Monthly Archives: May 2010

>The Fall of Constantinople

>From Saturday’s edition of Gates of Vienna:

Five hundred and fifty-seven years ago today, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire came to an end. The sack of Constantinople inaugurated centuries of brutal Islamic rule in southeastern Europe. Greece was finally liberated from the Ottomans in the 19th century, but to this day a small portion of Europe remains in Turkish hands, and the city of Istanbul — formerly Constantinople — remains a Turkish city.

Below is a guest-post about the fall of Constantinople by an author who writes under the pen name of Anestos Canelides. He has this to say about his essay:

I am half-Greek, and I wrote this as a memorial to those who fought in the epic battle against Islamic expansionism. I wrote it also as a memorial to the other Christians in the Balkans who lost so much to Islam. I have spent time in Istanbul, and I bear no hatred towards the modern Turks.

The Last Empire
1453: The Siege of Constantinople

by Anestos Canelides

On June 9th, 1453, three ships sailed into the harbor of Candia in Crete with a crew of mostly Cretan sailors. The sailors had arrived from Constantinople shortly after its fall to the Ottoman Turkish armies of Sultan Mehmet Bey. The Cretans had brought with them the tragic news about the fall of Constantinople to the armies of Islam, despite a heroic stand by the Greeks and their allies. The sudden news induced great anguish amongst the people of Crete and later the Christian west. The Ottoman conquest of the queen of cities had brought a tragic end to the Roman Empire, often referred to as the Byzantine Empire today. It was the final nail in the coffin of the center of the Byzantine world, but in turn it would bring about the rise of the Ottoman Empire, an Islamic state.

Constantinople was attacked from land and sea, but the land walls, known as the walls of Theodosius, had never been breached in their thousand-year history. In the same way that three hundred Spartans had defied the advancing armies of the Persian Empire, the citizens of Constantinople also stood heroically and defended their city against tyranny. It was both the Byzantine Greeks’ desire for freedom from enslavement, and the belief that God would miraculously save them from defeat, that led them to resist the Turks fiercely for almost two months.

The Turks had sought to enter the city with a fanatic spirit because the Prophet, in the Qur’an, offered them a special place in paradise. Sultan Mehmet only mimicked the Prophet Muhammad when he said, “…even if some of us should die, as is natural in war, and meet our destined end, you know well from the Qur’an what the Prophet says, ‘that he who dies in battle shall dine whole in body with Mahomet, and drink with him in paradise and he shall take his rest in a green spot and fragrant with flowers, enjoying the company of women and lovely boys and virgins and he will bathe in gorgeous baths. All these things he will enjoy in that place by God’s favor.’” Despite facing such great odds, the Byzantines would defend their ancient Christian capital with great tenacity against the armies of Mehmet…
***

Read the rest.

Then consider this post, also from GoV.

Perspective, on a Day of Remembrance.

Freedom or death.

>Codrea and Vanderboegh Via Romanian Media

>Read it all.

Read also why the Romanian people must be celebrated and remembered for as long as free men and women draw breath.

Just don’t tell Glenn Beck.

He’d be a-skeered.

>Volk On Freedom

>

(click to enlarge image)

Courtesy of Oleg Volk.

>Quote Of The Week

>From EU Referendum:

It’s not just that they are a bunch of low-grade, two-faced sh*ts that sticks in the craw – it’s that they’re doing it with our money and then sticking us with increased tax bills to pay for it all. The time for slaughter comes ever closer.

>Jennifer III On WorldGov 2.0

>Jennifer synthesizes many parts in this essay.

Read both it and the embedded links.

Still gonna live by your Glenn Beck pledge?

>Word

>As linked by Venlet:

I will be free if I have to break every law in the history of jurisprudence to do it. I will be free if I have to spend the rest of my life in prison to do it. I have no part with people who beg and plead for the privilege of exercising rights they were born with, people who pride themselves on how very law-abiding they are and count that as a measure of their “goodness,” people who kiss the hands that rivet on their chains.

>Escorted Thugs: The SEIU and the DC Police

>PowerLine has an important series on the recent police-escorted SEIU demonstration at a bank attorney’s home in the Montgomery County, MD suburbs of DC:

A Thug Too Far, Part I

A Thug Too Far, Part II

A Thug Too Far, Part III

A Thug Too Far, Part IV

A Thug Too Far, Part V

Read the stories and embedded links, please.

