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In the Washington Post opinion section, an eloquent articulation of the conventional wisdom that Resistance Is Futile, that In The Long Run We Are All Dead so why even try defending your turf?

Britain is no stranger to barriers. Today, almost all of them lie in ruins.

Visiting Roman walls amid the chaos of the Brexit debate.

By Erica X Eisen
Erica X Eisen is a freelance writer now based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Writers these days never live anywhere, they are always “based” somewhere. Unlike hitmen, however, they are always “based in” some place, never “based out of” anywhere. Ice Pick Willie is based out of Philly, while Erica X Eisen is based in Bishek.

I must say, though, that Ms. Eisen being “based in” Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan is a new one.

September 5

… Eclipsed by its southern twin — Hadrian’s Wall, which has the luck of being both better preserved and named for an emperor of greater renown — the Antonine Wall was built during the reign of Antoninus Pius beginning in 142 A.D. to fend off the Caledonian tribes: the Damnonii, the Venicones and the Taexali (whom the Roman legions never succeeded in subduing and whose collective name, by all accounts, means “the hard-footed ones,” a testament to their endurance and resolve).

Of course, Roman wall-building was a complete failure. What did the Romans know about holding territory?

Time has not been kind to these fortifications, built of turf and wood mounded up over a stone base. …

My visit to the wall coincided with the slow yet seemingly inexorable grinding of the gears of Brexit, which amounts to nothing so much as the construction of a great wall.

… To many supporters of the wall that Johnson and his allies wish to build, the people it would keep out are barbarians at the gates, foreigners of unfamiliar custom and religion who amount to an existential threat to the state. At such times as these we would do well to remember the lesson that a visit to ancient walls teaches us: their folly. …

Britain is no stranger to boundaries. From Roman fortifications to medieval civic defenses, it is crisscrossed by layer upon layer of borders that have been erased, abandoned, forgotten as years and empires have moved on. Visiting these structures — typically worn down to knobbles of stray masonry — it is impossible to view them as anything but sad. On a long enough time scale, every defense becomes permeable, every hold can be breached, so that it becomes difficult to understand what borders the walls were consecrating in the first place. …

… The stones of Hadrian’s Wall, for instance, would over the centuries find their way into cowsheds, country churches, grain mills and manor houses. Humans have no greater reverence for delimitations that have lost their meaning than do the elements, merely more expedient means of disposing of them. These partially dismantled structures are testaments to the artificiality of national divisions,

For example, when, a mere 1900 years after Hadrian’s Wall, the United Kingdom’s parliament granted the Scots a chance to vote for independence in 2014, only 45% of them voted to secede. So there!

but also to the perspective that a remove of several centuries grants. At a time when the fires of nationalism are being stoked as a powerful force of separation, we would do well to remember the many boundaries that once seemed natural and absolute to their makers but that have since faded in relevance and crumbled into dust.

So that’s why the history of England, with its natural defenses of sea:

This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,

is so much more tragic than that of, say, Belarus, which has had the good fortune to have no natural defenses.

Seriously, earlier this year in “Barriers Against Barbarism,” I reviewed historian David Frye’s eye-opening history of 4,000 years of barrier-building, from the Fertile Crescent to the Malibu Colony, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick.

Throughout Walls, Frye tries to explain the psychology of this bizarre anti-wall belief system.

One famous people that chose to live without walls were the Spartans, who felt that physical security made men decadent. “They opted for a forced, artificial barbarism over high culture.” Frye repeatedly observes that a lack of walls means a lack of diversity within society. In Sparta, as in most barbarian tribes beyond the walls, virtually each male citizen must have no profession other than war.

In contrast, the Athenians built long walls to protect their access to their port, behind which their men diverged into a dazzling variety of jobs, such as philosopher, playwright, sculptor, architect, and historian. As Frye repeatedly documents, walls mean economic diversity and cultural progress. In contrast, a lack of secure borders means merely the war of all against all. …

“One path, beginning with walls, had led to writing, architecture, astronomy, and math. The other, open and unwalled, led only to militarism.”

From Camelot:

Shall two knights never tilt for me
And let their blood be spilt for me?
Oh where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

Shall I not be on a pedestal
Worshipped and competed for?
Not be carried off, or better still
Cause a little war?

Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?
Are these sweet, gentle pleasures gone for good?
Shall a feud not begin for me?
Shall kith not kill their kin for me?
Oh, where are the trivial joys
Harmless, convivial joys
Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

 
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  1. Altai says:

    Steve, you’re wrong, it’s all a coincidence that the defenders of fortifications had tremendous success in inflicting massive causalities on attackers or that physical barriers deter movement. I suppose next you’ll propose a Bear Patrol!

    I think the 30 years after the end of the Cold War and the conversion of centre-left parties in the West into neoliberal Washington consensus and the attendant utter lies about economic policy they have gotten away with telling with no opposition anymore have made them brave enough to utterly lie about something as basic as the inability of human beings to simply traverse through solid matter or walk on water.

    Does saying walls don’t really work, work? Or is it the journalistic equivalent of a Bear Patrol?

  2. Yes, but the response from Kyrgyzstan would be “the Spartans shouldn’t have tried to preserve themselves as a distinct people. They were just more bodies in the great family of humanity.”. It’s hard to make a case for walls with people who don’t care about preserving anything.

  3. When the Roman walls crumbled, England had to fall back her Wooden Walls (aka Royal Navy) but what good did that do in repelling invaders? (Normans excepted.)

  4. El Dato says:

    … To many supporters of the wall that Johnson and his allies wish to build, the people it would keep out are barbarians at the gates, foreigners of unfamiliar custom and religion who amount to an existential threat to the state. At such times as these we would do well to remember the lesson that a visit to ancient walls teaches us: their folly. …

    Then don’t build a wall, build a killzone.

    Or better yet, move into enemy’s territory and create heaps of skulls. It’s a time-tested tradition.

    These partially dismantled structures are testaments to the artificiality of national divisions

    Many people got schooled good & hard in the artificiality of national divisions over the last few thousand years. Some got schooled good & hard in the artificiality of a multicultural society.

  5. I can’t be the only one who burst out laughing at the line that Ms. Eisen is “based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.” It’s the kind of resume exotica that would really impress high school sophomores. Although I struggle to pay my ac bill here in the San Fernando Valley, from now on I will write that “San Fernando Curt is based in Obock, Djibouti.”

    And how the hell does (((she))) get to write about Britain, anyway?

  6. Anonymous[185] • Disclaimer says:

    Will counts for more than Wall.

    Constantinople had formidable walls but lost the will to defend.

    Russians couldn’t rely on walls on its vast territories to defend against others, so they developed the WILL to fight.

    A people with big wall but small will are fated to lose.
    A people with small wall but big will are fated to win, or at least survive(or die with pride).

  7. R.G. Camara says: • Website

    Tangentially, a portion of historians think Hadrian’s Wall wasn’t a full-scale defensive barrier, but instead a demarcation point for trade inspection and taxes,

    In other words, it wasn’t meant to be a fearsome wall for military defense, but instead an arbitrary, administrative point that, if you crossed it, you had to have your goods inspected and taxes assessed if you were trading. Rather like the modern American-Canadian border with its checkpoints. The kind both sides—the Romans and the inhabitants north of the wall—respected.

    The reason they don’t think it was a true military wall was its small size. The Romans knew how to build walls and forts (and do so rather quickly), and they had the materials at that time to build a huge one if they wanted.

  8. Maybe, but so what? I’ll take my chances with a Great Wall from San Diego’s shining sea to the gorgeous Gulf. And anyone on its top, trying to come over, becomes target practice.

    After a mere 1,500 years or so, we can rethink the issue.

  9. Following up on Steve’s point. Is it hardly a coincidence that advanced liberal democracies have tended to develop in ethnically homogenous societies shelters by barriers – the Greek islands, the British Isles, the trans-Atlantic American colonies, Australia.

    Not a lot of freedom and democracy coming out of the Eurasian steppe by contrast. Even though, according to Current Year ideology, they enjoyed the blessings of diversity and the free movement of peoples.

    By the way, the metaphor police are always telling us we need to build “bridges” instead of walls. But how did those ancient roman bridges hold up? I think the walls are doing better.

  10. So that’s why the history of England, with its natural defenses of sea:

    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,

    is so much more tragic than that of, say, Belarus, which has had the good fortune to have no natural defenses.

    Brilliant!

  11. For inquiry into civilization, nations and their defense, who better for sound insight than a young, Jewish woman writer with degrees in Art and Art History? Who could better have our nations’ interests at heart?

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Altai
    , @Kronos
  12. Kronos says:

    It’s been said a million times, but Eisen (and her ilk) probably wouldn’t enjoy a bunch of homeless people passed out in the living room. Walls are not cool, so the gate in gated community had to come down.

    Urine stains are SO hard to get out of Persian carpet!

  13. Altai says:
    @AnotherDad

    The only one better would be all that but also an ‘innovator’, but alas.

  14. Kronos says:
    @AnotherDad

    Yeah, the “Citizens of the World” were not the best choice. But hey, they are the best at short-term economic planning.

  15. “Unliked hitmen, however, they are always…” Typo alert. That first word should read “Unlike.”

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  16. GSR says:

    Why do you think there is so much navel gazing masturbation over “walls”?

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  17. Altai says:

    Steve’s comment about Belarus reminded me of this.

  18. Kronos says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    I recall a very early part in Bram Stroker’s “Dracula” detailing about roads. The roads were good enough for trade but intentionally kept too poor for invading armies on the march.

    Might very well be a feature, not a bug.

  19. Thomm says:

    What is she doing in Kyrgyzstan? That is a country sufficiently poor, non-Western (i.e. non-SJW), and non-English-speaking that a writer ™ like her can’t possibly be living the life she dreamed of. The weather there isn’t great, so even that isn’t an attraction the way it may be is some other exotic locations.

