“Where are you, Impaler…?”

Synchronicity sometimes leads to some interesting and unexpected juxtapositions! I am currently employed as a driver education instructor, and earlier in the week the sighting of a Chevrolet Impala reminded me of this creative vanity license plate:

Vlad-the-Impala-License-Plate

That, in turn, reminded me of a discussion some months previously with a different student, who happened to be Romanian: he informed me that Vlad the Impaler is actually remembered with considerable respect and affection in Romania, citing the example of his Romanian grandmother, who – when someone did something notably stupid – was known to mutter under her breath what is apparently a traditional byword in that country, “Where are you, Impaler?”

Vlad-the-Impaler

Now, today, an article came across my news-feed that His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales, had been on a visit to Romania. The article was mostly concerned with his support of charities in the area, and his visits to cultural events and landmarks, but in the latter context, noted in passing that he had visited the Old Princely Court in Bucharest – “which was built in the 15th century by ‘Vlad The Impaler’, an ancestor of The Prince”! I had not known of that family connection.

So, who was this Vlad the Impaler, anyway? He has a bit of a bad reputation, especially in the United States, due to his heavily fictionalized connection with Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” But what is the real story? Continue reading ““Where are you, Impaler…?””

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The Prince of Wales visits Romania | The Royal Family

The Prince of Wales has spent three days in Romania where he visited a number of sites and charities and met many different Romanians from all walks of life.

Source: The Prince of Wales visits Romania | The Royal Family

The Royal Visit started at the NATO Headquarters in Bucharest where The Prince was able to meet British Military officers. His Royal Highness also took the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Romanian National War memorial.

At the Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of Romanian President, The Prince of Wales met the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. During the meeting President Iohannis presented The Prince with the The Order of the Star of Romania, Romania’s highest civilian order.

The following day The Prince of Wales visited the Village Museum in Bucharest where he was welcomed by people dressed in traditional Romanian folk costumes. In celebration of Romania’s cultural Heritage His Royal Highness took part in the dance known as the ‘Hora’. The Prince was also able to see many examples of traditional Romanian crafts such as wooden tile making and egg decorating.

His Royal Highness also visited the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, where he met Patriarch Daniel, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and later met with Their Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu.

His visit included a number of visits to local charities, including one of which he is Patron – the FARA Foundation, a charity that “transforms the lives of vulnerable and traumatised children and young people” – and highlighted work that is being done to combat human trafficking and modern day slavery.

The article notes that HRH visited The Old Princely Court in Bucharest: built in the 15th century by “Vlad The Impaler,” an ancestor of The Prince! Vlad has a bit of a bad rap in the U.S., mainly due to his heavily fictionalized connection with Bram Stoker’s character, “Dracula.”

More on that in a separate post

For now, suffice it to say that Vlad’s ire was directed primarily toward the Ottoman Turks who were attempting to invade and subjugate the area – which gives the story an eerily contemporary relevance, given the actions and attitudes of present-day Turkey, under its President Erdogan!


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A warning, from “Founding Father” John Adams

John_Adams_Early_Years

“I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either… Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.”

~ John Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams

Quote found on Favorite Quotes: Stephen Clay McGehee


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What Is Southern Agrarianism? – The Southern Agrarian

“The Southern Agrarian movement, born in the 1920’s, is rooted deep in Southern soil. It also goes back to the English Cavalier culture with its system of aristocracy and social hierarchy. The need to return to this simpler, more orderly, and self-reliant way of life has never been greater than it is today. Southern Agrarianism is a cultural movement, and that is our primary focus.”

Source: What Is Southern Agrarianism? – The Southern Agrarian

As someone who was born, bred, and is currently living in the northern marches of what has traditionally been known as the “Old South” (antebellum South – Maryland being by history and heritage a Southern state, part of the Tidewater region, and of what was in the 18th century known as the “Tobacco Coast”), I find deep resonances and affinities in the Southern Agrarian movement. This blog, The Southern Agrarian, by Stephen Clay McGehee, is superb. As he writes,

In short, this is about leading the way to a life set free from the bonds of an increasingly complex society and the vulnerabilities that go with it. It is about tradition and social order. It is about growing plants and raising animals and understanding the meaning of husbandry and stewardship. It is about understanding our place in the world – those who came before us and those who will follow after us.

Southern Agrarianism is a Blood and Soil movement. It takes in two of the most basic concepts in all of history: Our People, and the soil that provides the food that feeds our people. It means that, while we wish all the best toward others, our immediate family comes first, followed by ever larger circles of extended family, and then on out from there. There is Our People, and there is Other People.

This being Southern Agrarianism, our people are the Southern people; those who originated in Europe and built the South. Historically, the culture of the South was heavily influenced by the Cavaliers who fled the violence of the English civil war and settled in the South. They brought with them the English high culture which translated into the Southern Plantation culture: a hierarchy-based culture that was deeply rooted in the soil. [I would only add that there was significant influence on Southern culture from the Scots, Irish, and Scotch-Irish who moved into the mountain hinterland, as well, but the Southern Plantation culture of which he speaks was largely English – and Anglican.] There was a sense of kinship that was shared by both the smallest share cropping farmer and the largest plantation owner; they shared the common bond of those who live close to the soil. They were Southern Agrarians.

The Southern Agrarian

As you can see from the above, there is a direct historical and cultural connection between the Southern Agrarian tradition and the “Anglophilic Anglicanism” of this my own blog! I commend The Southern Agrarian, and the Southern Agrarian tradition and movement, to your sympathetic attention.


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C.S. Lewis – on being progressive

C.s.lewis3

“Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him

Liberals were horrified to learn that Mike Pence doesn’t dine alone with women who aren’t his wife and doesn’t drink if she’s not around. They shouldn’t be.

Source: Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him

Vice President Mike Pence sets clear boundaries, to protect the integrity of his marriage, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. For this, he is mocked and insulted by people on the Left. So, pussy hats and slut-walks are acceptable, but treating one’s marriage as the sacred thing it is, is not? All rightie, then… I wish I could honestly say I was surprised.

“Anyway, is Mike Pence a monster for not dining privately with women who are not his wife? What about not boozing it up at parties unless his wife is around? Not only is he not a monster, he sounds like he’s a smart man who understands that infidelity is something that threatens every marriage and must be guarded against…

“Infidelity destroys intimacy, happiness, and marriages themselves. But it happens because of the strong temptation that exists every day for most healthy people. When marriages end, the associated costs are financial, emotional, and physical. Divorce tends to be hard on men, women, and children. It harms economic and health outcomes for children, and decreases women’s standard of living over the course of their lifetimes. Guarding against it is smart…

“If divorce rates weren’t sky-high and if infidelity weren’t a problem faced by millions of couples, mocking Pence for the means by which he keeps his marriage intact might make more sense. Heck, if the human condition weren’t such that we all find it difficult to do the right thing, the mockery also might make sense.

“As it is, Pence’s smart tactics for avoiding the kind of marital failure that could destroy him, his wife, their family, and the lives of those around them is to be commended and celebrated.”