Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Animals of the Colosseum

 From Ancient World Magazine:
The Colosseum was inaugurated in AD 80, but we have reports of great hunting shows even before that date. For example, in 104 BC, Muzio Scaevola and Licinius Crassus staged a venatio in the Circus Maximus with a hundred lions to celebrate their victory over Jugurtha, King of Numidia. In the middle of that same century, Marcus Scaurus organized a hunt with five crocodiles, one hippo, and 150 leopards.
A few years later, the grandeur of all of this was completely surpassed by the incredible spectacle offered by the rich Pompey. During the games, he organized the slaughter of 400 leopards, 600 elephants, and many monkeys. The special guests at this carnage were a rhino and a lynx, the latter from northern Europe. This was the grandest venatio ever held before the construction of the Colosseum and a show with so many animals was never repeated.
Neither Julius Caesar nor even Augustus, the first Roman emperor, who killed three thousand five hundred animals during his reign, managed, in a single show, to surpass the magnitude of the one organized by Pompey. Nero brought in 300 lions and 400 bears, and during the 100 days of parties and games arranged by Titus for the inauguration of the Colosseum in AD 80 9,000 animals were killed. This number is still small compared with the 11,000 reached by Trajan almost thirty years later to celebrate his victories over the Dacians (the foregoing, see: Hopkins and Beard 2005). (Read more.)

More on Talbot Boys Statue

I blogged about this issue in my home county about three years ago. Once again, there are calls to remove the statue. A reader responds in The Talbot Spy:
As I see it, in the Talbot Boys Statue case, we have two groups trying to use the presence of an old statue to beat the drums of a current situation. One, led by the far left, BLM, progressive coalition/mentality say this statue stands for slavery, racism and injustice to the black population—hence it must go. We have seen a small group of far left clergy supporting the movement, some individuals promoting coalition/groups, demonstrations on justice issues, protests against police brutality, all somehow tied to or implied emanating from the Talbot Boys Statue. Hence, the evil thing must go. 
On the other side, we have a largely subdued (so far) conservative coalition of Talbot County citizens, white people mainly, who point to the statue’s historical heritage. It was paid for by private funds, as I understand it, and erected over 100 years ago. I have not delved into why it was placed on County land. I do know some people whose ancestors are named on the monument. From those I have talked to, they see it as a historic monument only, far from any 21st century “mission statement” to anyone. They resent being intimidated by the first group or labeled as racists, and many I know are solid Christian citizens and benefactors of our County and the Town of Easton. 
To me, legitimate, peaceful protests over injustice of any type in the USA is not only justified but appropriate under our Constitution. Destruction of our Country and anarchy are not. If removal of the Talbot Boys Statue is deemed part of that protest by those proposing to do so, then I believe honest and truthful questions must be asked about what the protests are about. Is it the horrific killing of George Floyd? If so, why were protests not mounted on the equally horrific killing of Mr. Cassidy, a white man, at the Easton YMCA by a black man with a long criminal record? Do issues of “moral responsibility and behavior” and “ethical Christian living” have any part in the protests? What about the Antifa agenda to destroy the USA and create a socialist state? Is that part of why the Talbot Boys Statue must go in the protesters views? I do not have the answers to those questions but I do believe an honest and truthful effort to find them weighs on whether or not the Talbot Boys Statue is a “Real Issue.” 
In fact, many prominent black leaders concerned about inequality and justice have raised similar questions. I would refer all to Mr. Robert Woodson, a renown and recognized Civil Rights leader and the Rev. James David Manning (www.atlah.org). Or, the horrific black on black murder rates devastating some cities, like Chicago last weekend, where a beautiful 3 yr. old black boy was shot to death. As a wise black man in that community said—“where are the 40-50,000 protestors seeking justice for that little boy?” (Maybe they don’t have a statue). In addition, Ian Duncan’s (Baltimore Sun) analysis “Race—The Real Truth” is an enlightening read as a primer for an honest and truthful analysis of the current situation which one might suspect has some part in pushing for removal of the Talbot Boys Statue. 
For me, whether the Statue goes or stays doesn’t matter much. Its presence or lack thereof solves nothing. Either way, I don’t think it is an issue for the County Council to decide; the people of Talbot County should decide by their votes. Our little County is a Democratic Republic—the government answers to us, not vice versa. I give Councilman Divilio some credit for his rendering of a new, joint Union/Confederate Statue if the people vote for it, although he needs to acknowledge Rich Merrill as the author/originator of the proposal. 
But the most important takeaway to me from all of this is, ‘yes, there is a better way.’ Councilwoman Price has demonstrated it time and again. As she stated; “Decisions must not be made on the emotion of the day—We must take the time to listen to everyone and gather all the facts.” No wonder she garnered the most votes in the last Council election. There are many ways all of us in this beautiful County can address any issue—but grandstanding and shooting from the hip are not among them. Some say “silence is violence;” I say “silence is Christian compassion in action” without looking for a photo op. Thousands perform it daily. Civility, honesty and respect for each other, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, is where it begins and ends, and no statue anywhere, from anytime, has anything to do with that, 
Paul D. Denton
(Read more.) Share

