Friday, October 30, 2015

CNBC's Democrat Hacks: Well, they DO have the letters N,B,C in their name.

The Tunnel Wall   Liberal Hacks BOMBED GOP Debate, But Look What Happened To Them After   " . . .means more people than ever watched the cringe-worthy performance. Sources said the moderators knew they had the opportunity to challenge GOP contenders and potentially change the course of the entire race, but after the dust settled, everyone at the network apparently wanted a “do-over” because they knew they took things too far.

“ 'Everyone feels pretty embarrassed,” one veteran staffer said.


CNBC Debate

REPUBLICAN PARTY RULING CLASS TARGETS TRUMP FOR ASSASSINATION!

GOP strategist urges donor class to 'go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump'


How scared is the  GOP establishment of Donald Trump when one of its more vocal Trump-haters channels the drug lord El Chapo?

On Tuesday evening, longtime Republican political consultant Rick Wilson told MSNBC's Chris Hayes:


Donald Trump is still a very powerful force … [the donor class] can't just sit back on the sidelines and say 'oh well, don't worry, this will all work itself out,' they're still going to have to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump, and that's a fact.

What would make MSNBC and the rest of the media ignore a direct threat against a presidential candidate?

What if the target had been Hillary Clinton, or Ben Carson on the conservative side?  Would we hear ear-shattering cries from reporters accusing Wilson of being a "sexist" or "racist"?

What is it about Donald Trump that makes one of his detractors go berserk on a cable show and order a hit on the billionaire businessman?

Whether one is indifferent to, excited about, or rabidly opposed to Mr. Trump, Wilson's violent provocation exposes how low the political ruling class will descend.  Wilson's words should be sufficient reason to report him to appropriate law enforcement agencies. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

THE FATE OF KING OBAMA



I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you're gone there was never
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
Woahahahah oh, woahahah oh
Woahahahah oh, woahahah oh,
Woahahahah

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

ooooooh ooh oooooh oh ooooooh oh oooooh ooh.

WILL OBAMA DECLARE MARTIAL LAW IN 2016?

My ultimate concern is that Obama might declare martial law for whatever spurious reason he would give. It would suspend the Constitution and leave us with no rights at all, subject to arrest for resisting his takeover of the nation. It would also mobilize the largest army in the world…

America’s hunters and gun owners!


A President, Not a Potentate


By Alan Caruba

In 2010, before the midterm elections, President Obama said, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends.”

Instead, it was the Democratic Party that got punished as voters rejected its candidates, rendering it some of its biggest losses since the Great Depression. The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, the largest seat change since 1948.

In November 2014, the voters gave complete control of Congress to Republicans for the first time in eight years as they retained every one of the GOP Senate seats up for reelection and added six more to ensure a Republican majority.

What was apparent before the 2010 election and since has been a President who regards himself and his powers as that of a potentate, a monarch scornful of the Congress in the same way English kings scorned their parliament until forced to relinquish total power and grant individual freedom to their subjects.

In the twenty-two months before Obama’s second and final term ends, I am, I confess, increasingly fearful of what he has in mind for America. The voters have already made it clear they oppose his gun control efforts, his views on illegal immigration and they want ObamaCare repealed.

As this is written, Americans are growing increasingly concerned over the outcome of the negotiations with Iran. Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, has written to Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, harshly criticizing the notion that the Senate should have anything to say regarding the negotiations and suggesting that Obama has the authority to lift the sanctions imposed by Congress on Iran. He doesn’t.

A White House that believes it has powers that a simple reading of the Constitution tells them are limited is dangerous place. Obama’s White House has been gaining a reputation for lawlessness and we have seen this in the way the IRS denied conservative groups the right to tax-exempt status to which they were entitled. Then, not so mysteriously, the emails that would reveal this were “lost.” 

In the wake of the Benghazi tragedy in which our ambassador and three other staff were killed on September 12, 2012—the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—the emails of the then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have gone missing along with all the rest of those wiped clean from her personal server. I still recall seeing her stand beside the President when he blatantly lied to Americans and the world that the attack was the result of a video no one had ever seen.

