Saturday, August 1, 2015

Libertas and Latte is moving

I've long wanted to switch over the WordPress, as Blogger by and I finally got of my are and dedicated the time to make it happen.

I'm turning off commenting on this site.

Please join me and update your bookmarks to:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Actual 'Gun Safety'

The gun control cabal has attempted to stealthily morph their branding from gun control…to gun safety. Yet for all their misguided [and perfidious] efforts….they have been unsurprisingly focused solely on control….rather than safety. They have long eschewed the Eddie Eagle Program, designed to teach young children how to react to coming across a firearm [Stop, Don’t Touch, Run Away, Tell a Grown-up]….not on its merits [which I would defy the gun control camp to refute], but because of its genesis in the National Rifle Association. Illustrating the intellectual immaturity of both their argument and their sock puppets….the gun control camp cannot seem to proffer an argument without invoking laughable memes and buzz phrases about the ‘eeeevil NRA’ or odd homoerotic projections comparing firearms to the phallus. columnist Cameron Smith proposes something the Constitutional rights camp has long endorsed; the implementation of firearm safety classes in the public school system.

To be clear, there are a number of reasonable restrictions that most gun owners accept. Minors shouldn't be able to buy firearms. Felons shouldn't have them. Neither should people suffering from severe mental illness that renders them a threat to themselves or others. In spite of gaps in enforcement, many such laws are already in place.

Here's a novel idea. Instead of letting Grand Theft Auto shape the next generation's attitude toward firearms, why not offer a thorough safety and training class as an elective for seniors in high school?

Evil men and women will figure out firearms on their own, without the benefit of wise counsel and instruction. We might want to make sure that we extend a superior opportunity to law-abiding citizens interested in self-defense and being able to engage firearms without being a danger to others.

Doing so would prevent immeasurable accidental gun deaths and foster a respect for firearms rather than fear.

It's past time to take back control of our guns by focusing on training, knowledge, and engagement rather than relegating firearms to a place of fear used solely by the worst among us. 

Our public schools have for many, many years….included all manner of safety classes within their curriculum [fire, water, electrical; weather, traffic, sports, etc, etc, etc]…….so why [if firearm accidents were such a national travesty’ would the “gun safety” camp want to educate our children to ward off these unfortunate events?

Because it goes to the strategy of demonization. The gun control camp pursues a campaign of mis-education and ignorance. Modern ‘studies’ and polls are rife with alleged correlations on gun ownership, gun laws, gun ‘culture’, etc……..but one paradigm we don’t see studied [by design], is the correlation of years past, when kids grew up shooting, hunting and being educated on gun safety

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hoplophobes and 'Swatting'

The "Coalition to Stop Gun Violence" or CSGV, has taken to their Facebook site encouraging their mouth breathing lemmings to call law enforcement any and every time they see someone carrying a firearm in public. They encourage their minions to tell law enforcement that they "don't feel safe".....though from the comments and CSGV responses, that the true intent is to [and I quote] hassle gun owners. They don't merely give a marching order to call the police...but to call 911. Good job guys....tying up the emergency line for frivolous and false reports really speaks highly of the intellect that we're dealing with here. /sarc

Swatting is the act of tricking an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing a 9-1-1 dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an ongoing critical incident.

What they likely don't realize, because let's face it, we're not dealing with the MENSA crowd that aside from taking law enforcement away from working and/or repsonding to actual violations of the law, filing a false report [when there is no crime being committed] is a misdemeanor in many states. Some commenters advocate telling 911 that there is an 'active shooter', which of course, will result in a felony conviction for the caller. Others state that they will leave any establishment that permits open carry, and without paying. Nice.

The comments are rife with the usual menu of stale meme's and outright lies...but the underlying theme is that their perceived [and non-existent] right to harass a citizen acting in a lawful manner, is somehow more important than the laws of their state and locality, as well as the burden placed upon the emergency services for their area.

So, I suppose it makes sense that those who would so casually disregard the rights protected under the Constitution, would likewise disregard state and local laws. Why is the gun control cabal such a criminal element?

