Saturday, May 26, 2018

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Land of Forever”

2002, “Land of Forever”

"You Are Not Crazy: Taking a Time Out"

"You Are Not Crazy: Taking a Time Out"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Sometimes as adults, we just need a time out to refocus and gather ourselves before starting out again. Most of us feel a little crazy from time to time. Periods of high stress can make us feel like we’re losing it, as can being surrounded by people whose values are very different from our own. Losing a significant relationship and moving into a new life situation are other events that can cause us to feel off kilter. Circumstances like these recur in our lives, and they naturally affect our mental stability. The symptoms of our state of mind can range from having no recollection of putting our car keys where we eventually find them, to wondering if we’re seeing things clearly when everyone around us seems to be in denial of what’s going on right in front of their eyes. For most of us, the key to survival at times like these is to step back, take a deep breath, and regain our composure. Then we can decide what course of action to take.

Sometimes a time-out does the trick. We take a day off from whatever is making us feel crazy and, like magic, we feel in our right mind again. Talking to an objective friend can also help. We begin to see what it is about the situation that destabilizes us, and we can make changes from there. At other times, if the situation is particularly sticky, we may need to seek professional help. Meeting with someone who understands the way the human mind reacts to stress, loss, and difficulty can make us feel less alone and more supported. A therapist or a spiritual counselor can give us techniques that help bring us back to a sane state of mind so that we can affect useful changes. They can also mirror our basic goodness, helping us to see that we are actually okay.

The main purpose of the wake-up call that feeling crazy provides is to let us know that something in our lives is out of balance. Confirm for yourself that you are capable of creating a sane and peaceful reality for yourself. Try to remember that most people have felt, at one time or another, that they are losing it. You deserve a life that helps you thrive. Try and take some steps today to help you achieve more balance and a little less crazy."

"Mapping The Tsunami Of Suicides Across America"

"Mapping The Tsunami Of Suicides Across America"
by Tyler Durden

"Suicide is a very complicated public health issue, influenced by demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors, as well as health- and crime-related factors. Since the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), a tsunami of suicides has swept across America, making it the tenth leading cause of death, and in 2015, accounted for more than 44,000 deaths.

Understanding the geographic patterns of suicide can better inform the nation that something is not quite right.

Although government researchers have presented state-level trends in suicide rates, data at the county-level has been widely overlooked. The ‘County-Level Trends in Suicide Rates in the U.S., 2005–2015‘ report, issued by a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used county-level changes in suicide rates to examine geographic trends and identify urban-rural patterns in these type of deaths from 2005 to 2015.
Click image for larger size.
Nationwide increase in suicide rates at the county level from 2005 to 2015

The animation above, created by The Washington Post from figures in the report, shows a never before seen explosion in suicide rates at the county level during the period. Researchers said suicide rates increased by more than 10 percent from 2005 to 2015 for 99 percent of the counties across the nation, with a shocking 87 percent of counties registering increases of more than 20 percent.

“The highest [suicide] rates across the period were seen in parts of Alaska, Arizona, northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North and South Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming,” the report discovered. By contrast, the regions with the lowest suicide rates were consistently seen across southern California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, along the Mississippi River, western Texas, and along the eastern coast of North and South Carolina.

Comparison of model-based versus direct estimates aggregated over larger geographies, or over 2005–2015.
Click image for larger size.
County-Level Trends in Suicide Rates in the U.S., 2005–2015. 
(Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine)

 Model-based county-level suicide rates in the U.S., 
2005 (top), 2010 (middle), and 2015 (bottom).
County-Level Trends in Suicide Rates in the U.S., 2005–2015.
 (Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine)

Researchers note that suicide rates in rural counties are complicated to measure, however, for this study, statistical modeling methods to infer suicide rates for smaller counties, along with 50 sources of data helped to develop the most accurate estimate of suicides, to date.