In his book, “Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document”, by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) he devotes a chapter to the Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Colonial Americans had watched a famous case in England in which John Wilkes had led the fight to ensure that the King could no longer arbitrarily search and seize the property of anyone. They had fought a Revolution to be free of such tyranny. In the effort to secure the ratification of the Constitution, in 1789 James Madison began drafting the Bill of Rights that several of the states said had to be part of the Constitution if they were to ratify it. It was introduced to the First Congress that same year.

Sen. Lee expresses concern that “for the past eight years, the federal government has relied on an excessively broad interpretation of an excessively broad provision of the USA Patriot Act to collect and, in some circumstances, search through vast amounts of information that most Americans would consider both private and entirely unrelated to national security.”

Noting the intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency that routinely gather enormous information about all our electronic communications, telephone calls and email, Sen. Lee says that “One could argue, however, that that far greater threat to government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the near certainty that those who wield this power will eventually use it to identify and punish anyone whom may disagree with them. This type of abuse could weaken or even destroy constitutionally limited government as we know it.”

That’s what has me worried specifically about Barack Obama. I have no doubt at all that he would and probably has used the vast information gathering capacity at his disposal to “punish” those he regards his enemies.

Consider what he did to Iraq War hero Gen. David Petraeus who he had appointed as Director of the CIA. He drove him from that post and threatened him with jail for an infraction that likely was discovered by monitoring his private communications. By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s email server was, according to intelligence experts, likely hacked to the point where our enemies knew exactly what she and the State Department was doing. And she wants to be your next President.

My ultimate concern is that Obama might declare martial law for whatever spurious reason he would give. It would suspend the Constitution and leave us with no rights at all, subject to arrest for resisting his takeover of the nation. It would also mobilize the largest army in the world…America’s hunters and gun owners!

Obama has been working to federalize police authorities around the nation. He has purged the military of any officer that was deemed to disagree with his policies. All that stands between us and him is the Constitution and Congress. And the fact that millions of Americans, thanks to the Second Amendment, are armed in the event he tries to assert dictatorial powers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ONLY THE OPPONENTS OF OBAMA GO TO PRISON THESE DAYS

Defending New Jersey's Politicians



By Alan Caruba

I’d be surprised to learn that anyone in the Obama and Holder Department of Justice even knows how to spell “justice.” 

On the same day it announced an indictment of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) for allegedly taking bribes and engaging in various forms of corruption, it also announced that it would not pursue a criminal contempt of Congress resolution against Lois Lerner, the member of the Internal Revenue Service at the center of the effort to deny conservative groups the right to be certified for non-profit tax status.

Without such status, the group’s ability to raise funds and pursue their issues and agenda was significantly impacted. If you were a liberal group, however, you sailed right through. That’s that way the Obama administration has functioned in all aspects of governance since it began in 2009. 

In what is now becoming a standard way of avoiding an investigation, last June the IRS announced that it had “lost” two years’ worth of Lerner’s emails in a 2011 computer crash. An IRS inspector general, however, unearthed the backup tapes believed to contain them. Lerner would not speak to lawmakers, but she has reportedly cooperated with the FBI.

In an April 1 Politico.com article, “Don’t Blame Menendez, Blame New Jersey” Jeff Smith and Brian Murphy would have you believe that New Jersey is a steaming heap of political corruption that has no equal. When was the last time a New Jersey senator was found guilty of bribery? 1981. Thirty-four years ago. An entire generation has been born and grown up in the Garden State since then.

I am born, bred, and live in New Jersey. Illinois has ex-Governors in jail and no New Jersey Governor ever shared that distinction.

Our current one, Chris Christie, came to statewide attention when, as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, he put a number of our politicians in jail for corruption in addition to a slew of convictions for sexual slavery, arms trafficking, and racketeering by gangs, along with other federal crimes.

He was a very good lawyer and had also been politically ambitious, rising through the ranks, campaigning for Bush 41 and 43, the latter who appointed him to the State Attorney post. In a very Democratic state, he would handily defeat Joe Corzine in 2009 to become Governor because Corzine was as incompetent then as Obama is today.

The rap on New Jersey is that politicians and those who donate a chunk of money to support their election are somehow different or special in some way. I doubt there is a political reporter or blogger in any other state that could not regale you with a history of their crooked politicians and appointees that would not equal or exceed ours.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the charges against Sen. Menendez. More to the point, when the charges were announced. In early March he gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Menendez made no secret of his displeasure that the Obama administration was negotiating with Iran. “When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he told the group, “I am not intimidated by anyone—not Israel’s political enemies and not by my political friends when I feel they’re wrong.” He said that as long has he had an ounce of fight in him, “Iran will never have a pathway to a (nuclear) weapon.”

