Your fawning game leaves a lot to be desired, guys. Honey, have them beheaded. Photo by Getty Images

Is that a scepter in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Kings have had mistresses, well, ever since there have been kings. Their Queens were pragmatically chosen to initiate or advance important political alliances. And breed sons. Don’t forget the sons.

Royal mistresses were a choice of the heart. And hormones. Many Kings sought their happiness outside of the marital bed and often left the wives alone once they spawned a few heirs.

This arrangement did not work both ways, however. Queens caught creepin' risked execution, as it put the line of succession in doubt. …

Deconstructing the myth of colonist victimhood

If you visit the Old Burying Ground in Deerfield, Massachusetts, tucked away in the back corner there is a grassy mound with a weathered gravestone atop it. The only inscription it bears is the date “1704.” This centuries-old memorial honors fifty inhabitants of the tiny village killed in the overnight hours of February 28/29 by French and Native American raiders.

The death walk to Montreal

The rest of the town’s inhabitants — 100 people in all — were forced by their captors to march north in the bitter cold and snow to Montreal. …

Something weird happened to me recently. Well, weird for me anyway.

All the nopes in Nopeland. Photo by

I got a breaking news alert about a shooting at the Capitol. Instead of an immediate adrenaline rush and the automatic impulse to read that story, I didn’t click, I didn’t react, it barely even registered. I just scrolled on by.

Me, the World Class News Junkie.

I still don’t know all the details. I don’t want to know all the details. I can’t believe I still don’t know or want to know the details.

But here we are.

A shooting at the Capitol would’ve been shocking thirty years ago. We would’ve huddled around our big, boxy TVs in horror…

It’s a love story baby just say yes

I am yours, you are mine, of that be sure. You are locked in my heart, the little key is lost and now you must stay there forever.” – Alix to Nicholas

They first met at a family wedding in 1884 when Princess Alix of Hesse (later Empress Alexandra) was 12 and Nicholas (Nicky to his homies) was 16. Since they both sprang from the rarified world of European royalty they were closely related through multiple lines and saw each other quite regularly through the years.

Alix made enough of an impression on Nicky that he scrawled in his diary…

Can you believe how chill this fellah is with that big an owie? Photo by

“Will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest?” — Henry II

On the cold winter night of December 29, 1170, one of the most notorious murders of the Middle Ages occurred.

To please their King, four knights crept into Canterbury Cathedral to assassinate Archbishop Thomas Becket. This cold-blooded murder caused a wave of revulsion and outrage throughout Europe. Cults quickly grew around the slain Archbishop as reports of miracles attributed to him abounded. Becket was recognized as a martyr by the Catholic Church and canonized in 1173, so he’s got that going for him.

In the 12th century, the Catholic Church was the most powerful entity in Europe. Even royalty played…

Better now that you’re blocked, thanks.

According to artist renderings anyway

They must’ve been running a Special that day. Martyrdom of Four Saints. Painting by Antonio da Correggio

This has always blown my mind. I mean, I look more agonized when I get a paper cut than these guys do being chopped, roasted, stabbed, beheaded, and all the other god-awful fates (no pun intended) the early saints reportedly endured.

I’ve always been low-key proud of my pain tolerance, especially after enduring twelve years of Catholic school. But this crew is just so extra.

St. Sebastian

The infamous Andersonville Prison. Photo by Smithsonian Magazine

Henry Wirz: the only Confederate officer executed for war crimes

On November 10, 1865, Henry Wirz, the commander of Andersonville prison in Georgia (a.k.a. Camp Sumter), was executed for his actions during the Civil War. A Swiss immigrant, Wirz was the only Confederate officer convicted and put to death for war crimes (even Confederate President Jefferson Davis got off more or less scot-free.)

Andersonville, or Camp Sumter, was the largest Confederate military prison. The first prisoners came to Andersonville in early 1864. The original plan was to move the prisoners out of Richmond, Virginia, to an area of greater security and a better food supply. Over the next few months…

King George, Queen Mary, and their brood. Photo by

Saving the British Crown in a Revolutionary World

By the summer of 1917, the British Royal family was in quite the pickle. Although King George V was the reigning monarch of Great Britain, his ancestry was almost entirely German. This had never proved to be a problem before, but during World War I, anti-German sentiment among the British people verged on hysteria.

German-owned stores were destroyed, and the famously canine-crazy Brits even killed German breeds of dogs. Being a German of any species was a dangerous business in England.

To make matters even trickier, the King’s ties to Germany were still strong, not just an insignificant footnote from…

The Democrats have had a super-duper run lately, so let’s just dive headlong into the fuckery.

Bill Clinton Speaking Out for Women's Rights

Hey, here’s a great idea. Let’s have Kamala Harris host an event at her alma mater Howard University to empower women.

With Bill Clinton.

No really.

The “Let Them Eat Cake” moments are sure piling up.

I wonder how many brainstorming sessions went into this bizarre bit of theater where we all pretend Bill Clinton isn’t an unrepentant sexual predator. Bill Clinton’s idea of empowering women is letting them be on top.

Not only was Bill guilty…

Kathy Copeland Padden

is a political junkie and history buff randomly alternating between bouts of crankiness and amusement while bearing witness to the Apocalypse. Come along!

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