EPISODE 16 The War for the Black Hills (Part 1): The Heart of Everything That Is

“The Black Hills is my land and I love it.
And whoever interferes will hear this gun.”

— Lakota song

“Came to the Hills in 1833… got our gold in 1834. Got all the gold we could carry. Our ponys got by Indians. I have lost my gun and nothing to eat and Indians hunting me.”
— 
Ezra Kind

To the Lakota people, the Black Hills of South Dakota were — and still are — "the heart of everything that is." To the United States, they were a goldmine, and Manifest Destiny’s next target. It was for the Black Hills that the Lakota went to war against the United States for the last time. 

In this episode: 

  • We become acquainted with one of this story’s key characters: George Armstrong Custer
  • “In years long numbered with the past when I was verging upon manhood, my every thought was ambitious—not to be wealthy, not to be learned, but to be great.” Custer
  • Custer’s key role at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Reckless and proud
  • AWOL
  • Washita
  • ‘Garry Owen’ was Custer’s version of Apocalypse Now
  • The genesis of the hatred between Benteen and Custer
  • Raping POWs
  • Lack of money makes President Grant a peaceful man
  • The Mafia of the railroads
  • The Yellowstone expedition and the economic collapse of 1873
  • The Thieves’ Road, and Charley Reynolds’ ride

This summer I will be part of a tour of the Little Bighorn and relevant sites across Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota organized by www.geeknationtours.com Check out the details of the tour at http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-the-battlefield-of-little-big-horn/ 

Thanks to Audible for supporting our podcast.  Get a free audiobook with a free 30 day trial at http://audible.com/hof

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. This is the video of her pro debut match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxM81mds1Qs&feature=youtu.be Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 15 Ted Roosevelt (Part 3): The Man In The Arena

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” 
— Theodore Roosevelt 

He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo. 
He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate.
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech. 
He survived tragedies that would break lesser men.
He spent his life fighting against the inner demons trying to destroy him. 
He was a perfect embodiment of what Nietzsche probably had in mind when he wrote, “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." 
He was a warmonger with a diplomatic tact. He was a hunter and an environmentalist. He was a nerd and an athlete. He flirted with white supremacist ideas and yet was very progressive about race by the standards of his day. He was a big proponent of personal responsibility and supported quasi-Socialist policies.

Love him or hate him, he was larger than life. 

He was Theodore Roosevelt.

In this episode: 

  • “I am really sorry for Taft… I am sure he means well, but he means well feebly.” 
  • The end of a friendship
  • “To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” 
  • “My hat is in the ring. The fight is on and I’m stripped to the buff.” 
  • “The Republican Party must stand for the rights of humanity, or else it must stand for special privilege.” 
  • TR’s relationship with Socialism
  • A bullet in the chest
  • Challenging the two party system
  • The trip in the Amazon: “I had to go. It was my last chance to be a boy”
  • “I need not grumble about fate; I had my day, and it was a good day.”  
  • Heartbreak in WW I
  • Roosevelt and the limits of binary thinking
  • “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This episode is sponsored by http://audible.com/presidents. Thanks to Audible Channels for supporting our podcast. Check out their new original series “Presidents Are People Too!” at http://audible.com/presidents

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code "Fire20" upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 14 Ted Roosevelt (Part 2): The Strenuous Life

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not ... of superiority but of weakness.” 
— Theodore Roosevelt 

He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo. 
He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate.
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech. 
He survived tragedies that would break lesser men.
He spent his life fighting against the inner demons trying to destroy him. 
He was a perfect embodiment of what Nietzsche probably had in mind when he wrote, “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." 
He was a warmonger with a diplomatic tact. He was a hunter and an environmentalist. He was a nerd and an athlete. He flirted with white supremacist ideas and yet was very progressive about race by the standards of his day. He was a big proponent of personal responsibility and supported quasi-Socialist policies.

Love him or hate him, he was larger than life. 

He was Theodore Roosevelt.