And Menendez had also made it clear that he opposed the normalizing of a diplomatic relationship with Cuba. “The deal achieved nothing for Americans.” 

When the DOJ indictment was announced, the state’s largest daily newspaper virtually pronounced him guilty. “The litany of travel arranged by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’s good friend, Salomon Melgen, reads like the operation of a small airline.” It salivated over the 68-page indictment and the favors alleged between him and “his wealthy benefactor” that included “more than $1 million to various political campaigns connected to the senator.” No question about it, Melgen was Menendez’s friend and supporter. That is, however, not against the law.

I doubt there is a member of the U.S. Senate that does not have such wealthy supporters, nor any that have not accepted an invitation to vacation as their guest.  Did Menendez reply by using the influence of his office to facilitate visas or the approval of deals by which Melgen would benefit? In one cited case that influence did not have any effect on the outcome, but simply stated this is part of the job. It is the quid pro quo of politics and always has been.

The Department of Justice indictment came at the same time the Obama administration had squandered 18 months in useless, senseless negotiations with Iran to arrive at an agreement that would ultimately permit Iran to produce nuclear bombs. No other nation wants that. Iran had never ceased to tell the world it intended to “wipe Israel off the map”, nor cease to call America the “Great Satan.” 

The level of hubris from the President to the Secretary of State to those engaged in the negotiations is beyond measurement. It blinds them to the obvious.

The White House clearly could not permit a prominent Democratic senator to tell the Israelis and the world what a bunch of jackasses they were. They feared losing control of the rest of the Democratic senators and thus Menendez is being subjected to a long, costly indictment as a lesson to the others.

The indictment suggests a pattern of corruption based solely on the relationship between Menendez and Melgem, both longtime friends. If Menendez broke the law the DOJ should have been able to come up with comparable charges involving others for whom he intervened. If I was a gambling man, I would bet that Sen. Menendez beats the charges.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

THE MIGHTY USS BARACK OBAMA PUTS FEAR INTO HEARTS OF THE CHINESE




T-R-U-M-P

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BAD PRINCE, BAD PRINCE, WHAT YOU GOING TO DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?


Beirut, Lebanon — Last week, the Free Thought Project reported on the case of Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, 29. Abdulaziz was arrested and then let off by prosecutors in Los Angeles who claimed they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him with kidnapping and sexual assault.

These charges were dropped in spite of the fact that multiple witnesses watched a woman covered in blood scale the 8-foot walls of the Prince’s Beverly Hills mansion, screaming for help. Two other women also claimed to be held captive in his mansion and raped.

Abdulaziz is the son of King Abdullah the former ruler of Saudi Arabia, America’s unscrupulous ally in the Middle East, so this special treatment comes as no surprise. However, what authorities are saying his cousin, Abd al-Muhsen bin Walid bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, has done is shocking.

On Monday morning, Abd al-Aziz Al Saud was about to conduct a flight from Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport on his private jet when he was intercepted by security forces.

Abd al-Muhsen bin Walid bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud was detained at an airport in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, while in possession of 24 bags and eight suitcases full of narcotics.

They were packed in his luggage, weighing about two tons, which aroused suspicions among the security forces and led to their discovery.
LINK:


UNDER OBAMA: NO BORDER, NO LANGUAGE, NO GOVERNMENT

Michael Savage's Government Zero


Talk show host Michael Savage’s latest book Government Zero: No Border, No Language, No Culture, published today, will delight his legions of fans.  It is primarily a survey of much that is wrong with what America has become under President Obama, with a closing chapter on what approaches and specific measures Savage sees as saving America.