    It is true that her meager writer’s income could stretch far there, but still. Bishkek is a city of just 1M, so it isn’t some huge globalized cultural bubble in relation to the rest of the country.

  20. istevefan says:

    The stones of Hadrian’s Wall, for instance, would over the centuries find their way into cowsheds, country churches, grain mills and manor houses. Humans have no greater reverence for delimitations that have lost their meaning than do the elements, merely more expedient means of disposing of them. These partially dismantled structures are testaments to the artificiality of national divisions,

    So basically after the wall had served its purpose, the stones could be used for something else. I think that was covered in Ecclesiastes 3.

    A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;…

    BTW, one could make a long list of physical structures that are abandoned or demolished after having served their purpose. Yet, the fact that they are no longer in use does not invalidate their original purpose, or the need to create new such structures in other places and times. For example, the Parthenon is in disarray. Does that mean it was a waste to build? Ditto for the Pyramids.

    What about modern sports stadiums? We routinely build venues that cost several hundred million dollars and then discard them after 20 years. At which point we turn right around and build another, more expensive stadium often right next door.

    If we should no longer build walls because some famous ones from the past have been allowed to decay, then I suppose we should no longer continue to build stadiums and other buildings either.

    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Mycale
    , @Anonymous
    , @AnotherDad
  21. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:

    Against the envy of shithole countries.

    As one of the early drafts of King Richard II had it, IIRC.

  22. Shermy says:

    Writers these days never live anywhere, they are always “based” somewhere. Unliked hitmen, however, they are always “based in” some place, never “based out of” anywhere. I must say Ms. Eisen being “based in” Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan is a new one.

    Removing one’s self from the region you purport to improve helps immensely with forwarding doctrine that seems anti-intuitive and antithetical to what thousands of years of recorded history describes as unflappable human nature, while at the same time, nourishing one’s neurotic bent on life, without serious consideration of one’s tragic handicap.

  23. Whiskey says: • Website

    Women love a Sparta type society. Every man a warrior? Better than bondage billionaires or sparkly gay vampires.

    Poets and clerks and scientists and engineers set every woman’s lady parts to stone. Boring!

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
    , @guest
  24. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    If as is obvious the New York Times should be called “The Backward”, the Washington Post should be “The Peg Boy Post”.

  25. Regarding wall building, or any other serious effort to forestall the disintegration of culture and Republic, I’m reminded of the great Hawkins/Darnell ballad, made famous by B.B. King, “The Will is Gone”. The will is gone, it’s gone away.

  26. peterike says:
    @Thomm

    What is she doing in Kyrgyzstan?

    Getting serviced by the local lads. Much easier time of it than she’d find back at home.

    • Replies: @PorkTastic
  27. peterike says:

    I will say, Ms. Eisen wrote a quite interesting article on the Jews of early Bollywood (yes, with a B). And what, exactly, were they doing? Helping to normalize depravity, like always.

    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/587e46d129687f2d2ff30d8f/t/5ca65bb524a6945d0a2e2743/1554406326037/PG+50-51+SEPHARDI_bollywood.pdf

  28. Shermy says:

    The stones of Hadrian’s Wall, for instance, would over the centuries find their way into cowsheds, country churches, grain mills and manor houses. Humans have no greater reverence for delimitations that have lost their meaning than do the elements, merely more expedient means of disposing of them. These partially dismantled structures are testaments to the artificiality of national divisions,

    Which is why the tautological state of Israel is such an egregious waste of American taxpayer’s money.

    We already paid in full for Israel’s wall that according to the best political and social theorists in Kazakhstan is NOT working? Why throw more good money after bad governance, and poor decision-making?

  29. @R.G. Camara

    Getting horses over even a small wall was a challenge. It doesn’t sound impossible: you’d need to drag up big pre-built ramps and probably have to wrap the horses’ hooves to muffle the sound. But it sounds like a challenge.

  30. guest says:

    THIS JUST IN: the ancient Roman Empire collapsed. Which is why we call it “ancient,” I suppose.

    By the way, I think the foreign hordes eating up Europe are more akin to Rome (without its skill or intelligence or civilization, etc.). British people would be the natives she wants cowed by the Eyetalian juggernaut.

  31. @MikeatMikedotMike

    She’s just as I imagined her.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  32. anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    Does she lock her door at night before going to sleep?
    If so, that act rebuts her article.

  33. anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    Peter Turchin’s book “War and Peace and War” posits that border conflict between alien cultures is the driving force for empires. You are attacked and under constant siege from a military enemy whose way of life is anathema to you (Italians being raided by barbarian Gauls in the early years before the Republic). You lay aside your historic local quarrels with each other and unite under a central power for defense (Rome). You defeat the barbarians who have threatened your existence and empire is born (Julius Caesar).
    Walls aren’t a futile attempt to keep out barbarian hordes and the destruction they bring to your way of life.
    Walls are a testament to your success at keeping out barbarian hordes and the destruction they bring to your way of life.

  34. Ibound1 says:

    Sherman tanks are obsolete and if you find one, it’s probably completely rusted out and useless. Disband the army.

  35. What’s the ‘X’ about?

  36. Mycale says:
    @istevefan

    If you want to talk about the supposed uselessness of walls, why would you try to bring up ancient civilizations? Walls worked spectacularly well for thousands of years across the Mediterranean and in Europe. One only needs to read Thucydides to learn about how important and useful they were both strategically and psychologically in warfare.

    Thing is, I’ve read this exact argument many many times in the past few years, so this seems to be the sort of non-thinking that passes for intellectualism in the modern NPC left.

  37. @Steve Sailer

    ‘Getting horses over even a small wall was a challenge. It doesn’t sound impossible: you’d need to drag up big pre-built ramps and probably have to wrap the horses’ hooves to muffle the sound. But it sounds like a challenge.’

    My theory is that walls — like borders in general — are symbolic rather than concrete.

    Of course you could cross the wall. The wall, though, is as much a message as an actual obstacle, and the message is, ‘do what you want over there — come over here and you’re at war with us.’

    It’s like a picket fence. Of course you can just step over the damned thing — that’s not the point. The point is that ‘this is mine. Unless you’ve got legitimate business, stay out.’

  38. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @istevefan

    If we should no longer build walls because some famous ones from the past have been allowed to decay, then I suppose we should no longer continue to build stadiums and other buildings either.

    Federal law should cut any city off for 5 years from any federal funds if they build sportsball stadiums at tax payer expense.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Patrick in SC
  39. @Colin Wright

    Good point. The essence of barbarism is a lack of civilization or settledness. The Romans were really into the god Terminus.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  40. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Erica X Eisen is a freelance writer now based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

    Be careful, Ms. Eisen— Kyrgyzstan might have wells!

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  41. @Ancient Briton

    Vikings ran a fair amount of Britain’s countryside for a while.

    • Replies: @Smithsonian
  42. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Colin Wright

    Yup, exactly my point. The Roman’s set up the wall as a point where they had control — or at least it was perceived they had control. Much like how the crossings at the U.S./Canadian border is perceived by both sides to be a point of control –when, of course, there literally hundreds of miles of unwatched, crossable terrain between the two nations. The message to travelers is—sure, you can get around this checkpoint, but if you do, you don’t want the consequences.

  43. @Anonymous

    Gunpowder artillery is why Constantinople fell.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Romanian
  44. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    Cavalry was only part of ancient warfare—and many nations eschewed it.

    The Romans, for example, used to outsource their cavalry to mercenaries, even during the heights of the Republic, because the infantry was where the glory was, e.g. Julius Caesar employed mercenary Germanic cavalry in his Gallic adventures, and no one thought it a negative against him.

    It wasn’t till later in Medieval and early modern warfare that horsemanship became associated with upper classes and became viewed as “superior” to the grunts. The change likely came about as European land became cleared and larger farms and estates became the norm, thus allowing for more open-maneuver fighting, in which the cavalry’s usefulness in speed, flanking, closing became more of a boon.

    Now, I don’t know whether the people north of Hadrian’s Wall during the Roman occupation had a preference for cavalry,but it seems unlikely given the history and geography. It seems far more likely the Picts and the others were infantry/man-to-man fighters., so the mildness of Hadrian’s wall wasn’t a military obstacle.

  45. @Colin Wright

    You got it. This is why countries don’t have walls where there is a natural border (a river, an ocean), because the limit is clear there

  46. @Hypnotoad666

    A lot of freedom came out what is now northern Germany, and
    Netherlands. But I take your point, without Great Briton most of Earth would be a shithole.

    • Agree: jim jones
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  47. @Steve Sailer

    So if a time traveler let a Roman Senator listen to “Terminus El Dorado” he would think it a religious song?

  48. One exception to the rule about walls may be the Netherlands. They were long the most democratic of the European nations, having a representative government long before Parliament in England got real power. And yet their borders are not very defensible, certainly when compared to the British Isles. It seems like they were at war for much of their history, alternately dealing with the depredations of the Hapsburgs and the French.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    , @Romanian
  49. @R.G. Camara

    You’re overthinking it. The Romans didn’t have stirrups.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    , @Anonymous
  50. Anon55uu says:

    Britain has a watery barrier and of course it is possible to create new ones. The nation of Italy only obtained Lampudesa in 1861 and there’s no reason it couldn’t be given up somehow, probably to Libya, at which point it would cease to be part of the EU and Europe would become hundreds of kilometres further away. Australia has a legal ruse called the “Australian migration zone” outside of which a non visa holder has very limited access to Australian courts. In 2001 various tiny islands in the Indian Ocean were excluded from it by legislation, meaning boats then needed to try to make it to the mainland instead. Some tried of course and in 2013 the Australian *mainland* itself was removed from the migration zone. So setting foot on dry land without a visa just doesn’t help, formally at least.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  51. @Anonymous

    Federal law should cut any city off for 5 years from any federal funds if they build sportsball stadiums at tax payer expense.

