Monday, August 3, 2020

Mr Jones (2020)

I cannot recommend the film Mr. Jones on Amazon Prime highly enough. It is about the young Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who confirmed the reports of Malcolm Muggeridge  about the great famine in the Ukraine, in spite of the efforts of Stalin and Walter Duranty of the New York Times to silence him. It is a movie I have been waiting for for years. How timely the film is since now that the press, led by the New York Times, still lies to us on a daily basis. I only wonder why Malcolm Muggeridge is not featured more in the film. The film is framed by scenes of George Orwell writing Animal Farm. From The Playlist:

The film opens in 1933, with 27-year-old Jones (James Norton) serving as Foreign Advisor to Prime Minister David Lloyd George (Kenneth Cranham), and desperately trying to warn his cabinet about the very real danger of another war with Germany. Despite the fact that Jones managed to finagle interviews with both Goebbels and Hitler, who divulged to him their thinking behind their political ambitions, the old guard is more amused than alarmed, believing Germany would never dare another war. Under the guise of budget cuts, Jones is swiftly removed from his position but fueled by ambition and concern, he organizes a visa to Russia with the somewhat crackpot goal of interviewing Stalin to find out if he’s adequately prepared to defend his country’s eastern front from a potential attack by Germany. Moreover, Jones is curious about Moscow’s ostentatious displays of wealth, despite the fact that the communist country’s ruble has sunk in value and whispers of an unspeakable tragedy that has yet to catch the world’s attention.

Arriving in Russia, Jones’ wide-eyed blend of naivety and stubbornness gets a rude awakening when he meets Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Walter Duranty (Peter Sarsgaard). In the pocket of the Stalin regime, Duranty lives a life of spoiled, Jazz Age excess, writing and editing pro-Russia pieces by day, and enjoying hedonistic, drug and sex-fueled parties by night. Unable to get the help he needs from Duranty, Jones turns to Ada Brooks (Vanessa Kirby), a writer in his stable, who knows more about the rumors than she’s initially willing to divulge. She’s a firm believer in Russia’s Great Experiment, but eventually, her resolve weakens enough to guide Jones toward the Ukrainian countryside where he’s quickly greeted with the monstrous realities of the Holodomor.

Out of the gate, “Mr. Jones” feels exhumed from another era, like a lost film from the late-‘80s and early-‘90s, where this kind of determined, staid, and talky picture would’ve been familiar among the mid-budget offerings studios routinely made at the time. In 2020, Holland’s picture initially seems a bit of a novelty, but it quickly becomes evident how the filmmaker’s well-honed craft and the strong efforts of her technical and design team elevate the straight-forward script by first-time Andrea Chalupa. Working with cinematographer Tomasz Naumiuk (“High Life”) and production designer Grzegorz Piatkowski, the early stages of the film soak up the richness and opulence of London and Moscow upper-crust circles, all amber lighting, oak-lined rooms, and cigar smoke ambiance. These carefully arranged vignettes of affluence later work to strike a nauseating chord in the film’s third act, as Jones returns home, reeling from the unimaginable discoveries he’s made among the agricultural peasants suffering under Stalin’s thumb.

It’s the middle of “Mr. Jones” that truly displays Holland’s sturdy command of the material, and the ability of her collaborators to rise to the challenge. The picture shifts from procedural to something akin to an atmospheric horror film, as Jones traverses across an unforgiving, barren, bleak landscape, visiting one desolate and desperate small village after another, where hunger has driven an untold number to madness and death. The film slows here, and takes the audience on a journey of emotional and physical survival, providing an understanding of this little talked about famine that’s experiential. A strong factor in the success of this crucial second act is due to Norton, who gives a committed performance that portrays Jones’ dedication to a cause as both admirable and reckless. (Read more.)

