Gentlemen and Chivalry in the Age of Steel (SCOTT HOWARD, NOV 18, 2023, Freemen News-Letter)

Of all the great works of the Western literary canon, one that too often goes unknown or undiscussed is the Enseignements of Louis IX, a letter to his son. The letter modeled for his son what it meant to be a good Christian king in his time. The letter speaks of virtue and sacrifice. It implores the next king to be just to all his subjects and to remember that they are all brothers of his in the eyes of Christ. In short, the letter preaches the virtues of a good Christian statesman.

Though we live in an era where Christian monarchs are few and far between, the lessons of Saint Louis’ letter remain relevant. It is not merely a portrait of a good statesman. The letter describes, in part at least, what it means to be a good gentleman in the Western tradition. The virtues of the gentleman—to be just and kind to those around you and to strive to be a good man in the face of all challenges—are principles present throughout the Western canon. […]

I will leave off with another quote to ponder, this time from James Russell Lowell, related to the crisis of modern man:

“It is man who is sacred: it is his duties and opportunities, not his rights, that nowadays need reinforcing. It is honor, justice, culture that make liberty invaluable, else worse worthless if it means freedom to be base and brutal.”

-James Russell Lowell, Letter to Joel Benton, 1876

Reminding men of their duties and opportunities—reminding them that their liberty requires tempering—is the first step towards resurrecting the gentleman.

Liberty is a social virtue; freedom an anti-social vice.


Pockets of price deflation might be around the corner — just ask Walmart (Neil Irwin & Courtenay Brown, 11/17/23, Axios)

The American Farm Bureau said in its annual tally that the average price of a Thanksgiving dinner meal with turkey and sides is down 4.5% from 2022’s record high.

The intrigue: For general merchandise — all items excluding groceries — Walmart is rolling back pricing, “which will help our customers during this holiday season,” McMillon said.


Trump’s Own Witness in Fraud Trial Admits He Knows Nothing About Finances (Tori Otten, November 17, 2023, New Republic)

Laposa said the attorney general’s approach to valuation was “flawed” because it relied on a market value analysis of Trump’s properties. He argued it should have been based on the investment value, which takes into account the owner’s investment requirements.

When Laposa returned to the stand Friday, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office asked him if he had any experience reviewing personal financial statements. Laposa said no.

The lawyer, Louis Solomon, then asked if Laposa is or has ever been a certified appraiser. Again, Laposa said no.

Solomon cited Laposa’s initial deposition from July, in which he said that when “disparate valuations exist, it is prudent and common practice to examine the underlying assumptions.” Laposa admitted he had not done so with Trump’s valuations.

Laposa also revealed he had never seen the financial statements for Trump’s property at 40 Wall Street, which might make it difficult to value the property accurately. (On the stand Thursday, Laposa said that 40 Wall Street in Manhattan was also undervalued.)

It’s unclear what Trump’s legal team sought to accomplish by bringing in Laposa as an expert witness. His disastrous testimony reflects how much of the trial has gone for Trump.

Pretty hilarious that Never Trumpers pretended this was a weak case to try to establish their bona fides.