Finding Sir Lancelot

From Medievalists:
Today, being the world’s only Lancelot wall paintings preserved in situ, the Siedlęcin set ranks among the most outstandingly complete and well preserved in Europe. The story of Arthur’s greatest knight, his glittering career, adulterous love for Guinevere and subsequent downfall has been told in two registers and should be ”read” from the lower to the upper one, from left to right (as in case of many other examples of medieval cycles). 
The lower register shows Sir Lancelot and his cousin, Sir Lionel, claiming the world shortly after they had been knighted. To prove their valour and knightly skills in hand-to-hand combat they set off for their first big adventure. The story goes with the tale of Lionel’s capture and Lancelot’s duel with the knight named Tarquin, whom Lancelot defeats and kills. Thanks to this victory sixty-four knights imprisoned in Tarquin’s castle (including Lionel and four other knights of the Round Table) obtain their freedom. 
The upper register shows fair Guinevere with her ladies before the walls of Camelot. Lancelot accompanied by his entourage presents himself to her. The next scene depicts the wicked knight Meleagant as he carries the queen away. He is going to be ultimately slain by Lancelot. The latter hurries to his lady’s rescue, suffering – among many a hardship – a total humiliation of riding in a cart, a form of travelling reserved for criminals. He rescues the queen in the end, the sinful nature of their love being shown in a depiction where they hold their left hands – a clear symbol of their adulterous affair. (Read more.)

Monday, June 29, 2020

A History of the Habsburg Family

Double Betrothal at Vienna, from The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I, 1515, by Albrecht Durer
A book review. From Spear's:
The Habsburgs intermarried with other noble families and when these other families had died out in the male line, they swept up the leavings. ‘Generation after generation, they produce heirs; if sons were missing, then cousins and nephews were always at hand,’ Rady explains. ‘With longevity came the opportunity to take the wealth of the less enduring families into which they had married.’ 
Thus, Count Rudolf of Habsburg (lived 1218-91), whose mother was a Kiburg, took the large part of the Kiburg patrimony when their male line expired. As the most powerful family in the duchy of Swabia, they set their sights on the Holy Roman Empire. Rudolf captured lands in Austria and became king of Bohemia, but the title of emperor eluded him. The Habsburgs then went into a temporary decline. 
A bold stroke was required and it was this: they decided ‘to jettison their Swabian past and became instead Austrians and Romans’. It was another Rudolf of Habsburg (1339-65) who restored the family’s fortunes ‘with an energy, pace, and imagination that belied his youth and confounded his rivals’. 
And the key to his success was forgery. Under his direction, scholars cooked up a couple of bogus charters, the ‘Pseudo-Henry’ and the ‘Greater Privilege’, which purported to demonstrate Austrian exceptionalism by establishing spurious links to Julius Caesar and Nero and to make the Duke of Austria a palatine archduke, with duchy heritable by son or daughter. Although, again, the imperial crown proved elusive, ‘by giving the Habsburgs a historical consciousness and set of beliefs about themselves, Rudolf made them more than just a group of blood relatives’. 
Unlike other aristocratic families, the Habsburgs operated a system of collective inheritance. King Sigismund of Bohemia and Hungary, who had no heirs, nominated Duke Albert of Habsburg (lived 1397-1439) as his successor, and Albert became the first Habsburg to be elected as Holy Roman Emperor in 1438. (Read more.)