Polish director Agnieszka Holland, now seventy-one, has toiled in many fields. “The Secret Garden” (1993) and “Washington Square” (1997) point to a predilection for bookish costume drama, yet Holland also made three episodes of “The Wire.” Her most tenacious work has centered on lone figures, as they seek to outwit, or simply to withstand, the weight of authoritarian threat. “Europa Europa” (1990) is based on the true story of a German Jewish boy who joined the Hitler Youth. “Burning Bush” (2013), a three-part series for HBO, is based on the true story of Jan Palach, who immolated himself in protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. And Holland’s new film, “Mr. Jones,” is based on the true story of a young Welshman who found a terrible tale to tell.

The man in question is Gareth Jones (James Norton), an adviser to David Lloyd George (Kenneth Cranham), formerly the British Prime Minister. It is the early nineteen-thirties, and Jones is met with condescending mirth when he tells a group of graying British high-ups that Hitler is intent on war. Jones, however, knows whereof he speaks; he interviewed the Führer, on a plane, and, for his next scoop, he hopes to talk to Stalin. He therefore travels to Moscow, as an independent journalist, and although the interview never happens, the dogged Jones remains perplexed by the boom in Soviet industry. How is it being funded? “Grain is Stalin’s gold,” he is told. And where is much of the grain traditionally reaped? Ukraine. So that is where Jones goes. As Lloyd George said of him, “He had the almost unfailing knack of getting at things that mattered.”

What matters in “Mr. Jones” is the Holodomor, the famine that befell Ukraine in the years 1932-33. Current scholarship estimates that just under four million people died. They did not pass away from natural causes. The best and the most detailed English-language study of the subject is “Red Famine,” a 2017 book by Anne Applebaum, who demonstrates that starvation was a deliberate policy, enforced by Stalin through the requisition of crops and other products and the widespread persecution, deportation, or even execution of the non-compliant. His grand scheme of collectivized farming had failed, as any local farmer could have predicted, yet it was not ideologically allowed to fail. Who better than the Ukrainians, so often distrusted and demonized by Moscow, to be cast as scapegoats and saboteurs?

Dramatizing a theme of such enormity is a test for any filmmaker. Holland’s response is threefold. First, she shadows virtually every scene with a distorting darkness, as if prophesying doom, long before the action reaches Ukraine. Second, she introduces none other than George Orwell (Joseph Mawle) as a framing device. At the outset, we find him at work on “Animal Farm,” the implication being that the novel—which boasts a Mr. Jones, a farmer, in the opening sentence—was inspired, or informed, by what we are about to witness. (A curious move; if, as a film director, you have faith in the strength of your narrative, why should it need an extra boost?) Later, the link is made explicit, as Jones, returned from his mission, is introduced to Orwell, though whether such a meeting ever took place is open to debate.

Holland’s third tactic, as Jones journeys through the blighted landscapes of Ukraine, is to show us only what he sees, in the hope that a deep note of universal suffering will resound through the particular. Thus, when Jones eats an orange on a train and discards the peel, his fellow-passengers lunge and scrap for the nutritious prize. Alighting at a secluded railroad station, he passes a body on the platform. Lying there, frozen and unremarked, it is meant to represent the innumerable dead who are strewn around the countryside like litter. The same goes for the scene in which a baby, though still alive and crying, is tossed onto a cart with the already deceased, to save time; or the lumps of meat that are cooked and eaten by children, having been cut from the remains of their brother.

None of these monstrosities are inflated. Applebaum’s book includes a lengthy section on cannibalism. (Some parents consumed their offspring, survived, and, having woken to the realization of what they had done, went mad. By then, they were in the Gulag. How much hell do you want?) In a feature film, though, isolated horrors are liable to come across as eruptions of a foul surrealism rather than as testamentary evidence, and we don’t—or can’t—always make the imaginative leap in scale. When Jones himself grows famished, and chews in desperation on tree bark, we are scarcely moved, for the plight of one outsider, from the well-fed West, is of no consequence in the apocalypse of hunger. (Read more.)