The prose is uniquely and unmistakably Savage, flowing, soaring, digressing, meditating, reflecting, and swooping back to the original subject at hand. For those who listen to his weekday show heard on over 260 stations, this approach is familiar and comforting, an excursion into the multifaceted causality of what we have become. While the radio Michael Savage experience is close to a stream of consciousness, mercurial and at its best almost dreamlike, the print version retains the variety and breadth, but is just a bit tighter in organization, and of course brings with it footnotes for documentation and more precision.
Michael Savage has achieved the status of the bad boy of contemporary conservative media, often angry and cutting, never hesitating to criticize sharply those with whom he disagrees. His targets have included most of the other major talk show hosts and the on-air talent at Fox News, as well as the panoply of liberal/left media and political actors. He has his radio show, The Savage Nation, introduced as “unprotected talk,” and the label fits well.  It and the book are full of hard-hitting terms and imagery, sometimes blunt -- Nancy Peosi is “the most despicable woman in American politics,” -- and sometimes striking in its imaginative metaphors: Barack Obama is a
“…rogue president [who] tramples every institution, divides the people by race, sex, religion, and political orientation. He set out to transform the beautiful nation, and in so doing, he’s causing irreparable damage.
"Like a stoned plastic surgeon, he botched the operation and created a mutilated face and an ugly body politic."
As a result of his acerbic prose and willingness to take on fellow conservatives (Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren come in for blistering criticism in Chapter 11, "Zero Liberty”), he never gets invitations to appear on Fox News or any of the other cable news outlets [he briefly had an MSNBC show, only to be fired abruptly after telling a homosexual caller to die], and generally is regarded as persona non grata by the rest of the media despite his standing as one of the most popular forces on conservative talk radio with millions of passionate fans.
I suspect his latest book will not receive many reviews, certainly not in the New York Times or Washington Post, and very few in the right-leaning media, either. Savage also has, as he mentions in the book, the distinction of having been banned from entering the United Kingdom, allegedly for stirring up hate. This is a scurrilous charge and a heinous act, for Savage never encourages violence, but he is a severe critic of Islamism, and almost certainly the UK authorities banned him as a sop to Muslims when they simultaneously banned some Islamist preachers from entering Britain and stirring up violent jihad.
The book is organized into 13 chapters, each but the last incorporating the word “zero” along with a subject area. The final chapter, with proposed solutions, is entitled “Saving a Nation with Nationalism,” Savage’s prescription to trade in the label and concept of conservatism for outright nationalism, which he sees as making possible considerable outreach to people who consider themselves Democrats.
In the first chapter, Government Zero, he defines the concept as “absolute, unchecked government power and zero representation of the people.”  The problems with such hyperbole are obvious. “Zero representation” means no elections, and so far it appears that no coup has cancelled them. As for “unchecked government power,” we may have a Supreme Court that is willing to go a long way to accommodate Obamacare and other activities the founders would blanch at, but the checks and balances of the Constitution are still in place, even if shamefully unexercised by the political class of Democrat and Republican elites. With this book, you have to understand that bombast is part of the package.
It is also a little confusing that with the expression “Government Zero” Savage means maximum government, while in most of the other chapters, he means zero to indicate the opposite: minimal, as in Chapter 2, “Zero Leadership,” Chapter 3, “Zero Strategy Against ISIS, Chapter 4, “Zero Military,” Chapter 5, “Zero Education,” Chapter 6, “Zero Culture,” Chapter 7, “Zero Immigration” (here, he reverts to the title’s usage), Chapter 8, “Zero Religion: Lenin’s Pope,” Chapter 9, “Zero Science,” Chapter 10, “Zero Business Sense,” Chapter 11, “Zero Liberty,” and Chapter 12, “Zero Police.”  
The chapter headings do not in the least constrain the subject matter discussed in each. In Chapter 8, for instance, Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change is rather insightfully discussed, and the broader topic of climate science introduced in some detail. Yet, the following chapter, “Zero Science,” also continues that subject, presented in the context of an earlier massive scientific scandal, Lysenkoism in the USSR under Stalin, in which genetic sciences were corrupted just as badly as climate science today. Throughout the book, Savage does not hesitate to bring in the lessons of history, and quite often the narrative is both enlightening and entertaining. With his three graduate degrees including a doctorate from UC Berkeley, as well as a lifetime of reading, Savage is able to draw on a very wide knowledge base in making his points, and never lets himself be constrained by the formal organization of the chapters.
My favorite of the chapters was number 4, “Zero Military.” Despite having no background serving in the military, Savage has done great work chronicling what he (accurately, I fear) terms the “purges” of senior military officials who disagree with the agenda of the Obama forces, more concerned with issues like integrating transgender troops than with military effectiveness, and unwilling to even mention the word “Islam” in formulating strategies.  There are many names worth knowing in this chapter.
The concluding chapter 13, “Saving a Nation with Nationalism,” was the weakest in my eyes.  The list at its end of “40 Actions to Save America” contained no consideration whatsoever of any details. For example, Number 4 was “Repeal the “Anchor Babies” law. Of course, there is no law per se, there is the 14th Amendment and the way it has been interpreted to date.  Perhaps Savage knows this, and a discussion of the 40 Actions will be the basis of his next book. But as presented quickly at the end, the plan was more a set of broad goals than an actual action agenda.
What Government Zero lacks in rigor, it makes up in breadth and imaginative prose. Who else but Michael Savage would treat readers (in Chapter 2) to a discussion of two of his dreams, one of them about a white owl, the other about a black woman? But then, Michael Savage is a unique figure on the Americana media landscape, and has from his first days broadcasting local talk radio on San Francisco’s KSFO ignited passionate support, deep scorn, and almost never indifference.

