Cullen Murphy
has been a guest of The Colbert Report
and got nailed in the process


Citizen Murphy

Cullen Murphy was Stephenus' guest on the June 7, 2007 edition of The Colbert Report.


Gratias ago vos adeo pro iunctio mihi hodie

Wearing the very best in battle armaments and a Clooney cut, Stephenus greeted Mr. Murphy with the Latin Salve and arm clasp!

Murphy's AgendaEdit

Mr. Murphy declared that the Roman Empire is like America.

Rome had a large multi-ethnic society, America also has a large society with many different ethnics.

Rome was the wealthiest empire of its time, America too is the wealthiest empire of our time.

Rome had the world's largest military, America's military employs more mercenaries than anyone else in all of history!

Murphy's Alleged KnowledgeEdit

Despite acknowledging Halliburton's business prowess, believes Rome would kick America's ass in a head-to-head battle because they have fewer scruples than we do. Apparently Murphy has never heard of Enron, Juno to Halliburton's Jupiter.

After untold hours researching his book, Mr. Murphy was still not sure which emperor Bush is more like:

  • Caligula or
  • Caesar

Murphy was so misinformed, Stephenus had to set the record straight.

Knowledge Murphy Received From StephanusEdit

America is better than anyone.


Romans used the same pure version of the free market that Americans do; their government was also up for sale but, as Stephenus pointed out to Murphy:

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto the private sector what is the private sector's.

Which they didn't really do because 99% of Romans chose to live in poverty.

Stephenus also had to remind Murphy that like Rome, America also has barbarians banging at our gates:

Irano delenda est (Iran is Carthage)


Mr. Murphy may have veni'd and vidi'd, but it was Stephenus who Vici'd.

De gustibus non disputandum est


  • Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America

NOTES from LA Times Article By Murphy Published 9 Days LaterEdit

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Roman Empire: gold standard of immigration

The ancient superpower could teach the U.S. a thing or two about a strong multicultural society.

By Cullen Murphy, CULLEN MURPHY was for many years the managing editor of the Atlantic Monthly and is now the editor at large of Vanity Fair. His most recent book is "Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of

From the Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2007, Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

ancient Rome's 6,000-mile border with everywhere.

There's a widespread view that the Roman Empire was swept away mainly by a relentless tide of hostile outsiders

Rome was the world's most successful multiethnic state until our own — and history's longest lasting one, bar none.

Do the Romans might have anything to teach Americans.

One lesson is "taking control of the borders"

A second lesson is nationalizing culture.


Hadrian's Wall marked the northern limit of the Roman Empire was not meant to be a Maginot Line. It had gateways every mile to encourage commerce.

Americans today think of a nation's physical border as a static and even sacred sort of artifact — not quite as unchanging, say, as the path of the equator, but significantly more durable than the outlines of a Texas congressional district. Most historians, though, now see Rome's long imperial frontier as a dynamic zone where the interactions of different peoples had transformative repercussions on either side. The frontier, in other words, was a crucible, not a line in the sand.

America needs a Hadrian's Firewall.

American borders aren't quite where the map shows them, anyway. For national security purposes, they extend to the docks of Rotterdam and Hong Kong and as high as satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Some borders have simply disappeared. Consider the transnational revolution wrought by the ATM machine. For corporations, borders are a figure of speech.


remarkably uniform

The temples and baths

Roads and coins were uniform

Soldiers all wore something akin to dog tags (as did their horses)

Even the statuary from place to place looked the same: At one time there were 20,000 statues of Caesar Augustus on view. All of this was just the physical embodiment of an underlying dynamic — a set of values and a way of life — that rapidly turned outsiders into insiders.

Rome's ability to assimilate newcomers is well-established

But the expansion of the empire to include tens of millions of non-Romans — and then the absorption through immigration of many millions more — was a bigger phenomenon still.

Military service integrated some

Tacitus observing what Rome's subjects called "culture" was in fact what kept them in line.

In the end, the example of Rome suggests that the most effective long-term stance toward the outside lies in building walls

the entrepreneurial spirit

If we take care of this, much else will take care of itself.

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