On Walter Duranty. From The Collider:

I’ve read this book, Stalin’s Apologist, and thumbed through some of his own literature. He really wanted to be a novelist. He saw a lot in World War I, enough to make him crave the cushy job that he ended up with, which was basically the docent to Moscow. Rich, famous, Bohemian artists would come to Moscow, and he was the one that would show them the cool, wild side that was that city at that moment. It was a pretty interesting place, if you could ignore the suffering. He could hold people’s hand and drag them through the city in a way that made it seem marvelous. Lenin and Trotsky were very popular amongst artists at that point. I don’t think they knew so much about Stalin at that moment because not much was coming out. And he had a child with a Russian woman that I think was his maid. He would have been kicked out of the country had he really became a proper journalist, and what’s what he told people. He said, “I won’t have access if I tell the truth,” which is what a lot of journalists say. (Read more.)

Being Ukrainian it's somewhat hard to criticize "Mr. Jones" since it's one of a kind movie which brings up pretty uncomfortable to the West topic of genocide of Ukrainians in the Soviet Union. Nevertheless I'd rather refrain from prizing movie as an art form simply because it has shed some lite on scrupulously leave out issue. But this movie is surprisingly pretty good as an art. Dialogues are good, sometimes funny, and picture is overall quite aesthetic. Historical accuracy, though, being quite decent, in some cases failed. As Orwell's fan I'd like to point out that it is highly unlikely that Erik Arthur Blair [Orwell] obtained information about Holodomor from Gareth Jones since Erik's close friend Malcolm Muggeridge (whom Orwell mentioned in his essays) also wrote about this genocide so he is the most probable source of Orwell's information. The overall context of Soviet industry being build in 1930th by the Western countries (mostly by UK and US) in expense of money gained by murdering millions of Ukrainians is correct. Therefore I think it is very unlikely that this genocide of which the West benefited along with Russia will be ever widely recognized. But this was not only mass murder and robbery in order to gain profit (profit was a mere bonus). (Read more.)

I Am Not a Woke American

Along similar lines, what so many working Americans don’t deserve is a collection of politicians that are so weak and spineless that they let mobs loot stores, burn police stations, and terrorize cities rather than allow the police to enforce law and order. There’s not a police force in America that couldn’t have shut down these riots in 2-3 days tops if the politicians let them. It’s fine to worry about police brutality, but a lack of police brutality when dealing with mobs and criminals running wild across the city is a bigger failing. Bad cops need to go, but what about the other side of the equation? We have career criminals acting like maniacs around the police, getting shot, and then we have people demanding that we give the benefit of the doubt to the criminal? If you are going to ask cops to put themselves in danger and deal with the worst people in our society on a daily basis, all while knowing that everyone from the politicians to the media are going to slant the truth to make them look like bad guys, then yes, they deserve the public’s support.

Some people don’t do that because our school system is broken. It teaches kids that everything that made America successful in the first place from the Founding Fathers on is bad. Our mainstream media is even worse. You can’t take anything you read about politics and culture in the New York Times, Washington Post, or CNN at face value because pushing a woke narrative is more important than the truth. “News” isn’t about the facts anymore; it’s about pushing an ideology and everything else including the truth is secondary to that. Our culture has glorified victimhood to such an extent that people regularly fake hate crimes to get attention. Our social media giants are one giant hate factory that divides us and amplifies the worst human instincts we have. It’s a toxic soup that is eating through everything that made America a great country in the first place.

The Coronavirus hasn’t helped, but it has revealed how deeply dysfunctional our country has become. Woke politicians locked whole states down, whether areas were highly infected or had no one infected and they crippled our economy in the process. They also harassed people going to church, told people they couldn’t see their dying parents in the hospital and ruined small businesses. But then when the woke wanted to protest by the thousands, these same little tin gods gave it the thumbs up and called it, “science.” Wokeness has made everything political, even preventing a virus from killing people. (Read more.)


