The birth day of western civilization

April 24, 1184 B. C. is the traditional date of the fall of Troy to the Greeks.  Troy was one of the great cities of the Hittite Empire, and its fall brought that empire to an end.  True Greek freedom, and the beginnings of western civilization, were now free to develop.

Hittites were Indo-European invaders of modern Turkey, and when they went to war with the Greeks their king had become a despot.  The kingship had become hereditary, and the ruler was called My Sun by the people.  He was a full blown dictator, with the power of military command, judge, and high priest embodied in one ruler.  As long as Troy and the Hittites kept their power, the ancient Greeks were confined to the Aegean Sea.  That ended some 3200 years ago.

650 years later, in 512 B. C., the Persian king Darius I invaded Greece, and resumed the war between Asia and the despotic east against the freedom of Europe and the west.  Like the Hittite kings, the rule of Darius was absolute, and he believed he had the divine right to rule the world.  This war of civilizations finally concluded with the triumph of Alexander the Great at Granicus in 334 B.C.,  not far from ancient Troy.

So today is a day to celebrate our western heritage, as Presidents Trump and Macron, of France, did this morning in a moving ceremony at the White House.  France is indeed our oldest alliance, and our relationship with them has always been special.

Today is also a day to celebrate the return of the black America I knew as a young man, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Back then, the black family was alive and well, and so was black American society.  I actually knew more about blacks than most white boys, because I respected them as fellow Americans, and I wasn’t afraid of them.   Their culture was black American culture, with its own distinct flavor.   Back then, we all loved their music, and their magnificent athletes, and their own flavor of Christianity.

The new black renaissance is led by a black woman named Candace Owens, now capably supported by Kanye West.  One of its leading exemplars is the hero of the Waffle House shooting, James Shaw Jr.  At the White House ceremony I saw young black Americans in uniform, proudly representing their country.   They’re part of it, too.  And there were black school children there as well, excited by the pomp and circumstance of American patriotism.

As long as we’re celebrating the fall of Troy, let’s raise a glass to the imminent demise of the evil Google Empire, with its arrogance, tax avoidance and censorship of political speech.  Its business model is the invasion of privacy, and we have finally got their number.  They have claimed that don’t be evil is a core value, but they really don’t even know what evil is, or who they are.

They are some of the finest engineering minds of our time, but that’s all they are  — engineers.  They don’t even know what words mean.  When they read, “In the beginning was the Word….”  they are as clueless as a small child.  Their fall will be celebrated by humanists across the globe.

On a personal note, today I at last begin to try and resolve a family tragedy that has haunted us for years.  On this special day, when Troy fell.

 

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