* Hoplophobia is a neologism, originally coined as a pejorative, to describe an "irrational aversion to weapons." It is sometimes used more generally to describe the "fear of firearms" or colloquially as the "fear of armed citizens."

Monday, July 27, 2015

".....he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."

"This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It's got to be stopped." Mike Huckabee, July 2015
In the 2008 campaign, Huckabee supported negotiations with Iran.

Poising the GOP to lose yet another presidential election to the Democrats, Mike Huckabee tried to trump Trump. Huckabee, aside from not exactly being an individual liberty advocate......showed that while the GOP tries to portray themselves as the party of ideas, responsibility and intellectual maturity......they're really no different than the Democrats.

Good job guys! Why don't you just save time and money and measure the White House windows for Hillary's new curtains?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Obama cites Australia's gun confiscation........

Without the most base understanding that their gun control cabal is just as fundamentally ignorant as ours is.
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage. We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this,” the president said. 
“A couple of decades ago Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown, and Australia just said, ‘Well, that’s it. We’re not doing — we’re not seeing that again,’ and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since. I mean, our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no other advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this,” Obama added.
Of course, he doesn't mention the third rail of the gun control cabal......confiscation. But that's exactly what occurred in Australia.

The anti-liberty sycophants from down under suffer from the same fundamental ignorance about the issues that they're so petulantly vociferous about, as does our very own gun control cabal.

Not really sure if I should giggle at the stupid...or weep for humanity......

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Strategic idiots and faux-bravado

Well the easiest thing in the world is to go back to what we should have or could have done, but presidents don’t get to back in time like Marty McFly and live back to the future. We have to work with the facts we have, so there is no point in speculating should we have done it? I think the question is, what do we do in light of the situation we are in. And here is what we have to do. America has to have the most formidable, fierce, military in the history of mankind. So when we have a threat, whether it is ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranians, whatever it is, we make it very clear that we plan to push back and destroy that threat to us. And we won’t take 10 years doing it, we hopefully won’t even take 10 months, it will be like a 10 day exercise, because the fierceness of our forces would mean that we can absolutely guarantee the outcome of this film. That’s how America needs to operate in the world of foreign affairs, and foreign policy.

I won't invoke Godwin's Law......but a certain failed leader from mid-last century immediately came to mind when I read Huckabee's bluster.

Of course, on script, the allied interviewer resurrected the stale meme of our withdrawal from Iraq. Not because the interviewer and Huckabee are stupid.....but because they think you are stupid.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The blatant illegality of "sanctuary cities"

"Sanctuary cities" are illegal. Period. The states [much less municipalities] do not have enumerated power to control or enforce the border security of this nation. Thus, illegal aliens are federal fugitives. Local governments who wittingly harbor [broadcast it even] federal fugitives....are themselves in violation of the law.

Per Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a)

Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.

Encouraging/Inducing -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who -- encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.

Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

Penalties: With regard to violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(ii)-(iv) and (v)(ii), domestic transportation, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or aiding/abetting, the basic statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years.

We even have at least one candidate for POTUS nomination, who has publicly endorsed this violation of law. I invite tell me why the political elite are not subject to the penalties of violating statute law, as is the private citizen?

Topic h/t to Always On Watch

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Long overdue upgrade to service sidearms

In a significant doctrinal shift, the U.S. military is relegating full metal jacketed (FMJ) pistol bullets to a training role, and will be adopting modern hollow point designs similar to those used by most domestic law enforcement agencies and citizens who carry handguns for self-defense.
The stunning announcement was made at the U.S Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey yesterday during the military’s two-day “industry day” for the Modular Handgun System (MHS), which will conclude today.

Not only is the Army actively looking for the replacement to the underwhelming Beretta 9mm, DoD is finally looking to move from standard ball ammunition to the more effective hollow points. This has been a bone of contention at least since adopting the M9 and discarding the reliable standby, the M1911 .45. I remember that transition well.....and it's left the U.S. military under-gunned ever since.

Kudos for finally [though long overdue] taking care of our service members [SOF not included; they've had the HK45CT and MEUSOC .45's for quite some time now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Political Bouncers and their ropelines

What sort of effete, spineless pushovers populate our media corps these allow a candidate and her staffers to corral them behind a moving rope? A media corps that are complete accomplices to the political duopoly.

