The Crusaders

Last week, Rob Long and Peter Robinson found themselves in a disagreement about –not kidding– The Crusades. Well, one of the great things about having a very popular podcast is that you can get just about anyone to show up and adjudicate any dispute or question one might have. It’s basically like having Wikipedia on call. But more about that in a moment. Up first, independent journalist Michael Tracey had a radical idea: there was a lot of talk about the riots in the mainstream media, but almost no reporting on the aftermath and the human cost of the unrest. So he got in his car and did it himself. His story is very much worth your time, as is this conversation with him (thanks to Ricochet member @concretevol for the suggestion!). Then, as mentioned, we tracked down Professor Thomas Madden, aka the world’s foremost authority on The Crusades to determine who got it right. You’ll have to tune in to get the results. Also, @bossmongo wins the coveted LPoW badge this week, and are movie theaters history? We discuss.

Music from this week’s show: Ourselves To Know by Warren Zevon

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There are 51 comments.

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  1. Peter Robinson Founder

    With that graphic, EJ has outdone himself. Which is saying something. The man is a genius.

    • #1
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:11 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  2. Scott R Member
    Scott RJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hadn’t heard that tune before and just listened to it in full. Holy cow that’s a great song.

    • #2
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I said this on another thread, but The American Story is really wonderful. At least half of the episodes have made me cry. It’s like the unwoke answer to The Memory Palace, which used to be good until (probably inevitably) Nate DiMeo decided that his listeners needed to learn specific lessons from his stories (instead of just, you know, enjoying them).

    I am delighted that they are sponsoring Rico podcasts. I sent them a donation a month or two ago, and within ten days I received a handwritten thank you card from host Christopher Flannery. It’s a class operation all the way around.

    • #3
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Good lord, was Thomas Madden sitting next to an industrial hydraulic press? What the heck was that noise?

    • #4
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. I. raptus Member
    I. raptusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I remember Prof. Madden from an old episode of Uncommon Knowledge!

    • #5
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Hadn’t heard that tune before and just listened to it in full. Holy cow that’s a great song.

    It’s really long, but should have used this: You’d have to start in a minute or two instead of from the beginning.

    • #6
    • August 7, 2020, at 4:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Scott R Member
    Scott RJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Good lord, was Thomas Madden sitting next to an industrial hydraulic press? What the heck was that noise?

    I tried to imagine a sword penetrating chainmail to provide atmosphere 

    • #7
    • August 7, 2020, at 4:19 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Blue Yeti Admin

    Charlotte (View Comment):Good lord, was Thomas Madden sitting next to an industrial hydraulic press? What the heck was that noise?

    Tried to get rid of it and failed. Sorry. Will take another run at it tonight.

    Update: Got some more of that noise from Tom Madden’s mic off the track. Not perfect but noticeably better. If you downloaded to your device, delete the copy you have and re-download it to get the new version.

    • #8
    • August 7, 2020, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Great guests and good questions. The intro was on point too. Thanks. 

    “Bad for New York City, good for country.” No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities. 

    Those major cities will remain Democrat strongholds and exercise power over surrounding communities. And the Democrats relocating will usually remain Democrats, infecting their new hometowns with big city ideas. Smaller towns struggle to remain conservative anyway with national media and nationalized education dominated by Democrats. 

    Tracey’s distinction between politically motivated revolutionaries and opportunistic looters is significant, but perhaps not very important. If a small insurgency can count on local thugs and vandals to amplify the damage, the consequences and necessary response are the same as if they were one group. The destruction and threats must be stopped with overwhelming force. Whether defending against raiders or against common criminals, evil doers must fear the just.

    • #9
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  10. J Ro Member

    I have never found the time to study the Crusades in depth. It’s such a long period of time covering many significant changes. It’s the Hundred Years War on steroids.

    The professor pointed out that the Church’s power and authority dominated political systems. Things seem to have been driven more by religious mysticism than by politics. “The Crusades were a response to aggression. They were a defense of the Christian world.” That seems a great way to sum it all up.

    Apparently the whole thing is covered in Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which would be a solid survey of the topic in beautiful English prose even if not the latest scholarship.

    • #10
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member

    Great Episode. That’s all. 

    • #11
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:32 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Peter Robinson: With that graphic, EJ has outdone himself. Which is saying something. The man is a genius.

    Who? ME?

    • #12
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:04 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Tedley Member

    Michael Tracey’s article is depressing but necessary to know. Another case of where Progressives don’t help the people they purport to help.

    Another point that caught my attention: It certainly seems like lots of rioters were prepared to quickly engage in firebombing. Looked at globally, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that this level of disorder in the US would please Xi and Putin. 

    • #13
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    George Bush once refereed to the ‘coalition of the willing’ as a crusade… He quickly walked that back…

    I am glad that EJ chose the crusades as the theme over flappers.

