Posts Tagged ‘history’

It took tens days for the NBA Conventional Wisdom to go from: The Celtics are fools to take the 2nd seed and face the Brooklyn Nets in the 1st round, to The Unstoppable Celtics defensive machine is going to beat Milwaukee in the 2nd.


Between the Push for Abortion, the push for Gay Marriage and one million genders and the push to surgically or chemically make as many children unable to reproduce by the time they reach twenty is it any wonder that stealing elections is and will only grow a a vital cog in the left’s electoral plans?


No matter how familiar one is with history and the rise and fall of cultures, civilizations and empires as a normal event, seeing said fall happen to your own is disconcerting.


As the NY grand jury that was empowered to investigate Trump prepares to disband It still amazes me that there are people who think that even though the Obama Administration, the Deep state and the Biden administration have been going over Donald Trump’s life with a fine tooth comb for the last 6 years that there is still some kind of crime he will be caught with that none of these entities were able yet to discover.


It’s rather amusing to note that the left in power in government, education and media is currently using every single tactic that they spent the last 50 in books, film and plays warning the public to keep an eye out for and beware.

Blogger in Marathon, Texas.

By John Ruberry

“There’s no law west of Dodge and no God west of the Pecos.”
James Pepper (Ben Johnson) in Chisum.

“The devil in hell, we’re told was chained
A thousand years he there remained
He neither complain nor did he groan
But was determined to start a hell of his own

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if he had on hand
Anything left when he made this land

The Lord said yes, there’s a plenty on hand
But I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is ol’ boy, the stuff is so poor I don’t think you could use it as the hell anymore

But the devil went down to look at the truck
For after lookin’ that over carefully and well
He said this place is too dry for hell
But in order to get it off his hands

The Lord promised the devil to water the land
So trade was closed and deed was given
And the Lord went back to his home in heaven.”
Johnny Cash, Mean As Hell.

Earlier this month Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I spent ten days in Texas, mostly West Texas. And yes, there is law there and there is a God west of the Pecos too.

I covered my economic and political observations of our Texas trip, including what I noticed in the boom towns on the Permian Basin, Midland and Odessa, in a post at Da Tech Guy that is available here. 

Our first stop on note was on the oil producing basin, Monahans Sandhills State Park, where we found the type of dunes you’ll encounter on the Sahara. 

Our first West Texas overnight stop was west of the Pecos, in Fort Stockton, home of what was once the World’s Largest Roadrunner, Paisano Pete.

Then of course we had to visit Marathon, after all, I am the Marathon Pundit. Parts of a sadly overlooked movie, Paris, Texas, were filmed there.

Then it was on to Terlingua, a former mercury mining settlement, turned ghost town, which is now the closest thing to a tourist gateway town to our main destination, Big Bend National Park, where you will discover desert, mountains, and lots of thorns, Cash discusses “thorns” later in his spoken word Mean As Hell piece that I excerpted above.

Big Bend was our main destination for this trip, a gorgeous but little-visited national park because of its isolation. Perched on the border with Mexico on the Rio Grande, it is a seven-hour drive from Dallas and a five-hour drive from San Antonio.

To the west of the national park is Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas’ largest state park, where we kayaked and spent our last day in the Big Bend region. It’s a beautiful park too and well worth at least a day of your time.

The biggest dud of the trip was our attempt to witness the Marfa Lights. Well, we were in Marfa, where much of the George Stevens’ classic Giant was filmed, and the lights, which some people compare to the will o’ the wisp, were not to be found, as is usually the situation every night, despite a viewing stand. Marfa is a leftist outpost where we encountered a human thorn. When picking up a pizza, Mrs. Marathon Pundit was scolded by a cashier in because she was not wearing a mask. In Texas! But my wife held her sandy ground. 

On Easter Sunday it was on to pentagon-shaped Jeff Davis County; yes, it’s named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy, where we toured historic Fort Davis, a frontier fort that seems to be a time capsule from a John Ford western movie. And we drove on the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, among the sites of worth there is the McDonald Observatory.