I can't help being a bit shocked that any self respecting citizen would allow themselves to be deprived the freedom of another private citizen. The collective press should hang their heads in shame.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The only true threat to the "Institution" of Marriage.....Divorce

From Ronald Balmer, writing an OpEd in the L.A. Times:
Evangelicals like to present their position as biblical and therefore immutable. They want us to believe that they have never before adjusted to shifting public sentiments on sexuality and marriage. That is not so. 
Divorce — and especially divorce and remarriage — was once such an issue, an issue about which evangelicals would brook no compromise. But evangelicals eventually reconfigured their preaching and adapted just fine to changing historical circumstances.
When I was growing up within the evangelical subculture in the 1960s, divorce was roundly condemned by evangelicals. Jesus, after all, was pretty clear on the issue. "And I say to you," he told the Pharisees, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." 
Anyone who was divorced was ostracized in evangelical circles. In some congregations, membership was rescinded, and at the very least the divorcee felt marginalized. Any evangelical leader who divorced his spouse could expect to look for a different job.
Although evangelical attitudes changed incrementally over many years, it's possible to identify the real turning point with a fair amount of accuracy: 1980. 
Not long ago I surveyed the pages of Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism and a bellwether of evangelical sentiments. Condemnations of divorce, which had been a regular feature in the 1970s, ceased almost entirely after 1980. 
More telling, the "family values" movement, which took off in 1980, largely ignored this once crucial subject. Jerry Falwell and other conservative preachers attacked abortion, feminism and homosexuality, but they rarely mentioned divorce. 
What happened? In a word (or two words): Ronald Reagan. When leaders of the religious right decided to embrace Reagan as their political messiah, they had to swallow hard.
More here

He makes a good point, not only does same-sex marriage NOT harm marriage [or procreation] writ large, but the actual threat to the union of two committed and consenting citizens....has become commonplace, whereas was as reviled as is the current drama.

Health Insurance rates to rise? Say it ain't so.....

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.


Now, who could have foreseen that this would happen? I mean, after "getting to keep our Doctors"......we've been led to believe that the federal government requiring citizens to purchase a private commodity, wouldn't engender any adverse conditions........


Friday, July 3, 2015

An Independence Day greeting to the Police/Security/Surveillance States of America

Photo h/t to eatgrueldog

This greeting is also extending to our effete political and pundit class.....but that would be redundant to the title.

BTW....tomorrow is Independence Day....the 4th of July is just a date on the calendar.....and a schlocky excuse for store sales.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Secular Jihadists"

The latest rhetorical tantrum thrown by pouty-faced foot stompers who are seeing a decline in the legislation of their religious beliefs, and the special privileges that have come with it.

Their claims that they support liberty, freedom and individual sovereignty have been exposed for the facades they are.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lindsey Graham, rational candidate?

There are a lot of upset people that believe in traditional marriage. They’re disappointed. They’re down right now, but the court has rules. So here’s where I stand. If I’m president of the United States, here’s what would happen. If you have a church or a mosque or a synagogue, and you’re following your faith and you refuse to perform a same-sex marriage because it’s outside the tenants of your faith, in my presidency, you will not lose your tax-exempt status. If you’re a gay person, or a gay couple, and I’m president of the United States, you will be able to participate in commerce and be a full member of society, consistent with the religious beliefs of others who have rights also…

I don’t believe there is any chance for a constitutional amendment, defining marriage between one man and one woman could get two-thirds votes in the House and Senate and be ratified by three-fourths of the states… In my view if you put it in the platform, in my view, it will hurt us in 2016 because it’s a process that’s not going to bear fruit.

What I want to do is protect the religious liberties of those who believe that opposing same sex marriage as part of their faith so no i would not engage in the constitutional amendment process as a party going into 2016 except for fighting for the religious liberties of every American.

Daily Caller

I've never really been a fan of Graham, and am not shilling for him as a POTUS candidate now.....but does he represent the most rational position on the Obergefell ruling, of the crop of GOP prospective?