Monday, October 26, 2015

MICHAEL SAVAGE: DEFEATIST!


So Mike, we just run up the white flag before we begin to fight back?

THE LEFT HAS SEALED ITS OWN DOOM BY ANARCHY IT HAS CREATED

The Retreat of the State



The decline of the West is not going to be announced by those in charge, not least because the state garners loyalty and obedience from its citizens by way of its ability to protect them and provide them with various rights and services, or at least having the appearance of being able to do so.

If the state cannot do this, or cannot maintain the facade, citizens will begin to question the benefit of remaining loyal and obedient to an already distrusted political class. Many grumble about unjust laws, stifling political correctness, globalism and corrupt officials but they still largely obey the law and pay taxes. They are outwardly loyal despite being in a state of inner revolt. Martyrs like Kim Davis who risk imprisonment and injury are still few.

In order to maintain loyalty and some semblance of order and prevent this inner revolt manifesting itself physically, a democratic system must work to sustain its legitimacy in the wake of its own destructive policies. Sterile lifestyles, welfare, immigration, affirmative action, universal suffrage, the never-ending search for straight, white bogeymen and all the other ponderous bullshit of modernity are clogging up the gears of a slowly winding down civilization.

Politicians can never admit that the system is irredeemably doomed. Their privileged positions, even their very lives, depend on convincing people that no matter how bad things seem now there is always a solution just around the corner. Politicians lean heavily on ideas like hope and change, precisely as a means to make people stop thinking about how awful everything is now and give democracy just one more chance to fix it. And like the girl with the deadbeat boyfriend, they keep going back to democracy and giving it one more chance, with the predictable and distressing result.

As long as people have faith in progress then they will never consider alternative solutions. Unfortunately, the only solutions to progressive problems invariably turn out to be just more progressivism. More programs, more wealth distribution, more diversity, division and conversations about race and gender and we move further away from the truth and a real solution. Society becomes more absurd, and the lies politicians must tell in order to justify these absurdities become more transparent.

All of which makes it strange to hear a voice from the Establishment that isn’t telling us to ignore the creaks and groans coming from the machine, and instead talks about its impending catastrophic self-destruction. The Chief Constable of Lancashire Police has come out and said in plain English that his county level police force ‘will not be able to deliver our core mission and purpose, which is to keep people safe from harm, particularly those that are most vulnerable.’

He’s speaking in reference to a series of cuts in police funding, some of which have already happened and some which have been proposed for the future. British police forces receive funding from two sources. The first is raised by local councils through business and property taxes. The second is from central government. The proposed cuts are coming from central government funding. Lancashire Police believe that if the proposed cuts are accepted their funding in 2020 will be half of what it was in 2012 and they will have to lose more than half their police officers.

More specifically, he states that they will have to lose ‘all of their neighborhood policing teams’ and ‘would have to close every single public enquiry desk in the county, so there would be no public access to our remaining police stations in the future, other than by prior arrangement.’ In 2020 Lancashire you would never see the reassuring sight of a police officer patrolling your neighborhood and you wouldn’t be able to go to a police station to see one. Nor would you see traffic police on the roads or the largely toothless Police Community Support Officers which were themselves brought in as a form of policing on the cheap.

I recommend reading the full statement as to what the future could look like.

