EPISODE 36 The 47 Ronin (Part 1)

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“Death poems
Are a delusion. 
You just die.”

— Zen monk Kanzawa Toko

The tale of the 47 Ronin is one of the most renowned revenge tales to ever come out of Japan. It is the subject of countless books, plays, and movies. It is also a story that has ignited never-ending debates. Some people argue that the 47 Ronin were paragons of virtue—perfect embodiments of the loyalty and honor that should be expected from the samurai. They offered the answer to the riddle that was plaguing the samurai at the beginning of the 1700s: what does being a member of a warrior class at a time of enduring peace? Other people instead look at the same story and walk away feeling like the 47 Ronin were violent thugs animated by questionable motives. In this two-part series of History on Fire, we dive deep into legend & history to find answers. 

In this episode:

  • A crash course in Japanese history
  • The transformation of the status of the samurai 
  • The curious institution of seppuku 
  • Ritual disembowelment as a way to say ‘sorry’
  • Death poems 
  • The ‘Kaishakunin’—a pal who would cut your head off to spare you the prolonged agonies of ritual disembowelment 
  • The “Dog Shogun”
  • Asano Naganori: “Given to pleasure in preference of the sober business of government.”
  • The consequences of pulling a blade inside the Shogun’s palace
  • Bonus revenge story: two angry sisters against a samurai

This episode is brought to you by https://www.bluechew.com/, the first chewable with the same FDA-approved active ingredients as Viagra and Cialis.  Visit bluechew.com and get your first shipment FREE (only $ 5 for shipping) when you use the promo code HISTORY.

Today’s episode is supported by “Must Triumph Podcast”—a brilliant podcast by Sam Yang on the theme of self-improvement and forging a philosophy aimed at elevating the quality of life. You can listen and subscribe at https://www.musttriumph.com/ or on any podcast platform. 

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 $ 30 off your first order—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 

History on Fire is brought to you by Kannaway. All CBD products are from organic, non-GMO European HEMP grown on generational family farms. The products all have a triple authenticated process guaranteeing you’re getting exactly what you are paying for. Because all of the CBD is from hemp and NOT cannabis, it is legal to use and possess in all 50 states AND Europe! Now you can get 100% THC-free CBD oil from hemp, delivered to your door in all 50 of the Unites States and the whole of Europe. Please check them out at: https://kannaway.com/2496006 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) 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, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, 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/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 35 The Magliana Gang (Part 2)

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“There was money that wasn’t coming back and the choice was between leaving some cardinal dead on the street or to strike someone close to the Pope. We chose the second path.” — Antonio Mancini 

“We of the Magliana gang were street bandits. We loved robberies, without asking anyone’s permission, without compromises. I wanted a Ferrari? One hit and i’d buy it. Cops would take it from me? Another robbery and i’d buy it again. I enjoyed all my money. De Pedis instead would buy night clubs, restaurants, houses. He was the boss of Campo dei Fiori.” — Antonio Mancini

“Of course you realize, this means war!” — Bugs Bunny

This series is about the rise of a street gang that took over Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. The Magliana gang was not just one of many criminal organisations who operated in Italy. Among their business partners, they counted Italy’s most important politicians, bankers, secret services, and possibly the Vatican itself. The gang left an indelible mark on Italian history. The story of their rise to power and of the heyday of their rule truly is stranger than fiction. It’s the kind of story that makes you think that the Godfather 3 perhaps was a documentary after all. There are lots of books and documentaries about this story but they are nearly all in Italian, so it looks like I’m your man if you wanna hear this story in English—or whatever approximation of English I speak. In this episode:

  • Some disturbing glimpses at how power operates away from the spotlight
  • Corrado Carnevale “The Sentence Slayer”—the Supreme Court Justice most loved by the Mafia 
  • Fascist psychiatrist Aldo Semerari loses his head (in more ways than one)
  • How the killing of journalist Mino Pecorelli was probably connected to one of Italy’s most powerful politicians
  • The death of Franco Giuseppucci and the revenge war it ignited 
  • If life is a box of chocolates, Nicolino Selis got a very bad chocolate 
  • Abbruciati and the Banco Ambrosiano shootout just 1/3 of a mile from where I grew up 
  • Why banking for the Vatican is not good for your health: Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi 
  • The Vatican Bank, money laundering for the Mafia, anti-communism and missing money 
  • The split in the gang: Testaccini vs. Magliana
  • The Emanuela Orlandi kidnapping 
  • The Magliana internal war: Toscano, De Pedis, and informants 
  • Cooperative vs. competitive systems 

This episode is brought to you by https://www.bluechew.com/, the first chewable with the same FDA-approved active ingredients as Viagra and Cialis.  Visit bluechew.com and get your first shipment FREE (only $ 5 for shipping) when you use the promo code HISTORY.

Today’s episode is supported by DECONSTRUCTED, a new political podcast by journalist Mehdi Hasan. DECONSTRUCTED is out every Friday. You can listen and subscribe at theintercept.com/deconstructed or on any podcast platform.