Listen to this oath-taker from the DC police:

Do you understand yet?

>’Civil Rights’ And Total War

>Read Will Grigg’s latest.

Think about what is coming.

The divisions in this country cannot be reconciled, except by force.

Leviathan knows that.

And it will act.

>I Thought You Couldn’t Successfully Fight The G When It Comes To Get You?

>
David updates us on the situation in Jamaica:

Jamaica ‘A Gun Control Paradise’

Jamaica’s Problems Due To Government

He must be a criminal.

The government says so.

And he’s resisting arrest.

Imagine what this cat knows about local corruption.

Imagine what the Jamaican government would do to keep those stories quiet.

Do you understand yet?

>Beck: The Hinge Generations

>From the irreplaceable Billy Beck:

McPhillips:

“The Left worked through academentia, through its media salons, through its sniffs and conceits, through its exhausted disdain for Americans themselves, through deep liars like Chomsky and cracker-barrel Marxists like Zinn.”

It’s pretty simple for a whole paragraph: just one sentence and not especially complex, although one must know the players, an awareness present in far, far too few Americans now. Not much to it, really, except for fact and truth, which is all one ever really needs.

No; what I find compelling in it is the past tense. Last night, I was driving up the road and thinking about some fairly large-scale writing. I conceived a section-lead that went like this:

“The long train of human history had been filled with endless revolutions, evolutions and chance transmissions of arbitrary power. People had grown habitual to the ridiculous and endlessly horrible idea that some could presume the power — not the right — of life and death over countless others, and this idea had rolled across centuries without principled question, gathering priceless and unique individuals as the grease under its wheels. In all the annals, however, an America had never fallen.”

This is my working concept, now: that it’s over, and that all that’s left are the particular details of collapse. That will be a rich story in itself, for sure, but we are living a truly unparalleled tragedy. It is unparalleled in that this was the first country in history founded on rational ideals of individualism (even accounting for the original sin of black slavery), and it is a tragedy in that it has been destroyed from within.

It is interesting to note that there are those alive today who are living a uniquely notable experience because they are now still alive to see the end of America, but old enough to have lived its peak. The past century or so has seen the seeding and cultivation of ideas only now coming to terrible yield. However, the enormous impetus of America’s original conception, coming together as it did with the Industrial Age, managed to carry various aspects of this country’s culture (material, intellectual, aesthetic, etc.) to heights which were the apple of the world’s eye through most of the twentieth century, and for good reasons. Even to this day, one can easily find anywhere in the world some benighted peasant who still longs for The Great Feast of Ostentatious Consumption that America represents to most people who haven’t been studied by critical sociology. Of course, that poor bastard never got to blast gas through a Chevy 454 SS at three gallons (or more) for a dollar, never had the quality of information delivered to his door that we once had, and his country never celebrated life on the scale that ours did before everybody really started hating themselves and then — of course — everything else, and their arts showed it.

There was a time, within the lives of people alive today, when American life was a celebration. God’s curse of rot upon all those who took it in heart and mind to cast some as outlaws by way of race, but we were producing our way out of that. By the time rock & roll came along, all that rot was on its way to the grave, even if the best days of Dr. King’s life had to be burned down in that cause. Naturally, the blight of racism will never be completely gone because you can’t do a damned thing about stoopidness. However, there were also generations in this country seeing each other across racial lines and the laws were being beaten into shape. No more Bull Connors cracking attack dogs on black people in the street in broad photographic daylight: now, everybody can get their door kicked-in in the middle of the night when the SWAT-Fifes don’t have their poop in a group.

There are many alive today who satisfy themselves as “Americans” even as they remain ignorant of things that were being lost before they were born — “free spirits” who were tattooed with federal numbers on traditional paperwork and who have never worked a day in their lives without accounting their very existence in dollars to the law. Their grandfathers could build houses if and where they wanted to once they had accrued the moral authority (that’s “money”, kids) to do it: these people can barely un-flatpack a bookshelf, but at least they wouldn’t have to beg zoning permits for that.