In this episode: 

  • The Youngest American President: Juvenile and Proud-Roosevelt and Racism 
  • “Unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.”
  • Losing sight in one eye while sparring, and Judo days 
  • Going to battle with JP Morgan. The 1902 Coal Strike. At war with Congress over environmental preservation 
  • When the President camped outdoors in the Yosemite snow with John Muir
  • “…a small bunch of shrill eunuchs…”
  • Why American Football may not exist had it not been for Roosevelt 
  • “We bought the son of a bitch, and then he didn’t stay bought”
  • Jumping naked in the frozen waters of the Potomac River
  • The Media Queen: Alice Roosevelt; “a young wild animal that had been put into good clothes”
  • The Nobel Peace Prize
  • War in the Philippines; The Panama Canal; The Brownsville Incident 
  • William Howard Taft and his S&M marriage
  • Eating an elephant’s heart

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code "Fire20" upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 13 Ted Roosevelt (Part 1): The Rough Rider and His Demons

 “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“History as well as life itself is complicated—neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency.” — Jared Diamond

He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo. 
He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate.
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech. 
He survived tragedies that would break lesser men.
He spent his life fighting against the inner demons trying to destroy him. 
He was a perfect embodiment of what Nietzsche probably had in mind when he wrote, “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." 
He was a warmonger with a diplomatic tact. He was a hunter and an environmentalist. He was a nerd and an athlete. He flirted with white supremacist ideas and yet was very progressive about race by the standards of his day. He was a big proponent of personal responsibility and supported quasi-Socialist policies.

Love him or hate him, he was larger than life. 

He was Theodore Roosevelt.

In this episode: 

  • A sickly child discovers the joys of the strenuous life
  • Defeating fear by facing fear
  • Having the woman you love die in your arms; into the Dakota wilderness 
  • “A six year old child on steroids” 
  • "Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough" 
  • “Theodore had to hold on to his optimism very tight, otherwise he couldn’t get through the shadows, the darknesses, surrounding him” 
  • Marriage # 2
  • Why telling Roosevelt “It will break you. You will yield. You are but human;” is a bad idea
  • The Rough Riders
  • Going to war against his own party
  • How Thomas Platt’s plan to eliminate Roosevelt gave him the presidency 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 12 Caravaggio (Part 2): Folsom Prison Blues

During a visit to a church in Sicily, a priest offered Caravaggio “holy water”. Caravaggio asked the old priest what it was for. “It will cancel your venial sins, my son,” replied the priest. “Then it’s no use—Caravaggio commented—My sins are all mortal.” 

Giles Lambert about Caravaggio and his friends “They provoked the Papal police, hung around with the many Roman women of easy virtue, drank excessively and frightened the bourgeoisie.”

He was the greatest artist of his age, and also an outlaw whose passion for hookers was only second to his propensity for ending up in jail. Caravaggio was equally talented with paint and canvas as he was with the sword and with the art of breaking out prison. With the same hand with which he painted the most amazing masterpieces of the Renaissance, he stabbed pimps and bludgeoned cops. His art was as scandalous as his life: he brought a lowbrow brand of violent realism and sexuality to the traditional religious subjects that were commissioned by the Church: imagine Quentin Tarantino painting scenes from the Bible. But the more the elite hated him, the more the common people adored him. No painter of his day—and probably ever—was able to have such a magnetic effect on masses of people. 

This second and last part of the tale includes battles in the streets of Rome, Caravaggio’s revolutionary take on the origins of Christianity, the rivalry with Giovanni Baglione, Renaissance diss tracks, attempted murder over artichokes, the dubious diplomatic tact of using prostitutes as models for the Virgin Mary, the parallels between Caravaggio and Tupac, Caravaggio settling a grievance… with an ax, “Madonna dei Palafranieri”—Caravaggio’s middle finger to the Vatican, the duel with Ranuccio Tommassoni, a death sentence, ending up on the run, becoming a Knight of Malta, Mafia art thefts, breaking out jail, the attack in Naples, and becoming a legend. Caravaggio would have been able to relate to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount.