The Dying Gaul

Last week, Gail and I wrote a piece about the Durham Report.  Our thesis was how our government was weaponized against people and institutions that they view as a threat.   

The list of enemies of the state is a long and growing one.  Donald Trump is on that list as are the J6 “rioters”, many of whom are still incarcerated in clear violation of their Sixth Amendment rights.  And now we can add another:  Daniel Penny.

Penny, a former Marine, restrained a potential madman from injuring others on a New York City  subway.  Should anyone believe this was a case of a white man attacking an unarmed black man, they would be mistaken.  Jordan Neely, who later died from his injuries, was also being restrained by two other men, one of whom was black.    

Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter.  A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when that person recklessly causes the death of another person.  The key word here is “recklessly”.  As you can see from the video below, Penny released the chokehold, which is not the action of a man who is in the full throws of blood lust.  Still, it must be assumed that his actions later caused Neely’s death.  

It is a leap to say that Neely may not have actually been threatening anybody but let’s be honest, the list of altercations that ordinary commuters have been subjected to doesn’t leave much margin for error, does it?  The NYC subway system has become a veritable killing field.  From 2014 to 2019, 28 people were killed while riding on the subway (either in a car or being shoved in front of an oncoming train).  In 2022, this number soared to eighty-eight. 

Neely was on New York’s “Top 50” list of the most dangerous and out-of-control New York miscreant offenders.  It was only a matter of time before he (or an erstwhile victim of his) came to an untimely end. 

Penny bares a striking physical resemblance to the Dying Gaul, but the resemblance doesn’t end there.  The Gaul in question is an avatar of a dying civilization.  What was the Celtic civilization, decimated by Rome’s legions, is today New York City, a degenerate polity, corrupt from top to bottom, inside and out.  As to whether the rot that engulfs Gotham will take down the rest of America in its death throws remains to be seen.  Certainly a case can be made that America is not far behind New York City in its demise.  

In my estimation, it is the arrest of Penny by a completely corrupted city government that is emblematic of a civilization undergoing its own collapse.  Penny, too, is a victim of sorts, but it is the society which arrested him that is not long for this world.  This can’t be stressed enough.

New York City, for all intents and purposes, is a “rotten borough,” a kakistocracy, that is to say a government run by the worst for the worst.  A place where injustice and anarchy are the rule, not the exception.  

Which means that if you’re not on the right team, you’re screwed.  Donald Trump wasn’t on the right team, therefore he was fined $5,000,000 for not raping a woman who couldn’t even remember the month or the year in which she said Trump assaulted her.  

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Daniel Penny who fits every description of a hero:  tall, virile, courageous.  If he never rode the subway that day, he would be a hero simply for being part of America’s most storied fighting force.  People are flocking to his aid.  So far, over one million dollars has been contributed to his defense fund.  

Unfortunately, there is nothing heroic about our civilization.  I believe it was C S Lewis who said “liberals mock virtue and yet are surprised to find out that they are surrounded by scoundrels”.  America has done yeoman’s work in deriding the masculine virtues for decades now.  What should we expect? 

Please watch this video.  (Warning: it’s not easy to watch.)  Penny held Neely in a chokehold while people just stood there looking on.  That alone is an indictment of New York.  But I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  People stand there and watch women being raped, too.

I’m sure, in retrospect, Penny wished he hadn’t used this kind of force against Neely.  But then what?  Should he and the others just have stood by and watched a madman possibly injure others?  Because of the nature of some of Neely’s past crimes, it’s entirely likely there was something in his tone and mannerisms that suggested he was not only not making sense, he was also extremely dangerous.   Three people thought so, while many others looked the other way, probably relieved they didn’t have to do anything themselves.     

Is this the kind of city that the people of New York want to live in?  To have to constantly look the other way, in the hope that in going about your business you won’t ever have to ever come to someone else’s aid?  Because that’s what we’re dealing with here. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Priest and the Levite looked the other way.  Jesus did not commend them, did he?  

Civilization is not natural.  In the jungle, there is only one law: that of tooth and claw.  To the extent that it exists at all is only because of the manly virtues, among them the readiness of good men to protect the weak and innocent.  The good need not be perfect (no one is) but they must be resolute.  In taking action, those of us who are protected must acknowledge that not all contingencies can be anticipated in spite of our very best intentions.

Civilization cannot exist if heroic men are are not rewarded for doing the right thing, no matter how tragic the consequences.  Nor will it exist if the men who take such actions are not abridged by others if, in the heat of the moment, the would-be hero is not able to foresee the consequences of all his actions.  Neely didn’t die because Penny took action.  Neely died because a dispassionate few, privy to what was happening, didn’t speak up sooner to alert Penny on Neely’s behalf.        

Civilization exists in community.  Without community, you’ve got nothing.    



  1. Dcn John says

    I think The Rolling Stones said it best

  2. I just found out that Tina Turner passed away. The true queen of rock and roll:

  3. Imagine being harassed by someone in the NYC subway – someone like Neely who might use a weapon to annihilate passengers? Thankful for Penny.

  4. Harvey Andrews sings here of another soldier
    who was in the right place at the wrong time:

    [Video – 04:57]

  5. What do you expect with our police forces placed under restraints and woke ideologies along with our Armed Forces forced to adhere to a propaganda that has undermined the once great fearless US Military. .