Another week, another deluge of BS from the White House and from the Controlled Opposition.
The Audit continues.
The collapse of the Covidschina continues.
No doubt much will be said about those today. (And I have missed a lot this past week.)
To my mind the audits are the last hope for a within-the-system fix to what happened last November. “Within the system” meaning the audits find fraud, the various states decertify the results, and some dang judge rules that Biden must step down and Trump must be installed.
That last step is crucial. The way our system works, “fraud” isn’t a fact until some “competent authority” (i.e., meaning “one that has jurisdiction,” not “one that won’t end up with an ice cream cone on its forehead”) rules it is so. That must happen before the system will accept that the election is vitiated by fraud. No finding of fraud means, as far as they are concerned no fraud, no fraud means nothing vitiated. We sit and fume, because the system has failed.
I’ll leave it to you to decide how likely you think it is that a judge will rule against the Left given the riots that would likely endanger his/her family.
As for the military stepping forward and doing the job instead? Well, that’s technically “outside of the system” and besides…this military, that’s being made woke as we speak?
And as for the “this is just a movie” scenarios that posit that Trump is actually in charge…well, I was talking to a friend the other night and I said to him, “You know there are people who think this whole thing is fake and Trump is really in charge, can come back at any time, he’s just waiting for people to realize how bad the other side is?”
He didn’t believe me.
I told him to google “This is just a movie” and within seconds he came back to me with “I’ll be damned.” He was incredulous that anyone could actually believe such a thing.
I’m no longer incredulous, because I spend time here. (And I am no longer incredulous that some people think that failing to believe it is the same as giving up all hope.)
This is not to say that I believe Biden is actually in charge. I don’t. He is indeed a figurehead, not for Trump, but for the Deep State.
What do we do in the likely event that fraud is found, but no judge will find it to be “fact” as far as the Federal Government is concerned? I keep hoping someone will come up with a suggestion, and so far “general strike” (H/T Scott) is the only one I’ve seen.
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system. (This doesn’t necessarily include deposing Joe and Hoe and putting Trump where he belongs, but it would certainly be a lot easier to fix our broken electoral system with the right people in charge.)
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is pointless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud in the system is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
This will necessarily be piecemeal, state by state, which is why I am encouraged by those states working to change their laws to alleviate the fraud both via computer and via bogus voters. If enough states do that we might end up with a working majority in Congress and that would be something Trump never really had.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
This week, 3 PM MT on Friday, markets closed for the weekend
Pretty steady! Yes, things are a bit down since this time last week, but things are pretty much bouncing around inside a trading range right now, yesterday happened to be down (but within the range) whereas last Friday was up (but within the range).
This year is a BIG anniversary. Both in size and importance. It’s tough to pin down dates, more than “probably August and September” so I’ll talk about this before August.
This is the 2500th anniversary of the Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, in 480 BC
One thing to get out of the way first. Someone is going to tell me that that anniversary was surely last year, after all wouldn’t 2500 years from any year ending in a zero, be a year ending in a zero?
Yes, provided you don’t cross the BC/AD divide.
480 years after 480 BC was not 0. It wasn’t even 0 BC. It was 1 AD. The year immediately after 1 BC was 1 AD, so 1 AD was 480 years after 480 BC, because 1 BC was 479 years after 480 BC. (This is because people back then thought in ordinals (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and didn’t, therefore have a concept of zero as being a number in its own right, rather than the lack of a number.)
And thus 2020 years after 1 AD, puts us right at now, 2021 AD.
Not that I’m counting, mind you.
Well, OK, this time I am counting. Because this counts.
A bit of background.
In 499 BC, the Persian empire extended from parts of present-day Afganistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan, through Iran (Persia), then on into Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, south through present-day Israel (the Persian Empire had allowed the Hebrews to return from captivity, but they were in charge nonetheless), down into Egypt, and across through Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey); they had even gained a foothold in Europe, the region then called Thrace, but now the European part of Turkey, much of Bulgaria, and the north-easternmost part of mainland Greece.
The western coast of Anatolia/Turkey back then was largely Greek in culture, but those city-states, including ones like Ephesus (yes, that Ephesus that Paul both visited and wrote to a church in) and Miletus had been conquered by the Persian Empire. In 499 they staged a revolt, and Athens, plus a few other cities in what we now think of as Greece, helped them out. Athens even attacked the Persian satrapal capital city of Sardis and burned some temples.
The Persians were exactly as happy about that as you would be with a church being torched.
[Incidentally that area of present day Turkey, the Ionian coast, was still largely ethnic Greek until just after World War I. At that point any ethnic Greeks in Turkey, and any ethnic Turks in Greece, were forced to move out, in an instance of “ethnic cleansing.” So now Ephesus (“Efes” in Turkish) is quite thoroughly Turkish, though it wasn’t just barely a century ago.]
Once the revolt had been put down (by 493 BC), the Persians decided Athens had to be punished, and the entire region that is now “Greece” should be brought into the empire.