“Although a more detailed understanding of geographic variation may be useful, attempts at estimating county-level suicide rate have been limited because the majority of counties report fewer than 20 suicide deaths per year. Direct estimates of suicide rate based on small numbers can be unstable and highly variable year to year, making it difficult to discern trends. To produce stable estimates, studies and web-based mapping tools, often aggregate over multiple years or states, potentially masking important trends and within-state variation, including urban–rural differences.”

Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the nation. The research presents an unprecedented view of the implosion of America. Judging by the trajectory and, of course, momentum, it is only a matter of time before the wave of death strikes the East Coast.”
Look, listen to me, and you know if I'm talking to you. I understand all too well what you might be feeling, and won't give you some empty words and false hope about "don't give up", etc, all that noise. Only you know if you're really at the end, when your soul's on fire and it's simply unbearable to go on for one more hour, one more minute. I know what you're feeling, that's all I'll say. But if you can see a glimmer of hope, still not totally sure that it's time to go, please, please, do consider these resources. Time passes, circumstances change and who knows, maybe something good will appear tomorrow if you can wait till then. I hope you can, and do... - CP

Get help now: If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger - don't use 
the BetterHelp site. The following resources can provide you with immediate help:

"The Truth..."

"The truth is painful. Deep down, nobody wants to hear it, especially when it hits close to home. Sometimes we tell the truth because the truth is all we have to give. Sometimes we tell the truth because we need to say it out loud to hear it for ourselves. And sometimes we tell the truth because we just can’t help ourselves. Sometimes, we tell them because we owe them at least that much."
- "Dr. Meredith Grey," "Grey's Anatomy"

"12 Indications That The Next Major Global Economic Crisis Could Be Just Around The Corner"

"12 Indications That The Next Major Global Economic 
Crisis Could Be Just Around The Corner"
by Michael Snyder

"There have not been so many trouble signs for the global economy in a very long time. Analysts are sounding the alarm about junk bond defaults, the smart money is getting out of stocks at an astounding rate, mortgage rates are absolutely skyrocketing, and Europe is already facing a full blown financial meltdown. Of course expectations that another global economic crisis will happen among the general population are probably at an all-time low right now, but the reality of the matter is that we are probably closer to a new one erupting than at any point since the last one in 2008. 

Since the last financial crisis our long-term debt problems have just continued to grow, and there are many that believe that the next crisis will actually be far worse than what we experienced ten years ago. So how bad are things at this moment? The following are 12 indications that the next major global economic crisis could be just around the corner:

#1 The “smart money” is getting out of stocks at a rate that we haven’t seen since just before the financial crisis of 2008.

#2 Moody’s is warning that a “particularly large wave” of junk bond defaults is coming. And as I have written about so many times before, junk bonds are often an early warning indicator for a major financial crisis.

#3 According to the FDIC, a closely watched category known as “assets of problem banks” more than tripled during the first quarter of 2018. What that means is that some really big banks are now officially in “problem” territory.

#4 U.S. Treasury bonds are having the worst start to a year since the Great Depression.

#5 Mortgage interest rates just hit a 7 year high, and they have been rising at the fastest pace in nearly 50 years. This is going to be absolutely crippling for the real estate and housing industries.

#6 Retail industry debt defaults have hit a record high in 2018.

#7 We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings ever.

#8 The two largest economies on the entire globe are on the verge of starting an international trade war.

#9 The 9th largest economy in the world, Italy, is in the midst of yet another financial meltdown. In fact, this one appears to be the worst yet, and there are fears that it could spread to other areas of the eurozone.

#10 Italian banking stocks crashed really hard this week.

#11 Italian two year bond yields are the highest that they have been since the crisis of 2014.

#12 German banking giant Deutsche Bank just announced that it will be cutting another 7,000 jobs as it “seeks to turn the page on years of losses”. Those of you that have followed my work for a long time know that I have written extensively about Deutsche Bank, and it really is amazing that it has survived for this long.  If Deutsche Bank fails in 2018, it will essentially be a “Lehman Brothers moment” for the entire planet.

The mainstream media in the United States almost entirely ignores Europe, but I believe that what is going on over there is the key right now. Italy is a financial basket case, and Europe isn’t going to be able to handle a complete and total Italian financial collapse. If you will remember, Europe could barely handle what happened in Greece, and the Italian economy is many times the size of Greece.