    The low point was when the San Francisco Giants managed to build a new ballpark without public funding– and apologized to the rest of MLB for doing so.

    Half of the stadia in this year’s Premier League are older than Fenway Park, and eight were built in the nineteenth century:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Premier_League_stadiums

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  52. Anonymous[185] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Gunpowder artillery is why Constantinople fell.

    But long before the final assault, Byzantium ’empire’ has shrunk to to Constantinople and nearby regions. It was a long stagnation and decline, and the Turks knocked down the final column.

    If the WILL had been there, the leaders and people of Byzantium would have been innovators, enterprisers, and doers. The will was gone. No fighting spirit, no spark left. Just a turtle hiding inside its shell. Wall is only for defense, and a power that only plays defense will eventually lose.

    • Replies: @XYZ (no Mr.)
  53. @Anonymous

    Yeah, yeah, stadiums may not be the best example.

    Substitute stadiums with opera houses or museums.

  54. Walls are only as valuable as the will to defend them. From Gildas:
    “The Britons, impatient at the assaults of the Scots and Picts, their hostilities and dreadful oppressions, send ambassadors to Rome with letters, entreating in piteous terms the assistance of an armed band to protect them, and offering loyal and ready submission to the authority of Rome, if they only would expel their foes. A legion is immediately sent, forgetting their past rebellion, and provided sufficiently with arms. When they had crossed over the sea and landed, they came at once to close conflict with their cruel enemies, and slew great numbers of them. All of them were driven beyond the borders, and the humiliated natives rescued from the bloody slavery which awaited them. By the advice of their protectors, they now built a wall across the island from one sea to the other, which being manned with a proper force, might be a terror to the foes whom it was intended to repel, and a protection to their friends whom it covered. But this wall, being made of turf instead of stone, was of no use to that foolish people, who had no head to guide them.”

    [MORE]

    Later, the Romans are again asked to come defend the Britons, but tired of the endless wars:
    “The Romans, therefore, left the country, giving notice that they could no longer be harassed by such laborious expeditions, nor suffer the Roman standards, with so large and brave an army, to be worn out by sea and land by fighting against these unwarlike, plundering vagabonds; but that the islanders, inuring themselves to warlike weapons, and bravely fighting, should valiantly protect their country, their property, wives and children, and, what is dearer than these, their liberty and lives; that they should not suffer their hands to be tied behind their backs by a nation which, unless they were enervated by idleness and sloth, was not more powerful than themselves, but that they should arm those hands with buckler, sword, and spear, ready for the field of battle; and, because they thought this also of advantage to the people they were about to leave, they, with the help of the miserable natives, built a wall different from the former, by public and private contributions, and of the same structure as walls generally, extending in a straight line from sea to sea, between some cities, which, from fear of their enemies, had there by chance been built.”

    Of course, the Britons do not properly defend the wall and end up inviting Saxon mercenaries to save them from the Scots and Picts, when Aetius (or possibly Agitius) cannot send help.

    Thucydides, on pre-civilisation Greeks, definitely suuports the idea that walls are a cornerstone of civilisation against piracy: “Without commerce, without freedom of communication either by land or sea, cultivating no more of their territory than the exigencies of life required, destitute of capital, never planting their land (for they could not tell when an invader might not come and take it all away, and when he did come they had no walls to stop him), thinking that the necessities of daily sustenance could be supplied at one place as well as another, they cared little for shifting their habitation, and consequently neither built large cities nor attained to any other form of greatness.”

    Alfred Thayer Mahan and others remarked upon the advantageous position of Britain and the USA with regards to borders and coastlines, in comparison with continental powers. Perhaps this has made those two nations complacent and unknowing of the advantages of walls? How did a lack of walls work out for Pylos in the Late Bronze Age, for example?

  55. Erica X Eisen means, in Latin, math, and German, “heath by iron”:

    If you don’t want the feds to own your state, make sure there are a lot of farms, everywhere:

  56. MEH 0910 says:
    @GSR

    Sheena Easton – Sugar Walls (Official Music Video)

  57. bgates says:

    The point of the article isn’t that walls are useless because they aren’t eternal. It’s that since the Roman Empire eventually split into a multitude of nations, it’s impossible for Great Britain to ever leave the European Union.

    And who would know better about the permanence of political union and the impermanence of peoples than a Jew in a former Soviet republic?

  58. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Kronos

    The Ottoman invasions of Eastern Europe of the past 1000 years —and their subsequent enslavement of the native peoples they conquered — made many people in Eastern and Central Europe wary of building sustainable, long-distance roads.

    This is partially why the Ottomans became fixated on conquering Vienna —a city they dubbed “the Golden Apple”–because of its strategic position on the Danube. By take Vienna, so went the thought, not only would the Ottomans get control of the lucrative Danube trade, but also finally be able to maintain control its poorly-roaded conquests between Vienna and Constantinople. The river would provide access the roads could not.

    Similarly, Ireland was notorious for its poor roads up until it joined the European Union and the money flowed in, because the Irish (and the English who went native, natch) had no incentive to keep good roads, because it would’ve been utilized by the English armies to maintain control over the populace. The English knew this, and deforested most of Ireland (Ireland was, unlike today, once heavily wooded from coast to coast) in an attempt to make their armed actions easier.

  59. Wilkey says:

    Look those walls so old to your young eyes, Ms. Eisen? When 1,900-years-old you reach, look as good you will not, hmmm?

    Two months from tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Expect all the socialists who supported that wall to lecture to all the people who opposed it on how evil it is “to build walls.”

  60. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    Boston is about the only city that refused point blank to give their MLB team (the Red Sox) a new stadium, and the team rolled over.

    The call for a “new” Fenway park began thirty years ago by cry-poor millionaire owners, but the local pols in Boston have, to their credit, refused to give public funds. The Red Sox have stayed because Boston is such a sweet deal all around for them—they’ve got a loyal, wealthy, large fan base, they sell out every game, their cable deal is lucrative, they’re the biggest game in town (bigger than even the Patriots), and they have no MLB competition in town—-and none for at least 300 miles (the Yankess and Mets in NYC).

    Since they can’t get a new stadium, they’ve taken to adding seats (the Monster seats), fixing up the park, selling tours, etc. It’s amazing that 100+ year old infrastructure and the smallest capacity park in the big leagues somehow still stands and makes them a profit. It’s almost like all the “new stadium” cries are juts garbage.

  61. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @onetwothree

    lmao. You think lack of stirrups is the only thing that kept the Romans from become cavalry men?

    Seriously, the ingenious in war, engineer-heavy Roman army couldn’t come up with stirrups? Even after having mercenary cavalry men for hundreds of years?

    Sir, please sit down, you are not tall enough for this ride.

    • Replies: @I Have Scinde
    , @RickinJax
  62. anonymous[319] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thomm

    Kyrgyzstan still has actual bride kidnapping. Practiced by a not insubstantial part of the population. There was a Vice documentary about it some years ago before Vice turned to absolute crap:

    Repressed fantasy for Ms. Eisen?

  63. @R.G. Camara

    The Dodgers and the Angels in SoCal now have the 3rd and 4th oldest ballparks after Wrigley and Fenway at both >50. And the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl football stadia are approaching 100 years old.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @anonymous
  64. Anon[396] • Disclaimer says:

    Kyrgyzstan is the only functioning democracy in the Silk Road region and has a reputation among peripatetic expats as being very family friendly. I wonder if our “tear down the walls!” correspondent is living the bourgeoisie life with a husband and two kids in a safe single family dwelling in Bishkek?

    • Replies: @Mr. Trace, KTMP
  65. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @I Have Scinde

    Yes, they eventually did have cavalry. But the infantry was the core of the Roman army and the center of all their battle tactics and strategy.

    • Replies: @I Have Scinde
  66. @R.G. Camara

    The stirrup first appeared in widespread cavalry use in Europe at the Battle of Poitiers (the 8th century one).
    https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi476.htm

  67. @Anonymous

    The Eastern Roman Empire successfully expanded several times after long sieges of Constantinople by Arab forces in the 7th and 8th centuries, and I’m stating outright without those walls the surviving Greek half of the Roman Empire would have ceased to be 700 years before the final rump was taken in 1453. So anyone claiming walls are a sign of weakness is an idiot. Walls are useful and practical devices, nothing more, nothing less. Walls will not mask serious decay in societies — I agree. But decaying societies even lack the will or ability to build effective walls — the great walls the final Byzantines hid behind were not built by themselves, but by their ancestors. If an effective barrier is ever built on the US-Mexico border it will absolutely not be a sign of weakness, but rather of strength: only patriotic Americans regaining control of this land could get an effective barrier built, and just getting it built would be an indication that globalism is coming to an end.

  68. @Hapalong Cassidy

    The borders of Britain were not uniformly permeable, in the sense that it was more difficult to invade than to leave. Also little restriction on sub-invasion level egress, trade and visiting. Perhaps the common with the Netherlands is the freedom to emigrate, immigrate, and trade.

  69. istevefan says:
    @Steve Sailer

    probably have to wrap the horses’ hooves to muffle the sound.

    I like how you think. You’re always paying attention to the little things.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  70. Dutch Boy says:

    The Athenians were quite militaristic also (just ask Thucydides).

  71. @istevefan

    You’d have to find a spot where the Romans patrolling along the wall couldn’t see you dragging big siegeworks up until you were close enough to get them to the wall in a few hours on a dark night.

  72. @Steve Sailer

    Steve, You are proposing a way for Picts and Scots to bring their military horses across Hadrian’s Wall by stealth, possibly at night. But
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian’s_Wall
    says there were watch-towers every third of a mile. And how do you propose to install the down-ramps on the Roman side of the wall? Maybe you have a future in military engineering:

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  73. istevefan says:
    @Colin Wright

    My theory is that walls — like borders in general — are symbolic rather than concrete.

    They also function militarily as choke points, or at the very least to slow up a potential enemy’s advance to give your side the time it needs to respond to an incursion. Without walls, barriers or obstacles, an enemy could descend upon you quickly and before you knew it, you’d be finished.