On our way back to Dallas-Fort Worth, we met a Facebook friend in Sweetwater. 

The next day we were back in the Chicago area, the home of grifters, high taxes, and high crime. 

And many human thorns.

Related post:

Texas is success and Illinois is failure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Within the last month two new seasons of Viking-themed series began streaming on Netflix, Vikings: Valhalla and Season Five of The Last Kingdom. The former is a sequel to another Netflix series, Vikings, which I have not seen, but as the action of Valhalla occurs about 100 years after the first batch of shows, viewers need not have tuned in to Vikings to follow the new action.

The Last Kingdom and Vikings: Valhalla have much in common, besides Scandinavians battling the English. A main plot driver in both shows is the conflict between Christians and followers of the Norse gods. Presumably Valhalla begins the same year, 1016, when Canute the Great seized the crown of England. Ironically, only two English kings, Alfred, who is played by David Dawson in the first three seasons of The Last Kingdom, and Canute, gained the epithet “the Great.” Oh, when Canute was crowned, this Viking, who later became king of Norway and Denmark, was a Christian.

Both shows attempt to be even-handed between the two cultures, but they leave out one very nasty part of Viking life, slavery. Yes, there was slavery among Christian Europeans, but slaves–thralls are what the Norse called them–were an essential part of the spoils of Viking raids. However, both series portray human sacrifice by the Scandinavians.

Vikings: Valhalla, which consists of eight episodes, is the inferior of the two shows, so let’s get that one out of our way. Its central character is Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett). Yeah, he’s the same man who journeyed to North America around 1000. While there is no historical record that says Erikson participated in wars with the English, there’s no proof that he didn’t. It’s believed around the time of his journey to North America he converted to Christianity, but he’s a follower of the Norse gods here, although he dabbles with the Christian religion. His sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson), is a devout follower of the Norse faith. Freydís is romantically involved with Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter), who history tells us was a newborn at the time of they were “getting it on” in the show.

The main action of Vikings: Valhalla originates in the Norwegian town of Kattegat, which is ruled by Jarl Haakon (Caroline Henderson), who history tells us was a white man, but here Haakon is a black woman.

I could go on for quite much longer on the many historical anomalies, but I will conclude here that had Vikings: Valhalla had an intriguing story line, if the performances were compelling–Henderson’s overacting is particularly annoying–and hey, if the CG was believable, then I’d say, “tune in.”

But don’t.

The Last Kingdom’s fifth last season takes place around 920. Its lead character, the fictional Uhtred, whose birthright as lord of Bebbanburg in Northumbia, England was usurped by the Danes in the first episode of Season One. He was raised by Danes, during that time he abandoned Christianity for the Norse gods, although he’s not very devout. When Uhtred reaches adulthood, he’s a skilled fighter and a ladies’ man, a James Bond of the Middle Ages.

The Last Kingdom is based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories series of books.

Alfred the Great’s goal was not only to defeat the Danes–the word “Viking” is never uttered during The Last Kingdom–but also to create from his small kingdom of Wessex a unified England. It’s up to his son, King Edward, to complete the task, with Uhtred’s assistance of course.

All the while Uhtred is forced to confront a onetime romantic interest, fellow-Saxon and abductee, Brida (Emily Cox), whose faith in the Norse religion is strong.

Edward meanwhile has to confront betrayal within his court as a unified England seems within grasp.

While a bit wooden at times, the acting in The Last Kingdom is generally quite good. The battle scenes are intense, and the plotlines are strong enough to keep watching. But to figure out what is happening here, you absolutely have to watch the first four seasons beforehand. One flaw of The Last Kingdom, as with Ozark, which also took a year off from filming, presumably because of the COVID outbreak, is that it is need of very strong recaps at the beginning of each episode, of which there a ten this season. Hey, people forget things two years later. Another challenge in keeping the storyline straight is that many of the characters’ names, all based on historical figures, are similar; they incorporate the Old English prefix “Æthel,” which translates into modern English as “noble,” or Ælf. Had they asked me, I would have for starters changed the name of a duplicitous rat, Æthelhelm (Adrian Schiller), a character whose historical standing is foggy. In The Last Kingdom he’s the father of Edward’s second wife, Ælflæd (Amelia Clarkson). One son of Edward is Æthelstan (Harry Kilby) another is his half-brother Ælfweard (Ewan Horrocks), he’s the son of Ælflæd.

