Category Archives: history

‘The Federal Goodness Administration’ (2015)

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Among the mob of Lilliputians scattered by Donald Trump in the last Republican primary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich stood out as one of those candidates whom everybody wanted but the voters.

Here’s one of his spiffy ideas:

Did he really, really think “Judeo-Christian values” would be safe in the hands of government?

‘The Last of the Romans’

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That was the nickname given to Stilicho by historian Edward Gibbon.

“The last of the Romans,” and commander of what was left of all the Roman armies in the West, Stilicho was half-Vandal and related by marriage to the imperial family. In 408 A.D. he was judicially murdered as the result of a coup within the imperial household. Two years later, Alaric and the Goths sacked Rome. That was the end of the Roman Empire in the West.

Stilicho won battle after battle with armies he was forced to scrape together at short notice, a small hard core of veterans, and barbarian allies who sometimes didn’t stay allies for long. He was the last Roman general to be awarded a triumph, in 402, after beating back another Gothic invasion of Italy. In 406 a confederation of several barbarian nations burst into Italy. Stilicho raised 30 “legions” totalling some 30,000 men and drove off the invaders. Once upon a time, a Roman legion was 6,000 men, plus allies and auxiliaries–for all practical purposes, ten thousand. For Stilicho, a legion was a single thousand.

But there were no legions available to defend the Rhine frontier. The confederation swarmed across the frozen river and ravaged the provinces of Gaul–which led also to a revolt in Britain.

Gibbon marveled at what Stilicho was able to do, militarily, with so little–a very far cry from the armies Rome placed at the disposal of Scipio or Augustus Caesar.

What ought to be remembered is this: Stilicho’s strength was stretched so thin, his resources of money and manpower so limited, that he could not afford to lose a battle: he could never lose and live to fight another day. His political enemies in Rome lived for that single defeat that would mean the end of Stilicho. When he was unable to stop the invasion of Gaul, they framed him on a trumped-up charge of treason and had him put to death. That was the reward he got for all his victories. That was the one defeat, the one failure, he was not allowed to suffer.

Does that remind you of any leader currently in office, in our own time?



‘A Lesson to the Credulous: the Cardiff Giant’ (2013)

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In 1869 most of the American public wanted to believe in the Cardiff Giant, and so they did–for a while.

The Cardiff Giant remains one of my all-time favorite hoaxes. It did no harm to anybody, and looking at it today, you’re amazed that if could have fooled anyone at all.

Unlike, say,the Climate Change hoax, which is intended to harm us in more ways than you can list.

Movie Classic (1974): ‘Death Wish’

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I haven’t seen Death Wish since it was in the theaters, but we watched it today.

Charles Bronson plays a civilized, peace-loving architect whose wife and daughter are savaged, and the wife killed, by muggers who break into their apartment. Bronson acquires a gun and walks around New York by night, offering himself as bait. When the bad guys try to rob him, he shoots them. In the resulting media storm, the city’s crime rate goes way down.

I just want to tell you something that every political scientist knows: in fact, it’s not political science at all. It’s common sense.

A government that cannot or will not protect its citizens from those who would do them harm has no reason for existing. Sooner or later the people will replace that government with one that can and will protect them.

Death Wish hits hard on the resignation and hopelessness of “civilized” people who don’t understand self-defense and just sort of hang around waiting to be victims. But eventually a spark comes along that ignites them–and then watch out.

American history is full of lawless towns, cities, and territories that were cleaned up and pacified by governments willing to shoulder the burden. By governments I mean individuals who did the job, sometimes at the cost of their lives. Elfego Baca and Judge Parker spring to mind; and Woodes Rogers, in the lawless Caribbean of the early 18th century. Parker and Rogers employed the same crime-reduction formula: hang the bad guys.

It can be done. It doesn’t have to be done by vigilantes.

But it sure as shootin’ won’t be done by liberals.

‘Shocking Injustice! Rioters Weren’t Paid for Rioting’ (2015)

Leftids keep promising us a “summer of rage,” unless we give in and let them have open borders and transgender bathrooms and jail for Climbit Change deniers. Two years ago, in Ferguson, MO, we got a preview of the sort of thing they want to do this summer. Only there was one slight glitch.

What’s this country coming to, when you can’t get paid for an honest day’s rioting?

Hillary Rides Again!

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I don’t normally do politics on a Sunday, but I’m not sure that this is politics. It may be a new and bizarre form of comedy.

Hillary Clinton, suggests a noted New York columnist, is gearing up for another run for president in 2020 (

Quick! Where do I sign her petition?

Yes, Hillary is busy–raising money, exhorting Dumbocrats to protest in the streets, and screaming bloody murder over anything and everything done by President Donald Trump. She’s helping to set up and fund new political action committees with names like “Demand Justice”–oh, please–and “Onward Together,” groups dedicated to defending abortion, saving Obamacare, and preventing voter fraud reform.

One of the reasons Michael Goodwin thinks she’s got a shot at it is that the Democrats don’t have a potential presidential candidate who’s not either a living fossil or a rug-chewing Far Left psycho (he doesn’t quite put it that way, but I will).

Well, I hope they run Hillary again in 2020, and again in 2024, and again in 2028, and as many times it takes to drive the Democrat Party into permanent extinction.

If anyone can do it, she can.

Lest We Forget ‘Whose Right It Is’

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“And crown Him Lord of all…”

We rightly celebrate our nation’s birth, every 4th of July. But there is a greater power to be celebrated, every day–more righteous, more just, far wiser, and far mightier than any nation ever born: Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, “whose right it is” to rule His Father’s whole creation.

This essay by R.J. Rushdoony was published in 2002 in Chalcedon’s magazine.

What–theology on a national holiday?

You bet!

‘Memory Lane: The Shark Arm Murder’ (2015)

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There’s a good chance this photo isn’t genuine, but I couldn’t resist it.

If summer turns your thoughts toward the seashore, it may also turn them toward… well, sharks. I don’t know about you, but I find sharks fascinating.

And here’s one of the most fascinating shark stories of all:

This was in 1935, and a lot of our modern crime-solving technology had yet to be imagined. I wonder how well investigators would do with this case today.

But let’s hope there’s no need to find out.

‘Entering the Danger Zone’ (2016)

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I wrote this a month after Donald Trump’s election.

I wish I could have been wrong about it, I really do. Maybe I ought to go back to baseball predictions. I can always get those wrong.

‘The Exaltation of a People’

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R.J. Rushdoony wrote this little essay for “The California Farmer” in 1978, and it’s still true today–as anyone can see, if he looks.

His text is Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

It’s getting late in the day for America to wake up to this truth. Pray that we do–soon.

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