    If walls had never before been envisioned or built, someone would invent the concept today. It’s just too logical not to use it. It exemplifies the concept of the force multiplier. Is it 100 percent foolproof? No, but it gives you a lot if you design it right.

    Keep in mind that many of the instances of walls supposedly failing was in fact the result of a traitor on the inside opening the gates to the barbarians. Even today most of the failure of the USA to secure its border is the result of treacherous Americans who assist the border crossers by distorting our law or refusing to enforce it.

    So a wall is not perfect. Like Jerry Seinfeld found out with his fancy new door lock, it won’t work if someone leaves the door open. Ditto for walls. They won’t work if you have insiders trying to help the outsiders to breach it.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  74. @istevefan

    Agree. A wall is a tactic. If not supported by a concerted strategy to deter immigration, it will fail.

  75. Lagertha says:
    @Ancient Briton

    We fracking ( 2 centuries later) discovered oil/gas . And, fuck you all Americans and Canadians, and Greenlanders ( yeah, there are bad EU bad people over your control. YOUR CONTRLL IS GONE GIRL!

  76. Why do we worry about global warming? In another billion years, the sun will be hot enough to boil off our oceans.

  77. @scrivener3

    A lot of freedom came out what is now northern Germany, and
    Netherlands.

    I actually thought about those examples vis-a-vis natural barriers. But I think they might support the barrier hypothesis in some ways. For example, the Netherlands had a sort of a quasi-barrier of dykes and rivers. They developed a democratic republic in their Golden Age. But ultimately, it wasn’t enough of a barrier when French revolutionary regime and Napoleon put an end to it.

    Likewise, the Prussians/Germans came up with a lot of liberal institutions. But the realpolitik of being surrounded by adversaries on all sides sort of dictated a militaristic regime under the Hohenzollerns. It’s an interesting thought experiment to think how Germany would have developed it if it had been an island.

  78. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    If you can’t get one ramp up, you can haul another ramp to the top then tip it down to the other side.

    You’d need one or more diversionary attacks elsewhere on the wall to attract attention.

    You’d probably then have to attack a gatehouse from behind to let your infantry through to make a major breach.

    It’s a big project and there is a sizable chance that your entire force that got over the wall — presumably your best men — would die, or at least lose their horses and saddles and the like.

    You could probably get a few brigands over the wall on foot pretty often, but they’d need confederates south of the wall, and I presume the Romans knew how to deal effectively with disloyal natives.

    The Romans probably put a lot of ingenuity into thinking like a barbarian trying to get over the wall and they tended to be really good at military stuff and engineering stuff so I’d bet they were really really good at military engineering stuff.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  79. @Whiskey

    Oh yeah Whiskey, women sure hate those poets! Why, Lord Byron made their nether regions dry up on sight with his flowery words, opium chic looks and interesting parties as he gallavanted across Europe! And famous scientists/techies – why! Most of them historically were so repellent they never married or even had sex. They could never, never possibly accrue 2 or 3 wives over a lifetime, or engage in sexual peculiarities like swinging or orgies or S & M. Such a thing has never been documented, you are right. Only nameless, obedient warriors utterly dedicated to the welfare of their unit and leader above all else, such as in Sparta, gets them females. Also, we know there are legions of lonely white male American clerks out there in 2019- it’s definitely not a pink collar, AA job at all. Whiskey, you always have the best insights.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  80. Dube says:

    It’s not walls, it’s gates that prevail or do not prevail.

  81. @R.G. Camara

    I believe this is what you’re getting at. From Gibbon, Chapter 1, referring to the age of the Antonines:

    [MORE]

    “The constitution of the Imperial legion may be described in a few words. The heavy-armed infantry, which composed its principal strength, was divided into ten cohorts, and fifty-five companies, under the orders of a correspondent number of tribunes and centurions. The first cohort, which always claimed the post of honor and the custody of the eagle, was formed of eleven hundred and five soldiers, the most approved for valor and fidelity. The remaining nine cohorts consisted each of five hundred and fifty-five; and the whole body of legionary infantry amounted to six thousand one hundred men….
    “The cavalry, without which the force of the legion would have remained imperfect, was divided into ten troops or squadrons; the first, as the companion of the first cohort, consisted of a hundred and thirty-two men; whilst each of the other nine amounted only to sixty-six. The entire establishment formed a regiment, if we may use the modern expression, of seven hundred and twenty-six horse, naturally connected with its respective legion, but occasionally separated to act in the line, and to compose a part of the wings of the army. The cavalry of the emperors was no longer composed, like that of the ancient republic, of the noblest youths of Rome and Italy, who, by performing their military service on horseback, prepared themselves for the offices of senator and consul; and solicited, by deeds of valor, the future suffrages of their countrymen. Since the alteration of manners and government, the most wealthy of the equestrian order were engaged in the administration of justice, and of the revenue; and whenever they embraced the profession of arms, they were immediately intrusted with a troop of horse, or a cohort of foot.”

  82. Anonymous[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @onetwothree

    Horses were also smaller and weaker in ancient times. The medieval warhorse was the result of centuries of selective breeding.

  83. Anonymous[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    The Roman republic is another good example. The reason Rome was able to throw off Etruscan rule and maintain its independence in its early days was that it was de facto an island – the Roman lands were surrounded by dense forest and mountains that were difficult to traverse and completely impenetrable in wintertime. The forests were all cut down by the late republican era, but by then Rome was strong enough to defend itself.

    • Replies: @guest
  84. @R.G. Camara

    Here in the Northwest, the typical ploy when the politicians want to destroy infrastructure – to build something more profitable – is to claim that the building, library, stadium, viaduct or whatever is suddenly “earthquake unsafe”. Then of course it has to be torn down.

  85. @Anon55uu

    It’s almost as though the Aussies have their heads on straight. But then the next day we get news that they’re as screwed as the rest of us. Which is it, finally? A matter of degree?

  86. What did the Romans know about holding territory?

    Mostly held by bribery and selective acts of violence against local elites. They generally didn’t go around building walls. The Roman Empire is also a poster child for the dangers of illegal and legal immigration, so it is odd for Steve to double down on the Romans as an example of border control.

    The Roman Republic was run more like the British East India Company than a modern nation state. They had generals like Caesar running off with what were almost private armies adding chunks of territory as faits accomplis, motivated by profit.

  87. Dave2 says:

    Sir John Glubb made a good point about walls:

    “In the time of Roman greatness, the legions used to dig a ditch round their camps at night to avoid surprise. But the ditches were mere earthworks, and between them wide spaces were left through which the Romans could counter-attack. But as Rome grew older, the earthworks became high walls, through which access was given only by narrow gates. Counterattacks were no longer possible. The legions were now passive defenders.”

  88. @Steve Sailer

    I sure hope that if they ever rebuild Dodger Stadium, it’s in-place. But that’s unlikely because it would mean going without for a couple years. Maybe a temporary house elsewhere? I want the original respected because its construction was just about the neatest thing ever.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  89. @Thomm

    What is she doing in Kyrgyzstan? That is a country sufficiently poor, non-Western (i.e. non-SJW), and non-English-speaking that a writer ™ like her can’t possibly be living the life she dreamed of. The weather there isn’t great, so even that isn’t an attraction the way it may be is some other exotic locations.

    It is true that her meager writer’s income could stretch far there, but still. Bishkek is a city of just 1M, so it isn’t some huge globalized cultural bubble in relation to the rest of the country.

    Maybe she is a trust fund baby seeking out Jewish diasporic history. Who knows?

    https://fjc-fsu.org/jewish-bishkek-brief-history-guide/

  90. Deepy6 says:

    This Eisen gal is a sophist. The Orthosphere blog has a tidy elucidation of the term in a recent article entitled “The Roar of Our Cataract,” relevant excerpts from which are offered herewith:

    Coleridge tells us that many sophists were mere “word-jugglers,” but that the essence of sophistry is that the sophist is a hireling. He is, at heart, “a vender, a market-man in moral and intellectual knowledges.”

    Plato on the sophists:

    I fear that somehow, as being itinerants from city to city, loose from all permanent ties of house and home, and everywhere aliens, they shoot wide of the proper aim of man whether as philosopher or as citizen.

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    , @Reg Cæsar
  91. Romanian says: • Website
    @Redneck farmer

    Anonymous beat me to it. The walls were the last line of defense. It was their fractiousness and bad policies that made them lose their defense in depth and allowed the Ottomans to get to their walls in the first place and to even be operating in the Balkans beforehand.

  92. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:

    Strangely enough the author neglects to mention Britain’s own natural god-given ‘wall’, you know the one that Shakespeare rhapsodised about “…this sea girt isle…”, namely the fact that Britain is isolated from the Eurasian landmass by water.

    Despite being only 22 miles wide at the narrowest, Britain’s natural moat has almost certainly forestalled many, many attempts and designs at invasion and occupation by stronger continental powers – and allowed the UK to interfere with Continental politics with virtual impunity. Perhaps, if the marine isolation did not exist the industrial revolution, and all that flowed from it, would never have existed. Or even the English settlement of north America.

  93. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ancient Briton

    The Royal Navy wasn’t established until the time of Henry VIII, a millennium after the Romans evacuated and abandoned England.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  94. Aft says:

    Steve channels roissy on why women love the immigration:

    Shall I not be on a pedestal
    Worshipped and competed for?
    Not be carried off, or better still
    Cause a little war?

  95. @Days of Broken Arrows

    “Unliked hitmen, however, they are always…” Typo alert. That first word should read “Unlike.”

    My European wife always gave me a chuckle whe she would say in English that I de-weaponed her. She finally asked why I laughed, then complained that I should correct her when her English was wrong, to which I could only say that her English wasn’t wrong, just unexpected.