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 $ 30 off your first order—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 

History on Fire is brought to you by Kannaway. All CBD products are from organic, non-GMO European HEMP grown on generational family farms. The products all have a triple authenticated process guaranteeing you’re getting exactly what you are paying for. Because all of the CBD is from hemp and NOT cannabis, it is legal to use and possess in all 50 states AND Europe! Now you can get 100% THC-free CBD oil from hemp, delivered to your door in all 50 of the Unites States and the whole of Europe. Please check them out at: https://kannaway.com/2496006 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) 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, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, 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 34 The Magliana Gang (Part 1)

“A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison” 

— The Clash (from the song Bankrobber)

“We were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking… Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city…When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking.” 
— From the movie Goodfellas

“Drugs are power”
— Antonio Mancini 

This series is about the rise of a street gang that took over Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. The Magliana gang was not just one of many criminal organisations who operated in Italy. Among their business partners, they counted Italy’s most important politicians, bankers, secret services, and possibly the Vatican itself. The gang left an indelible mark on Italian history. The story of their rise to power and of the heyday of their rule truly is stranger than fiction. It’s the kind of story that makes you think that the Godfather 3 perhaps was a documentary after all. There are lots of books and documentaries about this story but they are nearly all in Italian, so it looks like I’m your man if you wanna hear this story in English—or whatever approximation of English I speak. In this episode, we’ll see one of bloodiest gangsters in the late 20th century being buried among Cardinals; why law-abiding citizens are fascinated with gangsters; the genesis of the Banda della Magliana; the kidnapping of the Duke Massimiliano Grazioli Lante della Rovere; how the gang took over Rome; the gang becoming the liaison to the criminal underworld for Church and State; the story of The Years of Lead; Italian Prime Ministers being kidnapped by Communist guerrillas; the killing of Franchino Nicolini, and much more. 

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 $ 30 off your first order—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 

History on Fire is brought to you by Kannaway. All CBD products are from organic, non-GMO European HEMP grown on generational family farms. The products all have a triple authenticated process guaranteeing you’re getting exactly what you are paying for. Because all of the CBD is from hemp and NOT cannabis, it is legal to use and possess in all 50 states AND Europe! Now you can get 100% THC-free CBD oil from hemp, delivered to your door in all 50 of the Unites States and the whole of Europe. Please check them out at: https://kannaway.com/2496006 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) 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, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, 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 33 On Good and Evil: From My Lai to Sand Creek

“Most people are not evil. Most people are weak. And weakness is fertile ground where evil can thrive.” — DB

"Every Day/ On our fellow man we prey/ Dog eat Dog/ To Get by/ Hope you like my genocide” — The Offspring 

“Hello darkness, my old friend…” — Simon and Garfunkel

What makes seemingly normal men commit horrific acts against civilians during war? What allows some people to act heroically in the darkest circumstances and what makes others turn into monsters? How does training and leadership play into this? After discussing the stories of Sand Creek and My Lai in Episodes 32A and 32B, in this episode Darryl Cooper (The Martyrmade Podcast) and I sit down with retired Navy Seal, author and podcaster Jocko Willink (The Jocko Podcast) to tackle these questions. 

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 $ 30 off your first order—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 

History on Fire is brought to you by Kannaway. All CBD products are from organic, non-GMO European HEMP grown on generational family farms. The products all have a triple authenticated process guaranteeing you’re getting exactly what you are paying for. Because all of the CBD is from hemp and NOT cannabis, it is legal to use and possess in all 50 states AND Europe! Now you can get 100% THC-free CBD oil from hemp, delivered to your door in all 50 of the Unites States and the whole of Europe. Please check them out at: https://kannaway.com/2496006 

A big thank you for the support to the podcast How It Began: A History of the Modern World by Brad Harris. Brad holds a PhD in history from Stanford University and is the host of a great new podcast focusing the most important scientific, technological and cultural advancements in history. So, please check out his podcast and his website https://howitbegan.com  

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-it-began-a-history-of-the-modern-world/id1221558103

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) 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, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, 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 32B Anything That Moves (Part 2): The Parallel Stories of Sand Creek and My Lai

"Because I felt like I was ordered to do it, and it seemed like that, at the time I felt like I was doing the right thing."  Private First Class Paul Meadlo explaining his role in the My Lai Massacre. 

"How do you shoot babies?" Meadlo was then asked. His reply... "I don't know. It's just one of them things."

"I felt then and I still do that I acted as I was directed, and I carried out the order that I was given and I do not feel wrong in doing so." — Lieutenant William Calley Jr. addressing his own leadership during the action.

"Every Day/ On our fellow man we prey/ Dog eat Dog/ To Get by/ Hope you like my genocide” — The Offspring 

“Hello darkness, my old friend…” — Simon and Garfunkel

I’m not going to lie. This is one of the darkest episodes of History on Fire. But there are reasons for this journey into the heart of darkness. The stories of Sand Creek and My Lai offer an opportunity to explore human agency, the choices separating good and evil, and how some individuals can choose to become sources of light even in the most horrible circumstances. In part B, I hand the microphone to my friend and master podcaster Darryl Cooper (from The Martyrmade Podcast.) Darryl explores the context of the Cold War in order to come to terms with what happened at My Lai, in Vietnam, in 1968. Horror abounds, but if you are looking for heroes in the midst of the horror, you can do a lot worse than hear about the story of Hugh Thompson. 

This episode is sponsored by “CNN’s American Dynasties: The Kennedys.” Check out this CNN Original series about one of the most famous American families in the 20th century. It premieres on Sunday, March 11 at 9 pm Eastern 

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 $ 30 off your first order—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 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) 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, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, 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/