Burdened

A friend of the blog emails:

Given that I am pretty sure that the low birth rate is among the class that can afford to have kids, I am also sure that this op ed is unrelateable to most people.

The frightening part is the end where after her rant, we learn that the author is actually going to have a baby. 

I read the article, and wondered – what must it be like to see the world entirely in terms of caricatures and stereotypes?

All The News That Is Fit To Bash Into Today’s Narrative

Warning up front: It’ll be an investment of time. Over two hours, to be exact.

It’s Jordan Peterson, interviewing former NYTimes editor Bari Weiss, who famously resitned from the paper, roasting it all the way for its obseisance, not to “journalism”, but to the feelings and politicized motivation of a small, “woke” faction of the staff.

It’ll be worth the investment:

If we can’t trust our institutions – law enforcement and the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the media – to act fairly and dispassionately – then the Republica has a huge problem.

Also: the Republic has a huge problem.

Sober Appraisal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails, citing the title of a “Crime Prevention Research Center” article “What is the danger to allowing Concealed handguns on University property?: Shootings by permit holders from 2012 to May 2021”:

Obviously because college students are too stupid, too immature, too emotionally volitile to safely and wisely use guns.   Unlike sex, drugs, alcohol and Tide pods, for which they are perfectly well suited. 

Turns out college kids who are mature enough to go through the process of getting carry permits, don’t use them in fraternity hazing rituals.

Go figure.

Solstice of the Habsburgs

The anxiousness in the Austro-Hungarian trenches along the Piave river in Italy was obvious at 2:30am on June 15th, 1918.  In 30 minutes, hundreds of thousands of men, supported by nearly 7,000 pieces of heavy artillery, would launch themselves at the Italian line as part of a massive, nearly one-million man offensive designed to finally push Italy out of the war.  Despite the rapidly increasing political disintegration of the Habsburg Empire, if Italy could be dealt one more major blow like they had received the preceding fall at Caporetto, the Dual Monarchy’s last major remaining front would close, perhaps meaning that the Empire could successfully negotiate their way out of the war.  Coupled with Germany’s gains in France as part of their Spring Offensive, a glimmer of hope that the war could be conventionally won, despite all evidence to the contrary, was seen.  The Empire had staked everything on this offensive – either it would be one of the greatest moments in the Dual Monarchy’s history, or it would be a failed gamble that would hasten the polyglot Empire’s end.

At 2:30am, the Piave roared to life with the crashing sounds of artillery.  The offensive wasn’t suppose to begin for another half-hour.  It was Italian artillery.  Rome knew exactly what was about to occur – and was throwing their own million-man army into the attack.

A Bridge Too Far – crossing the Piave would become the major hurdle in the offensive


The disaster of Caporetto had shaken the Italian army – and society – to its core.  305,000 casualties, essentially one whole Italian army group, had been destroyed and the Austro-Hungarians sat on the doorstep of the Italian plane.  Only the Piave river blocked any further advance and if Vienna could cross it, there would be no natural boundaries to prevent them from driving deep into northern Italy and capturing most of the Italian industrial base.  Such a strike would almost guarantee that Italy would be forced to sue for peace. Continue reading

A Little Hope

This video’s been making the rounds. I’ve had at least a half dozen people refer it to me. It’s Brad Taylor, speaking last week at the Rosemount School Board, on how his education has already been given over to indoctrination:

I give speaker points: the kid is excellent.

All you folks moving to the third-tier burbs looking to escape the lunacy? The lunacy is following you. Running away ain’t gonna work. You’re going to have to stand and fight.

And a few thousand more like Mr. Taylor and his like (I’m looking at you, Kyle Kashuv, wherever yo88u are) it may be a fair fight.

As re getting him on the NARN? My people are already calling his people.

Approval

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I dislike federal holidays as partisan political  propaganda but I’m rethinking my position. I’m willing to support Juneteenth, if this becomes the official advertising poster.

It gets better.

After the Yanks freed the last of those slaves, a number of black freedmen who’d served in the Federal army settled in Galveston, bringing their training, and guns, with them.

So when the Klan came a-calling, they were met by a bunch of battle-hardened former Union grunts. They sent the Klan reeling…

…all the way to Austin. Where they pushed the Democrat government to ban guns in the hands of Negroes.