  96. Vast sections of Hadrian’s wall have indeed been carted away to build cowsheds, but nowadays the remaining bits are being flattened by selfie-takers who jump up on it and also by metal detectorists who dig at the base of it looking for Roman treasure.

  97. @Anonymous

    The Anglo-Saxon kings had built fleets before that to defend against Vikings though and Medieval kings against French fleets.

  98. One famous people that chose to live without walls were the Spartans, who felt that physical security made men decadent. “They opted for a forced, artificial barbarism over high culture.” Frye repeatedly observes that a lack of walls means a lack of diversity within society. In Sparta, as in most barbarian tribes beyond the walls, virtually each male citizen must have no profession other than war.

    They did plan to build a wall against the Peleponese when they were threatened by the Persians though, so their anti-wallism wasn’t pathological

  99. Romanian says: • Website
    @Kronos

    The joke around here is that we still do that.

  100. @Anonymous

    In the Platonic dialogues, the salvation of the city corresponds to winning set battles. In Athens’ case, foreign military campaigns. No mention of walls other than references to Athens’ existing Long Walls between the city and Piraeus its seaport.

    I recently attended a poorly presented paper by a visiting junior level prof on walls in antiquity. The issue of Trump’s wall was in the air but not directly addressed in her paper. In the discussion period afterwards, a local Greek archaeology lady professor testified that in her recent visit to Greece she saw many traces of ancient walls scattered about the landscape. From which she inferred that walls don’t work.

    Our door is locked and we live in a gated apartment house which is doubtless the case for the average anti-wall people. Now there’s cognitive dissonance for you.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  101. anonymous[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Do the Coliseum and Rose Bowl have luxury box seating/suites ?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  102. Romanian says: • Website
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Having read John Lothrop Motley’s Rise of the Dutch Republic and History of the United Netherlands (free online or very cheaply bundled on Amazon), I have a rebuttal. Firstly, their waterworks could be destroyed to create instant flooding, miring any army in the mud, denying them foraging and exposing them to disease. They made frewuent use of this tactic. Secondly, the Dutch had become early on the most urbanized society in the world and all of the cities had walls, which is why their war with Spain, the preeminent power of the day, with the best army, was such a slog.

    • Agree: LondonBob
  103. @Deepy6

    >Plato on the sophists:

    >I fear that somehow, as being itinerants from city to city, loose from all permanent ties of house and home, and everywhere aliens, they shoot wide of the proper aim of man whether as philosopher or as citizen.

    If this passage is from the Sophist, it should not be overlooked that the speaker here, not Socrates who never left the city except when sent abroad as a soldier, but a stranger from Sicily, himself visiting Athens and apparently loose from permanent ties of house and home and an alien.
    The stranger does not identify himself as a sophist although he might in fact be one. He is inquiring collaboratively with his young interlocuter Theaetetus regarding the essence of the sophist. By virtue of sharing the life-style of sophists, he seems to call into question the veredicality of his assertion quoted above.

  104. Harold says:

    Anti-Wallism at Yale

    https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2019/09/05/ancient-mesopotamia-speaks-at-the-peabody-museum/

    Frahm also noted that the Babylonian world resonates with problems and conflicts we face today. He referenced current political issues in mentioning that the Sumerian king Shu-Sin of Ur built a wall against the Amorites in 2500 BCE.

    “It didn’t work though,” said Frahm. “The Amorites came through anyway and they adapted to Mesopotamian language and culture in an extremely positive way.”

    See, those bigots should have just let them immigrate.

    One wonders if there is more Amorite male DNA than female after they conquered immigrated, which would prove, of course, that females like sexy foreigners.

    I’m not expert on the history of that region but a from some cursory reading it seems that wall helped hold back the Amorite hordes for generations, but they eventually took over becoming the rulers and completely changing the political organisation of the place. But the language and crafts survived which proves that it is silly to build walls.

  105. RobUK says:

    The internationalist propaganda is relentless, utterly relentless. It controls nearly every major media organisation. Being a patriot, wanting sovereignty over your own country, is now viewed by the Establishment in Britain as an right-wing extremist view.

  106. is so much more tragic than that of, say, Belarus, which has had the good fortune to have no natural defenses.

    Neither Prussia nor Muscovy have much in the way of natural defenses. But they did OK. For a vital society internal organization and staying on the offensive is key. Historically societies that build walls to protect their civilizations are retreating into a defensive posture and headed for a long period of decline.

  107. @anonymous

    I think luxury boxes been added over the decades. But lots of the L.A. football stadiums are still 1920s bare bones. I went to a UCLA game last year at the Rose Bowl and the end zone seating is still concrete bleachers.

    But, hey, it’s the Rose Bowl. The surrounding geography of the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, and Mt. Wilson (where Hubble discovered that the Milky Way is just one galaxy among billions in the 1920s) is just kind of special, which is why the 1994 World Cup final was in the Rose Bowl rather than a modern stadium.

    Last I checked, the betting is that the 2026 World Cup final will be in the Dallas Cowboys’ zillion dollar stadium, which seems fine.

  108. @Anonymouse

    The idea that if something works for a few hundred years before it fails, well then it’s a FAILURE is really dominant these days. I wish I could get a cheap deal on one of these FAILURE cars that only lasts a few hundred years.

  109. Harold says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Germans dug trenches during the world wars, and they still lost, which proves that trenches are also failures.

  110. “During World War II, Kyrgyzstan witnessed an enormous influx of Jewish refugees, evacuated from Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The Jewish Theater of Warsaw, along with famous actress Ida Kaminska, was evacuated to Kyrgyzstan during the war …. Thanks to the refugee population, Jews numbered more than 40,000 on Kyrgyzstan’s territory during the 1940s, though many left after the war for Israel or their native countries.”

    This seems to be saying the Nazis had a Jewish policy which was not ‘annihilation’.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Jack D
  111. Jake says:

    It is a little known fact that Noel Gallagher wrote ‘Wonderwall’ about the need to build a wall to keep all London soccer fans out of Manchester. Practical Liam Gallagher persuaded him to turn it into a love song.

    And the rest is history.

  112. TWS says:

    Best to remove the doors to her apartment or house. She could then benefit from the rampant diversity of Kazakhstan.

    And brother is Kazakhstan vibrant!

  113. TWS says:
    @R.G. Camara

    The Romans pretty famously stationed the ancient world’s most notorious cavalry the Sarmatians abling the wall.

  114. Robert Frost:

    Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

    He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

    Trump used the border wall rhetoric to pound the stuffing out of Jebby Bush and the Republican Party politician whores.

    Trump has abandoned his former pledge to build a wall and now Trump refuses to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA.

    Trump now says he wants to flood the USA with mass legal immigration “in the largest numbers ever.”

    Tweets from 2015 and 2014:

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  115. @Steve Sailer

    The idea that if something works for a few hundred years before it fails, well then it’s a FAILURE is really dominant these days. I wish I could get a cheap deal on one of these FAILURE cars that only lasts a few hundred years.

    The unpatriotic and treasonous RULING CLASS REMAIN RATS in England like to spread the idea that the beautiful and patriotic vote by the English to leave the concentration camp of nations called the EU is somehow a “failure” or causing “chaos” or some other thing when the ruling class itself with their nasty and underhanded delays and undemocratic obstacles are the ones causing all the “chaos” and problems in England.

    The answer is to immediately smash the corporate propaganda apparatus all to Hell and to implode all asset bubbles by massively raising interests rates from the globalized central banks.

    The ruling classes in the American Empire and England are only kept in power because of monetary extremism from the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank of England and the other globalized central banks.

    The English ruling class and the ruling class in the American Empire have almost total control of the propaganda storyline and the mass media and they block almost everyone else out. That is why the ruling classes are now censoring the internet and deplatforming proud patriotic people who love national sovereignty and national independence and national racial cohesion.

  116. Something There Is That Doesn’t Love A Kushner.

    That would be me and millions of other voters who supported Trump in 2016 but have had enough of Kushner and mass legal immigration flooding into the USA “in the largest numbers ever.”

    Trump and Kushner put the interests of Israel way ahead of the interests of the USA.

    Trump and Kushner refuse to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien infiltrators in the USA.

    Kushner don’t want no illegal alien infiltrators in Israel, but he don’t care if illegal alien infiltrators invade the USA.

  117. One recalls the classic English joke: What separates the civilized world from the Barbarians?

    The English Channel.

  118. Writers these days never live anywhere, they are always “based” somewhere. Unlike hitmen, however, they are always “based in” some place, never “based out of” anywhere.

    I think they’re trying to get in on the boxers’ game.

  119. @Kronos

    It’s like the way the Russians used a different railroad gauge from the rest of Europe. Whether by design or not, it slowed down the invading German armies in both world wars.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  120. @R.G. Camara

    Tangentially, a portion of historians think Hadrian’s Wall wasn’t a full-scale defensive barrier, but instead a demarcation point for trade inspection and taxes,

    The ancien regime in France built a wall around Paris. It wasn’t for defense but a customs barrier so they could tax goods moving into the city.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  121. Hopscotch says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    And yet, some of the most backward societies are also based on islands and physical barriers.

    I’m guessing any correlation between ethnically homogenous, advanced liberal democracies and islands is largely driven by the rise of seafaring, high-IQ Anglo culture, which also coincided with the emergence of the nation-state and ideas about liberal democracy.

    Anglos, valuing both liberty and naval supremacy, understood that if you locked down an entire island (or continent in the case of North America), it meant you didn’t need a large standing army, which was often a bigger threat to liberty than neighboring countries. OTOH, it meant you didn’t have as much infrastructure for a police state, so the criminal codes tended to be much more draconian than on the Continent. Much easier to be hanged for petty offenses in Anglo societies.

  122. @Steve Sailer

    Rather than looking at ancient walls as isolated pieces of architecture maybe people should ask “what was the alternative?”

    Basically, the alternative to a defensive wall is to maintain a bigger army with more troops to counter any invader. But that raises some interesting political issues.