The can has been kicked down the road several times before on the Italian crisis, but now we are getting to the point where it simply won’t be able to be kicked down the road any further. And once things start unraveling over in Europe, we will be deeply affected in the United States as well. The global financial system is more interconnected than ever before, and at this point we are even more vulnerable than we were just prior to the crisis of 2008.

When this thing breaks loose, it won’t matter who is in the White House, who is in Congress or who is running the Federal Reserve.

When this bubble bursts there is nothing that anyone will be able to do to stop it.

Global central banks have been able to buy a few extra years of time by engaging in unprecedented levels of intervention, but now they are almost out of ammunition and events are beginning to escalate at a very frightening pace. We shall see if they can pull another rabbit out of a hat in 2018, but I wouldn’t count on it…”

"Hang In There..."

"Using time, pressure and patience, the universe gradually changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds. You're being worked on too, so hang in there. Just because something isn't apparent right now, doesn't mean it isn't happening. It's not until the end do you realize, sometimes your biggest blessings were disguised by pain and suffering. They were not placed there to break you, but to make you."
- "The Angel Affect"

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly."
- Richard Bach 

X22 Report, “The Next Crisis Is Not What You Think, It Could Send Shockwaves Around The World”

X22 Report, “The Next Crisis Is Not What You Think, 
It Could Send Shockwaves Around The World”
Jim Sinclair's MineSet: http://www.jsmineset.com

Musical Interlude: Jeff Bjorck, “Desert Cloudburst”

Jeff Bjorck, “Desert Cloudburst”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkEzynnbfXA

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Which is older- the rocks you see on the ground or the light you see from the sky? Usually it’s the rocks that are older, with their origin sediments deposited well before light left any of the stars or nebulas you see in the sky. However, if you can see, through a telescope, a distant galaxy far across the universe- further than Andromeda or spiral galaxy NGC 7331 (inset)- then you are seeing light even more ancient. 
Click image for larger size.
Featured here, the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy arches over Toadstool hoodoos rock formations in northern Arizona, USA. The unusual Toadstool rock caps are relatively hard sandstone that wind has eroded more slowly than the softer sandstone underneath. The green bands are airglow, light emitted by the stimulated air in Earth's atmosphere. On the lower right is a time-lapse camera set up to capture the sky rotating behind the picturesque foreground scene.”

"To Live..."

"To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason - Purpose - Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge - Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve - Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride."
- Ayn Rand

"Memorial Day: A Day to Pause, Think and Remember"

"Memorial Day: 
A Day to Pause, Think and Remember"
by Robert L. Dilenschneider

"Memorial Day is Monday, and most of us have plans for the holiday weekend: enjoying the first taste of summer, entertaining with friends, or just relaxing. This will always be part of what the Memorial Day weekend is all about. The other part, as we all know, is about honoring this country’s fallen heroes. We live in the greatest nation in the world only because time and time again brave men and women have been willing to fight for the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

Memorial Day began as an occasion to honor those who fought and died in the Civil War. Places in both the North and South claim to have originated it, from Macon, Ga., and Richmond, Va., to Boalsburg, Pa., and Carbondale, Ill. But in 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the birthplace of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local Civil War veterans. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say observances in other places were informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

After World War I the day was expanded to honor the service people of all American wars. In 1971 Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.

Thus, the men and women we honor this Memorial Day are all those who have served this nation from its founding 242 years ago- since the Revolutionary War, we have lost 1,010,485 men and women in combat- as well as all those who defend us now. Permit us to wish you a great weekend. But let us never forget the courageous men and women who have served and sacrificed so much in past wars so we could enjoy this holiday, just as we honor those who stand duty today to keep us safe."
“For the Fallen”

“Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labor of the day-time;
They sleep beyond their country’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.”

- Laurence Binyon,
“For the Fallen” (adapted)
We honor their sacrifice and service.