Litigation over which (thanks, NRA) went on to become one of the driving bodies of litigation behind the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

We’re going to need a bigger poster.

A Question of Survival

By the standards of the Great War, the Turkish army that was encamped near Sardarabad in Eastern Armenia was an after-thought.  13,000 Turkish and Kurdish soldiers, with 40 pieces of heavy artillery (albeit many outdated cannons), sat waiting to continue the Ottoman Empire’s invasion of the rapidly disintegrating Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic on May 21st, 1918.  With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk having effectively broken up the Russian Empire, the fate of the Caucasus lay in a state of political flux, with the Turks, Bolsheviks, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians and even Germans vying for a measure of control of the oil-rich region.  The political vacuum had emboldened the Turks to invade and the fledging Transcaucasian Republic lacked the resources – and political will – to challenge it.  By May of 1918, most of Western Armenia had been conquered and Eastern Armenia looked ripe to fall as well.

The call to defend what remained of Armenia echoed throughout the countryside.  “Carts drawn by oxen, water buffalo, and cows jammed the roads bringing food, provisions, ammunition, and volunteers” as thousands of Armenians rallied at the capitol of Yerevan.  For the civilians of Yerevan, defeat would not just mean a loss of political independence but very likely the loss of their lives.  The Turkish invasion had continued the Ottoman policy of Armenian genocide which had already claimed up to 1.5 million Armenian lives.  For in the words of one British historian, if the Armenians failed to stop the Ottoman invasion “it is perfectly possible that the word Armenia would have henceforth denoted only an antique geographical term.”

The remains of Armenian victims


“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”  – Adolf Hitler

The fate of the Armenian people had been part-and-parcel of Europe’s general concern of the treatment of Christian minorities within the Ottoman Empire since the mid-19th Century.  Having defended the Ottomans against the Russians, including fighting for the Turks in the Crimean War, Britain and France began to question the relative wisdom of propping up a regime in Constantinople that so plainly repressed the rights of fellow Christians.  As subsequent revolts occurred throughout the Ottoman Empire, freeing Christian populations like the Serbs and Greeks, while prompting even greater restrictions and cruelties from the Turks in response, Western Europe began applying pressure to the Ottomans lest they lose support in their wars against the Tsar. Continue reading

Pravda-ish

How far through the looking glass are we?

I thought I would live to see a lot of things.

One of them was never “Matt Taibb as a principled dissenter from the main stream media is narrative”.

And yet, here we are. In this case, discussing his collection of Cold War Soviet newspapers:

Reality in Soviet news was 100% binary, with all people either heroes or villains, and the villains all in league with one another (an SR was no better than a fascist or a “Right-Trotskyite Bandit,” a kind of proto-horseshoe theory). Other ideas were not represented, except to be attacked and deconstructed. Also, since anything good was all good, politicians were not described as people at all but paragons of limitless virtue — 95% of most issues of Pravda or Izvestia were just names of party leaders surrounded by lists of applause-words, like “glittering,” “full-hearted,” “wise,” “mighty,” “courageous,” “in complete moral-political union with the people,” etc.

Some of the headlines in the U.S. press lately sound suspiciously like this kind of work:

— Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty

— Champion of the middle class comes to the aid of the poor

— Biden’s historic victory for America 

The most Soviet of the recent efforts didn’t have a classically Soviet headline. “Comedians are struggling to parody Biden. Let’s hope this doesn’t last,” read the Washington Post opinion piece by Richard Zoglin, arguing that Biden is the first president in generations who might be “impervious to impressionists.” Zoglin contended Biden is “impregnable” to parody, his voice being too “devoid of obvious quirks,” his manner too “muted and self-effacing” to offer comedians much to work with. He was talking about this person.

Forget that the “impregnable to parody” pol spent the last campaign year jamming fingers in the sternums of voters, challenging them to pushup contests, calling them “lying dog-faced pony soldiers,” and forgetting what state he was in. Biden, on the day Zoglin ran his piece, couldn’t remember the name of his Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and referred to the Department of Defense as “that outfit over there”:

The whole thing is worth a read, unless you want to cling to any illusions that the “elite” media is anything like what you were taught in Journalism 101.