    I think the covid misadventures, are only accelerating the telecommuting process that was already rolling – although now companies are starting to realize that people need not live in the same city or even state as their job. I think this was a process that was going to happen anyway, but we maybe pulled it forward 20-30 years. 

     

     

    • #14
    • August 7, 2020, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Bishop Wash Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Tracey’s distinction between politically motivated revolutionaries and opportunistic looters is significant, but perhaps not very important. If a small insurgency can count on local thugs and vandals to amplify the damage, the consequences and necessary response are the same as if they were one group.

    On some of the videos a person would smash the store window but never go in to loot. Just open the store for the looters and not interested in looting for himself.

    • #15
    • August 7, 2020, at 10:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. SParker Member

    J Ro (View Comment):

    I have never found the time to study the Crusades in depth. It’s such a long period of time covering many significant changes. It’s the Hundred Years War on steroids.

    The professor pointed out that the Church’s power and authority dominated political systems. Things seem to have been driven more by religious mysticism than by politics. “The Crusades were a response to aggression. They were a defense of the Christian world.” That seems a great way to sum it all up.

    Apparently the whole thing is covered in Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which would be a solid survey of the topic in beautiful English prose even if not the latest scholarship.

    The Church was a major political player, striving with temporal power and with pesky sincere believers (St. Francis, for example). Gregory, Bishop of Tours, (6th century) in Book 5 of The History of the Franks paints a picture of Frankish court intrigue and puts himself smack dab into it. Someone said one thing you learn from medieval sources is what a medieval hatchet job looks like. It’s probably what was going on in all Europe’s courts, petty and grand. Where, for that matter, churchmen form what bureaucracy there is (the Norman kings of England had a particularly effective one), Calls to crusade have their political element, too.

    Sorry to say you may not find the last half of Decline and Fall all that satisfying. Gibbon’s heart wasn’t in it: he wrote it out of duty. I finished it for pretty much the same grim reason. One problem is that Gibbon, you may notice from the first part, has an Enlightenment view of the old-time religion, not really a fan. Combine that with a thousand years of seemingly pointless, yet furious, theological squabbles (think of the old saying about faculty disputes–so vicious because the stakes are so small–although the players clearly didn’t see the pettiness), and you get some wonderfully written confusion. Although I do remember some good bits about Justinian and Theodora (now there was an empress!) at the beginning.

    • #16
    • August 7, 2020, at 10:40 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    Great show. Two interesting guests. But, Rob, you sure seemed to have pulled back from your opinions of last week. “Some people say…” rather than boldly stating your opinions. 🐔

    • #17
    • August 7, 2020, at 11:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Henry Castaigne Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    I am glad that EJ chose the crusades as the theme over flappers.

    Can’t we have both? It’s not either or.

    • #18
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. RufusRJones Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities. 

    Same thing with Puerto Rico. It’s basically an island version of Chicago. Everybody that is smart, honest, and productive gets the hell out. They move to Florida and vote Democrat. 

     

     

    • #19
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities.

    Same thing with Puerto Rico. It’s basically an island version of Chicago. Everybody that is smart, honest, and productive gets the hell out. They move to Florida and vote Democrat.

    This is why I’m against automatic voting rights. 

    • #20
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:32 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. RufusRJones Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities.

    Same thing with Puerto Rico. It’s basically an island version of Chicago. Everybody that is smart, honest, and productive gets the hell out. They move to Florida and vote Democrat.

    This is why I’m against automatic voting rights.

    One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard was what Rush Limbaugh said about Africa. He said that everybody that was honest and smart leaves. That’s the problem with Africa.

    Your basic, ordinary legal immigrant from Africa is a positive for this country. The problem is when you take economic “refugees” from hell holes like Somalia. It’s comprehensively bogus. Daniel Horowitz of conservative review coined the term “One Way Persecution.” You get persecuted for your religion or your political beliefs. That is not what is happening in Somalia. It’s just chaos and we cannot take “refugees” like that. 

    I wish the government would wipe out all of Puerto Rico’s debt and take over most of their public services and utilities. We could make plenty of money off of that. Make it more attractive for people to move there and stay there. 

    • #21
    • August 8, 2020, at 2:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities.

    Same thing with Puerto Rico. It’s basically an island version of Chicago. Everybody that is smart, honest, and productive gets the hell out. They move to Florida and vote Democrat.

     

     

    The only Puerto Rican I know well is a rabid Republican and MAGA fanatic. But that’s probably because he married a Swede. If you multiply two negative numbers… 

    • #22
    • August 8, 2020, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I had a YouTube lecture on the Crusades saved, but it has apparently been removed. Go figure. Its focus was to compare on a map the number of battles in the Crusades with the Muslim conquest of Europe.

