping to find, rather, it is just running in place.
Minor season one spoiler alerts in the following paragraph.
Uhtred the Godless (Alexander Dreymon), who was enslaved as a boy by Danes and robbed of his inheritance of Bebbanburg in Northumberland by a duplicitous uncle, becomes a chieftain for King Alfred (David Dawson). England’s “last kingdom” is Alfred’s Wessex, holding out in the 9th century against what historians later named the Great Heathen Army. Alfred prevails over the Danes in the Battle of Edington, preserving not only his kingdom but also his notion of an England. Havde danskerne vundet kampen, kan du læse denne sætning på dansk i stedet for engelsk. Oops, make that, had the Danes won the battle you might be reading this sentence in Danish instead of English. But for Uhtred the victory is bittersweet, his mistress, the sorceress Queen Iseult of Cornwall, is beheaded during the battle.
So that’s it, right? Alfred becomes Alfred the Great and the Danes are forced back to Denmark? No. Viking raids–oh, the word “viking” doesn’t appear in The Last Kingdom–continue until the auspicious year of 1066. Alfred and his successors merely push back against the Danes, who never leave, they become Anglicized. Although in 1016 Cnut the Great, a Dane, albeit a Christian, is crowned king of England.
And that’s the heart of the problem of the second edition of The Last Kingdom. Sure, the Saxons and the Danes are still slaughtering each other, but historically post-Edington is a less interesting time in England.
Minor season two spoiler alerts in the following paragraph.
A handsome warrior like Uhtred isn’t going to remain unattached for long, he marries the sister of the mild-mannered Guthred (Thure Lindhardt), a Christian Dane and former slave who becomes King of Northumberland as a result of a prophecy-dream of an abbot. But Guthred betrays Uhtred and as he sets matters straight, Uhtred proceeds to anger Alfred. But the king soon finds himself in a situation where he needs his chieftain’s aid.
As with first season the second one ends with a fierce battle.
My disappointment in the second season lies with the lack of character development. Perhaps you can argue that Uhtred’s strong mental fortitude is why the travails he suffers doesn’t alter his nature, but he’s essentially the same person since his appearance as an adult at the end of the first episode in series one. Alfred remains the pious king–despite his own sufferings. Only Uhtred’s priest friend, Father Beocca (Ian Hart) and Erik Thurgilson (Christian Hillborg), who does not appear in the first season, progress as characters.
There are a few other of annoyances. Each episode begins with a pompous “I am Uhtred son of Uhtred” proclaimed by Dreymon which is followed by a summary of previous events, which are only sometimes helpful. When a town is shown in a wide-angle shot the old English name is displayed first, then the modern equivalent. But in the case of Benfleet, the site of much of the action in the second season, is it necessary to do so three times in the same episode? Are we that stupid? And until I receive solid proof otherwise, let’s assume that Alfred’s crown is plastic.
So far The Last Kingdom hasn’t been renewed. So I’ll withhold my commitment to watching season three.
Oh, as for bare buttocks, yes there a couple of scenes with them, if you have to know.
We’ve just passed the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, which certainly is no cause for celebration.
Although the U.S. formally declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 — unlike the speedy action after Pearl Harbor, it took Congress four days to concur with Woodrow Wilson’s request for action — American troops didn’t actually engage in combat until a year later.
By the time the guns fell silent on Nov. 11, 1918, nearly 117,000 members of the American Expeditionary Forces had died. While that figure pales in comparison to U.S. casualties in the Civil War and World War II, it’s a horrendous total for just over six months of fighting.
The man responsible for the war’s worldwide death toll of 38 million is someone you’ve probably never heard of : Gavrilo Princip, a young Bosnian Serb fanatically dedicated to ending Austria-Hungary’s rule of his homeland.
On June 28, 1914, Princip and five co-conspirators set out to assassinate Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand on his visit to Bosnia. A planned attack on the archduke’s motorcade in Sarajevo failed. One conspirator chickened out and didn’t throw his bomb when he had the chance. Another tossed a grenade, but it exploded under another car, seriously injuring two members of Franz Ferdinand’s entourage.
The opportunity for assassination seemed lost, but Princip was lucky — unluckily for the rest of the world. Franz Ferdinand wanted to visit his friends wounded in the grenade attack, but his driver made a wrong turn en route to the hospital. When the driver put the car in reverse to get back on course, it stalled — right in front of Princip, who had stopped at a cafe for a meal.