“Requiescant in Pace”

“Requiescant in Pace”
by Brian Maher

"It is Memorial Day weekend, when we pause to honor the nation’s war dead. Most Americans will not, of course. It is merely a chance to lie flat on a beach… to munch frankfurters… to dream the dreams of approaching summer. We’ll be joining them of course.

We will not be planting tiny American flags atop forgotten graves this weekend. We will not be bugling taps. It is unlikely we will thank a veteran for his service - not because we lack respect - but because we scarcely know any.

But we remember how we were brought up short one day, strolling the American military cemetery above Omaha Beach. The rows and rows and rows of bleach-white crosses - and an occasional Star of David - seeming to stretch from horizon to horizon. A haunting poem from the First World War came to us as we wandered among the dead… and listened for their ghostly counsel. “In Flanders Fields,” the poem was called. From which:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields."

The American military cemetery above Omaha Beach

What fetched us was not so much the gravity of those distant events - but the soul-numbing waste of it all. What great things may have awaited that 21-year-old second lieutenant if a German bullet hadn’t cut him down on June 6, 1944? What did life have in store for that sergeant of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, who never made it up Pointe du Hoc? What about this young paratrooper of the 101st Airborne Division, whose bones lie beneath a shady tree? What might he have amounted to? Maybe a lot. Maybe nothing at all. But he had a life to live. And every right to live it.

Let us also not neglect the pulverized and unidentified dead, known only to their creator.


What about the futures they never had? "For of all sad words of tongue or pen,” lamented poet John Greenleaf Whittier, “the saddest are these: “It might have been.” And so before we embark on our Memorial Day weekend merriments. Let us lower our heads in mournful reflection of America’s martial departed… and of what might have been.

Requiescant in pace.

Below, we bring you an inspirational tale of heroism. Even though the fellow described served under the Tricolor of France, his valorous deeds likely saved countless American lives during the Normandy campaign. His own legendary life is worth remembering this weekend. Read on."
"Memorializing a Real-life James Bond"
By Brian Maher

"It was April 1945 and the German SS had just captured French agent Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld... The Gallic saboteur was coming off another mission of derring-do when the hated German occupiers collared him.

Monsieur Rochefoucauld was a man used to seeing off long odds. But Lady Fortune turns a cold cheek to every man eventually. Nazi justice would be swift, and it would be severe. At least he would die a proud man. He had sold himself dearly - he left a path of lifeless Germans behind him - and covered his name in glory.

German soldiers seized the condemned by the scruff and hauled him into a nearby field. They fell in, line abreast... readied their weapons... and awaited the order. Suddenly a belch of machine gun fire tore the early spring air. Then silence. But something was wrong. Cosmically wrong. The Frenchman was... alive. No, alive doesn’t describe it. He was unscratched. What happened? How could they miss from point blank range?

The Frenchman was now living a moment of pure adrenaline, a moment beyond description. Then suddenly his disbelieving eyes solved the mystery. The bullets weren’t for him. Rochefoucauld’s French Resistance confreres saw the proceedings and opened up on the SS men just in time. The timing was a thing of Hollywood - only more so.

Survival trumps justice, so the Germans wheeled to their immediate source of trouble. They would deal with their prisoner later. Streams of molten 7.92 millimeter arced their way downrange. That’s when Rochefoucauld seized his chance… His heart pounding, the galloping frog dashed out of sight - unexecuted, unbroken and unbowed. Rochefoucauld had cheated death… again.

Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld was born in 1923 to a family of Paris aristocrats. They could trace their roots to the time of Charlemagne. One of his ancestors, Francois de La Rochefoucauld, often drank with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin while they were in France.

Before the war Robert attended Europe’s most elite schools. High society was his natural habitat. The young Count knew this one and that one, went to all the parties - as one would expect from a young aristo. Life he had by its tail. And believe it or no, the young man actually met Herr Hitler in 1938. The German chancellor even pinched the young 15-year old’s cheek. But that was before Hitler was Hitler. And before the Germans invaded France two years later.

