Published Articles

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Inspired by the incredible adventures of various historical figures and finally spurred on by the book, Prince Rupert — The Last Cavalier (2007) by Charles Spencer, which I recently read and reviewed — I have compiled a brief list of arguably the ten most adventuresome characters of history.

Adventuresome here requires an explanation: Audacity in more than one area of historical pursuit in physical adventure, as well as other activities or intellectual pursuits. By this I mean, for example, that charismatic heads of state, such as Robespierre, Mao, Stalin, or Hitler, do not qualify because their rise to power, despotic careers, conquests, and brutal rules are all involved in the same vein — the attainment and preservation of political power. The converse is also true for true republican heroes, who gained power and ruled for the best, such as George Washington and Winston Churchill; or wholly benevolent figures, such as Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, who belong on humanitarian lists. By the same token, great generals of history, whose virtually sole claim to fame is the result of purely exercising military prowess, such as Napoleon, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, or...



Monday, March 24, 2014

Barack Obama swore as U.S. President to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Instead he has violated his oath of office repeatedly by expanding the powers of the federal government at the expense of individual citizens and attempting to yield the sovereignty of the U.S. to the U.N. The Obama administration, for example, has sided with the U.N. against state laws in his own country on several occasions. In Arizona, the Obama administration attempted to prevent the state from enforcing immigration laws. Perhaps more egregiously he colluded with the U.N. to use the treaty power of the U.S Constitution to circumvent the entire document, particularly when it comes to the Second Amendment. We refer to the U.N. Small Arms Treaty that Obama and many Democrats supported. This treaty represented a backdoor attempt to impose restrictions on U.S. gun rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, including registration of some firearms, banning and confiscation of others. By using the U.N. treaty, Obama and his political allies hoped to bring about gun control, bypassing the protections of the U.S. Constitution.

Barack Obama, virtually as his first accolade, received an...



Monday, March 17, 2014

Prince Rupert — The Last Cavalier (2007) by British author Charles Spencer — journalist and former correspondent for NBC News, writer, broadcaster, and British peer 9th Earl Spencer and brother of the late Princess Diana, the former Princess of Wales — should be congratulated for writing this magnificent and comprehensive biography of Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-1682), a prince who packed more adventure into a single lifetime than seemed humanly possible by the standards of any age.

Despite this exulted royal ancestry, Prince Rupert lived a very hard and precarious life. The prince was the nephew of Charles I of England and first cousin to Charles II, and his sister, Princess Sophia, was the mother of George I, who later established the Hanoverian line of British monarchs. During the English Civil War, Prince Rupert scored numerous victories, rescuing Newark and York, but also suffering major defeats, particularly at the decisive battles of Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645). Against all odds, he fought on for what many already believed was a lost cause — the restoration to the throne of his uncle, the Stuart King, Charles I, who had been deposed by a rebellious...



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just as I was beginning to warm up to Vladimir Putin and the new emerging "democracy" in the Russian Federation (which like a phoenix rose out of the ashes of the communist Soviet Union), the Russian President and his minions in the Ukraine invade the Crimean peninsula and threaten to foment a second cold war! Who is Putin trying to imitate? Is it Peter the Great, who wanted the Russian fleet to have access to the Baltic, or Catherine the Great, who first conquered the Ukraine for access to the Black Sea? Or is it the more sinister Stalin, who first used Sochi as his private resort and, more ominously, helped start World War II by signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and invading Eastern Poland in 1939?

The imperialistic designs of Tsarist Russia in the 19th century and the murderous, authoritarian legacy of Joseph Stalin still seem to lurk in the shadows of the Russian nation with the consent of a large proportion of the Russian people.(1) Is communism, for all the assurances of Western journalists and academicians, truly dead, or still able to lift its ugly head behind the former iron curtain? The grim Russian authoritarian past does not seem to allow mother Russia to...



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Suleiman the Magnificent — Scourge of Heaven by Antony Bridge is an engaging, but not exhaustive, narrative of the major events in the life and times of the great Ottoman Sultan Suleiman (r. 1520-1566). I was not disappointed in this book, which reads like a charming storybook. The tome is at times suspenseful, always informative, and frequently suitably illustrated, including excellent illustrative maps. I wanted to learn not only about Suleiman’s life and his position in the constellation of Renaissance rulers of this age, but also the interplay with other rulers and subordinates — and in that regard I was satisfied. This book is as much a sketch of the life of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (r. 1519-1556) and a recollection of the treacherous exploits of Francis I, King of France (r. 1515-1547), as it is a biography of Suleiman. We must also mention the book contains vivid descriptions of the heroic defenses of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes in 1522, led by their Grand Master Philip Villiers de L' Isle Adam, and in Malta in 1565 after becoming the Knights of Malta, led by Jean Parisot de la Valette; the raids of the Barbary Coast corsairs in the Mediterranean and the...