Even as it slides, though…

(“Won’t be nothin’
Nothin’ you can measure anymore”

– Leonard Cohen, “The Future”)

…they will notice the cold bite of the state. These are special generations — the earliest of them just passing now and the last of them alive in albums with long hair and bell-bottoms — who can see it all freezing right in front of their eyes. Their children are groomed to the cold from birth now. All the time, they know less and less about the sheer gaiety of life that once was this country, and what it took to produce that. They take for metaphysically-granted political (and their consequent cultural) structures emergent right in front of them that were once the stuff of “fevered McCarthyism”. The worst part of that is the complicity of their parents, who should know better because they actually lived a great deal of what’s been lost, now.

This is my working concept: there is no America anymore.

This is because it’s not really about geography, although there just can’t be an America anywhere else; not after all the history-blazing mind, body, heart and soul that countless heroes have stamped upon this land. It’s not about some stumbling homunculus of a land, however, propped upright on stilts of pious nonsense.

There is an idea to it — a mind to drive the machine, which is what it takes to keep the whole species in out of the cold and happy and thriving. It is one of the great, great things monumental to history that nobody grasped technology the ways that Americans did, and for all the whining and crying from brainless snots through much of the last half of the twentieth century, it must be said that they lived beyond the reach of kings only few generations before them because of the ways that tools multiply the power of the human mind and body.

And only free people do this. That’s why we were what we were, and why we won’t be soon enough for these people to live that, too.

Vandam/McPhillips sings countermelody in reply.

Forward — unto the breach.

>Lessons From Lithuania — Part I

>Extended a business trip to London with a detour to Vilnius, Lithuania and environs. Got back today.

While in Vilnius, I went to the NKVD/Gestapo/KGB Museum, and on my last day, the massacre site at nearby Ponary/Panieriu.

In between, I got a rental car and drove about 100 km to the west of Vilnius to a city called Kovno/Kaunas — site of the infamous ‘Ninth Fort’.

And no, the trip wasn’t all death and gloom. In fact, I found Vilnius and its inhabitants to be charming and worthy of another visit.

But I did draw a series of lessons from what I saw on my excursions; part I is below:

1) Government identification records are the clerical basis for mass murder and other atrocities: No, not every government ID scheme leads to genocide and expatriation. But for the collectivists of both the German Reich and the USSR, each victim’s identity card was both part of the initial targeting and the final “production record”.

2) Get to the forest early if you want to live: If you think they will be coming for you, you are probably right. Plan not to be where they know you work and live. Act early if you want to maximize your chances. You and your family will die if you are at your government-approved address.

3) The Bad People will have lots of help from your neighbors: The most disturbing moment for me in the KGB museum was not in the execution or interrogation/torture cells. It was realizing, while moving through the excellent exhibits on the mass deportations of Lithuanians after “liberation” by the Soviets in 1944, that most of the deportees (many of whom were subsequently executed or starved or died of exposure and disease) had been betrayed to the NKVD/KGB by their neighbors.

4) “Fascism” is not the only mortal enemy of freedom and life; the real enemy is collectivism in any form: At each of the memorials, one could tell the provenance of any signage by its reference to “fascism”. Mostly, such markings were from the Soviet era, during which — not coincidentally — many more millions of innocent human beings were killed by the “enlightened” Communists than had been slaughtered by the Hitlerites and their collaborators. While it is too much to expect the Soviets to acknowledge these facts, it is essential that freedom-minded folks grok that collectivism, in any form, can and usually does lead to the mass grave.

5) Never report en masse when ordered to do so: Nothing good ever happens to folks who do.

6) Food and ammunition will be the vital shortages you must address in order to live: Empty weapons and bellies a successful resistance does not make.

7) The Bad People will torture and kill those who help you: Get used to the idea. Retribution killing is a standard totalitarian play. Try to avoid jeopardizing your allies to the extent possible, but know that they too will be swept into the whirlwind.

8) The Bad People will torture and kill your family members: Sippenhaft ain’t just a chapter in Vanderboegh’s long-awaited novel. The KGB museum was filled with execution orders with notations indicating that not only had the subject been killed per order of the Party, but that “special measures” had or would be taken against the victim’s family.

9)You must be prepared to fight until victory or death: Once you go to the woods, you are there for the duration. The Baltic “forest brothers” stayed out until they were killed or captured. More on them in the next part of this report.

10) If you think it can’t happen here, you are wrong. The Polish and Lithuanian Jews who were ground into dust by the Einsatzgruppen thought the same thing. So did the Lithuanians who couldn’t believe that the Communists under Stalin and subsequent regimes would hold their passionate patriotism against them.