When The World Is Insane, Satire Is Pointless: Part CXXXIV

Remember earlier in this week, when I ran the video of Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee echoing my complaint that when the world is insane, satire is impossible?

I had one of those moments at something like 2AM, when the cat woke me up and I checked thje news.

I read a news story that I thought was either a weird dream at best, or a not-especially-deft bit of satire by some Babylon Bee knockoff at worst. I went back to bed.

And woke up to find it was neither:

Victoria’s Secret is replacing its supermodel angels with seven high-profile women known for their accomplishments rather than their figures in its evolving brand to help “inspire women.”

The lingerie company announced on Wednesday that its new VS Collective campaign aims to “positively impact the lives of women” with its products, experiences and initiatives.

The campaign also includes new partnerships with professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, actor and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, world champion free skier Eileen Gu, model, refugee and mental wellness supporter Adut Akech, body advocate and model  Paloma Elsesser, journalist Amanda de Cadenet and LGBTQIA+ activist Valentina Sampaio.

Look – I kind of got Viotoria’s Secret’s 2019 decision to ditch the “Angels” and their annual cheeseca; not being a marketer, I’m not sure what the net pros and cons of “pelting your target demographic with images of women that were mostly fantasy objects for men” versus “selling the idea that you kind of are that fantasy, for that special someone, if you buy our unmentionables”.

I suppose it’d be more or less like having Wilt Chamberlain endorse an Erectils Dysfunction remedy; half of the audience might think “THAT’LL HELP ME BANG 20,000 WOMEN TOO!”, and the other half could get…inteimidated?

I guess I’ll let the marketeers market.

So while I can intellectually understand the idea that Victoria’s Secret might shy away from their harem of supermodel “Angels” (complete with some of the more Hefner-y aspects of that image), and simultaneously the idea of feminists wanting companies to use more examples of female empowerment in marketing…

…I guess I’m struggling to see where or why a business and industry that produces lingerie, a milieu which ostensibly exists to make women feel sexy for their significant others, sees itself as a vehicle for that sort of empowerment.

Especially given the role models they’ve selected. The linked article lists :

…actor and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, world champion free skier Eileen Gu, model, refugee and mental wellness supporter Adut Akech, body advocate and model  Paloma Elsesser, journalist Amanda de Cadenet and LGBTQIA+ activist Valentina Sampaio

…most of whom fit fairly squarely into the modern current western notion of “beauty”…

…and probably the most “controversial” of the picks…

…Megan Rapinoe, a woman whose entire claim to fame is successfully chasing a ball around a field and stridently proclaiming the dominant social narrative on cue in front of cameras, and who also matches the current western notion of beauty, if you have a secret thing for Reinhard Heydrich.

Beiing neither a lingerie buyer, a second-wave feminist nor a Heydrophile, I am probably not the one to comment.

I’m still trying to figure out if Victoria’s Secret, the brand, is…:

  • terminally beset by executives under the spell of “woke” culture
  • trying to “shock” its way out of a market doldrum

Either way, I think I’m gonna buy stock in whatever VS’s more traditional competitors might be. It just seems…market-prudent.

Church, State, And The Condition Of The Soul

It’s been a longstanding issue — how does the Catholic Church deal with politicians who are Catholic, but who actively support policies inimical to the faith? Especially now, since Joe Biden, a lifelong Catholic, is in the Oval Office? The nation’s bishops are meeting this week and the matter is coming to a head:

This week at their annual spring meeting, the bishops of the U.S. Catholic Church — the largest faith group in the country — will debate the meaning of Communion and whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be barred from receiving it. The conversation and a vote among the church’s top clerics could have significant ramifications because it centers on one of the most intimate moments of Catholic worship and binds it uniquely to a specific political and policy position.

Intimate moment isn’t quite right; rather, the Eucharist is central to the faith. And within the Church, the centrality of the Eucharist means the stakes are high. But if you’re going to rely on the Washington Post to explain the matter, you’re going to get dogma of a different sort:

The vote comes after two decades of deliberate, passionate focus by Catholic political and theological conservatives to make abortion a litmus test for the sacrament, while church teachings on poverty, climate, racism and authoritarianism, among other things, become more subjective to follow. It also comes after years of hardening toward abortion opponents within the Democratic Party.