Testing Vaccines on Humans

From Forbes:
For much of human history, hepatitis caused some of the deadliest outbreaks in the world. The symptoms, including fever, liver damage and yellow skin, were written about by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C.E. While we now know that there are multiple viruses (most famously, hepatitis A, B and C), in the first half of the 20th century researchers only knew of one form of the disease, which was then called epidemic jaundice. Finding a vaccine became particularly important for the United States during World War II, when hepatitis outbreaks affected more than 50,000 American troops. To fight this disease and others, the Surgeon General’s office established the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. (Read more.)

About Alexis de Tocqueville

From Shepherd of the Hills Gazette:
Before he died in 2016, the historian Ralph Raico—an expert on the history of classical liberalism—donated his personal notes and library to the Mises Institute. Archivists later found among his notes a lengthy essay (or monograph) on the French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville.
It is unclear exactly what purpose this monograph was originally intended to serve, but the Mises Institute published the essay as Alexis de Tocqueville in 2017. This short and easy-to-read book has yet to receive the attention it deserves, but in our age of moral panics over both race and disease, Twitter “cancel culture,” and bureaucrats ruling by decree, we can still learn a lot from Tocqueville’s work. Specifically, Tocqueville’s warnings about the dangers posed by the American tendency toward the “tyranny of the majority” are still relevant.
Tocqueville, of course, is remembered today in part because of his book Democracy in America, in which he sought to describe the American “national character”—to the extent it exists. But Tocqueville also remains important because he was a leading figure in French classical liberalism (more accurately called simply “liberalism”), thus placing him in the company of liberal giants like Frederic Bastiat, Jean-Baptiste Say, and Benajmin Constant. Tocqueville’s application of European liberal ideals to the United States makes him difficult to ignore for anyone seeking to understand how liberalism ought to be understood in the American context today. Tocqueville’s works weren’t just a neutral assessment of American (and French) society. They were designed to investigate how political liberty could be understood and preserved. (Read more.)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Vikings of Estonia

From Estonian World:
A scientist’s long crusade for making the world see the hidden part of the Viking history. The Estonia and Denmark-based Tallinn University archaeologist, Marika Mägi, has spoken about the Viking Age sailors for many years, but still compares it with banging her “head against the wall”. It is because she does not speak about the Norsemen, the Scandinavian Vikings, but the ones who lived a bit to the east, along the eastern Baltic Sea shores. And this is often uncomfortable to hear for other scientists and Viking experts, because it forces them to rethink their knowledge. If the world would accept the crucial role of the Baltic region in Viking communication, many stories would have to be retold and many knowledge gaps refilled. And that’s hard work.

When Mägi points out that they missed a piece in the puzzle, her listeners politely nod and go on ignoring the region. Why make the effort? The Baltic region, as usual, is seen like an empty void between Scandinavia and Russia. But this is simply not the truth. (Read more.)

Separation of School and State

From Charles Coulombe at Crisis:
It is not as though numerous institutes and think tanks have not been warning us about the dumbing-down of American education. As early as 1955, Rudolf Flesch wrote his Why Johnny Can’t Read—And What You Can Do About It. Not only was diminution of basic skills not addressed, but, starting in the late Sixties, education acquired a malicious ideological intent. After spending twelve years learning very little, the average student goes to college, takes sufficient remedial math and reading classes to keep up (or not), and then is ripe for the ideological pixie dust his professors want to drop on him. The results of this is what we have been seeing for weeks now, and shall doubtless continue to see, unless or until governments restore order or a bloody reaction does it for them.
The question then arises, “How does one reform such a rotten system?” The most immediately attractive idea is simply to shut down all universities and colleges, and send their Marxist (and other) ideological faculty to work in the fields, even as those hapless oldsters fantasized doing with their own professors during the Cultural Revolution, at the time that Mao’s Little Red Book was the ultimate fashion statement. (Read more.)

