He spoke at the Free Library of Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, and my parents and I spent some time (a) raging, (b) wondering who to complain to, and (c) trying to figure out just how much overlap there is between people who admire Erik Prince and people who go to events at inner-city public libraries.
Mostly, though, it brought to mind A.E. Housman and Hugh MacDiarmid:
"Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries"
These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.
"Another Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries"
It is a God-damned lie to say that these
Saved, or knew, anything worth any man’s pride.
They were professional murderers and they took
Their blood money and their impious risks and died.
In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
With difficulty persist here and there on earth.