All Roads Led to Rome 


All roads led to Rome

In the late fourth century, the Western Roman Empire crumbled after a nearly 500-year run as the world’s greatest superpower. Historians have blamed the collapse on hundreds of different factors ranging from military failures and crippling taxation to natural disasters and even climate change. Still others argue that the Roman Empire didn’t really fall in 476 A.D., since its eastern half continued for another thousand years in the form of the Byzantine Empire. While just how—and when—the Empire fell remains a subject of ongoing debate, certain theories have emerged as the most popular explanations for Western Rome’s decline and disintegration. Read on to discover eight reasons why one of history’s most legendary empires finally came crashing down.

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Watch: War and Peace

What does it take to bring about peace? In TED Talks: War and Peace join host Baratunde Thurston to meet those who have experienced every aspect of war — fighters, journalists, psychologists, doctors and peacemakers — for a look at the impact of war and combat in our world. Learn how it affects every one of us in these extraordinary, passionate talks and performances from actor and veteran Adam Driver, who talks about his experience as a marine and how acting helped with his transition back to civilian life, journalist Sebastian Junger reflecting on PTSD after spending years reporting from war zones, author and humanitarian Samantha Nutt examining the proliferation and supply of small arms used to intimidate civilians in war-torn countries, Jamila Raqib, a peace activist and Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution who works on nonviolent solutions to some of the largest conflicts of the world, and activist and mother Christianne Boudreau conveying the emotional story of her son’s conversion to radical Islam and subsequent death while fighting for ISIS in Syria.

Along with a special performance from singer Rufus Wainwright, TED Talks: War and Peace also features a series of specially curated short films from award-winning filmmakers, including Bionic Soldier, which takes a look at the MIT Media Lab’s breakthrough advances in bionic limbs, providing greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities; Talk of War, which weaves together different adult voices talking to kids about war; and All Roads Point Home, which follows Linda Singh, Maryland’s highest-ranking soldier, as she uses the skills she honed in her deployments to Afghanistan and Kosovo to keep the peace during a rioting crisis in Baltimore.

War is our creation; we sell it, spread it, and profit from it, so how can we build a future without war?

Sebastian Junger: Over-Valorizing Vets Does More Harm Than Good 

Manning the rails

Task & Purpose spoke with the “Restrepo” director about his upcoming book, “Tribe,” and why over-valorizing veterans only does more harm than good.

Few civilians can get away with talking about the military the way Sebastian Junger does. Among mainstream journalists, his commentary on the experience of being an American soldier in the post-9/11 world is unparalleled in its depth and honesty. Over the years, he’s amassed a body of award-winning work — articles, books, films — that challenges popular assumptions about what it means to serve, and the psychological impact that service has on those who do. That’s a remarkable achievement for someone who’s never worn the uniform. Read more

There’s a Celebration going on in Crimea! 

My initial thoughts after learning this were relief and gratitude that the spoon fed rhetoric served to us in the west is false. People are not dying or starving or living against their will in a Russian occupied Crimea. Of course we have to deal with the other side of that coin. 

Remember your critical thinking cap when it comes to the information we receive. 

Image of the Day: 13 August 2016 

Widow and son

Widow & Son 

Image found here

Today in History: Senate approves United Nations charter 1945


Today in History

In a ringing declaration indicating that America’s pre-World War II isolation was truly at an end, the U.S. Senate approves the charter establishing the United Nations. In the years to come, the United Nations would be the scene of some of the most memorable Cold War confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Read more

The 24 Hour President 


Plaque on the grave of Atkinson

On Presidents’ Day, America pauses to remember its roster of chief executives. The list includes such hallowed names as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and, for some, Atchison. Who?

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Watch “Paul Harvey : Our Lives Our Fortunes Our Sacred Honor” 

Missed in History: Walter Reed 


Major Walter Reed (Photo by Photoquest/Getty Images)   

In the United States (and probably elsewhere, at least for people who keep an eye on U.S. news), Walter Reed’s name is sadly synonymous with both military medicine and with neglect and mismanaged care for veterans. But the man himself did critical, groundbreaking work in disease prevention, particularly related to the hemorrhagic illness known as yellow fever.
Our listener mail is from Karina, about the Young Lords, which is an organization we mentioned in passing in our Sylvia Rivera episode.

Episode link
: Walter Reed

Read more here 

[My]  research:
    “Walter Reed.” Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <;

    “Walter Reed.” World of Biology. Gale, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.

    Bean, William B. “Walter Reed: A Biography.” University Press of Virginia. 1982.

    Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. “Walter Reed (1851-1902).” Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection, University of Virginia.

Image of the Day: 4 August 2016 


127-GW-329-112426: After returning from the front line, Sergeant William Purdum rests and reads mail received on Iwo Jima. He was a member of the Twenty-Eight Marines. Photographed by R. H. Stotz, 4 March 1945.

After returning from the front line, Sergeant William Purdum rests and reads mail received on Iwo Jima. He was a member of the Twenty-Eight Marines. 
Photographed by R. H. Stotz, 4 March 1945.


Image found here 

Image of the Day: 31 July 2016

Churchill tanks of WWII

Churchill tanks of WWII

Churchill tanks of ‘B’ Squadron, 107th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps, 34th Tank Brigade. Normandy, 17 July 1944.

Image of the Day: 26 July 2016

US Special Forces Unit

US Special Forces Unit

Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.

Habakkuk ch I v 8

Image found here 

Do You Know The Reason Behind The Flag Folding?

National Flag Day

Folding the american Flag

The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life. Read more

American Sniper’s Chris Kyle: His Dangerous Life and Mysterious Death

Chris Kyle

Chris Kyle

Taya Kyle reveals how American Sniper “brought her husband back to life” and why she trusted Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Subscribe now to get instant access to the real story behind Chris Kyle, in this issue of PEOPLE. Read more

Image of the Day: 20 July 2016


Exhausted US Marines sprawl all over beaches while they wait for their LC to arrive and take them off Guadalcanal. The Marines had been left on the island for four months fighting the Japanese, all with waning supplies and growing wounded before the Army arrived to relieve them. 1943

Image found here