Black Lives Matter and Terrorism

From The Washington Examiner:
The co-founder of Black Lives Matter names a convicted cop killer as one of her heroes, and the BLM national organization is fiscally sponsored through a leftist group whose board of directors includes a convicted terrorist. Alicia Garza, one of three co-founders of the Black Lives Matter national organization, has repeatedly talked about how convicted cop killer and wanted domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, is one of her main inspirations. Susan Rosenberg, a member of the board of directors for the left-wing Thousand Currents group, which handles the intake of donations made to Black Lives Matter, is a convicted terrorist who, among other things, was suspected of helping Shakur escape from prison.
Rosenberg, who was listed as the vice chairwoman of the board of directors for Thousand Currents until the webpage was pulled down this week, as first reported by the Capital Research Center, had been a member of the radical leftist revolutionary militant group known as the May 19th Communist Organization, affiliated with the Weather Underground terrorist group and other radicals. She was convicted on weapons and explosives charges and sentenced to 58 years in prison, serving 16 years before being pardoned by President Bill Clinton in January 2001. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, the police are to be replaced in Minneapolis. From FrontPageMag:
 As the city of Minneapolis moves to dismantle its police force, Minnesota state Rep. Steve Green on Tuesday stated the obvious that virtually everyone else has been tiptoeing around and pretending isn’t there: “What you’re looking at, in my humble opinion, is communism moving into Minneapolis and St. Paul.” And not just Communism, but the Leftist/Islamic alliance. Green asserted that Antifa and Muslim organizations plan to “police Minneapolis under Muslim rule.” Those who scoff at such a notion simply aren’t paying attention to recent developments.
The Minneapolis City Council voted two weeks ago to abolish the city’s police force. Its plans beyond that have so far been sketchy, but something is going to have to be put in place as an alternative to the police. The New York Times noted that “many have called for relying more on self-policing by the community, in the way attendees often do at events like music festivals, with the police stepping in only when a true emergency arises. Some cited as an example how, in the days after the killing of Mr. Floyd, teams made up of dozens of members of the American Indian Movement patrolled streets and directed traffic in the Little Earth housing community in Minneapolis.” (Read more.)

People are suffering more than ever. From The Federalist:
Looting costs in America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas exceeded $400 million from the first weekend of rioting, according to a new report from the Anderson Economic Group.

“This includes property damage, lost inventory, cleanup and reconstruction costs, and closure-related lost wages,” the report stated. “[The study] did not assign any costs to peaceful protests or demonstrations.”

The report, published June 5, used “news publications to identify where looting occurred…and estimate the total costs of looting between May 29 and June 3.” The report authors say this value could be severely underestimated.

“Our estimates are based on observed patterns of looting in the 20 largest metropolitan areas across the country. We did not estimate costs in smaller metro areas that may have also experienced looting,” stated Brian Peterson, the firm’s director of public policy and economic analysis.

“Furthermore, our estimates do not include costs to state or local governments that experienced property damage or incurred increased emergency service costs.”

According to an approximation given to Market Watch by Property Claim Services, damage incurred by riots in just Minnesota could total more than $25 million.