Much of that description is doubletalk, frankly. We have 2000 years of history with the Church and arguments about politics have been part of that history from the outset, but poverty has always been an ongoing concern. The default position of Catholicism is faith and works, which is why Catholics build hospitals and schools everywhere they go. And ascribing passion as the prevailing emotion for conservatives is cute, when you consider the behavior of the pro-choice side.

I, like Joe Biden, am a lifelong Catholic. Biden is an ostentatious sinner, but so am I. Understanding my faith has been an ongoing effort for me, especially since the Vatican II teaching I received was equivocal on many issues. I am a graduate of a well-regarded Catholic high school in Wisconsin (Top 50 in the country — just ask them!), but the quality of the religious instruction I received wasn’t very good. Scarcity applies not only to economic matters, but also to clear moral instruction. And in this Archdiocese, which harbored monstrous priests for decades, even the clearest moral instruction is tainted. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and many other Catholic politicians benefit greatly from this loss of trust. But Biden is a Catholic in a secular world. And I cannot know the condition of his soul; assuming that I do would be a sin as well.

Biden is also a symptom of a larger malady. As time has passed, Catholics in the West have been following the same dismal path that mainline Protestants have followed — the buildings remain, but the people aren’t coming. We still get decent attendance at my parish, but the faithful parishioners are aging rapidly and many young families are otherwise engaged on Sunday.

Still, hope remains. COVID has actually helped our parish school, which remained open while their public school counterparts were on a year-long Zoom call with cameras off. Parents who would not have considered enrolling their kids in a Catholic school gave Catholic education a chance and many of them are returning this year. And there is tremendous energy in the Church, mostly in places that were once missionary lands. It wasn’t a coincidence that the current Pontiff came from South America, even though his worldview is decidedly European, but there is a decent possibility that the next Pope will be from Africa or Asia. A revival is not guaranteed, but the Holy Spirit hasn’t left the building.

Options

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There are two drive-through lanes at McDonald’s. One should be labeled: “I know what I want,” and the other should be labeled: “I need to read the entire menu board to see what sounds good, then negotiate with the order-taker to ask if I can have my Big Mac made vegan on a gluten-free bun and I don’t want my fries cooked in peanut oil.”

Might be a little wordy. Maybe shorten it to: “Idiot.”

I wonder if they have that problem at In-N-Out Burger?

Joe Doakes

Back when I still ate bagels, I wanted Bruegger‘s to come up with a separate lane for people who just wanted a couple of bagels to go, and let the people who wanted those godforsaken sandwiches to take 20 minutes to make, each, have their own lane.

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art Imitates SITD

The world has become too absurd to be satirized
– G.K. Chesterton

When live imitates satire – why write satire?

Pinky swear – when I started writing the various “Berg’s Laws“, something like 17 years ago, they started out as wry quips. Sarcastic bits of bemused satire.

I didn’t expect every last one of them to turn out to be iron-clad descriptions of modern political and human behavior.

It’s made things a little…difficult? It’s no doubt thrown a monkey wrench at satirists like the Babylon Bee, who no doubt didn’t set out on their mission intended to become America’s best actual news source.

The Bee’s edtior, Seth Dillon, comments on not only how often, but how quickly, the arc of the news turned toward exactly what the Bee started by mocking:

As to “Berg’s Law” – the more I think about it, the more I think I’m onto something.

Let Them Eat GrubHub

Andy Slavitt – a stockbroker and political contributor who became a FEMA official under Obama, and a Covid “advisor” to President Harris – says we just don’t know when we’ve got it good.

Is there anything you can say about this Administraiton – no, modern Big Left – that you couldn’t say just as well about an abusive parent or spouse?

No, seriously?

Czechmate

The rail station at Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains was busy on May 14th, 1918.  With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk recently signed, hundreds of thousands of Central Powers POWs were being transferred back to their home countries.  Amid the thousands of Hungarian troops awaiting their westbound trains at Chelyabinsk were a different assortment of soldiers, trying to travel the opposite direction – the men of the Allied-aligned Czechoslovak Legion.