An additional analysis by non-candidate Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI:

For thousands of years, marriage flourished without a universal definition and without government intervention. Then came licensing of marriage. In recent decades, we've seen state legislatures and ballot initiatives define marriage, putting government improperly at the helm of this sacred institution
Those who care about liberty should not be satisfied with the current situation. Government intervention in marriage presents new threats to religious freedom and provides no advantages, for gay or straight couples, over unlicensed (i.e., traditional) marriage. But we shouldn't blame the Supreme Court for where things stand.

To the extent that Americans across the political spectrum view government marriage as authoritative and unlicensed marriage as quaint, our laws must treat marriage—and the corresponding legal benefits that attach—as they would any other government institution. So, while today's Supreme Court opinion rests upon the false premise that government licensure is necessary to validate the intimate relationships of consenting adults, I applaud the important principle enshrined in this opinion: that government may not violate the equal rights of individuals in any area in which it asserts authority.

And my own analysis: We, as a society of free men....have long concluded that the marriage contract is a basic civil liberty. The denial of this contract, based on gender and sexual orientation....not only serves no purpose [as there is no burden upon the fellow citizen], but is antithetical to the very tenets of liberty....and is unequal protection under the law. The fundamental error in this entire affair, stems back to allowing the State to license this contract.

Further, this ruling is grounded in both the Equal Protection and the Enforcement Clauses [though Thomas had fair argument with respect to Kennedy's over reliance on the Due Process Clause] of the 14th Amendment; with adjudicated precedent dating back at least to the 1866 and 1875 Civil Rights Acts.

All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State or Territory "to engage in real property transactions, make and enforce contracts, and have the right to “the full and equal benefit of the laws.”

And my solution to the social strife? Remove the clergy from the role as an agent of the State, and you've solved not only this problem, but further remove the religious sacrament of marriage from the purview of the State, and place it solely in the hands of the respective denominations.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Liberty sees a rare victory

SCOTUS rules for Equal Protection Under the Law

This could actually be a boon for the GOP....if they're politically savvy enough to seize upon it. Until this day, a platform of denying civil liberties to fellow American citizens, has been a divisive plank that has kept many from voting for Republican candidates. I've long said that if the GOP were to embrace individual sovereignty and civil liberty...[notwithstanding their liberal spending policies], they would regain enough Libertarian voters to keep the Democrats at bay.

Sadly, as long as they pretend that marriage is not a legal contract between citizens....but rather some unalterable law bequeathed by God [though marriage predates the institution of Christianity], this is an unlikely prospect.

So, more likely....this further entrenches the Democratic Party as the majority.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Erasing history: Solutions in search of problems

So retailers from Walmart to Apple to Amazon to the National Park Service are falling over themselves in an attempt to not be the last entity selling or displaying the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Oh the horror......

Attempting to erase history to soothe the intellectually frail and those prone to the vapors isn't going to solve problems of racism or violence. The flag in question plays no role in these problems. It's an inanimate object and should be treated as such. But that's how our society reacts....erase a symbol and it will be proof of "doing something!" That's all that matters...the optics.

Meanwhile these seemingly well intentioned folks are ignorant that moves such as this, merely sets a  precedent that may well bite them in the proverbial ass.

The battle flag should no more be flown over a government facility, nor incorporated into a state flag....than should the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement [yet there it is]. As stated on Doc Bailey's blog:

I believe that it is an important part of our past, and should not be consigned to the dust bin.  I thing the confederate battle flag should fly.  With a caveat.  It should fly over reenactments.  I think there is a middle ground, where we can honor the courage and sacrifice of Americans, regardless of side, and also at the same time recognize the wrong done.  Unfortunately, at the time, passions are too high for this to happen.  One can only hope that the blood pressure subside enough that we can take a more realistic look at our history.  Accept both the good and the bad, and learn from both.  Like it or not the Confederate States of America is a large part of American history, and without the CSA, the USA would not be the country it is today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Some anti-gun meme's never die......