“We hope that those businesses that experienced looting and damage will be able to bounce back, but we know that some will not make it,” said Peterson. “That means empty storefronts and the loss of jobs at those businesses, which ultimately hurts local communities.” (Read more.)

By the Western Wall

From The Jerusalem Post:
Two thousand years ago, Jerusalem residents were storing food and water, cooking, maybe even living in a unique subterranean multiple-room structure barely 30 meters from the holy Temple. This new discovery was unveiled by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation on Tuesday ahead of Jerusalem Day
Descending into the underground chambers from the Western Wall Plaza – glaring with light and still under the coronavirus regulations and a heat wave – is nothing less than a journey back in time before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, when the city was still bustling with Jewish life and rituals. 
“At the time of the Second Temple, 2,000 years ago, this was a public area, the civic center of ancient Jerusalem,” Dr. Barak Monnickendam-Givon, co-director of the excavation on behalf of the IAA together with Tehila Sadiel, told The Jerusalem Post. 
“We think that the public street passed just a few meters from here, and we are standing next to what we archaeologists call the ‘big bridge’ that connected the upper city to the Temple itself.” (Read more.)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Ophelia (2018) and The Night's Dark Shade (2009)

Poster of the Ophelia (2018) film
Cover of my 2009 novel The Night's Dark Shade, hardcover edition

Ophelia (2018). Note the almost identical blue dress as on the cover of The Night's Dark Shade.
One evening about a month ago, I watched 2018 film Ophelia starring Daisy Ridley. The film is a re-telling of Shakespeare's Hamlet from the point of view of Hamlet's sweetheart, Ophelia. While I was watching I thought: "This movie is so beautiful, it is what I would want a movie about my novel The Night's Dark Shade to be." The Night's Dark Shade is a young adult historical romance about the Cathars in 13th century France, centered on the marital woes of the teenage heroine Lady Raphaëlle de Miramande. As I viewed Ophelia,  I realized that much of it was my 2009 novel, with some lines of Shakespeare thrown in!! The heroine's appearance, her clothes, the descriptions of the castle and gardens, the subplot about the twin sisters, one of whom is the lady of the castle and the other who is a hermit in a cave, is directly from my book. The Gertrude/Mechtild subplot appears to be borrowed directly from my story of Esclarmonde and Esterelle. And many other things as well, including a near drowning, a flight through the mountains, a hooded "ghost", a burning at the stake, trysts in the orchard, the castle on the mountain, the secret valley, an assault on a maiden by a handsome but spurned suitor, an invading army which bursts in by surprise, the adulterous Lord of the castle who marries one twin while impregnating the other twin, with the "fallen" twin ending up as a healer in the cave. And the hermit/healer befriends the Ophelia/Raphaëlle character, caring for her when she nearly drowns.

The film is based upon a novel of the same name. To quote the author:
Just after Ophelia was published, an independent producer “optioned” it, reserving the rights while he pulled a production together. First came the script, which the producers used to attract a director, whose vision shapes the production. It’s important to sign well-known actors to round out the package and attract financiers. The producers have to scout locations for the filming, hire crew, and build sets. And everyone’s schedules have to match. It’s a complicated process, requiring patience and diplomacy. Sometimes it falls apart (as when the director who was interested bows out), and the producer has to start over again. This happened more than once, which is why it took ten years to finally “greenlight” Ophelia!

