Phil Collins Alamo story as told by him using the biggest model of the Alamo with lights.
January 14, 2018
December 26, 2017
“The People’s Republic of China tops the list, with 76 million lives lost at the hands of the government from 1949 to 1987.”
Before the question, how about a few statistics? The 20th century was mankind’s most brutal century. Roughly 16 million people lost their lives during World War I; about 60 million died during World War II. Wars during the 20th century cost an estimated 71 million to 116 million lives.
The number of war dead pales in comparison with the number of people who lost their lives at the hands of their own governments. The late professor Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii documented this tragedy in his book “Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900.” Some of the statistics found in the book have been updated at http://tinyurl.com/y96tqhrl.
The People’s Republic of China tops the list, with 76 million lives lost at the hands of the government from 1949 to 1987. The Soviet Union follows, with 62 million lives lost from 1917 to 1987. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German government killed 21 million people between 1933 and 1945. Then there are lesser murdering regimes, such as Nationalist China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico. According to Rummel’s research, the 20th century saw 262 million people’s lives lost at the hands of their own governments.
A closer look at the history behind one of the best Westerns, ever.
Martin Scorsese once said, “More than 90 percent of directing is the right casting.”
Lonesome Dove is the greatest Western miniseries—no, to hell with the miniseries limitation: it’s one of the greatest Western movies ever made. And its greatness is because of its casting.
We know that Larry McMurtry wanted to cast John Wayne as Woodrow Call and James Stewart as Augustus “Gus” McCrae. This might have worked in, say, the way that Wayne’s star trip in 1969’s True Grit worked. But it wouldn’t have been great the way Lonesome Dove was great because Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall were not cast for their star power but because they were Woodrow and Gus.
Not to argue with Scorsese—our greatest director of Easterns—but only half of a movie’s success can be attributed to the actors. The other half is due to the script. McMurtry and William Wittliff wrote Lonesome Dove’s script, and it had the advantage of being taken from one of the three greatest of all Western novels. (Number one is Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man, while Charles Portis’s True Grit and McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove tie for a close second.)
The greatness of Lonesome Dove starts with its source material, and the material comes from a man who knew his subject.
December 16, 2017
Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.
In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.
Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.
The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.
December 15, 2017
One of the most famous historical photographs in Texas history. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid along with other members of “The Wild Bunch” in Fort Worth, 1900. It was this photograph that led to their downfall when it was seen by a detective in a Fort Worth photography studio.
The iconic November 1900 image shows the Fort Worth Five, including Harvey Logan, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But little has been written about the photographer or about the detective who discovered the photo.
It is one of the most famous photographs in Western history. Five well-dressed outlaws gaze into the camera—two of them destined to be immortalized 69 years later in the Paul Newman–Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They since have been dubbed the “Fort Worth Five,” as they sat for the portrait in a Fort Worth, Texas, studio. But the identity of the photographer and the story of how the picture became a national phenomenon are equal parts myth and misinformation. Interviewed in the August 2008 issue of Wild West, Bob McCubbin, a noted collector of Old West photographs and then-president of the Wild West History Association, repeated the old canards that the photographer had placed the image “in his studio window” and made copies “for distribution to law enforcement around the country,” neither of which is true. Following is the real story, told for the first time, of how five outlaws came to have their picture taken in a Fort Worth studio on a November day in 1900—and why a sixth man and seventh man were just as important toward making that photograph an icon of Western history.
When Napoleon’s defeat was retold at Philip Astley’s Amphitheatre in 1824 – complete with handsome equine stars, orchestra and explosions – it dazzled audiences and set the pattern for military drama.
Philip Astley really knew about horses. He’d been a sergeant major with the Light Dragoons, teaching animals and cavalrymen “evolutions” – drill – so they could manoeuvre the many hooves and massive tonnages of horseflesh that 18th-century armies used to haul cannon and supplies – and to attack, mounted, with a kinetic whump of speed. He opened a riding school in the south London fields of Lambeth, then went into showbiz, erecting a performing space south of Westminster Bridge, slowly building it up into Astley’s Amphitheatre, with a very wide proscenium arch stage behind what we’d recognise as a circus ring of fresh pale sawdust.
Astley returned to the army as a horsemaster at the outbreak of the wars with France in 1793, and until his death in 1814, sent back updates on cavalry warfare, and ideas for equine scenes, including a hunt with a real fox. The amphitheatre put on acrobats and strongmen circus-style as acts, but during the Napoleonic wars, the big draws began to be “spectaculars” – scripted shows where the action was integrated into a plot, many borrowing their glamour, and sometimes personnel, from military display: its uniforms and band-music, the noise, smell and smoke of gunpowder, and, of course, those horses.
December 8, 2017
The historical ignorance of those want want to run the lives of others is as jaw-dropping as it is ignorant. Stefan Molyneux and Tom Woods discuss economic and historical facts which often get overlooked, obfuscated or denied when leftists promote the socialist agenda.
November 30, 2017
Was Kit Carson truly the king of the trappers?
A large rodent determined the destiny of Kit Carson, the Mountain Men and much of the American West. The North American beaver, the second-largest rodent in the world, along with its Eurasian cousin, was prized for its luxurious fur. Beaver pelts, useful in manufacturing malleable felts for hats, were prized throughout Europe, with the industry centralized in Russia from the 15th century onward.
The fine quality of beaver hats, and their expense, led to their identification with wealth. During the English Civil War, the broad-brimmed beaver hat became symbolic of the royalist cavalier faction, while in the Catholic Church, it became the headgear of cardinals. By the late 16th century, however, European beavers had been trapped to near-extinction.
The colonization of the New World opened up a fresh and cheaper supply of beaver pelts. The French and the British fought a series of wars in order to monopolize this new fur trade market. The triumphant British attempted to keep their American colonies hemmed in to the east of the Appalachian Mountains to better control this valuable trade, which contributed to the outbreak of revolution in 1775.
November 23, 2017
The full story behind the Gadsden Purchase.
Two American presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, began their lives as surveyors, a skill in short supply when the U.S. tried to draw its boundary with Mexico following the victory in 1848. The 1850 survey party that walked in their footsteps fully understood that the future of the U.S. and Mexico hung on them successfully mapping the nebulous border.
Their service was marred by a poorly worded treaty that started the boundary from the village of El Paso in Texas, resulting in the American surveyors drawing wildly inaccurate maps. Showing El Paso eight miles north of its actual location, the maps led to confusion and conflict over the U.S.-Mexico border in this remote corner of the continent.
The full story offers up backroom dealings, a growing conflict between free and slave states prior to the Civil War, the flawed man behind the name on the map and the bargain that finally ousted a dictator who had not been brought down by losing a war.
The Mexican-American War, like Vietnam more than a century later, was not uniformly popular in the United States. Northerners suspected the real aim of the war was to extend slavery to the west. Southerners welcomed Texas as a slave state and were ready to take on more territory, including Cuba and large parts of Mexico.
November 7, 2017
This scene from Tombstone was dead-on with history.
Remember a scene in Tombstone where Wyatt Earp leads gambler Johnny Tyler out of the Oriental and into the street? Something like that really happened.
Tyler was head of a gambling group called The Slopers. In mid-February 1881, he pulled a gun on a dealer at the Oriental, trying to take over the game. That was when Earp disarmed Tyler, grabbed him by the ear and threw him out—while Doc Holliday kept Tyler’s friends at bay with a pistol. Tyler left town a couple of months later as the Earp faction controlled gambling in Tombstone.