Princip seized his chance, stepping forward and firing two shots into the car. One bullet fatally wounded the archduke, and the other killed his wife, Countess Sophie. Thanks to monumental stupidity by Europe’s monarchs, the murders ignited the fuse for the carnival of carnage that came to be known as the Great War.
The assassination led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, which was thought to be behind the murder plot. When Serbian ally Russia mobilized for an attack on the Habsburg empire, Germany demanded Russia to stand down. On Aug. 1, Germany declared war on Russia, then promptly invaded neutral Belgium as the launching pad for an invasion of France. Within days, what had been a dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia grew into a continental conflagration.
By the time the United States entered the fray, millions had died on the battlefields and in the trenches. Although Russia essentially gave up the fight after the Bolshevik revolution, freeing up German armies from the Eastern Front, the infusion of American doughboys played a key role in forcing the Central Powers to accept an armistice.
To understand how the civilized Western world collapsed into murderous madness, you have to know Europe at the start of the 20th century. For almost 100 years after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Europe had enjoyed unprecedented peace, progress and prosperity (outside of the Balkans, a string of unsuccessful revolutions in 1848 and two conflicts involving Prussia).
But nationalism still percolated in the fat and happy countries. Africa sated much of the ambitions, as Britain, France, Germany and lesser powers grabbed colonies, but the continent was pretty much divvied up by 1900. Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution had brought bright, shiny weapons to large armies that had nothing to do. All it took was Princip to fire his pistol to bring down empires and forever change the world.
Perhaps war still would have come without the assassin, but it probably wouldn’t have been the same war on the same fronts with the same results. But think about what Princip did set in motion.
Without Princip, there would have been no World War II because Germany would not have been seething over unsettled grievances. There would have been no Hitler, no Holocaust.
Without Princip, there would have been no Russian Revolution, no Lenin, no Stalin, no gulag. As a result, you can erase, Mao, Fidel and other Red revolutionaries from the history books.
Without Princip, the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires might still exist, leaving many ethnic groups under imperial control. The dissolution of the Turkish empire is at the heart of today’s troubles in the Middle East, as the British and French made a total mess overseeing Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Without Princip, the lives of at least 150 million people would not have been snuffed out on the battlefield or by their own totalitarian governments.
As the year 2000 approached, a number of groups hailed Albert Einstein as the Man of the 20th Century. Without doubt, the physicist was a remarkable genius whose revelations changed the course of science and will reverberate for generations to come.
But if the Man of the Century is the one who had the biggest effect on the world, for better or worse, the title has to go a 19-year-old killer from Bosnia, Gavrilo Princip.
Barack Obama’s Model United Nations style foreign policy of be-nice-to-rogue-nations-and-they’ll-be-nice-to-you is a failure.
Five years ago Syria’s thug president, Bashar al-Assad, crossed Barack Obama’s red line by using chemical weapons against his own people.
Obama did not retaliate.
Last Tuesday the brute crossed that red line–and on Thursday President Donald J. Trump fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian base from where those chemical weapons were launched. This happened the day after an emergency session of the UN Security Council called in response to this cruel attack predictably achieved nothing.
The spoiled fat boy who savagely rules the starving nation of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, keeps firing missiles in tests, those weapons violate numerous United Nations resolutions. For years the rogue state has been building a nuclear weapons program, one that can possibly be used to attack the United States.
Trump is responding to the aggressiveness of the Norks by dispatching an aircraft carrier to Korean waters. He’s reportedly considering deploying nuclear missiles in South Korea.
Obama did nothing of consequence in regards to the North Korean threat.
Trump understands the lessons of the playground that Obama and his fellow leftists never learned. Bullies only back down when confronted with force, or a credible threat of force. For bullies weakness is an opportunity to be exploited. The historical examples of strongmen attacking their own people and more powerful nations plundering weaker ones are so plentiful that I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by listing them. And if you need examples, then you are too far gone, my friend.
There is some good news–America’s eight-year long vacation from reality is over.
Oh, is there any hope for the UN? No. Add me to the list of people who believe that the United States and other freedom-loving nations, such as Great Britain, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and lets say Chile, need to band together and form a League of Democracies.