Monday, July 30, 2007

The Greatest Speech in the English Language

(Upon seeing the huge French army opposing the English)

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland?
No, my fair cousin:If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have.
O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:
'Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.
'Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Henry V
Act IV, Scene III

The Corruption of Alaska Politicians is Exceeded only by those of Louisiana

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

The Curious History of the Inquisition.

It always surprises me how unfamiliar people otherwise conversant in the period are with the Inquisition. I’ve often heard it described as being “as bad as the holocaust or worse” and it is commonly cited to illustrate the dangers of organized religion.

Unfortunately the facts don’t support these assertions. The worst excesses of the inquisition pale in comparison the depredations of any number of avowedly secular states. Furthermore, the outrages which did occur (any they were many) came at the behest of civil authorities not religious ones.

From the article:

"[T]he religious ideals of Catholicism were used in the Inquisition as a moral fig leaf by the Iberian monarchies for their political motivations. The most dangerous use of religious ideology was when it could be appropriated by powerful political forces for secular ends."

The War We Must Win

There seems to be a race, with the army trying to win the war before congress can loose it. Contrary to all expectations (in the media at least) the surge seems to be going very well.