The Germans settled into the rough business of occupation after their lightning victory in June 1940. Rochefoucauld's father was dragged off. Other relatives were even less fortunate. But young Robert managed to slip through the dragnet. He tried to piece together a resistance group. But he soon learned that his efforts attracted the Gestapo’s worried interest. It was time to quit Paris. He’d take his chances in the French countryside…

Rochefoucauld shed his aristocratic title, assumed a false name and went as a commoner. It was life at the other end for this former bon vivant. He soon fell in with two downed British pilots who needed out of occupied France. The hatchling guerilla volunteered his assistance. So the three struck out for Spain, the Germans hot behind them. They somehow made it through the German patrols. But when the unlikely trio crossed into Spain, their luck drained. They were immediately arrested. Spain was technically neutral - but still fascist. And international law demanded neutral countries intern foreign combatants. The war was over for the young aristocrat, before it even started.

Rochefoucauld spent two impossible months holed up in Spain's notorious Miranda de Ebro prison. It was known during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s for its ghastly conditions. It was here, here in this pit, that the young Frenchman nursed his appetite for revenge. What those Nazis did to his country... what they did to his family…

Then one happy day a fellow from the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) - also known by the sterlingly British “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” - showed up to spring the pilots. But when the airmen told the SOE officer about their comrade who saw them out of France, the Brit also worked a get-out-of-jail card for Rochefoucauld. The Frenchman was off to England, where he’d soon acquire the black arts of ungentlemanly warfare.

Rochefoucauld was immediately assigned to SOE’s espionage section. The Count was schooled in skydiving, sabotage, safecracking, weapons tactics and self-defense. By June 1943 he was cutting wild capers in his native France, and visiting unshirted hell on its Nazi occupiers.

Rochefoucauld took up with the local Resistance and went straight to work. He cut his teeth dynamiting train tracks and an industrial power station. But cruel fate moved against him. A collaborator turned coat and delivered Rochefoucauld to the Nazis. He was badly used by the Gestapo, and sentenced to death as a spy… his days of sabotage over.

The inevitable day came. His captors bound his hands and packed him onto a truck. As the truck sped towards his personal Golgotha, Rochefoucauld considered his options. Options? The young man was flanked by guards with submachine guns. And his hands were bound. An absurd idea suddenly jumped into consciousness. What if I… He’d only have one chance at it.

The bound captive suddenly bolted to his feet and dashed for the stern of the speeding truck. The fall should have broken an ankle, a leg, or cracked his skull. But nothing. The guards weren’t about to let him go so easily, of course. Bullets screeched by the former prisoner as he dashed for the tree line, his hands still bound. By some miracle he escaped through the hail and evaded his pursuers.

If you’re starting to think this was a man with unique talents for luck, you might be right. Rochefoucauld proceeded to skirt enemy patrols, and snaked his way back to the city. Darting through the streets he suddenly found himself in front of the local Gestapo headquarters - the same Gestapo that was trying to kill him. Tugging on fate’s cape, this daredevil walked right up and stole a Nazi limousine parked in front. That is correct. He stole it.

The Germans were toweringly unamused. They got his scent right away and Rochefoucauld led the Nazis on a high-speed chase through town. At one point he crashed through an SS roadblock. His New York taxicab driving bought him time before he ultimately ditched the car. He then took to his heels, losing his pursuers in a minotaur’s maze of city streets. Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld defied death yet again.

Rochefoucauld eventually made it to the French coast. He then boarded a fishing boat that rendezvoused with a British submarine in the English Channel. But the gods weren’t through testing this hero’s mettle… Shortly after Rochefoucauld boarded the sub, a German destroyer sniffed it out.  The “swish-swish” of the destroyer’s engines attained a fiendish pitch as the hunter closed in. What followed Rochefoucauld described as his worst experience of the war. “I’d never been so scared in my life,” he would later say.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Place a garbage can over your head and have a madman proceed against you with a sledgehammer. That may give a faint suggestion of the experience (we highly recommend the German submarine movie "Das Boot"). But the sub survived the attack. After three impossible days at sea Rochefoucauld was back in England. And glad of it. “We were invited to the best houses,” he’d later say. “Girls fell into our arms.” No doubt they did.