Once I signed the contract, I effectively gave up creative control. I was shown the script early on, as a courtesy, and I offered some input. A few of my suggestions were adopted. But the script is the creation of the screenwriter as much as the novel is the creation of the author, and I came to respect that distinction. The movie is not the book, but stands as its own wonderful reimagining of the Hamlet story....The movie keeps the romance between Hamlet and Ophelia alive until the last possible moment (to please a movie audience), while the book emphasizes their conflict and Ophelia’s decision to go it alone. The last quarter of the novel, which occurs in a convent, is reduced to a scene of a few seconds in the movie. My character Mechtild, an herbalist, is at the center of a new subplot, created to give the actress Naomi Watts a larger role. (She plays Queen Gertrude and her sister, Mechtild.) There are other differences, but the story is still Ophelia’s, told in her voice. And it’s visually stunning, so readers who prefer to bring a story alive in their own imaginations won’t be disappointed. (Read more.)
So it sounds like any "borrowing" from my novel The Night's Dark Shade occurred when the novel was adapted for the screen. Below are pictures from the 2018 Ophelia film with matching quotes from The Night's Dark Shade.
"Raphaëlle ignored her, as Jehanette braided her thick chestnut hair into two rectangular coils over the ears, with the rest of it bound into a gold net, resting against the back of her neck. A white silk barbette was wrapped under her chin, fastened by a band of gold filigree around her forehead...She was relieved that her aquiline nose and creamy skin were considered handsome. Her mother had always insisted that while Raphaëlle was not a great beauty, her deep set green eyes and abundant chestnut hair made a striking combination."
"Gertrude" could totally pass for "Simonette" in The Night's Dark Shade. 
"In sauntered a woman of about thirty with the golden eyes of a cat. Her tunic was brown, but of the finest wool. Around her neck on a gold chain was a ruby the size of a robin’s egg; gilded bracelets adorned her wrists. Her kirtle was embroidered in scarlet and beneath a snowy linen wimple hung thick, honey-blonde braids. Raphaëlle thought that perhaps she was the lady of the castle...."
Naomi Watts as Queen Gertrude

"The entire landscape was illumined like a dream of faery. Music burst forth, and the dancing began. There were fiddles, drums and bells, harp and psaltery, horns and lute, merging together in a boisterous harmony. The village lads leaped in a circle around the bonfire with their torches. The maidens formed another circle around the fountains, joined, twirled and clapped."
"The dance started in slow steps, and then the leaps began. Raphaëlle laughed as she leaped, heeding only that her hair did not swirl into anyone’s torch. The next dance was more lyrical."
Mechtild/Esterelle's cave is exactly as described in my novel:
"In the side of the rock were fantastically shaped grottoes. At the back of one of the grottoes was a cave, and there Esterelle guided her. The cave was illumined by crude oil lamps, which burned before half a dozen icons and a rough wooden cross. On shelves hewn into the rock was a veritable library, comprised of ancient tomes and scrolls...In a corner was a spindle and loom; bunches of herbs hung from the ceiling; a few clay crocks were neatly arranged in the cooking area along with wooden utensils, near a makeshift hearth. Close by was a niche for sleeping, comprising a straw pallet laden with goatskins."
 The description of Lady Esclarmonde could also apply to her twin, Esterelle, who is "Mechtild" in the film:
"Raphaëlle could not afterwards recollect what startled her more, the unnatural luminosity of the penetrating but opaque grey eyes, the snowy pallor of the translucent skin, or the skeletal thinness of a woman of about thirty, whose chiseled bone structure had destined her for beauty. The bizarre physique was heightened by the unnerving blackness of nun-like wimple and robes...."
Hamlet takes a scarlet ribbon as a token from Ophelia; in The Night's Dark Shade Martin takes a scarlet cord from Raphaëlle.


The Media Are Lying To You About Everything

From earlier this month, but still holds true. From The Federalist:
In recent days we’ve heard a steady drumbeat of lies, distortions, and disingenuousness from the mainstream media about almost every aspect of the unrest now gripping American cities. The deceit is almost too pervasive and amorphous to describe, but I’m going to try anyway. Over the weekend we were told, for example, that the looting and violence was being instigated not by left-wing anarchists and antifa groups but by the media’s favorite villains: white supremacists. CNN, whose Atlanta offices were vandalized Friday, went on and on—without a shred of evidence to back it up—about how white supremacists might be infiltrating the protests and stirring up trouble. The New York Times, in a report that even quoted a senior police official in New York City saying outside anarchist groups were coordinating mayhem before the protests began, nevertheless veered into a long aside about how far-right “accelerationists” were hoping the unrest would bring about a long-sought second civil war.
By Monday, no one was talking about the white supremacist agitators anymore. The media had moved on to better, more plausible lies. Here’s Matthew Yglesias of Vox, disingenuously comparing the rioters and looters to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. His snarky tweet is meant to suggest Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is a hypocrite for supporting the Hong Kong protesters but calling for the restoration of order at home.
(Read more.)