The 40,000 men of the Czechoslovak Legion had been fighting for the Russians just months earlier and with the fall of the Tsar and then the Provisional Government, were now looking for a way to get to France to continue their fight for independence from the Dual Monarchy.  But with every major Russian port in the West blocked by the Central Powers, the Legion had little choice but to make the arduous journey eastbound to the Siberian port of Vladivostok where they could board Allied ships for yet another lengthy trip to Europe.  Having 40,000 armed men trek across their nation was hardly welcome news to the Bolsheviks, who barely controlled the former Russian Empire in the first place.  Both highly suspicious of the Czech’s motivations but also eager to get them out of the country, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin had concocted an arrangement to provide transportation for the Legion to Vladivostok, provided the Legion mostly disarm.  The Legionnaires didn’t trust the Bolsheviks, but the Russian chapter of the larger Czechoslovak National Council – the political arm of Czech and Slovak independence – saw few other options.  The Legion could be disarmed and shipped home or imprisoned.  And given that the Austro-Hungarian authorities often executed the Legionnaires as spies or rebels, imprisonment in Russia could lead to be turned over to Vienna and almost certain death.

The mood was tense at Chelyabinsk as the Hungarians and Legionnaires kept their distance, trading barbs and threats.  One of the Hungarians threw an object at one of the Legionnaires, striking him.  In an instant, the two sides were attacking one another in open warfare.  The Legion quickly defeated the Hungarians and took over the rail station.  And when the Bolsheviks intervened, arresting several members of the Legion and threatening execution to any who refused to disarm, the rest of the Legionnaires stormed the jail and key points in the city, freeing their comrades.  Chelyabinsk was now effectively in Czech hands.  The Legion was going to war in Russia.

The Czechoslovak Legion train – they would travel nearly 6,000 miles just to get onto a boat and start the next leg of their journey


The Legionnaires represented a country that didn’t even exist and had struggled to gain political and military support for nearly four years of war.

The concept of encouraging ethnic minorities to undermine the various powers at war had been adopted by almost every combatant from even the earliest days of the conflict.  The Dual Monarchy had supported Polish guerilla units even before the Great War, the Germans had backed Afrikaners on numerous occasions, the Turks would back the Senussi, the British armed the Arabs and both sides attempted to woo or threaten the many ethnicities of the Caucasus and Persia.  Sowing discontent among the Czechs and Slovaks of Vienna’s polyglot empire would appear par for the course as soon as it was clear that the dream of a world war over by Christmas was not to be. Continue reading

Rhetorical Exercise

If your question is “in what way does the cause, as well as all of the current political classes analysis and pro hose solutions, about the problem in Minneapolis involved the transfer of money from the taxpayers to one part of the political class or another?“

The answer, as always, is all of them.

Begging For A Catastophe

I can see why the likes of Tide Pod Evita and Ilhan Omar prate and gabble on about minimum wage increase. It’ll never cost any of them anything.

But when I hear Gen-Y and younger people yapping about it, I am almost tempted to ask – have any of you actually thought about this…

…and then I remember.- nobody’s taught critical thought in decades. It’s why the Democrats bounced back after the nineties.

Anyway – it turns out the actual economy obeys that most basic Econ101 principle – you can not make someone pay more or less for something than they would naturally pay for it without having consequences.

Because it’s true:

From an article that one long pullquote after another:

Some new research — “Evidence of The Unintended Labor Scheduling Implications of The Minimum Wages” — shows that every $1 an hour increase in government-mandated minimum wages (“political wage-setting”) leads to the following (mostly) adverse outcomes:

And those outcomes includew:

  • a 27% increase in the total number of workers scheduled to work each week
  • a 20.8% decrease in the average number of hours each employee worked per week
  • a 13.6% decrease in the total wage compensation of an average minimum wage worker
  • a 23% decrease in the percentage of employees working more than 20 hours per week (making them eligible for retirement benefits)
  • a 14.9% decrease in the percentage of employees working more than 30 hours per week (making them eligible for health care benefits)
  • a 33% increase in fluctuations in the number of hours worked per week
  • a 9.5% increase in fluctuations in the number of hours worked per day
  • a 9.8% increase in fluctuations of shift start times and
  • average net losses of at least $1,590 per year per employee, equivalent to 11.6% of workers’ total compensation (assuming that workers were able to use their reduced hours to work a second job — an assumption which may not hold true for many employees).