Cyborg Mind

From The New Oxford Review:
Cyborg Mind is the first book to draw “cyber,” “neuro,” and “ethics” together to reveal the ethical challenges raised by the use of neuronal interface systems. These systems are intended not just to rehabilitate but to enhance and even transform human capacities. Cyborg Mind, a book produced by the Scottish Council of Bioethics, surveys what is happening in this field; it explains the progress being made, for example, in harnessing “living neurons” to computers and developing cyborg-like hybrids of machines and human organisms. We are told about human neurons now being cultured to form synthetic brains for possible insertion into robots. Although there is as yet no “public distrust of science,” most people might have an “intuitive reaction” to human-computer cyborgs and regard them as “monstrous.” However, those who are gung-ho for the new technology — e.g., posthumanists — hail it as offering the “only realistic form of immortality.” They imagine that the “virtual kingdom” will “put religion largely out of business.”
Today there is an explosion of neurological investigations as the brain becomes the new frontier, the project to master. In 2013 international groups of neuroscientists created the most detailed atlas of the brain, called “Big Brain.” It turns out that our neuronal system is far more complex and efficient than any computer now in use. At its peak, our brain has around one trillion neurons, each capable of ten thousand connections with other neurons, for a total of ten quadrillion possible connections. Cyborg Mind rightly reminds us that the brain should not be confused with the mind, as mental experiences cannot be explained in purely physical terms. The brain supports the mind, but it is the mind itself that is capable of perception, thought, moral judgment, and memory. Amassing more knowledge about the brain will not explain free will and moral agency.
Neuronal interfaces, in the form of electrodes applied to the scalp or implanted in the brain, are already being used to “harness brain activity to operate artificial devices.” For patients with spinal-cord injuries, strokes, or amputations, these interfaces transmit data from neuronal networks in the brain to appliances that can restore some movement. As “brain patterns” are similar whether a movement is imagined or performed, a paralyzed man with an implanted brain chip is able to move a cursor on a computer screen merely by thinking, and a person believed to be in a vegetative state can be asked to imagine a movement, and his brain signals can be recorded. For those who are deaf, cochlear implants that send signals to the auditory nerve are available, or if something more is needed, auditory brain-stem implants can “sidestep the whole hearing system.” The latter have already been used in the thousands.
Other therapeutic uses of neuronal interfaces include Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, depression, and epilepsy, and Transcranial Brain Stimulation (TBS) to help adults with psychiatric or learning disorders. TBS has already been used in over ten thousand adults. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) is sold online for the supposed “enhancement” of cognition, but without regard to possible risks.
In terms of police and military application, brain-scanning is already in commercial use for lie detection. Additionally, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) spent millions of dollars on the development of brain-computer interfaces for soldiers to make decisions and recognize threats more quickly, to control weapons from a distance by brain signals, and to communicate brain to brain.
DARPA also sees a “need” for an “enhanced” soldier whose memories and emotions will be modified by “direct neuronal control” so as to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the words of Tony Tether, head of DARPA from 2001 to 2009, “Imagine a warrior with the intellect of a human and the immorality of a machine.”
As for the gaming industry, neuronal interfaces are the big thing: Electro-encephalogram (EEG) headsets allow players to control a ball by thinking, and the game even tailors the level of play to gamers’ needs. Players can also live virtual lives with alternate identities or avatars. They can step into a computer-assisted virtual environment (CAVE) with 3D glasses and a sensory bodysuit, such that they can hardly tell whether they are in a real or a virtual world. This “immersive technology” is being used by security forces to train recruits.
But what about the risks? First, there is no definition of humanity in existing law, and since 98 percent of our genes are shared with chimps, humanity is now associated with neurons, especially those in our cerebral cortex. The new emphasis on the brain, however, is problematic: A machine that appears to be thinking could be valued as a human being, especially at this time when the human body is often compared to a computer, with DNA as its software. Research is ongoing to create a computer modeled on a neurological system — i.e., to make a digital mind. Would such a computer be considered a “person,” even though not human and not biological?
Second, not only do these neuronal interfaces blur the line between human and machine, they also lead to isolation from face-to-face relationships, difficulty in separating online and offline identities, and a growing inability to deal with the hardships of the world, success being so easy to attain in a virtual environment. Cyberspace creates a dissociation of mind and body, akin to Manichaeism, in which salvation is “an escape from the body.” Then there is the danger of coercion. Neurological interventions intended to make persons more “moral” could end up as a form of authoritarian control. A “hive mind” or a “network consciousness,” whereby a number of persons combine their minds in cyberspace supported by computers, is an awful prospect. What if their bodily limits should be breached, or one mind impose itself on the others?
Atheists calling themselves “transhumanists” and “posthumanists” are having a field day with these new technologies. Both see them as the way to “immortality.” Transhumanists want to create beings that didn’t exist before, like cyborgs, fusing a human brain with a robot. Posthumanists go even further: They welcome the end of homo sapiens, believing that the Virtual Kingdom will make earthly life futile. They call our attachment to our bodies “carbon-chauvinism” and find it as objectionable as racism. Sociologist William Sims Bainbridge defends a “technologically based immortality” as “realistic,” while historian Hava Tirosh-Samuelson calls technology the “savior” of a new “religious order” that promises the “first real afterlife.” (Read more.)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Fashion of Jane Austen's Novels