    For one thing troops, unlike walls, can defect to a foreign invader or a renegade general and be used against the government or the population. Having to meet payroll for a big army also creates all kinds of headaches. Unpaid troops have a tendency to go rogue and start plundering the countryside.

    Indeed, the founding fathers were deathly afraid of the menace presented by a large standing army. They knew their classical history and knew that a standing army is a dangerous thing to have laying around. So they starved the army down to nothing and invested almost the entire defense budget into a modern navy — which is essentially a seaborne wall.

    The wooden walls are the best walls of this kingdom.
    Lord Keeper Coventry, speech to the Judges, June 17, 1635, reported in Gardiner, History of England. Vol. III. P. 79. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Navy

    Eliminating or mitigating the need for standing armies is thus another reason walls (and navies) are more democratic.

  123. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I think the point of a wall (then and now) is not to create an impenetrable barrier than will be effective 100% of the time against all possible invaders. Historically (see the Maginot Line) people who think they have erected an impenetrable defense are deluding themselves. Rather, a wall is intended to discourage all but the most determined attackers and to slow down the latter. Having a wall that is 95% effective is better than having no wall which is 0% effective. Walls are expensive (even if you are using slaves) so you have to balance the cost vs. the effectiveness. The Servian Wall around the city of Rome was 30 ft. high but Hadrian’s Wall was only 10 ft high (but much longer). The Aurelian Wall had watchtowers every 100 feet – on Hadrian’s Wall they were 1/3 of a Roman mile apart.

    Like any worthwhile defensive system, Hadrian’s Wall was not just a wall. From the barbarian side, first you had a ditch, then the wall itself, then a road so the defenders could quickly reach any breach and then the “vallum” which was a very fancy ditch that itself had several layers – a mound, a berm, a ditch, another mound, another berm, a third mound.

    It’s not clear why the vallum had such a complicated cross section – it may have to do with the method of construction and where you were supposed to put all that dirt from the ditch.

    You can see that even putting up ramps (your step 1) would be a problem because you first have to bridge the ditch.

  124. @Jack D

    Historically (see the Maginot Line) people who think they have erected an impenetrable defense are deluding themselves.

    Didn’t the Krauts have to go around the Maginot Line through Belgium? Insofar as the Maginot Line defended France’s border with Germany it seems like it was a success.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  125. Jack D says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Yes, who could have possibly foreseen that the Krauts would do an end run around the wall?

    Actually the Allies did but they (mistakenly) believed that the Ardennes Forest was impassible to German armor. In fact von Manstein made it thru in 2 days.

  126. @Jack D

    Yes, who could have possibly foreseen that the Krauts would do an end run around the wall?

    Well, I’m just making the point that you can’t expect a wall to work to exclude invaders where there is no wall.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  127. @MikeatMikedotMike

    How many Jewish public figures, of various levels of talent, have spoken against 3rd world inundation? I can think of only two, three..: Eric Zemmour, Paul Gottfried, ….. trying to recall the third….

  128. @Redneck farmer

    Vikings ran a fair amount of Britain’s countryside for a while.

    But not Wessex, on account of Alfred the Great building a series of Burhs (walled towns) which the Danes couldn’t capture.
    You are gonna have walls somewhere, and if they are not around your border or your cities, they will be around your neighbourhood or house.

  129. J.Ross says:
    @Kronos

    Ancient Ireland had a system of wooden roads “paved” with hewn logs.

  130. RickinJax says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Condescend away, it doesn’t make you right. The lack of stirrups meant cavalry couldn’t be a shock weapon,i.e., ride over and through infantry , having first impaled many of them on lances.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  131. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    The Great Wall of China was breached the old fashioned way.

    Invaders bribed the guards to let them through.

    Which proves that walls don’t work, or something like that.

    Others may see the moral as being a wall is less important than the will. Will with no wall is possible, but hard work. A wall with no will can be easily breached. A will and a wall are the best combination. Alas, the fashion among liberals these days is neither will nor wall. But when the so-called liberal media are run by the filthy rich (Carlos Slim, Bezos, Disney Corp, that Aussie dude, etc) what do you expect.

    My preference is to concentrate on the will with internal enforcement. Remove the pull factor with massive workplace raids and heavy fines and possibly prison for the people doing the hiring. Then a wall would be the ICEing on the cake.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  132. @MikeatMikedotMike

    She a very ordinary looking young woman.

    Her problem is she’s one of these sub-educated, smarties who’s got a Harvard degree and thinks she is “educated” and “knows things”, but is actually completely ignorant, knows nothing about civilization, what it is and how it is maintained, or human nature, or basically anything about how the world works, and lacks any significant life experience to inform her thought. (A walking indictment of our “elite” universities.)

    In a saner culture she would have been told that what she thinks is b.s. that going down her path won’t lead to happiness; that the true richness and hapiness in life is from family and that she should concentrate on making herself feminine and finding and landing a smart guy who looks like good “husband material” … while she still has any hope.

    Like a lot of young women today, what she really needs is a good spanking–and then a baby.

  133. @Anon

    Well, life in Almaty and Astana/Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (Kyrgyzstan’s el norte) is much better than in Bishkek, IMHO. But as you point out, Eisen is likely living a decent life where she is, partying with the young, hostel-loving expats and stretching her dollars and Western privilege 😉

    Ms. Eisen ought to bring along a film crew and attempt to illegally cross some of the neighboring borders. There are permanent military outpost sites on both sides, often inherited from the Soviet or earlier Imperial era (the Soviets excelled at that stuff, but some installations are now in disrepair or abandoned. Didn’t Bede look upon the decaying works of the Romans and wonder? Imagine what Greek infrastructure would look like in a couple of decades if Greece were to Grexit.).

    In short, she’d be shot.

  134. LOL, “based in Bishkek.” Pick one:

    1) ESL teacher “discovering herself” one stale Guinness at a time at one of the two faux-Irish-pubs in town, occasionally having saggy lights-off sex with a married middle-aged European businessman in town to get a consignment of rare earth metals
    2) Recipient of White Woman Welfare in the form of a paycheck for some menial job in the Imperial Globohomo complex, festooning PowerPoints with fag flags for the next SodomyFest (jointly sponsored by the State Department and Yum! brands)
    3) “Flashpacker” charging the monthly AirBnB to Papa Eisen’s AARP-branded Visa, spending her waking hours colonizing a table at a foreign chain coffee shop which charges three or four times the average Kyrgyz hourly wage for an espresso

    Three distinct and uniformly insufferable types of Jet Age eternal-adolescents. Bishkek will see more Western visitors every year, but because they’re all gazing into navel or anus, our knowledge of these cultures will go down. We were all better off when these places were visited only by Carsten Niebuhr types and 90% of each expedition contracted fatal galloping leg-rot halfway there.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Jack D
  135. ddddd32 says:

    The idea of the Roman wall in Britain was, to a large extent, to prevent the stealing of livestock and to discourage raiding and trade outside the purview of Rome. It regulated the movement of herds and goods to gates so that they could be taxed.

    On the Roman side was a mote before the wall, which you would think would belong on the Barbarian side to aid the defense. Not so – the Romans knew and expected that the Barbarians would be able to penetrate the wall with regularity but they would have great difficulty driving a herd or train of ox carts full of plunder/trade goods back to the Barbarian side if the animals had to scale the mote and then up over the wall.

    There was typically a legion or two at most in the whole of England (10 to 20 thousand troops) and that’s not near enough troops to reliably defend such a long barrier while maintaining a presence in key towns and strategic locations. It was, however, more than enough to lay waste to any Barbarian settlements that were vexing the Romans, or put rebels on the Roman side to the sword if they challenged Roman authority.

    Rome had, needless to say, huge institutional expertise in regulating trade and dealing with Barbarians. It can be argued that much like with democracy the need to continually enfranchise Barbarians who were fully Romanized over the period of several generations of Roman administration so diluted the power base that the Empire fell. Lots of other reasons too of course but the Barbarians found life under Roman rule to be exceptionally to their liking and wanted Roman citizenship and all the honors and benefits that came with it. See for instance all of Spain, Italy north of the Po, Sicily, southern France, etc. The Roman legions were mostly Barbarians, exclusively led by Roman citizens, and the great payment for 20 years service in the Legion was the gift of Roman citizenship. That was enough to keep a half a million man army of some 50 legions disciplined and loyal to Rome, despite many if not most being a thousand miles from Rome at any given time.

  136. @peterike

    I’ve spent some time in these ex Soviet stans and the local women are relatively prettier than this Ms. Eisen(berg??). They are a fine mix of Asian and the Caucasian with the ratio varying from Stan to Stan. I bet an average Kyrgyzstani lad would opt for something else but her murican passport still carries a lot of tonnage across the developing world

    What is common is almost all of them stans have bleak winters with some of them not too different than northern Minnesota in February. So she is definitely not there for the weather.

  137. Dear Miss Erica X Eisen,

    The news must be mighty thin in Kyrgyzstan. Excuse me, but if i am not mistaken the walls came down because Great Britain beat her neighbors into submission so that they were no longer a threat. The current walls that have served Great Britain and the UK so well is currently

    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/satellite-view-of-bulgaria-this-image-was-compiled-from-news-photo/129380940

    That blue stuff surrounding the UK is called an ocean. Very useful in managing who comes and who goes.

    Perhaps even more effective than the walls of Kyrgyzstan. Those walls look like this:

    https://triptokyrgyzstan.com/en/destinations/mountains

    But if one is going to get exiled, that is a beautiful place to be exiled to.

  138. @Hypnotoad666

    It’s like the way the Russians used a different railroad gauge from the rest of Europe. Whether by design or not, it slowed down the invading German armies in both world wars.