It is a bleak picture but I believe that things will not get this bad, not as soon as 2020, and this is only one county, not a nationwide problem. Somehow, Lancashire Police, the local authority and the government will come to some arrangement. There is a hierarchy of needs and services that a state must provide in order to maintain legitimacy, and safety and public order is at the top for most people. The police will not be sacrificed before other public services.

But this is an early warning, a signpost pointing the way towards the Kali Yuga as the state begins its retreat. The world will become more dangerous. The state will not be able to protect you as it once did. Despite the best efforts of the police many poor, innocent people are going to suffer.

To keep things going as they are money must come from somewhere, but where? Recently conservative think tank Taxpayers’ Alliance has suggested that benefits to Britain’s pensioners are scrapped, immediately and forever. The Nation Health Service is already struggling with cuts. The Armed Forces have already been cut. The train of migrants streaming out of Africa and the Middle East isn’t slowing down and Europe is a cold place in winter.

The retreat of the state should be welcomed. For the Reactionary, with disaster comes opportunity. As the state struggles for air and fails to carry out its part of the vague and poorly defined social contract, something else can emerge. The failure of democracy and the transition to something better should be as seamless and as bloodless as possible.

In Oxford, house prices are outstripping wages to the extent that a local bus company is considering building a dormitory in order to attract drivers who would otherwise be unable to afford to live and work there. If private companies can do such a thing, why not other organizations? If these things can be done for material reasons, then why not for more virtuous reasons.

Where the state retreats, there is space for something else. For those people living in areas disaffected by an invisible police force, could somebody else step in to afford them peace and security? Not a privatized police force, run for profit, but a moral police force. In a future where money is scarce, or meaningless could those with resources and power provide food, shelter and care in exchange for fealty, instead of money? When our churches are used as drop-in centers for foreign refugees, could somebody else provide the spiritual direction that people will look for in hard times?

Where the state retreats, there is room to advance.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT FOUGHT ON THIS DATE IN 1415


The Battle of Agincourt: why should we remember it?

The Battle of Agincourt is the tale of the common man achieving greatness, writes Bernard Cornwell, which is why it still matters 600 years on

The battle of Agincourt was fought on a muddy field in northern France 600 years ago on Sunday – St Crispin’s Day, October 25th 1415. Kings, princes, dukes and nobles abounded on either side. It became then and has remained ever since one of the most famous English victories.


Legend says Agincourt was won by arrows. It was not. It was won by men using lead-weighted hammers, poleaxes, mauls and falcon-beaks, the ghastly paraphernalia of medieval hand-to-hand fighting. It was fought on a field knee-deep in mud, and it was more of a massacre than a battle. Olivier’s famous film shows French knights charging on horseback, but very few men were mounted.


The site of the battle

The French came on foot, and the battle was reduced to men battering other armoured men with hammers, maces and axes. A sword would not penetrate armour and did not have the weight to knock a man off his feet, but a poleaxe would fell him fast and then it was a simple enough job to raise the victim’s visor and slide a knife through an eye.

That was how hundreds of men died; their last sight on earth a dagger’s point. It is not a tale of chivalry, but rather of armoured men hacking at each other to break limbs and crush skulls. At the battle’s height, when Henry V expected an attack on his rear that never materialised, he ordered the newly captured prisoners killed. They were murdered. Agincourt was filthy, horrible and merciless, and it is still celebrated as a golden moment in England’s history.

Much of the legend is true. Most of the English army were archers and their arrows caused huge damage. Henry V was an inspirational leader. He fought in the front rank and had a fleuret knocked off his crown. Eighteen Frenchmen had taken a solemn oath to kill him and all of them died at Henry’s feet, slaughtered either by the king or by his bodyguard. And, despite the recent academic controversy, it seems certain that the English were horribly outnumbered.

In the cold, wet dawn of October 25th, 1415, no one could have expected Henry’s army to survive the day. He had around 6,000 men, over 5,000 of them archers, while the French numbered at least 30,000 and were so confident that, before the battle was joined, they sent some newly arrived reinforcements away. By dusk on that St Crispin’s Day, the small English army had entered legend.
The English should never have been at Agincourt. Henry had invaded Normandy in hopes of making a quick conquest of Harfleur, a strategic port, but the town’s stubborn defence delayed him and, by the siege’s end, his army had been struck by dysentery. Sick men were dying and the campaign season was ending. Sensible advice suggested that Henry should cut his losses and sail back to England, but he had borrowed huge amounts of money to invade France and all he had to show for it was one gun-battered port, and going home looked suspiciously like defeat.