“You don’t need an assault weapon to go hunting, it certainly is not part of anybody’s family heritage or family tradition.” – White House Spokesman Josh Earnest

Of course, Josh is either ignorant of the fact that many people hunt with rifles that the gun control camp refers to as "assault weapons" well as the fact that they're not mechanically any different than any other semi-automatic rifle...or he is merely proliferating the stale, trite false narratives that his camp always does.

The gun control camps' fetish for willfully conflating semi-automatic rifles with automatic rifles....and emphasis on a 'military' appearance.....lacks integrity and reason that should be expected in discourse amongst adults.

But it's at least entertaining to see him posture as some arbiter of anyone's family heritage or tradition.

For extra credit, I present Sen. Harry Reid:

"The United States is the only advanced country where this type of mass violence occurs," [WRONG] Reid said from the Senate floor. "Let's do something. We can expand, for example, background checks....[DID NOT, AND WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED THE CHARLESTON SHOOTING] We should support not giving guns to people who are mentally ill and felons." [ALREADY AGAINST THE LAW]

Shouldn't we expect more from our elder statesmen? I'm a bit surprised that he didn't fall back on the meme, as POTUS hopeful O'Malley did, on calling for a ban on a type of rifle based on it's appearance.

It appears that Manchin and Toomey will resurrect their failed the circus continues.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bear Country

My backyard this past Friday, around noon.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Piers Morgan is still a dumbass

Embedded in another of his typical polemic [with the usual framing and hyperbole], following the tragic Charleston shooting, Piers Morgan utters the following absurdity:

I’m sick of hearing that the 2nd Amendment can’t be amended to drag it into modern life because the Constitution is such a sacred document. It’s already an AMENDMENT. Do the damn math.

Poor ignorant Piers.......this is exactly what the 2nd Amendment camp has been calling for. We ask that instead of cowardly end-runs...nibbling at the edges in order to mask the true agenda....why won't the gun control camp simply pursue an amendment or revocation of the 2A?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waving the bloody shirt

The bodies in the tragic South Carolina shooting have barely cooled, when POTUS took to the airwaves, and without a shred of reporting as to how the firearm in question was obtained...lambasted the allegedly "easy availability of guns" and went on to use the event as a lazy political jab at those who would see our Constitutional rights infringed beyond recognition.

The jackass couldn't even follow his own script when he stated "Now is the time for mourning and for healing."

Apparently not Mr. President......apparently its time to play politics.

Stay classy Obama......

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The candidates we deserve.....

As if it's not bad enough that we have good odds for an electoral showdown between another Bush and another Clinton, we have in the ring......Donald Trump.

Now, Donald has some decent ideas now and again, but do we really need another political caricature? Do we really need another political hack who gives fact-challenged speeches that include gems such as: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.

Perhaps we do need the Donald....if only to remind us how far we've fallen from the lofty ideals of a once great Republic.


Is it all just a charade?

Donald Trump Campaign Offered Actors $50 to Cheer for Him at Presidential Announcement

Sunday, June 14, 2015

USS Gabrielle Giffords?

The navy ship named after former Southern Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords was christened Saturday in Mobile, Alabama.  Vice President Joe Biden's wife Jill attended the ceremony for the U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords. 
"I'm thrilled to be here today," said Giffords.  "Thank you for this honor. In Congress I was proud to support our armed forces. I love the Navy. I even married a sailor." Link
Perhaps I'm late to the party on this one, but the USS GG was apparently just christened yesterday.
I guess we've run out of Medal of Honor recipients, or other who are no longer with us....who have contributed mightily to our defense and our culture.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rick Santorum thinks you're stupid

"[On Gay Marriage] This is tantamount to government establishing religion," Santorum said. "When the United States government comes in and says this is what you are going to believe, this is how you're going to practice your faith, this is a new religion. This violates, in my opinion, the Establishment Clause in the Constitution that says that Congress shall make no law with respect to an establishment of religion. If the government goes around and tells churches what they have to believe in and what their doctrine is, that is something that is a violation of the First Amendment."

Bullshit. Unabashed, embarrassing bullshit. I could care less what he thinks of civil liberties versus special privileges. I wouldn't vote for him regardless. What saddens me, is the his audience doesn't take him to task for his tactic. Either Santorum is stupid [unlikely] or he thinks that his audience is stupid.