From Publisher's Weekly:
Dress in the Age of Jane Austen has been a long time coming. It started out as a chance comment in 2013 from Professor Aileen Ribeiro, author of foundational books on dress history such as The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France 1750 to 1820. We were standing chatting in the snowy grounds of Chawton House, once owned by Jane Austen’s brother Edward Knight, who was adopted by childless cousins and changed his surname. The gracious Elizabethan manor had become a center for studying women’s lives and writings, but we were there for the filming of the BBC documentary Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball, which sought to recreate the famous Netherfield ball scene from Jane Austen’s most beloved novel. I had made a handstitched replica gown for the production and appeared as the costume expert. During conversation, Professor Ribeiro mused on the fact that there was no good book on Regency dress. I agreed, but was taken by (flattered) surprise when she said she thought I would be the perfect person to write one. The conversation moved on. However, the idea’s seed started growing quietly in the back of my head. Six months later, I had decided to write what I privately thought of as The Big Book of Regency Dress.

My introduction to the clothes of Britain’s Regency period (c. 1795-1821) was through the body and life of Jane Austen, by recreating a silk pelisse coat, the only known garment connected with the author. Her incredibly observant writing, combined with the breadth of research existing on her and her family, made Austen the perfect starting point. Because I began with her physicality, I mused on the importance of the bodily self as the starting point for imagining and wearing fashion. From this center emerged the book’s structure, which moves outwards in concentric circles from Self, through the experiences of Home, Village, Country, City, Nation and finally, World. Locating seemingly English local fashions within their wider global contexts was important to me as an Australian historian. Without Britain’s world trade, none of the heaving bosoms dear to screen adaptations would have been clad in muslin gowns and Kashmir shawl (Read more.)

A Trojan Horse For A Radical Agenda

From The Daily Wire:
“It’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or Democrat, more red or blue. It’s whether America remains America,” said Pence, who went on to characterize the choice this November as “two paths, one based on the dignity of every individual, and the other on the growing control of the State.” Claiming that the Democratic Party’s path “leads to socialism and decline,” Pence painted presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as a hapless candidate who has aligned himself with the agenda of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the radical Left wing of the Democratic Party. “I thought Joe Biden won the Democrat primaries, but looking at their unity agenda, it looks to me like Bernie won,” he said in reference to the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force.
“When you consider Joe Biden’s agenda and his embrace of the radical Left, it’s clear: Joe Biden would be nothing more than an autopen president,” Pence alleged. “A Trojan horse for a radical agenda; so radical, so all-encompassing, that it would transform this country into something utterly unrecognizable.”
It is therefore no surprise, Pence said, that democratic socialist Sanders has thrown his support behind Biden, touting him as someone who would “transform the country” and distinguish himself as “the most progressive president in nearly a century.”
“The Biden-Sanders agenda would set America on the path of socialism and decline,” Pence added. “And as our nation endures this time of testing, we’d do well to tell our neighbors and friends that it’s also a time for choosing.”
If elected, Joe Biden will be 78 years old when he assumes office, making him the oldest president in American history. He has signaled that he will likely not seek a second term, for which reason his vice presidential pick has garnered acute attention. A source in the campaign told Politico in December, “This makes Biden a good transition figure. I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it.” (Read more.)