    Well to be fair, it–essentially a metricized 5′ gauge like the American South had before the Civil War–it’s a better gauge. Though a broader gauge–5’6″”–like the British used in India would be even better. 6′ or even 2m gauge even better. History has left us with a choice that became sub-optimal as the size of rail cars increased.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  139. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    If there were real advantages to a broader gauge on passenger lines then at least some of the high speed lines (TGV, Shinkansen, etc.) would have been built on it but they are all standard gauge. Maybe for freight it would help but if there was a really big advantage then at some point they would have bit the bullet and re-gauged to the broader gauge. Instead, as you say, the South went in the other direction after the Civil War. I’m not sure that 3 inches (4’9″ vs 5′) really makes a big difference.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  140. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666

    And London did as well. If you’ve ever heard of the “Temple Bar” in London, it was such a place– place distant enough from the actual boundaries where nonetheless trade was regulated by a barrier. There’s some suspicion/urban legend that the phrase “pass the bar” actually referred to new lawyers in London finally being able to pass one of these barriers and practice law in another section of the city.

  141. Jack D says:
    @Beavertales

    No, it meant that some Jews (not enough) evacuated (or were deported) from Soviet held territory to Kyrgyzstan and other points east BEFORE the Nazis invaded and murdered almost all that remained. Remember that the Russians took half of Poland, with its large Jewish population as soon as the war began (only to lose it again temporarily when the Germans invaded). Also in the early days of the Nazi occupation of Western Poland, before the German invasion of Soviet territory, Germany and the USSR were not at war with each other and the Final Solution had not yet begun (i.e. between late ’39 and mid ’41) escape from German to Soviet territory was not impossible. OTOH, given how “nice” Stalin was known to be and given that it was not yet understood by the Jews (or anyone) that Hitler intended to murder every last one of them, fewer escaped than otherwise might have.

    In the case of my mother and (most of) her family, they were deported from Soviet held Eastern Poland (today’s Western Ukraine) to Kazakhstan in 1940. Being arrested and deported by the NKVD was the best thing that ever happened to them because almost everyone else Jewish in their town (including a couple of my mother’s siblings who had married and were no longer living at home) was murdered by the Nazis when they showed up the following year but when the black cars pulled up in the middle of the night it seemed pretty awful at the time. Always keep in mind when things seem to be going pretty shitty for you that it may really be a blessing in disguise but that it may take you years to find this out. Sometimes.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  142. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Jack, the Soviets took eastern Poland in September 1939. The Germans invaded in June 1941. What happened in the intervening two years? Also, not only were the Germans and the Soviets not enemies, they were allies.
    Even now the Molotov Ribbentrop pact is memory holed.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Jack D
  143. Jack D says:
    @Beavertales

    PS the original Nazi policy toward the Jews was not annihilation – it was just expelling them from the territory of the Reich. They probably figured that sending them elsewhere was double plus good – not only would this strengthen Germany but it would also weaken the enemy lands where the Jews settled. In any case, once they were out of the Reich they were not the Nazi’s problem anymore. During the period 1933 to 1939, relatively few Jews were murdered by the Nazis – the main effort was in getting them to leave Germany and go elsewhere by making their lives increasingly miserable. Unfortunately, elsewhere often meant Western Europe (France, Netherlands, Belgium) where the Nazis showed up again later because the US (and many other countries) were reluctant to take them, especially in the face of the Depression and the large # of people who were already unemployed. The total number of Jews in Germany was not that big to begin with – only around 1/2 million out of a population of 67 million, of which 100,000 were immigrants from the east and easily deported. (There was a larger # who were of partial Jewish descent). By the eve of the war this was down to a couple of hundred thousand and if the war had not started they could have pushed out the ones that remained.

    However, once the war began and especially after the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Germans came into possession of millions and millions of Jews and there was no reasonable prospect of getting them to leave in the midst of a war. The only alternative that the Germans could come up with was to kill them all instead.

  144. @Deepy6

    Coleridge tells us that many sophists were mere “word-jugglers,”

    Which s why sophisticated, like intellectual (used as a noun), started out as an insult.

  145. @Mr McKenna

    I want the original respected because its construction was just about the neatest thing ever.

    Not to those living in Chavez Ravine at the time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chavez_Ravine

  146. The Kaiser during The Great War came up with “The Wire of Death” that would definitely work against invaders from the South of the Border.

    Especially if backed up by another Great War British Institution: The Machine Gun Corps.

    Together, they could repel any Third-World invasion.

  147. guest says:
    @Whiskey

    Except the tough guys are always camping with eachother and the only guys home to play with are elderly.

  148. guest says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Dude, ancient Rome had a whole order of citizens known as equites, who are also called knights. They go back centuries before Caesar.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  149. Nick Diaz says:

    Steve Sailer:

    “Shall two knights never tilt for me
    And let their blood be spilt for me?
    Oh where are the simple joys of maidenhood?
    Shall I not be on a pedestal
    Worshipped and competed for?
    Not be carried off, or better still
    Cause a little war?
    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?
    Are these sweet, gentle pleasures gone for good?
    Shall a feud not begin for me?
    Shall kith not kill their kin for me?
    Oh, where are the trivial joys
    Harmless, convivial joys
    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?”

    It’s quite pathetic that conservative males put women on a pedestal to the point where they find it perfectly natural and salutary that women would enjoy themselves watching men get mutilated and killed for their entertainment. It’s pathetic that you, as a man – or, better yet, as a pseudo-man -, would have such little regard for your own life and that of your fellow me.

    It’s actually paradoxical: conservative men regard women as pretty much semi-humans at best, receptacles for penises and baby-makers, who’s only function in life is to breed and take care of children, but at the same time put them on a pedestal. Methinks this is because conservatives are obsessed with reproduction, so on the one hand they demean and humiliate women by stating that their only purpose in life is to reproduce the species, but since this is so important to conservatives, that makes women more valuable than men to these freaky ass conservative males. They will say:

    “Oh, women are too weak to work most blue-collar jobs, and too stupid to work at any white-collar jobs. But they can pump out babies, so that makes them super-special. I mean that is what a woman is after all: a life-support system for a womb. And their mental abilities are also only good for that: to take care of 3 year-old toddlers, because that is more mentally challenging than designing rockets or particle accelerators or solving the Riemann Hypothesis.”

    So women have no value to conservative men as *human beings* . What they have to say, or do, or think, doesen’t matter. Their value is that of a prized cow: to breed the species and take care of the pups.

    Women in the eyes of pathetic, weak, degenerate, sexist conservative white males(like the majority of the miscreants who post here): a very valuable cow or mare, that is valuable because it can produce lots of healthy calves. Very valuable, but still no better than a cow or a mare.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  150. guest says:
    @Anonymous

    “by then Rome was strong enough to defend itself”

    Not from fellow Romans. Sulla and Caesar both famously sacked Rome.

  151. @Malcolm X-Lax

    Sally Field would expect her to have horns.

  152. @Jack D

    Instead, as you say, the South went in the other direction after the Civil War. I’m not sure that 3 inches (4’9″ vs 5′) really makes a big difference.

    But once the U.S. decided to get everyone on the same page we showed the rest of the world how it’s done:

    “. . . Over two days beginning Monday, May 31, 1886, the railroad network in the southern United States was converted from a five-foot gauge to one compatible with the slightly narrower gauge used in the US North, now know as standard gauge. The shift was meticulously planned and executed. It required one side of every track to be moved three inches closer to the other. All wheel sets had to be adjusted as well. Some minor track and rolling stock was sensibly deferred until later, but by Wednesday the South’s 11,500 mile rail network was back in business and able to exchange rail cars with the North. Other countries are still struggling with incompatible rail gauges. Australia still has three. Most of Europe runs on standard gauge, but Russia uses essentially the same five foot gauge as the old South and Spain and Portugal use an even broader gauge. India has a multi-year Project Unigauge, aimed at converting its narrow gauge lines to the subcontinent’s five foot six inch standard.” https://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/05/08/1941226/marking-125-years-since-the-great-gauge-change

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  153. @istevefan

    If we should no longer build walls because some famous ones from the past have been allowed to decay, then I suppose we should no longer continue to build stadiums and other buildings either.

    ISF, you are talking logic to a girl, a SJW, a Harvard grad! LOL.

  154. @More R1b, Less H1B

    Wow. Nicely done MR1BLH1B.

    A pleasure to read, and i’m actually smarter/clearer about the categories for having read it.

  155. @Nick Diaz

    I honestly didn’t know Steve wrote musical theatre.

  156. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @RickinJax

    And? What is your point. My point was that the Romans didn’t esteem cavalry , they esteemed the infantry. Nothing said has contradicted it.

    Unlike some other civilizations the Romans ran in to— the Partians and the Huns, to name a few. The Parthians, for example, managed to pull off the famous “Parthian shot” without a stirrup: https://infogalactic.com/info/Parthian_shot

    So it wasn’t the stirrup or lackthereof that kept the Romans from becoming cavalry buffs. Plenty of other civilizations of their time were fine horsemen. The Romans, however, found glory and tactical success in the infantry.

    • Replies: @Meneldil
  157. R.G. Camara says: • Website
    @guest

    Yawn. And *Dude*, don’t you know the Romans had boats, so therefore they esteemed naval warfare over ground warfare?

    Oh wait…they still esteemed infantry over cavalry and naval warfare?

    Dude, it’s like nothing you said in anyway contradicted me, dude.

    • Replies: @guest
  158. That blue stuff surrounding the UK is called an ocean. Very useful in managing who comes and who goes.

    Perhaps even more effective than the walls of Kyrgyzstan.

    What does Bishkek know of oceans? Two of Kyrgyzstan’s three neighbors are landlocked, and the third, China, is 2200 miles across and, well… China.

    The nearest sea is probably 1300 miles away at Karachi.

    One of those neighbors, Uzbekistan, is one of two doubly landlocked nations in the world. The other is Liechtenstein.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  159. @Reg Cæsar

    Two of Kyrgyzstan’s three neighbors are landlocked…

    Three of four neighbors.