In 490 BC the Persians, under Darius the Great, attempted to invade Attica (the roughly triangular-shaped peninsula on which Athens sits; it was the territory that the city-state of Athens ruled at the time). Athens is near the west coast ofAttica, at the north side of the triangle. The invasion was at Marathon, on Attica’s east coast.
The invaders had about 25,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry, and many more men whose main role was to defend the ships that had brought the invasion force. Against them, Athens had 10,000 and one ally, Plataea, contributed another 1,000 men (these are modern estimates). The Persians also had 600 triremes (fast attack ships; I’ll have more to say about them later), which didn’t participate in the battle, which was fought on land.
The Athenians defeated the Persians, killing 4-5000 Persians and losing 192 Athenians and 11 Plataeans (according to Herodotus).
That is decidedly an ass-kicking!
The Athenians and Plataeans who were killed were buried on the battlefield in large mounds called tumuli, which are still there to this day–you can go visit them, if you can find your way past all the museums devoted to marathon running…which does have something to do with this but I don’t want to dive down that rabbit hole.
The battle of Marathon apparently happened on either August or September 12, 490 BC…but this is not what this article is about; it’s but a prelude, albeit a magnificent one.
After this failure Darius planned a bigger invasion, but died before it could come to fruition. It fell to his son Xerxes to finally bring the Greeks to heel.
[Xerxes, by the way, is our borrowing (and butchering) of a Greek butchering of the guy’s actual Persian name, which was Khshayarsha or Khashayarusha. In Greek it got spelled Ξέρξης, and at least our spelling is a reasonably accurate rendering of that. That first (and fourth) letter is pronounced in Greek as “ks” just like X usually is, but we got lazy centuries ago and just substituted a Z sound. I have heard at least one historian actually pronounce it like “ks.” Xerxes is likely he is the same person as King Ahasuerus in Esther.]
Legend (as repeated by Herodotus) has it that the Persian army numbered two or even three million men (!!); modern historians estimate anywhere from 70,000 to 300,000, that latter number still being humongous for that day.
Xerxes marched his men across the Dardanelles on a bridge specially made for the occasion (built over the hulls of ships), then across Thrace–which, again, was Persian territory. Paralleling them off shore was a naval force, modern estimates say anywhere between 400 and 1200 triremes.
That three prong “fork” at the very western edge of Persian territory was treacherous to sail around, particularly the easternmost “tine”, so Xerxes actually cut a canal through it.
After marching (and sailing) across Thrace, Macedonia, a vassal state of the Persian Empire (and the future home of someone named Alexander the Great), had to let them pass. Epirus and Thessaly were divided up among many Greek city states, and they remained neutral in this war. Finally the Persian army reached Thermopylae.
Thermopylae was a pass, but not a mountain pass like Coloradoans are used to, rather a pass between cliffs and the sea. The army had to march along the shoreline here. On one side were cliffs, on the other, the ocean. It was a tight squeeze, so the Greeks figured a small force should be able to hold the Persians back. Thermopylae is directly north of the letter C in PHOCIS in the map above.
In mid 480 BC, a Greek force of about 7,000 men marched to meet the Persians there. Meanwhile a naval force tried to block the Persians at the straits of Artemision (directly north of the word EUBOEA in the map above).
The ground force rather famously included 300 Spartans under King Leonidas
You know, these three hundred Spartans under this King Leonidas:
In late August or early September, the Persians arrived at the pass.
For seven days the 7,000 Greeks were able to hold off 150,000 Persians. Though to call them “Persians” obscures the fact that many, if not most, of them were supplied by places Persia had conquered.
After the second day, a Greek whose name is known to us today, but which I shall not repeat, told the Persians of a “back door” trail through the mountains and Leonidas, King of Sparta, serving as leader of the whole Greek force as well as the Spartans, realized he was going to be surrounded and annihilated. He dismissed almost the entire force, but the Spartans stayed behind–every single one volunteered to stay behind, saying in unison, “We have been ordered to defend the pass”–and the rest is history. Surrounded, they eventually succumbed.
Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι
Stranger, go tell the Spartans
That we lie here
True, even to the death
To our Spartan way of life.
(From the epitaph that was placed there, the original is long gone, but was replaced in 1955.)
With the Spartans out of the way, the Persians marched on, and sacked, Athens.
The Athenians, of course, had fled–the fleet from Artemision, which had also lost its battle, had returned, and evacuated the Athenians to the nearby island of Salamis. (In the map below, the island of Salamis is the backward facing C; Athens is near the right hand side.)
The resistance on land had collapsed.
[No, it’s not “salamis” as in the food (saLAHmeez), it’s pronounced “SAL-a-miss” or “SAL-a-meese,” at least when English speakers butcher it.]
The Greek (mostly Athenian) navy, however, was still in the fight. It had taken a beating at Artemesion, but was still operational.
Now I must discuss the trireme.
Yes, the trireme seems laughably primitive to us today. But it was in fact a superbly engineered craft. It had exactly one purpose…to move as quickly as possible and strike and destroy an enemy ship with the ram in front, below the water line.