Race is NOT what is dividing us. From The Stream:
To repeat. This does not mean that we do not have problems to address. And, as I have stated before, to the chagrin of some of my conservative friends, I have no problem asking if there is still systemic racism in America. (If not systemic racism, then system inequity.) My point in this article is to stress that our biggest issues in America are not race-based. They are ideologically based. And right now, those pushing a radical leftist agenda are the most divisive among us, by far.
Of course, if the radical right (which includes the “alt-right”) had a bigger platform today, they would be just as divisive. But they do not. They have been largely marginalized, and for that I am glad. Instead, it is the radical left (which includes the BLM movement and its Marxist-fueled agenda) which has become dominant, championed by a complicit (or foolishly naïve) media. They are the ones dividing us.
On a personal level, I will continue to listen to people of color as they share their perspectives with me (like a caller on Monday who told me he started picking cotton at the age of 5 and that I had no idea what his life experience was like; he is correct). And I will continue to ask God to show me my blind spots. (Read more.)

From Charles Coulombe at Crisis:
When the attacks—legal and otherwise—on Confederate monuments and heritage began to ramp up, I warned in various venues that it would not stop there. And, of course, such disparate characters as Kate Smith and Columbus followed in that train. But ever since the eruption of riots across the nation and the rest of the Western world over the past few weeks following the murder of the gentleman in Minneapolis (I will not use his name in this context, as it’s bad enough being brutally murdered without having your memory forever associated with stupidity and mayhem), it has literally spilled over into everything. Statues of figures from Abraham Lincoln to Saint Junipero Serra to Winston Churchill to Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, have been attacked.
Accompanying this orgy of iconoclasm has been millions upon millions of dollars worth of damage to businesses across the United States, caused by the mob’s gleeful looting. The demonstrations sparking the mayhem have been well organized by such groups as Black Lives Matter and Antifa—with folk on the left accusing such groups as the Boogaloo Boys of masquerading as Antifa, and vice versa. (Read more.)

Will the National Anthem be banned? From Todd Starnes:
Make no mistake. We are at war against an army of fascists, secularists, socialists and Marxists. They want to destroy our nation. Click here to read my book.  In recent days the domestic terrorists have toppled statues and desecrated monuments. Now, they are targeting the national anthem. Lyndsey Parker, the editor of Yahoo Music, wrote a column titled, “Why it might be time to finally replace ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ with a new national anthem.” She interviewed activist Kevin Powell who suggested that Francis Scott Key was a racist and the song he wrote is riddled with violence.
“So, if “The Star-Spangled Banner” goes the way of the Confederate flag and Gone With the Wind, what should America’s new national anthem be? Whatever it is, Walker says there should be a formal “vetting process” to make sure the next anthem doesn’t have a terrible past; Powell, for his part, suggests John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which he says is ‘the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have,'” she wrote. (Read more.)

From Intellectual Takeout:
A memorial to the more than 100 million people killed by communism was vandalized in the midst of the protests resulting from George Floyd’s violent death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation tweeted images of the vandalism Tuesday. Photos show “BLM” and what looks to be part of another word spray painted on the statue.

In interesting, if perhaps coincidental timing, this vandalism of a tribute to the dead occurs the same week as the anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, resulting in an estimated death toll of thousands of protesters as the full weight of China’s military descended upon its citizenry.