It might be tempting to say “people who advocate for higher minimum wages are trying to make the poor poorer and more dependent”.

And I”m mat a loss for why they’d be wrong.

Unlike “Resiliency Director” Katie Knuth…

…Minneapolis’s PR firm is going be earning its pay over this next one-to-fifty years.

“Protesters” took to blocking off streets in the Uptown area over the weekend – leading to an incident where someone drove into the crowd, killing one woman.

Which led a crowd to block off Lake Street yet again. And it wasn’t an especially “peaceful” bunch of protesters.

One local news crew actually videotaping a woman wandering around, gun in hand, shooting at God only knows what or two:

I’ll try to post the video when and if it becomes publicly available.

By the way – ain’t Uptown looking grand these days?

Two Rules, One Narrative

If government tells you something, distrust but verify. And then, usually, distrust some more.

If the media tells you something – at least, anything about an event that is especially socially fractious – distrust, and verify even harder. And, as always, usually wind up distrusting even more.

If any of Big Left’s social hangers on declares some thing with immense servitude? Distrust, verify, and, well, you know the drill.

Last week was the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

“Perish the thought, it couldn’t possibly have been a deranged man tied to and eliminationist sect of Islamism“, Big Media media assured us. “It was an anti-LGBTQ hate crime, nothing more, nothing less“.

Which is how the media and Biden administration have been treating it, over this past weekend

Distrust. Verify.

Continue distrusting.

The Free Lord

As the German Spring Offensive raged on the ground, so to did the action in the air on April 21st, 1918.  Above the Somme, as German forces drove relentlessly into the British line, a handful of German and British aircraft dueled for air superiority.  A young Canadian pilot, Lieutenant Wilfrid “Wop” May, had fired a few bursts from his machine gun at one of the Germans.  The German evaded his shots and May quickly noticed a distinctive red, Fokker Dr.I triplane begin to chase him.  This was May’s only second day in combat and he immediately knew he was being pursued by arguably the most famous pilot in the world, Manfred von Richthofen – the “Red Baron.”

May fled as quickly as he could back into British territory, knowing full well he stood little chance against the German ace credited with 80 aerial victories.  Richthofen normally would have broken off the pursuit – he had always told his fellow pilots not to overzealously follow a single target – but May had fired upon Richthofen’s cousin and the “Red Baron” appeared out for blood.  May’s friend, Captain Arthur “Roy” Brown, saw his fellow Canadian airman was in trouble, and despite the long odds against winning, engaged the German.  In the cluster of gunfire from planes, and anti-aircraft rounds from the ground, Richthofen was struck – a bullet tearing open his chest.  But his aircraft seemingly managed a rocky landing behind the British line before finally crashing against trees.  Nearby Australian troops rushed to see what they could find.  Richthofen had smashed himself against the butt of his machine gun and flight controls.  He had likely died before even fully landing his plane.  

The man that Erich Ludendorff had said “was worth as much to us as three divisions” and had terrified Allied airmen was no more.  

Manfred von Richthofen – the Red Baron.  With 80 confirmed victories, Richthofen was the winningest pilot of the Great War.  The next highest was French pilot Rene Fonck with 75.  20 confirmed victories were required to be viewed as an “ace”


One of the more notable quotes in film history comes from director John Ford’s classic film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where a small town newspaper editor, pressed with new information that changes a decades-old story that launched various careers, states “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”  For Manfred von Richthofen, whose career resides between the hagiographic coverage the German press lavished upon him and a heavily edited autobiography that still managed to hint at layers of personal torment, it’s difficult if not impossible to sort fact from legend.  In roughly two-and-a-half years, Richthofen rose from obscurity to one of the most famous men in the world.  By the time of his death at only 25 years of age, Richthofen was the highest scoring ace of the Great War, had collected 25 medals from four different countries, and was a best-selling author.  He was also a shell of a man who started the war; far more morose and erratic and suffering from a serious head injury. Continue reading