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Soldiers of Fortune — The Story of the Mamlukes (1973) is another undiscovered gem of a book by a scholar, historian, author, and soldier, a British Lieutenant General, Sir John B. Glubb (1897-1986), better known as Glubb Pasha by the Arabs he commanded in the Middle East in his many years of service while in the British army. The tome is a masterpiece of research on a topic little known to students of history — arcane, indeed, to most Western scholars and historians!

This tome is really a chronicle of the redoubtable Mamluks of Egypt and Syria, who ruled for 250 years, but whose accomplishments have all but been forgotten from the pages of history. Who were the Mamluks?

The Mamluks were Turkish or Circassian (i.e, from the north Caucasus) slave soldiers, bought in the slave markets of Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and other areas of southern Russia. They were bought as children in the Islamic slave markets and brought to Cairo by the ruling class of Egypt where they were given military training to serve as mercenary slave soldiers serving the Ayoubid dynasty of Sultans (1169-1250). The Ayoubid dynasty, you will remember, had been founded by...



Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Galleys at Lepanto by Jack Beeching (1982) is a marvelous book, so well researched and mellifluously narrated as to read almost as a fairy tale or an epic romance of yore, elegantly scribed in poetic prose. Foremost among the knights-errant in this tale of chivalry is Don John of Austria, illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and half-brother of the stern King Philip II of Spain. The characters come to life as they are vividly described in the enthralling narrative, thus once begun, the tome is very difficult to put down. Intrigue, perils, and tales of heroism galore at Rhodes, Malta, and Cyprus await the reader before the denouement at the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571.

We also learn about the main protagonists and their characters and the shaping events in their lives — Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Pope Pius V, Grand Master and Knight of Malta, Jean de la Valette, and the uncharacteristic childhoods of King Philip II of Spain and his half-brother Don John of Austria, as well the dispositions of their main adversaries, Ottoman Sultans Suleiman the Magnificent and his depraved son, Selim II “the Sot”, their Grand Viziers, and the Barbary Coast corsairs...



Monday, February 10, 2014

There is a Cuban proverb that reads: Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres, which roughly translates: "Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are." For those who have not studied the issues and ramifications of convening a Constitutional Convention, now referred to as "Convention of States" to make it more palatable to state rights conservatives, the Cuban refrain should ring bells of concern. The Left has brought forth this issue numerous times. Most memorable was the effort by liberal economics Professor Rexford Tugwell (1891-1979), an FDR "Brain Trust" member, suspected American communist, and internationalist known for his global planning strategies. Prof. Tugwell helped draft a new more statist, model constitution for the United States giving power to the federal government for economic planning. He hoped to bring about a Constitutional Convention to make his scheme a reality between 1945-1948. There was even a novel written featuring Tugwell being elected President of the United States after FDR! God help us!

More recently a Harvard Conference was convoked in 2011 calling for a Constitutional Convention to attract Tea Party...



Monday, February 3, 2014

Stalin's Secret Agents — The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government was written by two experienced authors and recognized authorities on the Cold War, M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein. Evans is a veteran journalist and former broadcaster, as well as the author of Blacklisted by History (2009), a biography of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and other momentous books. Romerstein was the former head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at the U.S. Information Agency and a congressional staffer of the House Intelligence Committee. These two men have collaborated in writing a magnificent and shocking exposé that has been crying out for exposure — to inform as well as to correct and augment the incomplete and distorted historic record, not to mention reveal the true moral standing of a number of Americans who betrayed the nation for a perverted and venal ideology based on lies.

The importance of this book is that it not only exposes the penetration of the U.S. government by full-fledged Soviet spies but also documents the subversion by communist "agents of influence" subservient to Stalin and the USSR high up in the FDR administration. This is a inimical tale of...



Saturday, February 1, 2014

John Quincy Adams (2012) by Harlow Giles Unger is a well written and well-researched book that brings to light the sixth president of the United States, and the only son of a Founding Father to become president — John Quincy Adams. The Adams family was not only to give birth to several American statesmen, but also men of letters, diplomats, politicians, historians, and famous Americans — among them the Harvard educator Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886) and his sons, the novelist Henry Adams (1838-1918), and the historian Charles Francis Adams II (1835-1915).

After reading Unger's previously published book about James Monroe (The Last Founding Father, 2009), I reset Monroe in a higher pedestal from that in which I had previously placed him, from my knowledge of his life and American history, and from having read W.P. Creeson's  masterpiece, James Monroe (1946). I was disposed to believe the same about John Quincy Adams. But that was not to be the case. This was not due to the author's abilities as a writer or historian; Unger did a magnificent job as a biographer in this book. The problem was I learned more about John Quincy Adams that I previously did not know, and...





Fransini Giraldo is a Colombian girl who dances her own style of Salsa. In this video, she dances to the rhythm of Sonora Carruseles de Colombia, presumably in the Colombia countryside. Published July 16, 2013.