No government entitiy is dictating what a citizen or a church can believe. It's literally impossible on it's face, and it's embarrassing to me as an American citizen, that we have clowns like this on the right, proliferating the airwaves with politically motivated false myths and memes.

So, expanding civil liberties in the face of religious opposition, unwilling to relinquish special tantamount to establishing religion. Yet one religion violating the Establishment Clause is somehow just....but the other alleged 'religion' allegedly doing bad?

This guy wants to be your President

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sirmione, Part IV - Final

It's hard to describe the geographic oddity of Sirmione, as well as give an overarching view with just me and my iPhone, so here's some borrowed imagery courtesy of the Google Machine.

Catullus' Roman Villa
Sirmione Castle 
The Sirmione Penninsula
The best way to finish the day

Sirmione, Part III

The Sirmione castle is the most significant example of the defensive structures on Lake Garda. Between the 13th and 14th centuries, the village of Sirmione was a border town situated between the land owned by the Della Scala dynasty of Verona and the property of the lords of Milan. The original nucleus was delineated by a tall square wall with three towers, and was probably built on top of the remains of a Roman fortress. 
In the mid 14th century, the fortified dock was completed and a wall was built around the nearby village. A special construction technique was employed in cui bricks baked in the vicinity were used with stone that came from the nearby hill of Cortine. The golden era of the castle arrived at the end of the 14th century. However, even though it was an extremely important fort, it never became the residence of the court. As wars raged on, the reigning Della Scala family abandoned the castle, and the Venetian Republic took over its administration in 1405. In the centuries that ensued, the development of heavy artillery marked the end of medieval castles, and pentagonal-shaped fortresses with relatively low, thick walls that resisted heavy cannon attacks were built in Peschiera and Sabbioneta. 
The fortress was used as a barracks for over three hundred years, and no radical changes were made ​​from 1797 with the advent of Napoleon to the beginning of the 20th century. The castle was renovated several times during World War I.

The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, pictured in the form of a winged lion, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Republic of Venice. It appears also in both merchant and military naval flags of the Italian Republic. 

Sirmione, Part II

The Church of San Pietro in Mavino: It was founded, according to tradition, by local fishermen in Lombard times. A part of the old building is still standing, although with additions and changes that have occurred in various periods, including Romanesque (XI-XII century). 
The building stands on the highest point of the peninsula of Sirmione, outside the town, not far from the ruins of the so-called "Grotte di Catullo" (famous archaeological site with the remains of a large residential building from the Roman period, and become reactivated Lombard period in fortified site). 
The first documents mentioning the church of San Pietro in Mavino date from the eighth century (in a manuscript of the year 756), while much more important is the document of the year 774 that records the donation of all the possessions of the Lombards to Sirmione Carolingian monastery of St. Martin of Tours, among them precisely the church of San Pietro in Mavino). 
The church of San Pietro in Mavino is today a rectangular nave with three semicircular apses to the east, and draws buildings of Carolingian derivation of the VIII-IX centuries. 
A bit off the beaten path from the usual tourist trade, a small sign will take you to a small, but stunning church.

The frescoes date from between the 12th and 16th centuries.

Sirmione, Part I

Catullus Grotto, not a real cave, but the remains of the biggest Roman villa in northern Italy. The archaeological area is on the tip of Sirmione Peninsula on lake Garda.  
It was a huge building with sophisticated engineering solutions to get through the gaps and drops of the rocks and create a wide terrace almost suspended above the lake. According to the archaeological findings it was a luxurious building decorated with columns, mosaics, frescoed walls and a private spa.  
Even today is a quite fascinating place, a maze where, between half collapsed arches and cyclopian walls, grow centuries old olive trees with the blue lake as back drop. 
According to the legend, the villa was the house of the famous Latin poet Catullus that mentions Sirmione in some of his most beautiful poems. 
A short drive from where I am in Northern Italy, Sirmione is full of history, and a great place to spend a day. Part I is the ruins of the Roman villa, thought to have been owned by the Roman poet Catullus.

Remains of tile flooring

Remains of original plastered and painted walls