The picture above shows a modern replica of a trireme that was built during the last century according to the descriptions left to us by ancient sources. (Of course it has been photoshopped to look like an entire fleet, but it is an actual photograph, not a painting.) Engineers who have studied it cannot improve upon the old designs (given the technological constraints of the time, of course); the only exception was that the spacing between the rows of oarsmen was too close. But even here, another source was found which gives the spacing as being the actual optimum!
This replica, the Olympias, is now actually a commissioned ship of the modern Greek navy. They know and respect their history.
The ships were designed to be light, and were propelled by 170 oars, each powered by one man. Contrary to Ben Hur, these men were not slaves; they were free men fighting for their country. (And contra The Ten Commandments Israelite slaves did not build the pyramids, which were actually over 1000 years old at the time of Exodus. But no doubt the Egyptians gave them plenty of other things to do.)
Other ships, like merchant vessels, had hulls coated with lead to ward off water-borne ship worms that would bore into the wood and destroy the ships. This lead coating would have been dead weight on a trireme, so every night, the rowers would drag the ships onto the beach, to kill off any ship worms (they need water to live) and let the boat dry out. This had another benefit in that dry wood was lighter than waterlogged wood.
The Greek fleet consisted of ships from a number of city states, not just Athens, but they were under the command of an Athenian named Themistocles. He actually leaked misinformation to the Persians, letting them know about the route around the other side of Salamis and, yes, telling the Persians how to trap his force, but also causing them to divide their forces. So the Persians surrounded the Greek fleet, and waited for the Greeks to come to them. The Greeks did not. Instead, they pulled their ships up onto the shore, and got a good night’s sleep.
The Persian forces did not do this. Rather, their oarsmen stayed on the ships, and the ships stayed in the water, alert for any Greek attempt to escape.
Xerxes wanted a decisive battle. He had even set up a throne on the Attica mainland overlooking the strait to view it.
And the next day he got it.
As that day dawned, the Persian rowers had not had any sleep in 24 hours. Their triremes–essentially identical to the Greek ones–were waterlogged and heavy, and thus would be slower even if the oarsmen had been well rested. There were about 30 soldiers staged on the top of each one, making them top-heavy.
A rested, fit man can put out 1.2 horsepower for a brief period of time, or .1 horsepower continuously. But only one side was rested.
And that was the side that had one more thing going for it: They were motivated more too. Imagine an Egyptian, a Medean, or a Babylonian oarsman on one of those Persian ships. How much does he want to fight for that dang Persian “King of Kings”? Whereas the Greeks were fighting for their homes and freedom.
As it happened the Persian ships were too numerous. In the tight confines of the strait, they largely got in each other’s way. It was another ass-whupping, by the Greeks.
This happened right under the eyes of Xerxes himself. He was no help; some of his ships’ captains did stupid things trying to impress him.
This was in September of 480 BC, two months shy of 2500 years ago.
The Persian army now had no naval support and could go no further south. Sparta, among other city states, would not be sacked by the Persians.
Indeed Xerxes feared that the Greeks would attack the bridge across the Dardanelles, and took most of his army back with him, leaving his second in command, Mardonius in charge to finish the job the next year.
Instead, the next year saw the battle of Plataea on land–destroying what was left of the Persian army–and the nearly simultaneous naval battle of Mycale, where the remnants of the Persian fleet were destroyed.
Greece would continue to be a thorn in Persia’s side for over a century, until Phillip of Macedon conquered the entire region at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. His son, Alexander the Great would then go on to conquer Persia.
That Battle of Chaeronea marked the end of Greek independence, which would not be restored for over two thousand years.
OK, so returning to Thermopylae and Salamis: Why does this matter?
Look at that date: 480 BC.
This date was before the Athenian democracy. It was before the great tragedies and comedies. It was before the great philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. And all that other stuff we associate with Western Civilization. The only Greek culture we can readily think of that comes from before that year is Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey. And if the Persians had won, none of that would have happened. And no one today would give a rat’s ass about Homer, either–if indeed, he wouldn’t have been long forgotten.
Don’t think that the Romans would have started Western Civilization even without Greek help. The Persians would no doubt have worked their way over to the Italian peninsula. Rome in the 400s and 300s had not really gotten started. Maybe they would have held Persia off. Maybe not. But unless they had a one-in-a-billion Alexander type too, they’d never have gotten the Eastern Mediterranean which was actually the more valuable part of their empire. (They had enough trouble fighting Parthia in the 200s AD even from a position of strength…and that was basically another, later Persian empire.)
And there would have been no Alexander the Great. Macedon was a vassal of Persia; it probably would have been entirely absorbed between 480 and the 330s BC, meaning no king for him to be the son of. And even if he had, what culture would he have spread throughout the ancient world?
Our entire Western heritage would not exist; it would have been derailed before it got started.
And it turned on the Battle of Salamis, 2500 years ago. Here’s to…
…years and counting
, not that I’m counting, mind you, of Western Civilization thanks to his man and his fellow Greeks!
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
To conclude: My standard Public Service Announcement. We don’t want to forget this!!!
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!