Henry V speaking to his army from an armored horse before battle

Instead, he decided to march to Calais with probably nothing more in mind than cocking a snook at the French who, though they had gathered an army, had done nothing whatever to relieve the brave defenders of Harfleur. Henry wanted to humiliate the French by flaunting his banners, but I doubt he truly wanted to face that large French army with his own depleted numbers.

The French had been supine all summer, but now, suddenly, they woke and moved to block Henry’s path. Henry tried to avoid them. A march meant to last eight days stretched to 16. The English exhausted their food, they were sick with dysentery and soaked from the unending autumn rains. They were driven far inland in search of a place to cross the Somme and then trudged north to discover the French army waiting for them on a muddy field between the woods of Azincourt and Tramecourt. The English were trapped.

The French were barring the English road home, and so Henry had to attack them. He hoped the French would attack him, and he ordered his archers to protect themselves from knights on horseback by making a thicket of sharpened stakes designed to impale the stallions’ chests. But the French remained motionless, so Henry was forced to advance on them. Did he really say “Let’s go, fellows!’? It seems so – but whatever his words, the English plucked up their stakes and waded through the mud to get close to the French line.

And the French, even though they must have seen the English were in disarray, did nothing. They let Henry’s men come to within extreme bowshot where, once again, the stakes were hammered into the ground and the battle line was reformed on a newly-ploughed field that had been soaked by constant rain. If I had to suggest one cause for the French defeat, it would be mud.


The Battle of Agincourt

The two sides are now little more than a couple of hundred paces apart. The English, astonishingly, had been given time to reposition themselves, and now the archers began the battle by shooting a volley of arrows. At least five thousand arrows, most converging from the flanks, slashed into the French and it seems that the shock of that first arrow-strike prompted the French to attack. A handful of Frenchmen advanced on horseback, trying to get among the archers, but mud, stakes and arrows easily defeated those knights. Some of the horses, maddened by pain, galloped back through the French men-at-arms, tearing their ranks into chaos.

Some eight thousand French men-at-arms were advancing on foot. No one knows how long it took them to cover the two hundred or more paces which separated them from Henry’s men-at-arms, but it was not a quick approach. They were wading through mud made treacherous by deeply ploughed furrows and churned to quagmire by horses’ hooves. And they were being struck by arrows so that they were forced to close their helmets’ visors.

They can see very little through the tiny eye-slits, their breathing is stifled, and still the arrows come. The conventional verdict suggests that the French were cut down by those arrow-storms, but the chief effect of the arrows was to delay and, by forcing them to close their visors, half-blind the attackers.
The French knew about English and Welsh archers. The longbow was capable of shooting an arrow over two hundred paces with an accuracy that would not be matched till the rifled gun-barrel was invented. At Agincourt some barbed ‘broadheads’ would have been shot at those few horses that attacked the English line, but the vast majority were ‘bodkins’, long and slender arrowheads without barbs that were made to pierce armour. A good archer could easily shoot fifteen arrows a minute, so five thousand archers could loose 75,000 arrows in one minute; over one thousand a second!

Why did the French not deploy their own longbowmen? Because to shoot a longbow demanded two difficult skills; the first was an ability to draw an extraordinarily powerful bow (at least three times as powerful as a modern competition bow) and the second, because the string was drawn to the ear, the skill of offsetting the arrow’s aim. It took years for a man to develop the muscles and skill, and for reasons that have never been fully understood, such men emerged in Britain, but not on the continent.
So as the first French line advances it is being struck repeatedly by arrows, and even if a bodkin did not penetrate plate armour its strike was sufficient to knock a man backwards. It is likely that about one thousand arrows are hitting the attackers every second. If the advance took four minutes (and I suspect it took longer) then something like 300,000 arrows would have been shot at the eight thousand men.

Even if the English were short of arrows and cut their shooting rate to one third, then they would still have driven 100,000 arrows against the struggling 8,000, and if the legend is correct, then not one of those Frenchmen should have survived.


