Cicero the wise almost a roman churchill

Lucius Cassius ille quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat identidem in causis quaerere solebat ‘cui bono’ fuisset.

The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, ‘To whose benefit?” 
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


“Cicero was proud to consider himself the heir of the Republic’s noblest traditions. Chief among these was the age-old balance between ambition and duty. Should this be upset, then criminals might start to hack their way to the top, and tyrants to emerge. Catiline had been foiled––but he was bound to have successors. It was essential that they too be destroyed. After all, what hope was there for the Republic if the great were not the good?”

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic, Tom Holland

The Manhood of the Colored Race

A rather beautiful description of the 54th Massachusetts attacking Fort Wagner in South Carolina, July 18-19, 1863, a pivotal moment in black history but also, frankly, in world history. The first serious (recognized) battle black Americans participated in during the American Civil War.

“Every one knows the story of the attack on Fort Wagner; but we should not tire yet of recalling how our Fifty-Fourth, spent with three sleepless nights, a day’s fast, and a march under the July sun, stormed the fort as night fell, facing death in many shapes, following their brave leaders through a fiery rain of shot and shell, fighting valiantly for “God and Governor Andrew,”–how the regiment that went into action seven hundred strong came out having had nearly half its number captured, killed, or wounded, leaving their young commander to be buried, like a chief of earlier times, with his body-guard around him, faithful to the death. Surely, the insult turns to honor, and the wide grave needs no monument but the heroism that consecrates it in our sight; surely, the hearts that held him nearest see through their tears a noble victory in the seeming sad defeat; and surely, God’s benediction was bestowed, when this loyal soul answered, as Death called the roll, “Lord, here am I, with the brothers Thou has given me!”

The future must show how well that fight was fought; for though Fort Wagner still defies us, public prejudice is down; and through the cannon-smoke of that black night the manhood of the colored race shines before many eyes that would not see, rings in many ears that would not hear, wins many hearts that would not hitherto believe.

When the news came that we were needed, there was none so glad as I to leave teaching contrabands, the new work I had taken up, and go to nurse “our boys,” as my dusky flock so proudly called the wounded of the Fifty-Fourth. Feeling more satisfaction, as I assumed my big apron and turned up my cuffs, than if dressing for the President’s levee, I fell to work on board the hospital-ship in Hilton-Head harbor. The scene was most familiar, and yet strange; for only dark faces looked up at me from the pallets so thickly laid along the floor, and I missed the sharp accent of my Yankee boys in the slower, softer voices calling cheerily to one another, or answering my questions with a stout, “We’ll never give it up, Ma’am, till the last Reb’s dead,” or, “If our people’s free, we can afford to die.””

SOURCE: Louisa May Alcott, “The Brothers,” Atlantic Monthly (November 1863), 593.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the New Eugenics

Is it “okay to still have children?” So asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a video last month. The New York Congresswoman said that people are graduating with thousands of “dollars of student loan debt and so they can’t even afford to have kids in the house.” But she said more than that. She claimed that child-bearing “is a basic moral question” in light of climate change and threats to the environment. She argued there is “scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be difficult.”

When an American politician asks if it is still okay to have children, this is something to notice. Are you familiar with the progressive movement and their attraction to eugenics? Then you know the score. It’s a short step from “wondering” if it’s okay for people to have children to making laws that forbid children.
— Read on

Big Big Train – Official Website

Inspired by the 17th and 18th century custom of the Grand Tour, where young men and women travelled to broaden the mind, Big Big Train have made an album of songs set in distant lands and beyond.

Grand Tour will be released on May 17th 2019 and is available to pre-order now on double heavyweight gatefold vinyl (featuring a 24 page booklet), digipack CD (featuring a 52 page booklet) and on standard and hi-resolution (24/96) download. Grand Tour will be available on all good streaming services on release day.
— Read on

OF family, abortions and contraception

I recall the remark by Chesterton that “birth control” meant really no birth and no control. Of course, in the West since at least the 1920’s artificial birth control has become the norm. I remember a young couple I knew almost broke up because the young man said he believed (he was Polish) that all birth control within the sacrament of marriage was wrong. As an older man I gave him my counsel . I asked him if his girlfriend wanted to have children. He said she did but she wanted to finish her MA before she had children. He said he wanted to get married right away. I told him he need to decide what was the most important to him. He could choose not to marry her right away and wait or choose not to marry her at all. I told him if they practiced non-chemical non abortifacient birth control they would be doing what the majority of American Catholics do who de facto ignore the Catholic Church’s teachings on this issue. He decided to compromise. They got married immediately. They did not have children for a few years. She wanted children and they eventually had two. Neither made much money but as teachers the two could work and thus could have a middle class lifestyle. As for myself the most important value my wife and I had in common is that we wanted to start a family as soon as possible. We married relatively late in life. I was 26 and she was 27. But we were blessed with three children. Two of our children are married and within a few years of marriage each has one so we have two grandchildren. All are gainfully employed and wish to have more children. If one gives children a happy childhood and if one teaches them to have a reverence for life one hopes they will choose well. Today that is the best one can hope for. The reality is one’s children could decide to be childless. For me that would be very sad. I did not exhort my children to have children. I just encouraged them and prayed. All my children love children and our grandchildren seem very happy and healthy. One cannot un-invent artificial birth control. One must, it seems to me, peacefully coexist with it knowing it could wipe out -if uncontrolled- your family tree.

The Hayek Auction

You will find them here, for instance Hayek’s copy of Wealth of Nations went for almost 200k, it was estimated in the 4k to 6k range.

“Desktop ephemera and personal effects” were estimated at 200-300 British pounds, went for 87,500 British pounds.  Crazy!  Many of the items went for 10x or 20x their original estimates.

From Marginal Revolution


The original uploader was DickClarkMises at English Wikipedia. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

C.S. Lewis and the Truth of Balder ~ The Imaginative Conservative

The story of Balder is one of the oldest in the Northern tradition, and it makes its way into a number of different Scandinavian myths and sagas. Always referred to as Balder (Baldr, Baldar) the Beautiful or the Good and a son of Odin, he experienced terrible nightmares that suggested some imminent danger. Worried, Odin descended into Hel and raised the corpse of a dead witch, seeking her advice and knowledge. Trying to hide his identity from her, Odin forces her to speak, though she is beyond reluctant to do so. Finally exhausting herself beyond recovery, she names Odin as the desecrator of her death. Upset that she has discovered his identity, he curses her. “You are not a prophetess nor a wise woman,” he yells. “Rather you are the mother of three ogres.” Mockingly, she retorts: “Ride home, Odin, and be proud of yourself! No more men will come to visit me, until Loki is loose, escaped from his bonds, and the Doom of the Gods, tearing all asunder, approaches.”
— Read on