One of the things I’ve neglected to post about, is I finished another book a few weeks ago. It was Garet Garrett’s: The People’s Pottage. Anyone who’s read Bastiat should read this. Garet Garrett was born in Illinois in 1878, and by 1920 was a renown financial and economic writer. As Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented his New Deal, Garrett saw through the rhetoric and lofty language, and saw it for the marxian revolution that it was. He saw the methods the Executive was using to establish, by quiet revolution, an empire, to replace the constitutionally limited Executive. At many points in the book, I found myself saying, “Hey, they are still doing that today!!!”
The People’s Pottage is comprised of three essays: 1944’s notable political monograph The Revolution Was, 1951’s ExAmerica, and The Rise of Empire, written in 1952. Together, they form a “real-time” analysis of the breakdown of constitutional limits on Executive power, destruction of our stable currency, and the erosion of freedom in this country. It is particularly poignant, because he can describe what freedom was, before it was twisted and trodden by the ever-expanding new government and bureaucracies.
Having finished that, I moved on to Dueling With The Sword and Pistol : 400 Years of One-on-One Combat, by Paul Kirchner. It is 480 pages of glimpses into people’s lives, snapshots of what they thought important enough to defend with their lives. There have always been quite some interesting characters running around, some base scoundrels, some noble gentlemen. Often, you did not find out which was which until you saw them in a dire circumstance.
One of the things that struck me from these stories, was how absolutely shocking it was, in the old days, to treat someone rudely. Character, honesty, and integrity were so highly cherished and sought, that if one were to proclaim that someone lacked any of those attributes, it was an offense worth risking mortal combat, in order to prove the offender wrong.
How different it is, now, with insults being traded without care, between total strangers, and no one cares.
I’ve had to take a bit of a break from Dueling to read Man of the Family, by Ralph Moody, before we return it to my sister. This book follows directly after Little Britches, as Moody’s autobiography of growing up in the wild west, in the early 1900’s. He teaches us life’s lessons, true values, and honesty, as he learned it, growing up with the teachings of his good parents.
And lastly, Kendo practice tonight was excellent. We only had about 14 people total, and only, I think 3 people below Dan-rank: me, a fellow at 3-kyu, and a beginner in bogu, but without rank. This permitted us to all pair up, and practice non-stop. Very tiring, but very good for conditioning and development.