    The early Crusades were focused and brief. By the time you reach the fourth, you’re talking centuries later and a very different situation. They might be as related as the Iraq war and Aghanistan war are connected in the War on Terror (not much).

    • #23
    • August 8, 2020, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. RufusRJones Member

    Mark Levin has been going after the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing stuff. Trump finally got rid of it in short order after he made a big deal out of it. What was interesting was, he had a guest on his radio show that specifically mentioned Minneapolis caving into their notion of zoning. Basically getting rid of single-family homes in the city. He was really mad about it. Of course, AFFH is about homogenizing the whole metro area. 

    Unless they radically increase the police force, radically overhaul the education system, and let businesses prosper, I think it’s going to go south. The Democrats could do whatever they want beyond that, except shove urbanism down the throats of the suburbs. I think that’s the way to think about it.

     

     

     

    • #24
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. LibertyDefender Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    “Bad for New York City, good for country.” No, Rob, it doesn’t necessarily help the country if people migrate from the self-destructive big cities to the booming mid-sized cities.

     * * *

    Tracey’s distinction between politically motivated revolutionaries and opportunistic looters is significant, but perhaps not very important. If a small insurgency can count on local thugs and vandals to amplify the damage, the consequences and necessary response are the same as if they were one group. The destruction and threats must be stopped with overwhelming force. Whether defending against raiders or against common criminals, evil doers must fear the just.

    I was um, … dismayed by Rob’s comment to the manager(?) at the restored Verizon store. Rob‘s “but you know, you put everything back” doesn’t convey to me even a hint of the vast extent of the damage suffered and repaired. The storefront was destroyed, and its entire inventory was stolen. I suspect the furnishings were destroyed as well. My guess is that that intentionally oblivious Verizon employee is in fact just that, an employee, without even a philosophical ownership interest, let alone an economic one.

    Speaking of employees with no ownership interest, yesterday on my afternoon daily post-Rush Limbaugh show, Larry O’Connor was asking the very important question (paraphrasing) “when will schools start again, and what criteria will be used to make that decision? The powers that be aren’t saying.”

    Steve the school bus driver called from the affluent Fairfax County suburb of Reston, and joined Larry in complaining that the local school administration wasn’t telling him anything about whether he would get paid this fall semester (which will begin on September 8, two weeks later than the 2020-2021 original school calendar, and will be entirely remote).

    Larry asked Steve if he got paid during the entire spring semester, even though schoolkids weren’t attending school after mid-March. Steve replied “of course” (or words to that effect).

    Larry – to his immense credit – suggested that perhaps school bus drivers shouldn’t get paid when they’re not driving kids to and from school, and he even asked Steve “do you have any idea how many people have lost their jobs during this CoVid-19 crisis?”

    Without a second’s hesitation, Steve said

    “There’s money in the budget.”

    • #25
    • August 8, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    I wish the government would wipe out all of Puerto Rico’s debt and take over most of their public services and utilities. We could make plenty of money off of that. Make it more attractive for people to move there and stay there. 

    We can’t take over Iraq and Afghanistan. I imagine that if we did that to Puerto Rico, things would all go back to the way they were. I don’t know if the problem is the Puerto Rican government but that the real problem is that the government represents Puerto Ricans. 

    Poor Latinos, their governance is an echo of the Spanish Empire and the Spanish Empire was pretty garbage. 

    • #26
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. LibertyDefender Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I wish the government would wipe out all of Puerto Rico’s debt and take over most of their public services and utilities. We could make plenty of money off of that. Make it more attractive for people to move there and stay there.

    I was crushed when we abandoned Haiti after invading. I had such high hopes that we’d set it up as a free market for investment by the Marriotts and Hiltons and such, to establish an affordable Caribbean resort destination.

    • #27
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Arahant Member

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):
    I was crushed when we abandoned Haiti after invading.

    They had nineteen years and four days. If they can’t do it in that time, when are they gonna do it?

    • #28
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. LibertyDefender Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):
    I was crushed when we abandoned Haiti after invading.

    They had nineteen years and four days. If they can’t do it in that time, when are they gonna do it?

    In my accidental defense, I referred only to invading Haiti (during my lifetime), not occupying Haiti.

    • #29
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. RufusRJones Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I don’t know if the problem is the Puerto Rican government but that the real problem is that the government represents Puerto Ricans. 

    Poor Latinos, their governance is an echo of the Spanish Empire and the Spanish Empire was pretty garbage. 

    I’ve heard explanations of this and I agree with what you’re saying. The problem is so many morons including GOP want to turn it into a state and also I simply see them exporting a lot of grief no matter what. Everyone involved needs good things to move in there, not out. We could charge them a lot of money for managing their infrastructure if we wiped out their debt. It would be completely fair. 

    The other thing is, they literally get both severe earthquakes and hurricanes and we have to take care of them. This just seems like a better set up. 

    • #30
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:32 AM PDT
    • 2 likes