From The Stream:
All for what crime, exactly? For waiting for a bus after a pro-life demonstration. And smiling while white. For Sandmann standing his ground, when some “Indian tribal elder” confronted him with a war drum. Ah, but Sandmann and his friends were supposed to give way. They should have taken a knee. Maybe flattened themselves to form a human red carpet, so the “tribal elder” could walk all over them. You know, as cops in Portland and Chicago are apparently ordered to do, in the face of violent mobs. 
One leftist after another pointed out Sandmann’s unforgivable sin. That he was smiling. He didn’t look terrified, guilt-struck, or even enraged. He was calm, confident, and amiable. Perhaps those character traits are now part of “white privilege,” as the Smithsonian now explains. I read at least a dozen columnists or reporters expatiate on that smile, comparing Sandmann to settlers who slaughtered Indians, or concentration camp guards. (Read more.) 

He "seemed like" a happy warrior, but who knows? It's a miserable, unrelenting, stressful life, as the friends fall away and the colleagues, who were socially distant years before Covid, turn openly hostile. There are teachers who agree with Mike Adams at UNCW and other universities - not a lot, but some - and there are others who don't agree but retain a certain queasiness about the tightening bounds of acceptable opinion ...and they all keep their heads down. So the burthen borne by a man with his head up, such as Adams, is a lonely one, and it can drag you down and the compensations (an invitation to discuss your latest TownHall column on the radio or cable news) are very fleeting. 
The American academy is bonkers and has reared monsters - so that we now have a "black liberation movement" staffed almost entirely by college-educated white women (including a remarkable number of angry trans-women) from the over-undergraduated permanent-varsity Class of Whenever. We are assured that out in "the real world" there is a soi-disant "silent majority" whose voices will resound around the world on November 3rd. For what it's worth, I don't believe in the existence of this "silent majority", and a political party that has won the popular vote only once in the last thirty years (2004) ought to be chary about over-investing in it. But either way, if you're doing the heavy lifting on an otherwise abandoned front of the culture war, what you mostly hear, as Mike Adams did, is the silent majority's silence - month in, month out. (Read more.) 

Tintagel – Castle of the Dumnonians

From Heritage Daily:
The earliest traces of settlement dates from the Roman period, where a proposed Roman outpost has been suggested to occupy the site. Archaeological evidence is scarce, with only small traces of Roman activity such as coins, pottery, and small finds with no identification of contemporary Roman structures. With the collapse of Roman government in Britannia during the 5th century AD, the former province split into various Kingdoms and Cornwall (formerly civitas Dumnoniorum during Roman times) likely emerged as the Kingdom of Dumnonia, named after the Dumnonii which inhabited the region.

Tintagel developed into a prosperous stronghold and centre of trade, which archaeologists propose was an elite settlement inhabited by a powerful local warlord or even Dumnonian royalty. Excavations have revealed that the headland was covered with small rectangular buildings and was defended on the landward side by large earthworks and a ditch. Archaeologists also discovered high-status items imported from Africa and the Mediterranean, suggesting that Tintagel was connected to a wide interconnected trade network despite the period being considered the Dark Ages.

 In 1138, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain gave rise to the mythical figure of King Arthur, which Geoffrey associates Tintagel as the site where Uther Pendragon, King of Britain seduced Queen Igerna (wife of Duke Gorlois of Cornwall). (Read more.)