Rochefoucauld's next mission took place in May 1944 - a month before D-Day. And this one was one for the books. His job was to destroy the largest ammunition factory in France, near Bordeaux. All by his lonesome. The place was a fortress, airtight with security, strewn with guards. And he’d somehow have to smuggle 90 pounds of explosives past it all.

But how? Then the Count had another sunburst of inspiration… He might blend in as a factory worker. But how would he get 90 pounds of dynamite in through security? Then it came to him. He’d hide it inside hollowed-out loaves of bread. The French and their bread, after all. Who’d suspect? It took him four days to smuggle it all in... loaf by loaf. Undetected, he placed the dynamite around the factory’s structural supports and set the timers. Then he sauntered out, scaled a wall and made off on a bicycle. The explosion could be heard ten miles away. Rochefoucauld didn't even bother looking back. He just single-handedly destroyed the Germans’ largest ammunition in factory in France. And in time for D-Day.

But his satisfaction was short-lived. He was off to Bordeaux to meet a contact who’d get him back to England. But he chanced upon a German roadblock. The winsome young man told them he was heading for a romantic assignation. They didn’t believe him. The French aristocrat was taken prisoner again.

Torture is an insufficient description for the Gestapo’s punishment if they discovered he was responsible for the factory bombing. So Rochefoucauld nearly resorted to the final solution - downing the cyanide pill he kept hidden in his shoe. He’d escaped from German captivity once before. But this was a Fort Knox. And he was locked in a dungeon. This seemed the end of the tether for Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld.

At one point a guard entered his cell, only to find the French saboteur writhing on the ground in an epileptic seizure. When he approached the flailing prisoner, Rochefoucauld whipped out a table leg he’d broken off, and clouted the guard over the head with all the energy at his command. The guard staggered, stunned, then the trained killer snapped his neck like a twig. “Thank Goodness for that pitilessly efficient training,” Rochefoucauld later noted.

But now what? He was still trapped inside this fort, Germans everywhere. Another inspiration came to him. Rochefoucauld donned the guard’s uniform and walked out of the cell. He proceeded to the guardroom. And shot dead two additional guards. Then he walked right out the front door, casual as a Sunday morning stroll. He’d escaped from German hands - for the second time.

Rochefoucauld joined a local contact as he figured his next move. By now the Nazis were out for blood, and swarmed the area. He was trapped. And there would be no escape next time. Then someone else had an idea this time. His host’s sister was a nun. Nuns wear peculiar clothing. So Rochefoucauld slipped into a nun’s habit and started out of town. Sure enough, he made his way past the German patrols and to eventual safety... disguised as a woman of God.

Finally, in April 1945 Rochefoucauld was captured in his final mission, which led to the dramatic escape with which we opened this story. That would be the third time the Germans captured him. And the third time he escaped. As the Count would later say, “I had what I needed more than anything else. Luck.” Better to be lucky than good. But best to be both.

What a war! He carried out many successful missions - including one that had him singlehandedly dynamiting the largest ammo factory in France. The Nazis captured him three times... and he escaped certain death each time. He also survived a savage depth charge attack while trapped in a submarine. The James Bond of film couldn’t hold aces and spades to this royal gent.

After the war Rochefoucauld was recruited by the French secret services. He led commando raids against the Viet Minh during France’s 1950’s war in Vietnam. His retirement into peaceful civilian life left him bored. He ran a banana company in Venezuela. Then he tried his chances in Cameroon. Count Rochefoucauld ultimately returned to service in time for the Suez Campaign of 1956, during which he parachuted into the Sinai. But fighting concluded before he could see action. That was it for military life

In 1966 the weathered aristocrat became mayor of a small French town. It was an office he would hold for 30 years. Time accomplished what the Nazis couldn’t. Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld died on May 8, 2012, aged 88 years. Life is lived not in years, but in moments. And this man packed more moments into 88 years than most could fit into a thousand. Well and truly, a remarkable life."