English army on the morning of battle at Agincourt

Yet they did survive, and most of them reached the English line and started fighting with shortened lances, poleaxes and war-hammers. The fight becomes a struggle of hacking and thrusting, slaughter in the mud. But if so many arrows had been shot, how did the French ever survive to reach the English and start that murderous brawl? The answer probably lies in the eternal arms race. Armour technology had advanced and plate armour was mostly good enough to resist the English bodkin heads.

And how good were those heads? Arrow-making was an industrial scale activity in England, yet few men understood exactly what happened when iron was hardened into steel (the usual technique was to add bones to the furnace, thus increasing the carbon content) and doubtless many of the English arrows simply crumpled on contact with the enemy’s armour.

“They had expected annihilation and gained victory”

So the many reached the few, but the many were exhausted by mud, some were wounded and the English, enjoying the luxury of raised visors, cut them down. What seems to have happened was that the front rank of the French, exhausted by slogging through the mud, battered and wounded by arrows, disorganised by panicked horses and by stumbling over wounded men, became easy victims for the English men-at-arms.

There would have been the ghastly sound of hammers crushing helmets, the screams of men falling, and suddenly the leading French rank is chopped down and its fallen men become an obstacle to those behind who, being thrust forward by the rearmost ranks, trip on the newly fallen bodies and so become victims themselves. One eye-witness claimed that the pile of dead and dying was as tall as a man, an obvious exaggeration, but undoubtedly the first French casualties made a rampart to protect the English men-at-arms.

The French had attacked the centre of the English line where the king, the nobles and the gentry stood. Their aim had been to take prisoners, and so become rich from ransoms, but now that centre was a killing ground and, to escape it, the French widened their attack to assault the archers who had probably exhausted their arrows. Yet the archers had been equipped with poleaxes and other hand-weapons, and they fought back.

The bowmen wore little armour, and in the glutinous mud they were far more mobile than their plate-armoured opponents, and any mtan capable of hauling a war-bow’s string was hugely strong and a battle-axe in his hands would be a ghastly weapon. And so the archers joined the hand to hand fight and the tired French were killed in their hundreds.

The second French line, another eight thousand men on foot, tried to support their beleaguered colleagues, but they too were cut down and the remainder of the French simply melted away. The extraordinary, awful battle was over. The field was now groaning with horribly wounded men; men lying in piles, men suffocating in mud, dead men, blood drenched men. Perhaps as many as five thousand French died that day while English losses were in the hundreds, maybe not even as many as two hundred. The few had gained their extraordinary triumph.


The Battle of Agincourt 1415 from the Vigil of Charles VII

Why do we remember it? There were other victories, like Poitiers in 1356, that were more decisive and it is arguable that Agincourt achieved very little; it would take another five years of warfare before Henry won the concessions he wanted from the French and even then his premature death proved those gains worthless. Shakespeare helped, but Shakespeare was playing to an audience that already knew the tale and wanted to hear it again. Agincourt was famous long before Shakespeare made it immortal, yet even so there were those other great triumphs like Poitiers and Crecy, so why Agincourt?


The Holigost was a major part of Henry V's war machine as he sought to conquer France, in a conflict most famous for the Battle of Agincourt

It must have started with the tales that the survivors told. They had expected annihilation and gained victory. It might even be true that the archers, when the battle was over, taunted the French by holding up the two string-fingers that the enemy had threatened to slice off every captured bowman. The men in Henry’s army must have believed they had been part of a miracle.

The few had destroyed the many, and most of those few were archers. They were not lords and knights and gentry, but butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers from the shires. They were the ordinary men of England and Wales, and they had met the awesome power of France in hand-to-hand fighting and they had won.

The battle of Agincourt is part of the binding of England, the emergence of the common man as a vital part of the nation. Those common men returned to England with their stories and their pride, and these stories were told in taverns over and over, how a few hungry trapped men had gained an amazing victory. The story is still remembered, even six hundred years later, because it has such power. It is a tale of the common man achieving greatness. It is an English tale for the ages, an inspiration and we can be proud of it.

Bernard Cornwell is author of Warriors of the Storm, which is published by Harper Collins, priced £20. To order your copy for £16.99 plus p&p, call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk. An adaptation of Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom is on BBC Two on Thursdays, 9pm