The Victims of Communism memorial statue is a duplicate of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue which was a 10-meter tall construct assembled during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China. Work began on May 27 in the Central Academy of Fine Arts, before students there surreptitiously moved the statue in pieces, avoiding state security, and assembled it in Tiananmen Square on May 30. She stood for only five days before a People’s Liberation Army tank toppled her on live television on the CCP’s orders. (Read more.)
More conservatives need to take a stand. Also from The Federalist:
 For decades, the conservative movement has profited off the invocation of the American Founding. Multiple political analysts have said over the years that the biggest mistake Democrats made was letting Republicans have The Bible and the Flag, and the right has certainly profited from it. Wrapping themselves in the language of the Founding Fathers, filling their buildings with quotes, books, busts, statues, and artist’s renderings, conservatives have thrived by making themselves the defenders of American history against a verbally iconoclastic left. But in practice, they spent more time advocating for lower taxes, feel-good donor interests, and pro-business regulatory reforms than the cultural defense they used to make the money roll in.

Meanwhile, the left has marched through our institutions of power: the schools and the academy, the media, the creative arts, and the central authorities of our greatest cities, amassing near-total control and influence over our culture. They have tried to grasp permanent hold of the narrative, audit conservative activists, and subdue religious defiers. Now they intend to subjugate the nation’s children to a woke ahistorical conspiracy about our founding and inculcate them with the idea they are permanently stained by irredeemable acts of racism that happened long before they were born, and for which they are not guilty.

This is power, amassed intentionally over half a century, and they are wielding it now in destructive ways. Now that the left has become not just verbally iconoclastic, not just changing the names of streets or buildings but physically assaulting the past, why have conservatives gone quiet? Why are they standing back instead of standing up to defend our history? Why is it that a bunch of South Philly Italian bros have more gumption about a statue of Columbus than the people who have spent decades invoking Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and more to raise money for their causes and win elections? (Read more.)

Also from The Federalist:
Their target is not the Confederacy. It is the United States. They mean to destroy symbols of American history writ large, because to them all of American history is racist and genocidal. Their goal is not to cleanse a nation they love of monuments to Confederate traitors who tried to secede, but to cleanse their consciences of ever having loved such an evil and irredeemably racist country in the first place. (Read more.)

From Spiked:
It is as if these people are deeply proud of their historical illiteracy and want everyone to know it. The Emancipation Memorial was funded entirely by free slaves (an amazing story), and its unveiling in 1876 was commemorated by the famous former slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. But to these idiots, tearing down a statue of Lincoln funded by slaves is somehow a blow for racial equality. Similarly, protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, pulled down a statue of Hans Christian Heg, an abolitionist immigrant who died fighting for the union. For good measure, they also toppled a statue commemorating women’s suffrage and beat up a 60-year-old Democratic state senator. It seems that, in the battle against white supremacy, attacking any white person will do. (Read more.)

Trump signed an executive order to protect statues and monuments. From Fox News:
The new order enforces laws prohibiting the desecration of public monuments, the vandalism of government property, and recent acts of violence, withholds federal support tied to public spaces from state and local governments that have failed to protect public monuments, and withdraws federal grants for jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies that fail to stop their desecration. It also provides assistance for protecting the federal statues. Meanwhile on Friday evening, Attorney General Bill Barr directed the creation of a task force to counter anti-government extremists, specifically naming those who support the far-right “boogaloo” movement and those who identify as Antifa. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, Left identity politics has re-racialised society. A reaction was inevitable. From Spiked:
In response to the racialised climate created by both left and right, many decent people have felt forced to take sides, as a defensive mechanism, as they have seen government and the police failing to deal with freedom of speech, social cohesion and law-and-order issues that have arisen from protests regarding racial politics. Slogans like ‘It’s okay to be white’ and ‘White Lives Matter’, as well as an increase in the expressed grievance that white people are being treated unfairly because of the colour of their skin, have now sprung to greater prominence. (Read more.)