Almost all of those folks who believed “it couldn’t happen” died. A few survived by running into the woods, or by bearing up under the brutal realities of the Gulag, year after year after year.

Each of them knows the single biggest lesson from Lithuania: naked, brute force can and does triumph over kindness, love of kin and country, and simple human decency — often for decades or more.

Lose your illusions.

While there is still time.

>Welfarization & The Capsizing of Democracy

>Please read this article by Jim Bovard, which begins:

The Founding Fathers intended that America be composed of self-reliant individuals who would not hesitate to pull the reins in on their rulers. However, in the past 75 years, the soaring number of government dependents has made it far more difficult to curb politicians’ power. Federal policy is dividing society between “those who work for a living and those who vote for a living,” as H.L. Mencken quipped during the New Deal.

In recent decades, politicians have launched one recruiting campaign after another to persuade Americans to accept federal handouts. The Heritage Foundation created an Index of Dependency to measure the rising number of Americans reliant on government. The index gauges “the pace at which federal government services and programs have been growing in areas in which private or community-based services and programs exist or have existed to address the same or nearly the same needs.” The index is based on housing aid, healthcare and welfare assistance, retirement income, and subsidies for college and other post-secondary education.

The Heritage Index rated the level of dependency in the United States at 22 in 1964, the year that Lyndon Johnson launched his Great Society. By 1980, the year before the Reagan Revolution commenced, the index had risen to 100. By 2008, the index had soared to 240, signaling a ten-fold increase of dependency on the federal government over the prior 40+ years.
***

Take the time to read the rest.

Do you understand that scores of millions of your fellow Americans (“Americans” at least by nation of residence, if not by individualist ethics) would tear you and yours into bloody chunks were you ever to attempt to reduce their “benefits”?

Are you ready to starve the monkeys yet?

To quote Billy Beck:

You’re either at the table or on the menu. Life under Amsoc.

>Claire Wolfe’s "Living Freedom" Blog

>I have been negligent in not previously adding Ms. Wolfe’s blog to the WRSA blogroll, but that oversight has now been fixed.

As a start, please read her take on this excellent article by Larken Rose.

Much food for further thought and action, I’d say.

>Double-Dip Recession Guaranteed

>Read the latest from Charles Hugh Smith, which begins:

Whether you believe the U.S. economy ever exited recession or not, a further decline is already baked in by numerous macro factors.

A “double-dip recession” makes no sense to the 76 percent of Americans who believe that the US economy remains in recession. And indeed, I argued in Suppressing the Cognitive Dissonance of a Bogus Recovery that the “growth” touted by the mainstream media and the Central State propaganda machine is a mirage.

To the 24% of the populace who believes the U.S. exited recession in fine fettle, I offer a “Two Scoop Special”: a Double-Dip recession is guaranteed for the following reasons:

1. The Eurozone is heading into deep recession, taking U.S. corporate profits with it. Three things are certain in the Eurozone: Austerity, higher taxes and more of each nation’s budget will be carved off to pay interest on their ballooning debt. All three mean less money in consumers’ pockets, and in local government pockets.

Please see Why the Eurozone Is Doomed for more on the Eurozone’s structural problems…

Read the rest here.

Plan accordingly.

>Quote of the Week

>From Colonel Cooper:

When I used to teach irregular warfare at Quantico, I borrowed a doctrine from Lord Dunsany in his book “Guerilla.”

The guerillero does not fight – he kills.

Guerilla warfare is usually conducted with what we might call “spare parts,” over- and underage types, wounded, and disabled. Such people cannot be organized into combat units with which to confront regular forces. If a guerilla actually gets into a fight he will almost certainly be wiped out, so he by choice takes the initiative, strikes and vanishes. This sort of thing enrages regular armies, as it did those of the French in the Peninsular War. It usually results in savagery on both sides. It is an ugly thing, but it will not go away just because it’s ugly.

>Jennifer III On Villa

>Go and read, please.

Further readings on the topic:

Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution

The Life and Times of Pancho Villa

>Beck On Private Property & Freedom

>Billy Beck blasphemes against holy writ of modern collectivism.

Read it and think.

>I Think It’s Called Laughing As You Sink

>Denninger links to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Clarke and Dawe on the global financial FUBAR.

Pass it on.

>Robb: Leaking Legitimacy

>Read John Robb’s latest.

BP admission here.

The truth is not in these people.

Remember that.

Always.