    In case you were wondering where Bumfuk Bishkek is:

  160. guest says:
    @R.G. Camara

    If you simply wanted to talk about what they esteemed over which, fine. However, you went beyond that to make silly claims about the status of horsemen. Don’t shift goalposts now, dude.

  161. Jack D says:
    @More R1b, Less H1B

    These are all real types but Eisen is none of them. She appears to be a real freelance writer – one who may even scratch out a living in today’s journalism by submitting articles here and there:

    https://www.ericaxeisen.com/work.html

    What she is doing in godforsaken Bishkek I have no idea. Maybe she has a “partner” who falls into one of your categories and she is there to be with him/her?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  162. @Charles Pewitt

    THANK YOU, CHARLES PEWITT – We’re 120 comments into this thread and finally someone got around to Robert Frost! All this education around here, and for what?? (I have an excuse – too busy to write, and then by the time I read this last night, I figured the thread was old anyway.)

    I guess a New Englishman ought to be the one to bring up Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. Peak Stupidity’s 3-part series on border walls (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) includes, in Part 3, a fisking of Mr. Frost’s poem.

    Robert Frost was a failure at farming in New England, where it IS pretty damn tough. The big rocks you picked up last year will be replaced by new rocks that float on up. Mr. Frost was much better at poetry than farming, but this particular poem, along with some Wiki stuff I read on him, says Robert Frost was a proto-ctrl-leftist. Were he alive today, he’d be walking around with a nose-ring and tweeting about Trump’s non-existent Big Beautiful Wall.

    Robert Frost may have been one of the original Massholes.

    I’m starting to write kind of like Charles Pewitt now, if not like Robert Frost himself. This is getting weird …

  163. I kinda hope this ends the thread, on a good note. Again, how could everybody miss this? (You, Steve Sailer, you like that 70’s LA rock scene, right?) Joe Walsh, from his album The Smoker you Drink, the Player you Get wrote:

    “I’m out here in the meadow,
    part of an old stone wall.
    Stand here because he said so,
    waitin’ around to fall”

    Did they not get up to the era of Joe Walsh and The Eagles yet in Kyrgyzstan? This author should have at least put Out in the Meadow in her tweets to bolster her point – then one might consider, based on the album name, that Joe Walsh was high as a kite, for years a a time.

  164. BTW, Steve, that “based in”, “based out of” bit was great! You are like one of those “you ever notice?” guys.

  165. Brutusale says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Henry was a “cry-poor” billionaire. Still is. He could build his own park if he wanted to, but he’s more interested in spending OPM.

    As a lifelong Boston resident, I never thought that any of the other teams in town could surpass the $ox in local popularity. The Patriots managed to get to the top of that particular mountain. $ox tickets are available on StubHub for $5. Let me know when you find a Pats ticket at a comparable discount.

    I was part of a $ox season ticket package for 15 years. They can keep polishing that turd of a ballpark as much as they want, I’ll not be back to see a ballgame (though I am going there to see The Who on Friday night!) until they join this century for ballpark comfort and amenities.

    Only egregious assholes like the Red $ox owners could fire a GM less than a year after winning the World Series. Plenty of local wags truly believe that the $ox fired Dave Dombrowski to take some airtime away from the Patriots juggernaut after the Antonio Brown signing. After the Patriots’ systematic dismantling of an allegedly solid Steelers team on Sunday night and the $ox official elimination from the AL East race by the Yankee$ last night, geek boy Henry will continue to suck hind teat in this burg.

    Finally, given the title of this post, the $ox ballpark does have what might be the most famous wall in the US.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Monster

  166. El Dato says:
    @JMcG

    Jack, the Soviets took eastern Poland in September 1939. The Germans invaded in June 1941.

    Yes, from ex-Poland (which happend to be invavded by the Red Army in 1920)

    What happened in the intervening two years?

    Germany performed various invasions, some successful, and bailed out Italy in Greece and Yougoslavia as I remember.

  167. Jack D says:
    @JMcG

    What happened in the intervening two years?

    I’m not sure I understand your question. Regarding Jews specifically the situation in German held territory was not good. The Germans burned the synagogue in my father’s shtetl in Sept. 1939, on the very day that they arrived, in order to signal that things were not going to be good for the Jews from now on. Various anti-Semitic measures were instituted – the wearing of the yellow star, confining Jews to ghettos, etc. Hundreds (but not millions) were shot.

    Even so, the Jews had no inkling that the Nazis intend to exterminate every last one of them and indeed at that point the Germans had not yet formulated the plan to do so. While it might have been possible to escape to Soviet territory, especially in border regions and some did so, the thought of escaping to a murderous Communist dictatorship where they might be arrested as spies was not an appealing alternative for most people. At least close to home people had their families and support networks. Most Jews thought that they could just hunker down and somehow appease the Germans until the war was over. While we know how this movie ends, at time the thought that the Germans would build killing factories to exterminate them simply did not occur to them – no one had ever done anything like that before. It was just beyond most people’s imagination.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    , @Anonymous
  168. Dissident says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    My preference is to concentrate on the will with internal enforcement. Remove the pull factor with massive workplace raids and heavy fines and possibly prison for the people doing the hiring. Then a wall would be the ICEing on the cake.

    That is how it seems to me as well. When was the last time President Trump said anything about mandatory e-Verify?

  169. @Jack D

    Most Jews thought that they could just hunker down and somehow appease the Germans until the war was over. While we know how this movie ends, at time the thought that the Germans would build killing factories to exterminate them simply did not occur to them – no one had ever done anything like that before. It was just beyond most people’s imagination.

    It was beyond the historical experience for any conqueror to randomly kill large numbers of people who were not an immediate part of the armed resistance (i.e. as suppliers of food, intelligence or shelter). Traditional massacres were generally limited in time and place, and both were related to hard-fought battles in which the victims’ kin had taken prominent part, and the invaders had taken serious casualties. In the first months of Operation Barbarossa, the Germans rolled over Soviet forces, many of whom were disgruntled men not particularly loyal to the Communist Party. Hitler’s particular genius was to waste this manpower by killing most of them, and starving millions to death who could have contributed to the German economy in ways that expedited a victorious outcome.

    Say what you will about Stalin, but his first impulse after winning was not to wipe out East Germany’s population, which he would have been justified in doing, simply as retribution on a 1-for-1 basis for the tens of millions of Soviet civilian and military dead. He marshaled East Germany’s population for what he viewed as the coming conflict with the West. If Hitler had even a fraction of Stalin’s wisdom, the Third Reich would be a globe-straddling empire today in reality, and not merely as the counterfactual figment of some scriptwriters imagination (e.g. “The Man in the High Castle”).

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Anonymouse
  170. Cortes says:

    Some years ago I struggled to keep a straight face when witnessing a very up-his-own-arse high dignitary accept the vote of thanks for the presentation I’d delivered from the Bishkek delegates’ leader who conferred upon said dignitary the wonderful gift of a stuffed toy dromedary. After a looong speech and bear hugs.

    My aching sides…

  171. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:

    This raises the question of why the prestige of cavalry declined in the course of Roman history. In the early days high status men would seek service in the cavalry. By the imperial era, such men sought to become infantry commanders. (Over time, cavalry service came to be mainly performed by non-Roman allied nations like Germans, in much the same way that the Roman navy was largely manned by Greeks and other non-Romans.)

    I’m guessing this had something to do with republican/egalitarian ideals which expected leaders to live and fight in the same manner as common men?

  172. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Yes, massacres of Jews were something people associated with Russians, Poles and other wild eastern peoples, not the Germans. There had been no massacres of Jews in Germany since the Middle Ages.

  173. Not Raul says:

    She is “based in” Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for tax purposes.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  174. @Jack D

    I thought Eisen’s article was pretty well-written. I think it’s an articulate expression of the conventional wisdom.

  175. @Hypnotoad666

    It took the US South in 1886 only a half-week to convert from 60″ wide rails to 57″ rails? That’s amazing.

  176. Meneldil says:
    @R.G. Camara

    My understanding was that the Romans valued cavalry early on, the equites were patricians and kind of the medieval knights of their time, but they were slowly replaced by allied and auxiliary cavalry units and the Marian reforms abolished native Roman cavalry completely, they had to rely on their auxiliaries completely for that task after that.

  177. Jack D says:
    @Not Raul

    Doubtful. The US taxes worldwide income unless you renounce your citizenship and even then they exact an exit tax.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  178. Jack D says:
    @Johann Ricke

    Hitler was focused on the “mouths to feed” aspect of his captives. He didn’t see them as sources of labor, he saw them as taking food away from German mouths. Only later in the war, after 80% of the Soviet POW had already starved to death, did they decide to try to tap them for labor.

    I don’t know why this was unique to Hitler – perhaps his views were colored by Germany’s experience in WWI, where Allied blockades put stress on Germany’s food supply. Germany is not self sufficient in food. After WWII, Stalin was not short on food but probably figured that he could use E. Germany’s industrial prowess. Although originally he seemed focused on hauling German factories off to Russia. For a while it seemed like he was going to haul off all metal objects so the Germans couldn’t hurt anyone again. The competition of the Cold War made both sides eager to rebuild “their” Germanies as showplaces of the superiority of their systems.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  179. @Johann Ricke

    >Say what you will about Stalin, but his first impulse after winning was not to wipe out East Germany’s population, which he would have been justified in doing, simply as retribution on a 1-for-1 basis for the tens of millions of Soviet civilian and military dead.

    Throughout the war the official USSR doctrine was that they were not at war with the German people but with the Hitlerite regime.

  180. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Germany is not self sufficient in food.

    That’s true but was irrelevant after the conquest of France.

    Hitler’s failure to exploit anti-communist sentiment among the Soviet peoples was his single greatest error. His mistreatment of the Jews is a moral stain on his character but had no military consequences. His mistreatment of the Russians and Ukrainians cost him the war.

  181. Not Raul says:
    @Jack D

    Are you sure that she’s a USA citizen?

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