A spin-off of The Last Kingdom is in the works, a movie titled Seven Kings Must Die.

There are two more seasons of Vikings coming. I probably won’t be watching.

Both programs are rated TV-MA for violence, nudity, and sex.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I’m old enough to remember when the Fatwa was put on Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

Unlike today when phrases like “freedom of speech” are routinely redefined to suit whatever agenda the left happens to have that day in 1989 the idea of the A death sentence being publicly demanded for an author for writing a book a particular Ayatollah didn’t like was rather new and there were plenty of free speech advocates who loudly proclaimed such actions a travesty.

Much to my shock at the time there was also considerable pushback from some in the west those who attacked Rushdie. It was the beginning of what we are seeing today.

At the time I was outraged (and still am at the bounty still on his head) and considered buying the book in response to said threats. but then it hit me:

What is the difference between buying a book I don’t want in response to Islamic threats and not buying a book I do want in response to Islamic threats?

The answer: THERE ISN’T ONE. Either way I would be allowing a bunch of savage barbarians to drive me to an action I had no interest in doing. The essence of freedom is the ability to do something if one chooses or not. So I asked myself a key question: If there was no FATWA on Rushdie would I had any interest in buying this book?

The answer is and remains no.

I haven’t bought the book, I have no interest in buying the book and I don’t see myself buying the book in the future…

…but I have the RIGHT an the ability to buy the book and that right is worth fighting for.

And that brings us to Joe Rogan.

I don’t have a subscription to Spotify and never had plans to get one before the Joe Rogan business.

I am not one of the millions of subscribers who listen to Joe Rogan. I’ve listed to a clip here and there but I have little interest in his podcast in general and had no plans to listen to jump in and start listening.

When the attempt to censor his came out I was as you might guess outraged. I don’t like the idea of people trying to force someone off the air because they don’t like what he’s saying or who he is interviewing.

You can’t have freedom of speech and if you don’t have freedom to listen. I think the attempt to take away that ability to listen is unamerican totalitarian and frankly evil and the people who are pushing that need to be fought because just like redefining words didn’t stop with “marriage” censoring speech and the ability to listen won’t stop with Rogan.

All that being said you can’t have freedom to listen without the freedom to not listen and as much as I want to make sure he has a platform so the people who want to hear him can do so I have no interest in joining that crowd because I freely choose not to.

Some might object saying that is it my moral duty to listen to jump in, perhaps I will like it, perhaps I would be this harkins back to one of the best statements in history concerning this type of thing.

Chancellor James Kent, author of Kent’s Commentaries, and one of the most influential American
legal minds of all time, had a personal story that illustrates how foreign this impulse is to American law. According to Kent’s grandson: [He was] waited upon by a temperance committee and urged to give his authority and sanction to the principles and aims of a mass meeting by adding his name to the list of
those who had pledged themselves not to use intoxicating liquor, being unduly pressed after his first polite negative, he made the following reply, declining the request:

Gentlemen, I refuse to sign any pledge. I never have been drunk, and, by the blessing of God, I never will get drunk, but I have a constitutional privilege to get drunk, and that privilege I will not sign away.”‘

Kent never had the inclination to grant legislative authority over his sobriety.

I have no intention of granting either my political enemies or my political allies the authority to determine what can can’t or what I must listen to.

If some day Rogan has a guest I’m really interested in and I choose to jump in or even subscribe, fine but nobody is going to make that judgement but me.

THAT’s freedom.