>Shenandoah: Why It Is Uglier Than They Are Telling You

>Read:

Part I

Part II

And don’t forget — New Jersey ain’t the only place having these issues.

Happy Recovery, everyone!

The times, they are a-changing:

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

>Great Depression Mark II

>From the UK Telegraph:

Leading City experts have started raising the prospect of “Great Depression II” amid worries that the European economic crisis could trigger a deeper bout of chaos.

By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor
Published: 7:03AM BST 20 May 2010

Markets on both sides of the Atlantic dipped to fresh lows as fears surrounding the fate of the euro project transmuted into worries about the wider global economic system.

Bill Gross of bond fund Pimco said that hedge funds were starting to liquidate their positions in a bid to preserve their capital – a worrying “mini relapse” towards 2008 territory.

Andrew Roberts, head of European rates strategy at RBS, said “Great Depression II” could now be approaching, adding: “It now has potential to speed toward its conclusion; a European $1trn package which does little and political panic tells you we are about to reach the end of the road. The world should be discussing deflation, not inflation.”

The FTSE 100 flirted briefly with the 5,000 point mark, eventually finishing the day down 84.95, or 1.7pc, at 5073.13, while the French CAC 40 index was 2.3pc lower and Germany’s Dax dropped 2pc. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index both suffered their sharpest one-day falls in more than a year. The S&P fell 3.9pc to 1071.59, while the Dow closed 3.6pc lower at 10,068.01.

Fears that Europe’s debt crisis could hurt a global recovery pushed Asian shares down for a third day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 2.5pc to 9,782.02. Markets in Australia, Taiwan, mainland China, and Singapore also retreated. Hong Kong amd South Korean bourses were closed for public holidays.

The falls in share prices coincided with increases in the price of government bonds in Germany, the US and much of the developed world as investors sought a safe haven. German 10-year bund yields consequently hit a record low, while in the UK gilt yields dropped to the lowest level since early last December.

Although the rush to safety stems originally from the euro’s difficulties this week and German efforts to ban short-selling on its banks, fears that the episode may evolve into a deeper economic crisis were bolstered by fresh data. The European Commission produced “flash” data showing consumer confidence falling from a 23-month high of -15 in April to a seven-month low of -17.5 in May. Howard Archer, of INS Global Insight, said: “This is clear evidence that the deepening and spreading eurozone debt crisis… is now weighing down appreciably on consumer confidence. This is a very worrying – if hardly surprising – development.”

In the US there was a surprise 25,000 increase in jobless claims to 471,000 in the week ending May 15. The deterioration in the employment picture, coming hard on the heels of Wednesday’s drop in inflation, underlined worries that the US is exposed to a possible global double-dip recession.

Mr Gross said investors were now being frightened off by worldwide “fiscal tightening momentum”, adding that markets were facing “a mini-relapse of a flight to liquidity as hedge funds and other leveraged positions are liquidated to preserve capital”.

One worry is that European leaders are not sufficiently behind the $1 trillion bail-out fund they announced, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, last week. A second fear is that other indebted countries could soon be exposed.

One rumour abounding on Thursday was that a major rating agency will soon have to downgrade Japan’s credit score, potentially bringing the world’s second-biggest economy into the spotlight.

The euro jumped to a one-week high against the dollar of $126 on speculation that European Union officials meeting today will discuss some measures to counter the region’s spreading debt crisis.

Earlier in the week the single currency has tumbled to a fresh four-year low around $1.21 after Germany’s unilateral imposition of ban on shorting of government debt and the shares of ten major financial institutions.
***

As of 0245 edt on 21 May, Asian markets are mostly down significantly.

And remember — desperate governments do desperate things.

Alea iacta est.

>One Million Visitors

>As of 0130 EDT on 21 May 2010, Sitemeter showed 1,002,234 total visitors since March, 2007.

Many humble thanks to everyone who has stopped by, as well as to each WRSA commenter and contributor.

Forward.

>Jennifer III On…

>The Great Consolidation

The Myth of Non-Violence

Fourth Generation Policing

Please do as I have done and add I’ll Take Liberty to your blogroll and daily rounds.

>Travelling

>Business commitments, shaky connectivity, and time zones.

Posting should be more frequent starting on Friday.

Cheers.

>Empty Holsters

>Read it all over at The Cliffs of Insanity.

Knocked that one clean out of the ballpark.